- The German Bundesliga season resumes play this Saturday on May 16
- The highlight match comes Saturday morning with The Revierderby between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke
- Odds for each game on Matchday 26 plus our best bets from the weekend follow below
The German Bundesliga will become the first major soccer league and one of the first major leagues in the world to return to play during the coronavirus pandemic.
After getting the green light from the German government last week and the DFL approving a restart for this weekend, the league picks up with Matchday 26 on Saturday.
When we last left the league, Bayern Munich were holding a four-point lead in the title race, with several important positions still up for grabs in the table. Read on for the odds and our best bets for the nine matches spread across Saturday-Monday.
Bundesliga Matchday 26 Odds
|Augsburg||0, +0.5 (-120)||+220||O 2.5 (-105)|
|Wolfsburg||0, -0.5 (EVEN)||+130||U 2.5 (-115)|
|Borussia Dortmund||-1 (-115)||-185||O 2.5, 3 (-115)|
|Schalke||+1 (-105)||+500||U 2.5, 3 (-105)|
|Fortuna Dusseldorf||0, -0.5 (-120)||+115||O 2.5 (-125)|
|Paderborn||0, +0.5 (EVEN)||+235||U 2.5 (EVEN)|
|RB Leipzig||-1.5 (-105)||-305||O 3 (+105)|
|SC Freiburg||+1.5 (-115)||+900||U 3 (-125)|
|Hoffenheim||0, -0.5 (-125)||+110||O 2.5, 3 (EVEN)|
|Hertha Berlin||0, +0.5 (+105)||+260||U 2.5, 3 (-120)|
|Eintracht Frankfurt||0, +0.5 (-125)||+200||O 2.5, 3 (-105)|
|Borussia Monchengladbach||0, -0.5 (+105)||+135||U 2.5, 3 (-115)|
|Cologne||-0.5 (EVEN)||EVEN||O 2.5, 3 (-120)|
|Mainz||+0.5 (-120)||+270||U 2.5, 3 (EVEN)|
|Union Berlin||+2 (-120)||+1300||O 3, 3.5 (-105)|
|Bayern Munich||-2 (EVEN)||-450||U 3, 3.5 (-120)|
|Werder Bremen||+0.5, +1 (-115)||+360||O 2.5, 3 (-120)|
|Bayer Leverkusen||-0.5, -1 (-105)||-130||U 2.5, 3 (EVEN)|
All odds taken May 11
Pick 1: Borussia Dortmund vs Schalke
The Revierderby highlights the return of Bundesliga action this weekend at 9:30 am EST. Both sides have very different aspirations as the season restarts, but both have very significant goals within their reach.
Dortmund currently sit second in the league table, just four points back of leaders Bayern Munich. They’re easily in the Champions League positions, but will be eyeing to unseat their rivals at the summit.
Schalke are 12 points back of the Champions League places and even ten points back of a direct place in the Europa League. However, they do currently hold the Europa League qualification position with 37 points. Plenty of sides are hot on their tail though with Wolfsburg (36), Freiburg (36), Hoffenheim (35), Cologne (32) and even Union Berlin (30) all within striking distance.
Football returns in 09 days! ??
— BorussiaPassion (@BorussiaPassion) May 7, 2020
Dortmund entered the coronavirus-induced break riding a four-match win streak. They’d also won seven of eight and outscored their opponents 27-9. The team has plenty of firepower with Erling Braut Haaland, Marco Reus and Jadon Sancho combining for 34 goals this year. Though Reus has been ruled out for this weekend’s match.
Perhaps the break will be good for Schalke as David Wagner’s men were winless in six overall matches when we last left them—five in the league and one in the Pokal. In their five-game winless run in the Bundesliga, they were outscored 10-2.
The Revierderby is usually a goal-fest, though earlier this season the two sides ended things in a 0-0 draw at VELTINS-Arena. That was just the third scoreless match in their past 17 meetings.
Borussia Dortmund will be without Axel Witsel, Emre Can, Marco Reus, Dan Axel Zagadou and Nico Schulz against Schalke 04 [RN] #BVB
— BVB Buzz (@BVBBuzz) May 12, 2020
During that same stretch both teams had scored and the OVER 2.5 goals had cashed 11 times.
At this venue last season Schalke were 4-2 winners and this time Dortmund will be without the crowd advantage with no fans. With so much on the line in this heated rivalry and no crowd support for Dortmund, I expect the scoring trends to revert to the norm for both teams in this match.
Pick: Both teams to score & Over 2.5 goals (+130)
Pick 2: Eintracht Frankfurt vs Borussia Monchengladbach
Most of the soccer world will be tuning into Frankfurt vs Gladbach at 12:30 pm EST on Saturday afternoon. After the initial four matches at 9:30 am EST, this one will get center stage as the biggest game in the sport taking place the rest of the day.
Frankfurt have the sixth-best home record in the league, though a stadium without fans may erode some of that advantage. Knowing eyes from all over the world will be on them, plus the fact that they are just four points ahead of the relegation places should be plenty motivation though. With just ten matches remaining (one more than most teams), Frankfurt likely only needs a few more points down the stretch to earn safety.
