Bundesliga top picks, predictions, best bets: Why you shouldn't expect another Borussia Dortmund goal-fest

The Bundesliga returned last weekend, and while it felt a little weird to watch soccer matches in empty stadiums, the awkwardness was quickly replaced by the relief of having live sports to watch. Plus, we all received a nice glimpse of how much communication takes place on the field at any given time when it's not being drowned out by fans singing.

I do prefer the singing, though.

I also preferred my results with my picks last week, as I went 2-1, losing on my longshot bid on Werder Bremen. This week I'm looking for similar results with these three plays for Saturday's action.

1. Borussia Monchengladbach (+140) vs. Bayer Leverkusen

Last week I took a punt on Werder Bremen as a long shot against Leverkusen. I did this partially because Werder Bremen had been very unlucky at home this season, and I thought the price on them was off. I also did it because underlying metrics suggest Leverkusen isn't as good as results suggest to this point.

So I'm betting against them yet again for a lot of the same reasons. Monchengladbach is the better team as it is, and it looked better than Leverkusen did last week. I like it at home here. If you want to get frisky and take Gladbach against the spread, go for it, but there's plenty of value on the money line.

2. Freiburg (+115) vs. Werder Bremen

Speaking of Werder Bremen, while it's been a bit unlucky at home, luck is not to blame for its performances on the road. Using expected goals, Bremen should be allowing 1.46 goals per match at home. Compare that to 2.14 goals per match on the road. A defense that is mostly a whisper of a rumor in the first place with this team does not travel. Freiburg isn't a juggernaut by any stretch, but like most teams, it's better at home than away from it. I'd be a lot more comfortable if I could find Freiburg closer to +120 or even +125, but there's still enough value at +115 to make this play.

3. Wolfsburg vs. Borussia Dortmund (Under 3.5)

I wrote last week that I wouldn't be shocked if Dortmund hit the over in its match against Schalke on its own. It did. This week's difference is that Dortmund isn't at home, and the total is a full goal higher. Dortmund, as good as it is overall, is not nearly as potent offensively on the road compared to at home. It has averaged 3.46 goals per match at home this season compared to 1.77 on the road. This disparity isn't as wide using expected goals, but it does reflect a difference in potency. Dortmund goes from 2.39 xGoals at home compared to 1.53 on the road.

Wolfsburg, meanwhile, has been strong defensively at home. It's allowed only 13 goals in 13 home matches, and those numbers are in line with expected goals. All of which is why I don't hate the idea of taking a punt on Wolfsburg if you're feeling frisky, but the better value is the under.

CBS Sports Writer

Tom Fornelli has been a college football writer at CBS Sports since 2010. During his time at CBS, Tom has proven time and again that he hates your favorite team and thinks your rival is a paragon of football... Full Bio

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