Ligue 1 Odds, Picks, Prediction: Nice vs. Paris Saint-Germain Betting Preview (March 5)
Catherine Steenkeste/Getty. Pictured: Paris Saint-Germain star Lionel Messi.
Nice vs. PSG Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (-160 / +115)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 3 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||beIN SPORTS | fuboTV|
|Odds updated via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.|
The premier Ligue 1 match of the weekend features Paris Saint-Germain hosting Nice, with the French powerhouse looking to inch closer toward clinching the title and Nice seeking to keep hold of a Champions League position for next year.
Each team has a second competition to look forward to as well, with PSG having a second leg approaching in the UCL against Real Madrid approaching, while Nice awaits Nantes in the French Cup final, though that won’t be played until May.
So, will PSG be able to push closer toward the league crown in this top-three clash or will Nice secure a major result?
Nice Enduring Up & Down Run of Form
Les Aiglons currently sit in third in Ligue 1, but there isn’t much space between a guaranteed UCL spot in second or no European position at all in sixth place. Only seven points separate Marseille and Lens, with Nice positioned in third with 46 points.
It has been an odd patch of form for Nice, which has cruised in the French Cup — getting past PSG in the Round of 16 via penalties — but has secured just four of a possible 12 points in its last four matches in the the French first division.
Against Strasbourg last weekend, Nice went a man down due to Dante’s recklessness, but it still survived the second half despite generating just 0.15 xG throughout the game. The offensive struggles have been a trend for Les Aiglons, as they have generated just 1.3 xG in a 1-0 win over Angers; 0.08 xG in a 2-0 loss to Lyon; and, 0.7 xG in a 1-0 defeat against Clermont Foot.
That needs to change if Nice wants to find a result against one of the best attacking sides in the league, as PSG is the only team on pace to amass more than 2.0 xG/game throughout the league this season.
Fortunately, Nice’s defense has been one of the best in the French top flight, but dealing with the PSG attacking talent is never easy.
PSG Focused, But Seeking Bigger Targets
While the Parisians have all but secured the title, that’s nothing new. Since 2018, PSG has secured four league crowns, but given the money injection the team has gotten since its Qatari takeover in 2011, the biggest goal for PSG has been the Champions League and it simply hasn’t been able to deliver.
The club has made it past the quarterfinal round just twice since 2012, but it’ll have yet another chance to deliver with the second leg of its Round of 16 clash with Real Madrid on the horizon. Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappé and PSG will be traveling to Madrid for this fixture.
As the Parisians have shown, they’re willing to keep full lineups active in Ligue 1, but it’ll be interesting to see how they approach this tie with such a crucial game on deck. If they don’t secure a result against Madrid, the season will be yet another failure, largely due to the acquisition of Messi over the summer.
As such, it would be reasonable for PSG to have an eye toward the game ahead, but it has won four of its last five in league play. Right now, PSG is largely healthy for the first time in months and manager Mauricio Pochettino will be trying to ensure he has his full 11 starters every time the club has a Champions League game the rest of the way.
Whether that’ll mean resting all or none of Messi, Mbappé or Neymar is to be seen, but it wouldn’t be a shock to see one of them dropped.
Betting Analysis & Pick
It’s impossible to know how Pochettino and PSG will approach this game, but what’s certain is Nice should be able to compete — at least on paper — with or without the trio at full strength.
Les Aiglons have an average home xG differential of 0.56/game, which outpaces PSG’s number of 0.51 this season. That’s enough to take Nice to Draw or Win at +105 odds on its own, even if it’s not in the best of form. However, considering the PSG intensity could drop ahead of a crucial fixture in the Champions League, I’m buying into Nice’s chances
If Mbappé, Messi and Neymar all play, Nice still has a chance to find a result, so with the possibility of any of those players being rested or going less than 90 minutes present, I’m going with Nice.
Pick: Double Chance — Nice Win or Draw (+105)
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