Mainz 05 v Hoffenheim: Okazaki to open scoring in goalfest

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Currently sat fourth and fifth in the Bundesliga respectively, Hoffenheim and Mainz have surprised many so far this season but when it comes to picking out three best bets to back the options are rather obvious.

Mainz head into the Friday night clash as slight favourites for victory with Ladbrokes at odds of 7/5 while Hoffenheim can be backed at 9/5 and the draw is offered as a similarly tempting 5/2.

But rather than settle for straight-up match odds, why not have a look at any one of the three options detailed below.

Shinji Okazaki to score first @ 9/2

One of the stars of the season so far for Mainz, Okazaki has racked up an impressive five goals in five games for the Bundesliga underdogs and with the home support behind him, should be backed to score the first goal of the game here.

The Japan international has opened the scoring in three of Mainz’s first five top-flight fixtures this term, including the first goal in a 2-0 win over Borussia Dortmund last time out at the Coface Arena.

Mainz to score 2-3 goals @ 5/4

The goals have flowed freely for Christian Heidel’s team so far this season, with the Karnevalsverein scoring 2-3 goals in four of their five Bundesliga fixtures so far this term.

It stands to reason that, with the home support behind them, a similar tally could be reached against Hoffenheim, with the visitors conceding in three of their last four league fixtures. More importantly, Mainz scored two goals the last time they entertained the Hoff in the Rhineland-Palatinate.

Score Draw @ 33/10

The last time these two faced off at the Coface Arena, honours were even though both sides did manage to get on the scoresheet and on current form a repeat looks a likely scenario.

Hoffenheim have made score draws something of a speciality, having already racked up three in the Bundesliga this season, while Mainz are not far behind having registered two score draws already this term. It all adds up to this being one of the bets to back ahead of kick-off.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Jack Beresford

Jack Beresford is a content writer with over five years of experience in writing about sport and betting, including a two-year spell with Axonn Media. Contributes articles to HereIsTheCity and Lad Bible, while previous credits include Bwin, FTB Pro, Bleacher Report and the QBE rugby. Avid follower of tennis, rugby union, motorsport and football, Jack also writes about poker for Cardspiel.com alongside Guardian journalist Dominic Wells.