Borussia Dortmund vs. SC Freiburg Bundesliga Odds, Picks, Predictions (2/4/23)
It’s just about impossible to remember the last time the Bundesliga, which has been so singularly dominated by one team over the past decade or so, was anything close to a model of parity. But here we are- Bayern are still in first with 37 points, but Union Berlin and RB Leipzig are right behind with 36 and 35, respectively. And then, we have SC Freiburg and Borussia Dortmund, deadlocked with 34 points apiece, in the thrilling yet terrifying position where a league title is realistically within striking distance, but Europa Conference League qualification or worse is similarly on the table. Let’s take a look at the odds and make some picks for what could be an incredibly impactful Bundesliga match.
Dortmund vs. Freiburg Odds
On the moneyline, Dortmund are favored at home with odds of -160. The draw is set at +300, while the visitors Freiburg are +370 underdogs to win. For a goalscoring line of 2.5, the over is decently favored at -155, while the under is set at +125.
Dortmund vs. Freiburg Prediction & Pick
Freiburg can only be described as a club on the rise. After years of kicking between mid-table status in the Bundesliga, slightly worse results, and a handful of short-lived stints in the second division, they qualified for the Europa league last season. They’ve made the most of the opportunity thus far, as they’ve won their group in resounding fashion and await results of the play-off round to learn their next opponent. This year, they have their sights set even higher; they have a realistic chance of qualifying for the Champions League, and at just three points behind first-place Bayern- who are in troubling form, to boot- there’s an outside chance to secure what would be a shocking league title.
Standings wise, Dortmund are in the same position, although they’re probably more favored to qualify for the Champions League. It’s been an interesting year as they’ve adjusted to life without Erling Haaland- after finishing as the second-highest scoring Bundesliga side a year ago, they’re sitting at sixth in that figure thus far, about halfway through the season. The hope is that following his recent return following a remarkable, swift recovery from testicular cancer, newcomer Sebastien Haller will begin to help ease that concern. The Ivorian striker is easing back into the swing of things, he’s just made his first start and is hopefully building towards playing full 90s for his new club. He’s already provided all of us with true inspiration, and he can only make his legendary comeback more incredible by helping Dortmund finish the year strong from both attacking and team perspectives.
In a matchup between two teams that have performed evenly in so many ways, there’s a couple of deciding factors to take into consideration, the most obvious of which is recent form. Games played way back in September only tell us so much about the teams’ levels today, and this is more true than ever considering the long layoff the Bundesliga had during and after the World Cup. The other is pretty simple, home field advantage. German football fans are famously among the world’s best, if not the very best, and Dortmund’s are particularly legendary. It’s an incredibly tough place for visitors to play, and it shows- Dortmund haven’t lost a home Bundesliga match since August. My moneyline pick is going to stick with the chalk, Dortmund -160. For the scoring total, It’s a bit chalky again, so I’d consider parlaying these two picks, but it’s hard to look away from over 2.5 goals at -155. I’d consider betting over 3.5 (which you’d find in plus-odds) before I’d consider the under; Dortmund is notorious for playing open, end to end football, and the Freiburg defense hasn’t exactly been iron-clad lately, or really throughout the season.
Dortmund Attack vs. Freiburg Defense
Of course, the big story with the Dortmund attack coming into this season was adapting their lineup and play style to one that doesn’t rely on the absolute unit that is Erling Haaland. The results have been mixed, but there are clearly still some talented players for manager Edin Terzic to pencil into the XI. Teenager Youssoufa Moukoko has taken up the striker role more than anyone else, and leads the side with 6 league goals and 9 total goal contributions, although of course it’ll be interesting to see how playing time is split between himself and Haller, as well as Anthony Modeste, who has played a decent amount but not been particularly prolific this season. The winger group is headlined by Julian Brandt, who has chipped in nicely with 4 goals and 4 assists, and an average match rating of 7.35 on FotMob, the third best figure on the team. Rising talents Karim Adeyemi and Donyell Malen could also figure into a wing spot- neither has had a great season thus far (three combined goal contributions between the two of them) but both have plenty of talent. Lastly, he’s not really a starter, but it has to be mentioned- American winger/midfielder Gio Reyna has contributed two late match-winning goals since the break ended, including a dramatic 93rd minute strike. This attacking group feels like a sleeping giant waiting to snap into action, and perhaps an increased dose of Haller is the spark it needs.
Having allowed the same amount of goals as Dortmund, but not possessing quite the same penchant for scoring, it’s fair to say that Freiburg’s defense has been key to their success thus far. Newcomer Matthias Ginter has been a revelation at centre-back, providing an immediate upgrade to the defense upon arriving from Mönchengladbach, and he’s even scored three goals. He’s joined in central defense by a club veteran, Philipp Leinhart, who is having a veritable career year himself. Rounding out the back three is likely to be Lukas Kübler, who was in a strong run of form before the World Cup and has largely continued in that way since returning- really, he’s been excellent this season, albeit in relatively limited time. The performance of fullback duo of Christian Günter and Kiliann Sildilla has been a bit less spectacular than that of the central defenders, but they’ve each chipped in two assists and been steady, consistent presences at the back. Rounding out the group is goalkeeper Mark Flekken who is having a bit of a tough year. I believe that the centre-backs can have a nice game against Dortmund’s relatively fluid striker situation, but I think the fullbacks could be a weak link for some of Dortmund’s quicker players to exploit. Let’s see if they’re able to prove me wrong.
Freiburg Attack vs. Dortmund Defense
The Freiburg attack has basically been highlighted by two players. Left winger Vincenzo Grifo has been great in the Bundesliga, he’s scored 5 goals from open play, manufactured 3 assists, and scored 4 of his 5 penalty chances, which amounts to a team-leading 12 total goal contributions. By match rating (average of 7.61), this is just one more in a string of really strong seasons for Freiburg, but he and the team will both be happy to see the goals and assists trending a bit higher than in years past, even in somewhat limited time on the pitch. The other standout has been a newcomer to the squad this year, Austrian striker Michael Gregoritsch. On the Freiburg squad, he’s behind only Grifo in match rating, is tied with the Italian for the lead in assists, and has scored the most open play goals with 7. The third player tied with both for the team lead in assists is Ritsu Doan, a right winger who is now well known for scoring massive goals against both Spain and Germany, ironically enough, at the World Cup. The attacking group for Freiburg isn’t particularly deep, but it’s got its definitive stars; we’ll have to see how Dortmund handles these known threats.
The defense they’re going up against has been the fifth-best goal prevention squad in the Bundesliga this year, as they’ve allowed 25 goals in 18 matches. They were generally impressive in a recent shutout win over Leverkusen, especially Swiss goalkeeper Gregor Kobel, while they had a concerning performance against Augsburg in the first game after the World Cup break. They’re anchored by a centre-back group headlined by Nico Schlotterbeck, who leads the entire team in minutes and has been one of the squad’s best players all year. He’ll be joined by one, or potentially both, of a pair of fellow German central defenders, Niklas Süle and the veteran Mats Hummels. Both have had pretty good seasons, and either one or a starter/sub combo could be a great choice. Raphaél Guerreiro and Thomas Meunier have been a solid fullback duo as well, but the latter is out with a calf injury; Marius Wolf is most likely to take his place, but Norweigan January transfer Julian Ryerson could also be a serious consideration. Dortmund’s defensive line isn’t necessarily a superstar group, but they surely have the talent to put in a winning effort against Freiburg. Picking the right lineup and subbing effectively will be major keys in putting this unit in good positions to help the team.