Eintracht Frankfurt's eagle mascot, Attila, has been BANNED from the Bundesliga's return. https://t.co/Ru6LmZq6aI
— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) May 8, 2020
The time off may have come at a good time for Adi Hutter’s side as they had lost three on the bounce before the league stoppage. Two 4-0 losses, one each to Dortmund and Leverkusen, plus a 2-1 defeat to Union Berlin, sunk them to 12th in the table. On their home pitch they have tallied 27 times, compared to 16 conceded, so they should be confident of finding the back of the net Saturday.
Monchengladbach will bring a stout defense to Commerzbank-Arena though, having conceded just 30 goals on the year and only 14 on their travels.
Gladbach are still technically alive in the title race, though just barely. But, will be fighting to hold onto their place in the Champions League places until the end of the season. Currently fourth, it’s been a great year for Marco Rose’s side. In fact, a loss to Frankfurt would be something of a low-point on the season for his team. Of Gladbach’s six losses this year, none have come against a team currently ranked lower than 11th in the table (Union Berlin). Otherwise, their defeats came against teams ranked within the top seven.
Borussia Monchengladbach training in front of thousands of cardboard fans.
Great Gesture ? pic.twitter.com/D8eHSywjv9
— Football Factly (@FootballFactly) May 9, 2020
Borussia, unlike Frankfurt, were likely unhappy with the stoppage as they were on a strong run of form. Gladbach suffered just one defeat in their last seven matches and had scored multiple goals in five of them. They did though, also concede in eight-straight prior to the stoppage.
Earlier this season it was Gladbach who claimed a 4-2 win over Frankfurt on their home pitch. Gladbach took a 2-0 lead into the half before Frankfurt pulled one back just prior to the hour mark. The teams would exchange goals (Gladbach 75′) and (Frankfurt 79′) to send Gladbach into the final ten minutes with a 3-2 lead. The lead would be extended through a Denis Zakaria 85′ minute goal to wrap up the three points for Die Fohlen.
With the soccer world watching and plenty on the line for both sides, I see good value on the +260 draw. For added value you could also look at a scored draw at +335. If you’re looking for a safer bet, “Both teams to score and Over 2.5′ pays out +105.
Pick: Draw +260
Pick 3: Werder Bremen vs Bayer Leverkusen
The weekend card concludes with a Monday afternoon tilt at 2:30 pm EST between 17th-placed Werder Bremen hosting fifth-placed Bayer Leverkusen.
Bremen have been woeful all season long. While they are second-from-bottom right now, they have the worst form over the past ten, 15 and 20 matches. Their past ten matches have seen them go 1-1-8 (WDL), scoring just five goals and conceding 26. That lone win was a 1-0 victory on January 18 over Dusseldorf. That win, plus a 1-0 defeat to Cologne the match prior, were the only two games in that stretch where they didn’t concede at least two goals. Bremen are in desperate need of points, being four back of the relegation playoff and eight back of safety.
ℹ️ @DavyKlaassen was shown his fifth yellow card of the season before the break in play and will therefore miss next Monday's game against @bayer04_en through suspension. #werder pic.twitter.com/4TL4CEKk4e
— SV Werder Bremen EN (?) (@werderbremen_en) May 11, 2020
Bremen have conceded a league-worst 55 goals, which has contributed to their games being the joint-sixth highest scoring matches in the league with an average of 3.4 goals per game. They’ve scored just 27 of their own in 24 matches.
For Leverkusen, they’ve been the third-strongest side in the league over the past ten rounds with 22 points and second-best over the past five with 13 points. At just two points back of Gladbach for the final Champions League spot, they should be properly motivated in their first game back.
Leverkusen are the league’s fifth-highest scorers with 45 goals, while also conceding 30. In short, their games are full of goals and their past eight have seen goal totals of four, two, two, five, seven, three, three and five.
Goals have been the standard of late in matches between these two. Back in October, Bayer took an early lead four minutes in from an own goal, before Werder took a 2-1 lead with goals at the 40′ and 48′ minute marks. Lucas Alario’s 58′ minute goal leveled the match at two which sent each team home with a single point.
The two previous league results saw Bremen win 3-1 and Bayer win 6-2.
"A lot of people are happy they can watch football again. A lot of people are asking how it will all turn out, but I also have my questions as I've never seen such a situation in my 40 years of professional football. Everybody will be looking at the Bundesliga." – Peter Bosz pic.twitter.com/tQepycy9kb
— Bayer 04 Leverkusen (@bayer04_en) May 11, 2020
Forget about being the standalone match of the soccer or the Bundesliga schedule on Monday, this game is likely the standalone game in sports general Monday afternoon.
Each side has plenty to play for and each are plenty capable of letting in goals. I see a few different ways of betting this match. A Leverkusen win at -130 odds is quite likely. But betting the goal markets: Over 2.5 and both teams to score (+110) or Leverkusen to score Over 1.5 goals (-150) are also options.
Pick: Bayer Leverkusen to score Over 1.5 goals (-150)
Let's have fun and keep it civil.