The likes of Monaco and Lyon must make fast starts to challenge French champions
Just a few short weeks after France were crowned new world champions at the expense of Croatia, Ligue 1 – the country’s top division of domestic league football – is set to kick off again, under renewed interest. Last season PSG sauntered to the title to take the domestic crown away from Monaco, winning the league by over 10 points, and their rivals look to face an uphill struggle to keep up with them.
First things first
Before you go any further, head on over to the Oddsshark website, find your favourite betting agency and get your account up and running using your credit card. As a new customer and with the Ligue 1 campaign set to kick off, there should be a wide range of promotions and offers on the table.
Where should I be investing my money?
The first match of the new season sees Marseille host Toulouse on 10 August. Marseille, under the stewardship of Rudi Garcia, finished fourth last season but will fancy their chances of offering a more sustained title challenge this time around, particularly if they can build momentum with a positive start.
And they come into their league opener as the clear favourites to take the points. Marseille are at just 1.40 to come away from this one victorious while Toulouse, who barely escaped relegation last term, are all the way out at 9.00, according to Oddsshark.
Someone who can expect a tougher ride in their domestic curtain raiser is Monaco. Last season’s runners up and the champions in the season before that have seen their side ripped apart by mass player sales, but coach Leonardo Jardim is nothing if not tactically astute and has quietly gone about rebuilding his side with academy and youth products.
Whether they will have enough about them of challenge for the title is another matter entirely, however. Monaco are all the way out at 15.00 to be crowned champions this season, as are Marseille.
They do, nevertheless, go into this away game against Nantes as the favourites to collect three points. You can more than double your money by backing Jardim’s men to make a positive start to the campaign at a price of 2.25.
Nantes, who finished in the top half of the table themselves last season, are at 3.40, and you could more than triple your money by backing a draw at 3.10. As ever, the more specific your bet the higher the possible rewards, and a 2-1 win for Monaco in this one is at 9.00, offering close to a ten-fold return on any investment.
One match which may be slightly easier to call is Lyon v Amiens. Lyon are the second favourites for the title this year, although admittedly that may not be quite as positive as it initially sounds when their price is 13.00 and the favourites, current champions PSG, are at the ludicrously short price of 1.10 to retain the domestic crown.
Lyon do come into this season opener as the clear favourites to collect the win however. The home side are at just 1.20 to take three points with visitors Amiens all the way out at 11.00.
A comfortable 2-0 win for Lyon is priced at 7.00, meaning a US$5 bet would lead to a US$35 pay out. Amiens scored at less than a goal a game last season – 37 strikes in 38 outings – and it would look a safe bet that they will not test the Lyon defence too stringently on this occasion.
You can back Lyon to win to nil (without Amiens scoring) at a price of just 1.90. You could also more than double your money by backing Lyon to win both halves of the match at 2.25.
And we should end by including champions PSG. The champions take on lowly Caen and are at just 1.10 – the same price they are at to win the league outright – to take the points here.
PSG scored well over 100 goals last season – 108 to be precise – at a rate of close to three goals per game and we could well see goals in this one too. A 3-0 win for the champions is priced at just 7.00.
In fact, the price for under two goals in the game is extremely high – 10.00. Two or three goals is at 2.60, while you can get over three goals in the match at just 1.66.
Ligue 1 first round fixtures:
Friday, 10 August
(1.40) Marseille x Toulouse (9.00); draw (4.20)
Saturday, 11 August
(3.40) Nantes x Monaco (2.25); draw (3.10)
(2.30) Angers x Nimes (3.10); draw (3.20)
(2.40) Lille x Rennes (3.10); draw (3.10)
(1.72) Montpellier x Dijon (5.00); draw (3.50)
(1.90) Nice x Reims (4.00); draw (3.40)
(1.85) St Etienne x Guingamp (4.33); draw (3.40)
Sunday, 12 August
(1.20) Lyon x Amiens (11.00); draw (7.00)
(1.61) Bordeaux x Strasbourg ((6.00); draw (3.60)
(1.10) PSG x Caen (21.00); draw (9.00)