Bayern Munich won a record ninth consecutive Bundesliga title in 2020-21 as Robert Lewandowski set a record with 41 Bundesliga goals. The title race wasn’t much of a race at all as Bayern totaled 13 points more than second-placed RB Leipzig.
Then, as Bayern manager Hansi Flick left the club, Bayern poached Leipzig manager Julian Nagelsmann to become their next coach. Lewandowski’s future with Bayern is uncertain at the moment, but Bayern’s position as Bundesliga favorites certainly is not.
The Bavarians are listed at -600 to win a record-extending 10th title in a row but could face some competition this season, especially if Lewandowski were to depart. Let’s take a look at some of the soccer betting contenders for the Bundesliga title in 2021-22.
Bayern Munich (-600)
While these odds are short, Bayern has earned it with nine straight Bundesliga titles. Lewandowski’s record of 41 goals was set in just 29 appearances and he totaled five hat tricks. Lewandowski is quite possibly the best striker in the world and the second-leading scorer in Bundesliga history.
Bayern would lose a whole lot of attacking prowess if he were to leave the club but the team still has a stacked roster.
Bayern had six Bundesliga team of the season selections in Lewandowski, GK Manuel Neuer, LB Alphonso Davies and midfielders Thomas Muller, Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich. Muller finished first in the Bundesliga with 18 assists and has spent his entire illustrious career with the Bavarian club.
Bayern also brought in highly rated RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano in a big money transfer. He should be an upgrade over Jerome Boateng, who is now a free agent.
Along with Boateng, longtime left back and utility man David Alaba is gone. The Austrian Alaba made 281 league appearances for Bayern in over a decade with the team, scoring 22 goals.
Alaba signed with Real Madrid over the summer but his loss is softened by the emergence of Davies. Midfielder Jamal Musiala, at 18 years old, scored six goals in the Bundesliga last season and made his German national team debut in the process. Bayern will be its typical self 2021-22 but may face a title challenge from tough Dortmund and Leipzig sides.
Borussia Dortmund (+700)
Yes, winger and talisman Jadon Sancho just made a big move to Manchester United but this is still an unbelievably talented side. Dortmund wasted no time trying to replace Sancho and brought in pacey Netherlands national team winger Donyell Malen.
Dortmund has Erling Haaland, the best young striker in the world and 2020-21 Bundesliga Player of the Season. The Norwegian has drawn significant interest from the biggest clubs in the world but it looks like he’ll be a Dortmund player for at least one more year.
Haaland finished with 27 goals last season and is an absolute nightmare for defenses. The 6-foot-4, 21-year old is tall, fast, strong and dangerous with the ball at his feet. It’s no wonder why clubs are rumored to be in for him for as much as €175 million.
Sancho also wasn’t the only young English talent on the roster. Jude Bellingham, 18, made the England squad for Euro 2020 and has the potential to be a dominant midfielder.
Another 18-year old, Gio Reyna, is a stud and has the potential to be the USA’s best ever player. Ridiculously, 16-year old striker Youssoufa Moukoko scored three goals in the Bundesliga last season. In doing so, he became both the youngest player to play and score in the league.
Dortmund’s always been known for developing young players but it has a nice mix of youth and veterans. Dortmund’s Belgian trio of Axel Witsel, Thorgan Hazard and Thomas Meunier adds a wealth of talent and experience.
Captain and forward Marco Reus has scored 99 Bundesliga goals in 214 games and the center back partnership of Mats Hummels and Manuel Akanji is solid.
The roster is rounded out by solid German internationals like Emre Can, Mahmoud Dahoud and Julian Brandt. Dortmund also brought in a new number one over the summer in Gregor Kobel.
This certainly has the look of a team that can contend for a title. Dortmund was the last team other than Bayern to win the Bundesliga, and won back to back in 2010-11 and 2011-12 with Hummels playing a central role. New manager Marco Rose will be looking to take the team where Lucien Favre couldn’t.
RB Leipzig (+1600)
RB Leipzig has been a club for just 12 years and has already reached incredible heights. The Red Bull money has certainly helped but Leipzig has been excellent since gaining promotion to the Bundesliga in 2016.
