MARK O’HAIRE (@MarkOHaire) notched 12/17 winners in this midweek’s European action and now he brings his favourite continental fancy to Ligue 1 on Saturday night.
Toulouse v Nice | Saturday 19.00
I mulled this over long and hard. The European NAP has hit both posts, the crossbar and even the corner flag in recent weeks and although this week’s selection may look a little lazy from the outset, I can assure you, it’s most definitely one of the best bets on the card this weekend.
Yes, it’s the tried, trusted and so often faithful Both Teams To Score selection from Ligue 1, featuring our best friends Nice. This Saturday the Eagles head across the south-coast to Toulouse with Boylesports offering 5/6 on both teams notching on Saturday night. It’s big value.
Nice are as big as 11/9 in the Draw No Bet market with BetVictor or 17/20 (Bet365) with a +0.25 start on the Asian Handicap line – both very appealing prices – but once again it’s the BTTS bet that makes most appeal. And here’s why…
Toulouse have failed to record maximum points since the opening day of the season so it’s no surprise to see Les Pitchouns stuck firmly in the Ligue 1 relegation zone. Dominique Arribage’s has rumoured to have been handed an ultimatum to collect eight points from his next five games if he’s to keep his job until after the transfer window.
TFC have been an absolute shambles all season and even their nine-point haul (W1-D6-L7) has been fairly generous considering the pathetic performances Les Pitchouns have put in. Arribage’s men are yet to put in one commanding or convincing display but the hosts have found a way to avoid defeat at their Stadium Municipal base.
Since the start of last season, Toulouse have W9-D10-L6 on their own patch (W1-D4-L1 this term) but the league’s worst defence – TFC have leaked at least twice in eight of their last 11 – are unlikely to be able to keep out a fluent, enterprising and rampant Nice side.
Les Pitchouns are averaging 1.77 goals-per-game against across their 52 fixtures since the beginning of 2014/15 but their record at the Stadium Municipal really comes into focus when viewing their Both Teams To Score trends. Toulouse have only failed to net twice in 25 in front of their home fans, keeping just four clean sheets.
No surprise then to see BTTS land in a huge 19/25 (76%) home Ligue 1 fixtures, including 13 of their last 14, and each of their six this term.
Visitors Nice have been outstanding lately (W6-D1-L2), dispatching Lyon 3-0 last time out and scoring 23 goals across those nine matches to move to within a point of France’s top-three. On the road, the Eagles have recorded W4-D2-L1, scoring in every match and boasting Ligue 1’s most potent attack – scoring three or more goals on four occasions already.
I’ve regularly talked up Nice’s superb trends for Both Teams To Score winners and since the start of last season, it’s a selection that’s proven profitable in 15/26 (58%) of their away days. More recently, it’s banked in 11/14 of the Eagles road trips and all bar one in 2015/16.
Puel is still without Alassane Plea, Mickael Le Bihan and Mahamane Traore through injury and midfielders Nampalys Mendy and Vincent Koziello are unlikely to be risked on Saturday night. But the trio of Mathieu Bodmer, Ricardo Pereira and Wallyson Mallmann return from suspension to bolster the guests.
The visiting boss has warned his side against complacency here – Nice arrived at struggling GFC Ajaccio on the back a solid streak of positive results only to surprisingly succumb to defeat last month. But that experience should stand the side in good stead as they look to cement their place amongst the division’s front-runners.
BTTS is our chosen angle at 5/6 with Boylesports but should we take the two teams’ respective home/away trends since the start of last season and find the average, we’re right to assume there’s a 67% chance of both teams scoring again on Saturday night.
If we changed that percentage probability into betting terms, we’re actually looking at a 1/2 shot. You don’t need me to tell you, the 5/6 is scorchingly good value.
Toulouse v Nice – Both Teams To Score (5/6 Boylesports)
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