Lens vs. Lille Ligue 1 Odds & Pick: Betting Value On Over/Under (Friday, May 7)
Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images. Pictured: Corentin Jean of RC Lens.
- Two of Ligue 1's best clubs meet as fifth-place Lens host first-place Lille.
- The home side had won 12-straight matches before finally losing to PSG last weekend, while Lille hasn't lost since March.
- Both clubs rely on strong defenses, so BJ Cunningham doesn't expect many goals to be scored.
Lens vs. Lille Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (+114 / -141)|
|Day | Time||Friday | 3 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||beIN SPORTS|
|Odds updated Friday afternoon via DraftKings.|
Lille look to take another step towards their first Ligue 1 title in over a decade when they travel to take on fifth-place Lens.
Lens are enjoying a dream start in their first season since promotion to the top division in France. Before the loss to PSG last weekend, Lens went unbeaten in 12-straight matches in Ligue 1 play to vault themselves all the way up the table into a Europa League spot. With only four matches to go, they need to get a big result to hold off Marseille and Rennes.
Lille took care of business last weekend, defeating Nice 2-0 at home to maintain their one-point lead atop the table. PSG are right on their heels and have a favorable matchup against Rennes on Sunday. So, Lille need all three points from this match if they want to keep their title dreams alive.
Lens have been one of the best stories in European football this season. After being in Ligue 2 for five-straight seasons, they finally earned promotion and now are on the cusp of qualifying for the Europa League in their first season since promotion. The biggest reason for their success has been their prolific offense that averages 1.53 xG per match, which is the fourth-best mark in Ligue 1 and actually better than their opponent Lille.
Lens typically line up up in a 3-4-1-2 formation, which is not a common formation, but they play it very effectively, accumulating a +0.47 xGD per 90 minutes when playing out of it.
When these two teams met in October, Lille routed Lens 4-0, but they only created 2.32 expected goals in the match. With Lens improved with a stingy defense that only allows 1.12 xG per 90 minutes out of their 3-4-1-2 formation, I think Lille’s going to have a difficult time creating high quality chances.
Lille is the best defensive team in Europe, allowing 0.68 xG per match in Ligue 1 play. The reason for that is because Lille typically line up in a 4-4-2, although that can change in an instant depending on what they see from their opponent. In reality, Lille play a 4-2-4, with the two outside wingers pushing far out wide to create space in the middle for the two strikers.
Defensively, they are incredibly organized at the back with all four defenders on the back line playing in unison and usually bunching towards the middle to force the opponents to play the ball from out wide. This will put a lot of pressure on Lens’ wingbacks to get up the pitch and deliver crosses into the box, which could get them in trouble if they get caught too far up the pitch.
Bottom line: Lille are likely going to sit back and play very defensive against Lens, while looking to hit them on the counter attack. Additionally, Lille’s offense hasn’t been that lethal this season, as it’s only averaging 1.27 xG per match, which ranks ninth in Ligue 1.
Betting Analysis & Pick
With how good both Lille and Lens defenses have been this season, I think we’re going to see a typical low-scoring affair that Lille are used to, as 63% of their matches have gone Under 2.5 goals.
Since I have 1.75 goals projected for this match, I think there is value on Under 2.5 goals at -136 odds (DraftKings).
Pick: Under 2.5 goals (-136)
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