This weekend the new season kicks off in Germany with Round 1 of the DFB-Pokal. This season will be the 79th edition of Germany’s most prestigious cup competition and the only one that is open to every men’s side at any level.
For Round 1 the participating teams are split into two pots of 32 teams each. The first pot contains all teams which have qualified through their regional cup competitions, the best four teams of the 3. Liga, and the bottom four teams of the 2. Bundesliga. Every team from this pot will be drawn to a team from the second pot, which contains all remaining professional teams (all the teams of the Bundesliga and the remaining 14 2. Bundesliga teams). The teams from the first pot will be set as the home team in the process.
What this leaves us with is some interesting contests like 3.Liga side SV Wehen Wiesbaden who entertain last year’s winners Borussia Dortmund. With fans allowed back in the stadiums, it will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for them to watch their side face players like Erling Haaland, Gio Reyna, and Jude Bellingham.
Fifth tier side Bremer SV will have to wait a little longer to welcome Bayern Munich to the Stadion am Panzenberg. The match will be rescheduled due to quarantine measures imposed on the lower-league side. 3.Liga side FC Kaiserslautern (Winners of the DFB-Pokal in 1990 and 1996) get a taste of top-flight football again as they welcome Borussia Mönchengladbach.
2021-22 DFB-POKAL FUTURES
As always Bayern are the clear favorites to win this competition. Since the Millenium, they have lifted the DFB-Pokal 11 times out of a possible 22, and Julian Nagelsmann will be desperate to win something in his first season. At 5/6 (-120) Die Roten are the safe, boring, vanilla option.
Dortmund won this competition last season and are second favorites to retain their title. They have upgraded between the posts singing goalkeeper Gregor Kobel from VfB Stuttgart. Jadon Sancho‘s move to Manchester United has left a 30+ goals and assists gap in their frontline and his replacement Donyell Martin needs time to settle in. I think there are too many question marks to consider them good value at this stage.
I like last season’s runners-up RB Leipzig at 10/1 (+1000) they represent the best value in my opinion. American Jesse Marsch has taken over as manager after a successful spell at Red Bull Salzburg. He knows the Red Bull model inside out and spent a year at the club in 2018/19 as Ralf Rangnick‘s assistant.
Leipzig have invested heavily in their squad signing André Silva, Josko Gvarvidol, Benjamin Henrichs, Bryan Brobbey, and Mohamed Simakan. The exciting Dominik Szoboszlai who signed in January is finally over his abductor injury and is available to play. Back them to go one better this season.
Borussia Mönchengladbach are worth considering at +1600. They have a strong first eleven but lack squad depth and that hurt them last season with the condensed fixture schedule and playing in the Champions League. This season they don’t have any European football to distract them and can focus solely on domestic competitions.
Safe Option: Bayern Munich -120
Best Value: RB Leipzig +1000
Outsider: Borussia Mönchelgadbach +1600
At 40/1 (+4000) I like Hertha Berlin. Investor Lars Windhorst has pumped a lot of money into the squad and they have the quality to challenge for the Top 6. If Pál Dárdai gels this team together they have a chance of winning this competition.
Longshot: Hertha Berlin +4000
DFB-POKAL ROUND 1 BETTING LINES
Here are a selection of games from this weekends action:
WHERE TO BET THE DFB-POKAL IN THE US
In the US, you can legally bet on soccer in more than two dozen states. You can bet online in some states, but only in-person betting is allowed in most of them.
DraftKings Sportsbook is available in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.
FanDuel Sportsbook is available in Arkansas, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.