Bundesliga Odds, Picks, Predictions: Best Bets For Wolfsburg vs … – The Action Network

Helge Prang/Getty. Pictured: Joshua Kimmich.
It's the time in the season where the Bundesliga appears it just might have a title race. Usually, that's followed up by domination from Bayern Munich. This year, Bayern look genuinely vulnerable for the first time in multiple years.
Their performances post-World Cup have been shaky with three consecutive draws in the league against RB Leipzig, FC Köln and Eintracht Frankfurt.
It's opened the door for Leipzig to charge within two points of Bayern, while Borussia Dortmund are getting healthy and sit just three points back. Leipzig remain +1000 and Dortmund are +2000 to win the Bundesliga, but Bayern are clearly missing their floor raiser with Robert Lewandowski's goals missing from the side as the central focal point of the attack.
As talented as they are, Bayern have a difficult away trip to Wolfsburg on Sunday that highlights another intriguing Bundesliga slate.
Here are my best bets.

I know that I just wrote that Leipzig are a legitimate Bundesliga title contender to challenge Bayern Munich, but they're overvalued in this spot based on my numbers. It's a short rest for Leipzig, who just played on Wednesday in the DFB-Pokal.
Leipzig did beat Stuttgart 2-1 at home in the Bundesliga last Friday, but they were outplayed for most of the first half and were dead even on xG, even after factoring out the penalty.
Köln have legitimately good xG numbers this year and they're quietly trending up themselves. At the beginning of the year, they were incredibly fortunate to get a bunch of red cards in their favor in multiple matches. But on the aggregate, they've been the third-best team by xG difference at 11-on-11 this year.
Only Bayern and Leipzig have better underlying numbers. Köln have a to-five defense by xG allowed per match and the defensive strength runs even deeper. They don't allow anything on set plays, they're top three in big scoring chances conceded and top six in touches allowed in the. box.
Leipzig haven't lost since September in the Bundesliga and have just three draws and nine wins since that Gladbach defeat. It's time to sell high against an underrated Köln catching a half goal at home.
Dabbundo's Pick: Köln +0.5 (-130 or better)

Their positions in the Bundesliga table won't tell you this or even remotely suggest it, but Mainz and Union Berlin are basically even teams in my projections and in many underlying metrics.
Union have the elite defense with one of the worst attacks in the Bundesliga. Mainz are right around league average at both ends of the pitch.
Mainz have been the subject of some negative variance in finishing and sit in the bottom half of the table. Union have rode an extremely hot run for their main shot getters and somehow are one point behind Bayern Munich in second place.
When these two sides met early in the season at Mainz, there were 1.1 xG created in total between both clubs. Mainz created the better of the chances, but the game was largely dead and without clear chances at either end. Mainz's defense has regressed as a whole but this is a favorable matchup for them as an underdog.
Union dpn't press at all — which is an anomaly given the notorious frenetic pressing nature of Germany's top flight. They're dead last in passes per defensive action. They keep teams out of the penalty area but that also means they're not good at winning the ball and keeping possession.
They have the third-lowest possession rate in the league. Betting against Union as a favorite is the spot to do it, especially since they won't have the set piece edge either — Mainz are the best in the league against set pieces. This game is close to a coin flip and I like Mainz +0.5 at -130 or better.
Dabbundo's Pick: Mainz +0.5 (-130 or better)

Bayern have struggled mightily for form since returning from the World Cup. They've created 1.6 xG or less in all three matches and now have a tricky road trip to a Wolfsburg side that has been scoring goals for fun since returning from the World Cup break.
Wolfsburg scored 11 goals in the first two matches with six against Freiburg and five against Hertha Berlin. Those two outlier games shouldn't be overreacted to because this attack is still extremely underwhelming overall.
They are 14th in touches in the opposition penalty area and 10th in non-penalty expected goals going forward.
We saw a closer version to what this Wolfsburg attack is when it managed just 0.7 xG at Werder Bremen and tallied six shots at Union Berlin in the cup during the week. Wolfsburg's defense has done a good job of taking away high quality shots, however, and it's why they remain an above-average defense.
They're solidly above-average in average shot distance allowed. The biggest problem for Bayern is declining high quality shots without Lewandowski. Bayern's average shot distance is a full yard longer than last year.
I'll take the under here.
Dabbundo's Pick: Under 3.25 (-120)

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