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Ligue 1 Betting Picks, Prediction, Preview: 3 Bets & Projected Odds, Totals for French Top Flight (Aug. 6-8)

Ligue 1 Betting Picks, Prediction, Preview: 3 Bets & Projected Odds, Totals for French Top Flight (Aug. 6-8) article feature image

EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP via Getty Images. Pictured: Xeka (second from left).

France's Ligue 1 kicks off the European club soccer calendar this weekend, with the four other major leagues following suit in the next two weekends.

There is a ton of interest going into this season after 50/1 longshots Lille shocked the world and won the league title by one point over Paris Saint-Germain.


They opened the season at 50/1 to win the league 😳

— The Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) May 23, 2021

PSG has retooled and been busy in the transfer market, trying to make their squad much stronger to ensure there is not a repeat of the 2020-21 season.

There aren't many headliners on opening weekend, but it will be important for some of the bigger clubs to get off to a good start. For example, if you remember the opening match last season, recently promoted Lens defeated PSG 1-0, and that ended up being the difference in the title race.

Monaco and Lyon are also poised to challenge for the title after successful rebound campaigns last season, so it should be a thrilling season in France for 2021-22.

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Ligue 1 Projections

Best Bets

Lyon vs. Stade de Brest

Lyon Odds-300
Stade de Brest Odds+750
Over/Under3.5 (+100 / -120)
Day | TimeSaturday | 11 a.m. ET
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Odds updated Thursday afternoon via DraftKings.

Lyon missed out on a Champions League spot by one point last season but had a very impressive campaign, averaging 2.17 expected goals (xG) per match, which was second only to PSG in Ligue 1.

Now, we have to take into account that Memphis Depay, Lyon's best player last season, signed with Barcelona over the summer. Depay was everything to Lyon's attack, scoring 21 goals and providing 12 assists, but I don't think Lyon will see a precipitous drop because of the talent in the rest of the squad.

Lyon had three other attackers on their roster who averaged over 0.45 xG per 90 minutes last season, so they are still a potent attack even without Depay.

Lyon were also one of the best teams at home in Ligue 1 last season, putting up a +27.63 xGD in 19 matches, while averaging 2.49 xG per match, which was the highest mark in the French top flight.

Stade de Brest barely survived relegation last season, finishing in 17th place, one point above Nantes in a relegation playoff place. Their defense was one of the worst in Ligue 1, allowing 1.53 xG per match, which was the fourth-highest mark in France. Brest's defense also allowed the most touches in their final third and had the third-lowest pressure success rate last season (via, so Lyon should be able to live in their final third all match long.

In the two matches between these two last season, Lyon out-created Brest 6.02 xG to 2.98 xG.

I have Lyon's spread projected at -1.82, so the true odds of -1.5 would be projected at -124. Therefore, there is 4.20% of value on Lyon to win this match by two or more goals at -105.

Pick: Lyon -1.5 (-105)

Nice vs. Reims

Nice Odds-125
Reims Odds+340
Over/Under2.5 (+102 / -135)
Day | TimeSunday | 9 a.m. ET
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Odds updated Thursday afternoon via PointsBet.

Reims is one of my biggest teams to fade heading into the 2021-22 season because of the discrepancy between their actual results and their expected results. On paper, Reims finished in 14th place with a -8 goal differential, which doesn't look all that bad. However, they had the second-fewest expected goals for (xGF) and the second-most expected goals allowed (xGA), and they really should have been relegated.

A lot of that discrepancy came on the road last season, where they averaged 0.95 xGF per match and allowed 1.78 xG per match, which is far worse than their actual goal differential of -3.

Brest also lost striker Boulye Dia, who was their entire offense scoring 14 goals and creating 13.29 of their 33.23 expected goals last season, to Villarreal. Reims don't have a capable replacement for him, so there is going to be a massive offensive regression for them in 2021-22.

Nice had a mid-table finish last season and quite honestly weren't that impressive at all. However, they still have the sixth-highest squad value (per in Ligue 1 and were very busy in the transfer market, bringing in a lot of young and experienced talent to the squad.

I have Nice projected at -130 for this match, so there is some value, based on my projections, on the home side to open up with three points at -125.

Pick: Nice (-125)

Metz vs. Lille

Metz Odds+475
Lille Odds-135
Over/Under2.5 (+130 /-155)
Day | TimeSunday | 11 a.m. ET
How To WatchbeIN Sports
Odds updated Thursday afternoon via DraftKings.

Even though Lille are the defending champions, they are due for a lot of negative regression, especially offensively. Lille scored 64 goals last season, but only created 48.07 expected goals, which was 10th in Ligue 1.

Lille play a very defensive 4-4-2 formation, and their defense is the reason they won the league in 2020-21. Lille had the best defensive record in Europe, allowing only 0.63 xG per match.

However, there has been a ton of turnover at the club this summer. They sold one of their best midfielders, Boubakary Soumaré, to Leicester City and their starting goalkeeper, Mike Maignan, to AC Milan. On top of all of that, manager Christoph Galtier also left the club to take over at Nice.

Metz had one of their best seasons in the top flight in 2020-21, finishing in 10th. What's even more impressive is they did that while dealing with a ton of injuries over the second half of the season. One of their best wingers, Opa Nguette, and one of their best strikers, Ibrahima Niane, missed most of the second half of the season, and it really took a toll. Over the first 19 matches of the season, Metz had a +0.69 xGD. Over the final 19, though, with two of their main attackers injured, that number was -6.92.

Metz lost both matches against Lille last season, but they actually out-created them on expected goals 2.40-1.85.

I only have Lille projected at +116, so the projected odds of -116 on Metz's spread of +0.5 is providing a 8.34% value on Metz's current spread odds of +120 (DraftKings). I also would play Metz's spread down to -101.

Pick: Metz +0.5 (+120)

Ligue 1 Injury News 

  • Marseille: Arkadiusz Milik (ST) is questionable to play against Montpellier, and Matteo Guendouzi (CM) is out.
  • Monaco: Benjamin Lecomte (GK) is questionable to play against Nantes.

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