For fans of the beautiful game, Saturday is hopefully the beginning of a return to normalcy.

The COVID-19 virus has ravaged the world, and hit New Jersey especially hard. But after two months, live sport has begun to return.

Saturday, one of the top three soccer leagues in the world will make its return, as the Bundesliga takes to the pitches around Germany for six games. Sunday, there will be two more matches, with another on Monday. Then, next Thursday, there will be another round of games, followed by more on Memorial Day Monday and Tuesday.

For fans and bettors alike, this weekend will be a huge boost, at a time when one is needed.

While most eyes will be on the top of the table, where Bayern Munich leads Borussia Dortmund by four points in its quest to win an eighth-straight title, there are some intriguing games outside of the top four.

With the top four teams heading into next season’s UEFA Champions League, and the fifth and sixth place teams (plus maybe the seventh place squad, depending on the cup winner if it is played) qualifying for the UEFA Europa League, there is going to be much at stake over the next nine games.

Sixth to ninth place in the table is separated by a single point, and with sixth place FC Schalke 04 (+475 odds on NJ William Hill) visiting Borussia Dortmund (-182) this weekend, and eighth place SC Freiburg (+900) heading to take on third place RB Leipzig (-334), there is a chance for two teams to jump ahead in the race for Europe.

Ninth place 1899 Hoffenheim (+105) will host Hertha Berlin SC (+250), while seventh place VfL Wolfsburg (+125) will visit FC Augsburg (+220), both Saturday 9:30 a.m. EDT contests, with both favorites trying to take advantage of their opponents’ leaky defenses. Both Hertha Berlin and Augsburg have minus-16 goal differences, so look for Hoffenheim and Wolfsburg to find the net on multiple occasions.

BETMGM NJ also has two interesting prop bet price boosts available for the return of the Bundesliga this weekend as well.

The site has Borussia Dortmund at -223 to finish higher than RB Leipzig in the final table (Leipzig is +155), but on the price boost, you can get Dortmund at -154. That bet may come down to the second to last weekend (June 20), when Leipzig hosts Dortmund.

Will there be 19 or more penalties in the final nine rounds of the Bundesliga season? That is the second price boost you can get before the season resumes, and it is listed at +110.

So far in the 2019-2020 season, there have been 91 penalties in 306 matches, which is .297 per match. There are 82 matches scheduled for the rest of the campaign, so at that same rate, there should be 24 penalties called. Factor in that the defenders could be a little out of shape after a two-month layoff, and this looks like a tempting play at plus money.

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