It has been over two months now, way back on March 12, since any teams in the bigger soccer leagues around Europe stepped foot on a pitch for competitive matches.
That day was the first leg of the UEFA Europa League Round of 16, when six of the eight matches went ahead, but two were postponed, as the COVID-19 virus put a halt to just about everything around the world.
Since then, it has been a barren wasteland of sports for much of the time, except for the weekends of Belarus Premier League, plus matches in Burundi, Nicaragua, Taiwan, and Tajikistan.
But this Saturday is different for soccer (or football, footy, whatever you call it) fans and bettors; the Bundesliga is back in action (as is the Bundesliga 2), and it returns just about in time.
The 18-team league will come back with six matches Saturday, two more on Sunday, and one on Monday, before another round of fixtures next Thursday. Before the COVID-19 coronavirus shut down almost all of the continent, the Bundesliga had finished 25 rounds of play out of a total of 34, so there are nine games left for the title, and the top four, to be decided.
Currently, seven-time defending champions Bayern Munich lead the Bundesliga table with 55 points, four ahead of second place Borussia Dortmund, five ahead of third place RB Leipzig, and six ahead of fourth place Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Obviously, the title is very important for all teams involved, but there is also the race to finish inside the top four of the table. Those four teams qualify for next season’s UEFA Champions League, while fifth, sixth, and possibly seventh would go into the UEFA Europa League. Currently, with the Champions League paused in the middle of the Round of 16, RB Leipzig has already advanced to the quarterfinals, while Bayern Munich is up 3-0 over Chelsea after the first leg and basically qualified. Borussia Dortmund fell to PSG 3-2 on aggregate.
This weekend, three of the top four Bundesliga teams are heavy favorites to win in the empty stadiums.
SugarHouse NJ has Borussia Dortmund (-182) as the favorite over FC Schalke 04 (+475), with the draw +310. RB Leipzig, also at home this Saturday, is a heavy favorite (-335) over SC Freiberg (+850), with the draw +440. Both matches are at 9:30 a.m. EDT.
Sunday, Bayern Munich (-500) will travel to take on 1. FC Union Berlin (+1200), with the draw +550.
With all three teams battling for the title, they cannot afford to drop points in the first week back in action. Look for all three teams to win, and set up another round of tense fixtures Thursday.
Prediction for BUNDESLIGA ROUND 26
Take Borussia Dortmund ML (-182) and RB Leipzig ML (-335), to get a parlay of (+102). You can also throw in Bayern Munich (-500), to boost that three-team parlay odds up to (+142).
Odds and betting sites for Bundesliga in the USA
You can bet on Bundesliga games in Colorado, Indiana and New Jersey with online sportsbook apps Sugarhouse, Betrivers and bet365. Claim your free bets and other sign up bonus offers as a new customer.