A full house of winners for Mark O’Haire’s (@MarkOHaire) Ligue 1 best bets last weekend. More of the same this time around, please!
Montpellier v Reims | Saturday 19.00
Montpellier entered last weekend’s match with league leaders Lyon on the back of five wins from seven and eight victories from 13 on home soil as they bid to keep their European qualification dream alive. But the Ligue 1 table-toppers showed their teeth and ended up running away with a convincing 5-1 success.
That result will no doubt knock Rolland Courbis’ side for six but La Paillade have a perfect opportunity to get back on track when Reims roll up at the Stade de la Mosson on Saturday night. The visitors have won just twice on their travels and sit six points clear of the dreaded drop-zone.
But with that heavy defeat still lingering, I’d rather look elsewhere for a bet. Both Teams To Score is most definitely of interest with Betway chalking up the market at a sumptuous 21/20. It’s a bet that’s only banked in 6/14 (43%) Montpellier home matches but deserves plenty of respect.
Why? Well Courbis’ charges have scored in 11/14 (79%) games at the Stade de la Mosson but only kept 5/14 (36%) clean sheets. And of those aforementioned six BTTS winners, five of them have come in La Paillade’s last six starts on home soil.
Ligue 1’s top goalscorer in 2015, Lucas Barrios, has earned a recall to the Paraguay squad and has scored or assisted 11 of Montpellier's last 22 league goals. With the forward rekindling the form that saw him star for Dortmund a seasons ago, the hosts certainly have plenty in their favour going forward.
Reims are also boasting impressive Both Teams To Score trends. Arriving on a four-game unbeaten streak, Jean-Luc Vasseur’s side have scored in 21/28 (75%) Ligue 1 fixtures in 2014/15 but only kept eight shutouts. That’s led to 16 BTTS winners with 9/13 (69%) banking on the road.
Having scored at all seven clubs above them when playing away, they should have the tools to trouble Montpellier on the break and hopefully give us another attractively priced Both Teams To Score winner.
Nantes v Evian | Saturday 19.00
Team news is often a vital weapon when going to war with the bookmakers and at time it can often you the edge you need to get one over on the dreaded enemy. It worked in our favour last weekend and it’s just one reason to believe Evian can avoid defeat on Saturday night as they head to Nantes.
A goal wrongly disallowed, Yacine Bammou and Olivier Veigneau forced off injured and a debateable red left Nantes fuming following their 3-1 loss at Reims last time out. It means the Canaries must now do without Chaker Alhadur joining the trio of Papy Djilobodji, Lucas Deaux and Jordan Veretout for the visit of Evian, all suspended. Coach Michel Der Zakarian is therefore short of options with the list of absentees making a total of 116 starts this season between them.
That defeat last time out means Nantes have now W1-D3-L5 in their last nine league outings and they’ve already lost five games in 2015 – that’s as many as they recorded in the entire first-half of the campaign. The goals have now dried up too – the hosts have scored just three this calendar year (a joint league low) and Der Zakarian’s team have failed to score more than two goals in their last 28 league games at La Beaujoire.
Their La Beaujoire record is extremely underwhelming – winning only twice from their last 10, including failure to see off two of the bottom-three – and that’ll give an Evian side again fighting for survival hope. The visitors have won three of their previous four, including their last two on the road, and have began their now annual great escape.
Sure, Pascal Dupraz's men have lost 10 of their 14 away days this term but eight of those came against top-half teams but they’re much more at home when taking on the lesser lights, recording W9-L4 against bottom-half dwellers and I believe they can continue their resurgence by avoid defeat at an understrength Nantes side.
So the bet to take is Evian +0.50 on the Asian Handicap at 16/19 with BetVictor. It works the same way as a punt on the Double Chance market and means that should the scores be level or in Evian's favour, we'll have ourselves a winner.
Bordeaux v PSG | Sunday 16.00 | BT Sport 2
I’m also keen to follow the goals when Bordeaux face-off against PSG on Sunday night. Betfred have made the Both Teams To Score bet an even-money shot and that’s a price that’s got my attention.
Bordeaux are now seven unbeaten having seen off Caen last weekend. Willy Sagnol’s side have scored in 22/28 league outings this term but with only seven clean sheets across the same timeframe, Les Girondins have struggled to find the magic formula in defence.
The hosts boast the highest ratio of BTTS winners with 18/28 (64%) of which a massive 10/13 (77%) have been secured on home soil. But the defending champions aren’t too far behind having seen ticks in the Both Teams To Score column for 16/28 (57%) of their Ligue 1 games, including 9/14 (64%) when playing away.
Laurent Blanc’s men showed their grit and character when playing with 10 men for over 90 minutes on Wednesday night as they deservedly dumped Chelsea out of the Champions League. But the squad will no doubt be leggy as they continue to compete in all four competitions available to them this term and should present Bordeaux with an opportunity or two.
The Parisians have scored in 16 of their last 17 matches in all competitions, leaking goals in six of their last nine and will know they must improve their Ligue 1 road record (W1-D3-L2) if they’re to take advantage of any potential slip-ups in the evening meeting between Marseille and Lyon. The defending champions have won seven on the spin against Les Girondins but I’m happier taking the BTTS bet than throwing my cash on an away success.
Montpellier v Reims – Both Teams To Score (21/20 Betway)
Nantes v Evian – Evian +0.50 Asian Handicap (16/19 BetVictor)
Bordeaux v PSG – Both Teams To Score (1/1 Betfred)
Do you have a bet in Ligue 1 you want to rave about? Reckon Mark’s got it all wrong?
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