By: Trent Pruitt (@trentbets)
I haven’t written nearly as much about soccer as I should be but maybe it’s for the better considering my soccer picks against the spread have been ice cold over the last three weeks. I guess that means I’m due so let’s take it out to the Bundesliga for my favorite bet of the Wednesday afternoon slate! It’s a banged up Bayern side hosting a Wolfsburg squad that entered Matchday 12 in fourth place.
Money Line: FCB -286, VfL +730, DRAW +450
Spread: FCB -1.5 (-111)
Total: 3.5 (O -119, U -101)
Kickoff: 2:30 ET, Allianz Arena, Munich, de
The Champs enter this competition tied for second place with RB Leipzig. Both squads have accumulated 24 points thanks to 7-3-1 records but Bayern has a goal differential of 18. It’s been kind of a lackadaisical effort from the German Powerhouse but that’s 100% due to all of the matches they’ve been playing. In addition to the tired legs, Hansi Flick’s side will likely be without Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, and a few other bench players. There are still plenty of worthy players, hence why the oddsmakers still set this game at -1.5 in favor of Bayern.
Bayern Munchen leads the Bundesliga with 35 goals as a team, nine more than Stuttgart who ranks second in scoring. The surge in scoring has propelled them to the top goal differential in the league thanks to individual efforts from Robert Lewandowski (13 goals) and Thomas Muller (6). It’s also worth noting that Bobby Lew has 22 career goals against Wolfsburg and once scored five goals in nine minutes against them! On the backend, it’s my personal favorite goalkeeper in Manuel Neuer. The 34-year-old German has started all eleven Bundesliga matches this season but has only two clean sheets. Like I mentioned earlier, it’s been pretty sloppy from the champs recently but Neuer seems to bail the squad a vast majority of the time when there is a threat. I watched the game against Union Berlin this past weekend and he made several big saves to keep the draw and save a point.
I see VfL Wolfsburg as a respectable team in the Bundesliga and I expect them to make a bid towards the top five as the season carries on. They’re playing well right now and beating the teams they should. Over their last five league games, they’ve gone 4-1-0 with wins over Eintracht Frankfurt, Werder Bremen, Schalke, and bested a solid Hoffenheim team 2-1. The Wolves have only allowed eleven goals on the season which is 3rd best in the Bundesliga and they held some powerful Borussia Monchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen sides to a combined one goal in matches on 10/17 and 9/20.
As for individual efforts, it’s been Wout Weghost leading the charge with nine of the team’s 18 tallies on the season. The midfield behind him has chipped in handsomely with Arnold and Baku scoring two a piece while Schlager, Brekalo, and Steffen all have one. They’ll be without Steffen in this game due to a groin injury.
Final Analysis & Best Bet
Like I mentioned, Wolfsburg is a quality club and they’ll likely finish in the 5-8 spot of the table – which is great for them in my opinion. They’ve handled the teams they’re supposed to, but, wins over Schalke, E. Frankfurt, and Werder aren’t much to hang your hat on. So I’m rolling with Bayern Munich -1.5 (-111) in this match for a unit. It’s going to be a makeshift midfield for Bayern that they may have to fill with some attacking players as they’ll be without Kimmich, Goretzka (questionable), and Javi Martinez. Look for the 17-year-old Jamal Musiala to get the nod in the midfield or at least come on at some point. He has three Bundesliga goals and is learning quickly and coming into his own.
I expect the champs to control possession of this game for 58%+ of the time and although we’ve seen Wolfsburg’s defense hold up most of the time, Bayern isn’t just any other opponent. I’ll say we get a 3-0 finish in this one with goals from Muller and Gnarby while Sane scoring as a sub. The healthy and powerful back line should be able to mark Weghost and fend off every attack. If you look back at Wolfsburg’s matches, I think you can deduct that they’ve only really scored because they’ve won the possession battle against weaker opponents. That will not be the case on Wednesday. Let’s go Bayern.
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