Odds of 9/1 on Hertha Berlin to return to the 2. Bundesliga at the first time of asking have thrown bwin’s Bundesliga bottom-two market wide open.
Hertha Berlin won the 2. Bundesliga title at a canter last season, securing the second-tier crown by nine points from FC Augsburg.
Even so, promoted teams would normally be expected to be among the favourites for the drop.
Just look at the Premier League – Swansea, Norwich and QPR, the three teams promoted from the Championship last season, are the three favourites to go down at odds of 53/100, 13/20 and 7/4 respectively.
That said, of the five teams promoted to the Bundesliga in the last two years, four are still in the top flight.
Of Freiburg, Mainz, Nuremberg, Kaiserslautern and St Pauli, only the latter have slipped back down into the 2. Bundesliga.
Nevertheless, with Hertha Berlin only eighth-favourites in the Bundesliga bottom-two betting market, the teams left in this group are expected to be among those struggling to keep out of the automatic relegation places this season.
Mainz might have finished fifth last year, but the fact just 13 points separated them from 17th-placed Eintracht Frankfurt explains their bottom two odds of 5/1.
Meanwhile, Nurnberg and Kaiserslautern, who finished at sixth and seventh respectively, are priced at 5/2.
However, it is Freiburg who look the most likely of these teams to finish in the bottom two with odds of 23/10.
Their short price could perhaps be explained by the departure of manager Robin Dutt, who has joined Bayer Leverkusen.
Dutt oversaw Freiburg’s promotion to the Bundesliga in 2009, their subsequent survival and transformation into a top-half-of-the-table team.
His exit is therefore a big blow for the club’s survival chances and this could make them good bets to finish in the bottom two.
A successful £25 free bet on Freiburg to finish in the automatic relegation places, available to new customers who sign up for a bwin account, would return £82.50.
Of all the teams in the division, the best bets to finish in the bottom two are Augsburg.
Even allowing for the impressive record of recently-promoted teams, Jos Luhukay’s men are 11/10 to finish in 17th or 18th.
A prudent approach in the summer transfer window means their squad is largely unchanged from the one which secured promotion last season, suggesting they could struggle against a higher class of opposition.
Borussia Monchengladbach are also likely to be in the mix having only escaped relegation last year by beating Bochum in a play-off.
Die Fohlen are 13/2 to finish in 17th or 18th this time around, making them fifth-favourites behind Augsburg, Freiburg, Kaiserslautern and Nuremberg.
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