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German football is one of the most spectator friendly in the Europe and the 2 Bundesliga (second division) is the most watched lower-league in the world, drawing an average of nearly 20 000 spectators per game.
The Bundesliga proper is the fourth biggest league on the globe so there is plenty to play for as the teams set to earn promotion to the upper echelons of the German game or avoid relegation to the third tier.
Importantly all 2 Bundesliga teams also qualify for the lucrative DFB-Pokal, essentially the German Cup.
F.C. Nuremberg is the most successful 2 Bundesliga team in history with four title wins and seven promotions altogether.
The league has a rich and storied history, with the East German and West German teams coming together in 1991.
The league was then split into two divisions to accommodate all of the teams but was then trimmed into a single log format consisting of 24 teams, with three automatic relegation and 3 promotion spots up for grabs. This was streamlined to 20 teams and finally in 1994 to the present number of 18 clubs.
The promotion/relegation landscape changed in 2008 with the onset of the play-off system. The team that finishes third bottom earns another chance with a play-off-match against the third place team in 3 Bundesliga.
One of the favourites for promotion in the 2018/19 season will be Hamburger F.C., who suffered their first relegation from the top-flight in 55 years. They will be looking for an immediate response from their squad and manager.
The Hamburg side are joint favourites to win the title and at 3/1 share the honour with Koln, another side taking the plunge from the top-tier structure at the end of the last season.
F.C. Koln may suffer early on in the season with a new manager at the helm, with Markus Anfang replacing the outgoing Stefan Ruthenbeck.
Inglostadt is also favoured to make a run for the trophy and are well-placed at 8/1.
Arminia Bielefeld have tasted Bundesliga action in their past and at 21/1 are a decent outside bet for the title-glory.
Another team to watch out for is VFL Bochum who are placed at 19/1 to win 2 Bundesliga in the 2018/19 campaign.
Five teams are among the bookmakers choice to be relegated with any of Dresden, Regensburg, Aue, Heidenham and Sandhausen tipped for the drop
A combined list of 90 leading German bookmakers shows the difficulty of the league with many teams relatively short-priced. The highest odds belong to Aue, with a 151/1 title-shot. Aue have made a managerial change and this could galvanise the club with Daniel Meyer replacing the Hannes Drews after a disappointing last campaign.
Promoted teams from the 3 Bundesliga for the 18/19 campaign are F.C. Magdeburg and SC Paderborn and both are likely to struggle to chase the potential log-leaders.
F.C. Nuremburg and Fortuna Dusseldorf were the two teams promoted to the Bundesliga in the 17/18 season while Eintracht Braunschweig and F.C. Kaiserslautern were relegated to the 3 Bundesliga for the coming season.
The second division of German football is not often featured in many online sports betting sites jackpots or pools, but bets of all types are popular before and throughout the campaign.
Apart from betting on the title-winners and second place finishers, punters can place stakes on the two sides earning automatic relegation, while top goal-scorers are also a popular wager.
Research into form is an important tool that many bettors will do well to heed with historical data proving an unreliable gauge. This is because many of the teams that earn promotion to the Bundesliga drop down to the second and third tiers, while new winners are a constant more than the norm.