In its first-ever season in the Bundesliga, Leipzig finished in second place and earned qualification for the Champions League. After a sixth-place finish in 2017-18, Leipzig has finished in the top three in three consecutive seasons.
New manager Jesse Marsch has run the gamut of Red Bull-affiliated clubs. The American was coach of the New York Red Bulls from 2015-18 and the manager of Red Bull Salzburg from 2019-2021. This is by far his highest profile job and it remains to be seen whether Red Bull’s faith in him will be repaid.
Leipzig has brought in a bunch of new signings already in this transfer window. The most prominent of which is the arrival of Andre Silva from Eintracht Frankfurt. Silva scored 28 goals in the Bundesliga last season, one more than Haaland, and is still young at 25. He’s finally the Timo Werner replacement that Leipzig needed.
Croatian national team defender Josko Gvardiol was also brought in from Dinamo Zagreb. Bundesliga Team of the Season defender Angeliño was signed on a permanent basis after spending last season on loan with Leipzig. Young defenders Mohammed Simakan and Benjamin Henrichs both made transfers from Ligue 1.
There’s a lot to be excited about this season for RB Leipzig. Highly touted midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai looks to be on his way back from a long-term injury and could make his debut soon. He’d add to a talented midfield group of American Tyler Adams, Sweden’s Emil Forsberg, Spain’s Dani Olmo and Austria’s Konrad Laimer and Marcel Sabitzer.
Leipzig is hoping that its transfer market business can maintain its stingy defense after losing Upamecano. Leipzig conceded the fewest goals in the league last season but scored just the sixth most. If Silva hits the ground running, the sky’s the limit for Leipzig.
Bayer Leverkusen (+5000)
Bayer has a good side but seemingly not enough firepower to contend with the top three in the Bundesliga. Leverkusen’s Patrik Schick did, though, have an excellent Euro 2020 and he’ll hope to carry that form over to his club.
Leverkusen finished sixth in the Bundesliga last season and has some exciting young talent. One summer signing, CB Odilon Kossounou, was bought for a Belgian-record fee from Club Brugge. The 23-year old Jamaican winger Leon Bailey came close to recording both 10 goals and assists last season but is rumored to be headed to the Premier League.
German wonderkid Florian Wirtz, 18, scored five goals and provided six assists in his Bundesliga debut campaign, while 21-year old French winger Moussa Diaby totaled a team-high 11 assists. It would be shocking if Leverkusen won even with all of its young talent.
Borussia Monchengladbach (+6600)
Monchengladbach has an interesting team but not one that should pose much of a title challenge. Captain and forward Lars Stindl scored 14 goals in the league last season but no other Monchengladbach player reached 10.
There are a handful of German and Swiss internationals in the team and Monchengladbach has a great keeper in Yann Sommer. However, there’s not enough attacking flair and creativity to mount much of a challenge to Bayern Munich’s throne.
Wolfsburg was a bit of a surprise team to qualify for the Champions League last season. Wolfsburg finished fourth in the Bundesliga behind 20 goals from Wout Weghorst.
It’s usually tough for clubs who aren’t used to playing in European competition year in and year out to balance the Champions League with a domestic title challenge. So, Wolfsburg’s chances to win the league are rightfully low.
If Lewandowski leaves this season, it could be a wide-open title race between Bayern, Dortmund and Leipzig. Even with Serge Gnabry and Thomas Muller, it would be incredibly difficult for Bayern to replace 41 goals.
Dortmund has the reigning Bundesliga player of the season, in Haaland and I think he’ll improve even further this year. He’s already one of the world’s best strikers and became the quickest striker ever to 20 Champions League goals last season.
He reached the feat in just 14 games and this is a prime opportunity for him to win his first league title. Dortmund has the combination of youth, experience and quality that could lead to a first title in 10 years but relies too much on Haaland. An injury to Haaland would sink Borussia Dortmund’s title chances.
On the other hand, six Leipzig players scored five or more goals last season. Adding in Andre Silva and Dominik Szoboszlai to the mix could take RB Leipzig to the next level and its first Bundesliga title.
Even if that’s not the case, these soccer odds, with an implied 5.9 percent chance of winning represent significant value for a team that finished second last season and should be better going forward. Take a chance on Marsch and Leipzig.