Your Quick-Start Betting and Trading Guide for the French Ligue 1 – Part 1
Due to sponsorship reasons, France’s top flight is now the amusingly named Ligue 1 Uber Eats. It has the same system as the English Premier League with 20 teams and 38 matches per team each season. In the last decade, the level of competition in many European leagues has suffered.
Unfortunately, France is a prime example with PSG winning seven of the last eight titles, usually at a canter. The Qatar-backed club was 12 points clear with a game in hand when the 2019/20 season was halted. They were awarded the title. PSG had won the title by 16 points in the previous season.
There was a glimmer of hope for the rest of the league when PSG lost their first two league matches this season. However, they have won the last three and will likely gobble up the four-point deficit on the current league leaders, Rennes, quickly.
While there is often no value in backing PSG, let’s take a look at Ligue 1 stats to see if we can find some useful angles.
The large percentages only relate to this season, so they are worth ignoring with so few matches played. However, you can see that home teams won almost 50% of their matches last season. Historically, the hosts in Ligue 1 win more than 45% of the time, with away teams triumphing in 27-28% of games.
When you bear in mind that PSG wins a large percentage of road games, the rest of the league’s win rate away from home is even lower. One thing we would recommend is to wait for PSG to get into their stride before backing them. In general, they average close to three goals a game. This season, they are averaging just 1.2 goals, but that is sure to change as Neymar, Mbappe, and company regain fitness and sharpness.
So, Is Home Strength Overrated In Ligue 1?
The bare stats would suggest that backing the home win as a base is a solid idea. However, further investigation reveals a lack of standout teams. In last season’s truncated Ligue 1, nine of the league’s 20 teams won over half of their home games. In the last full season, 2018/19, only six sides managed a better than 50% home win rate. In 2017/18, it was again, only six teams.
Apart from PSG, however, there are no standout away sides either. Only five teams won more than one-third of their away games in 2017/18. It was the same number in 2018/19, though it increased to seven in last season’s shortened league.
What does this mean? It is arguably best to place lay bets on average home sides in Ligue 1, and there are plenty of those!
Lyon had a thrilling Champions League journey, dumping out Man City in dramatic fashion before falling short in the semi-finals. Lyon remain a side with talent but is also wildly inconsistent and have been on an extended downturn. They could lose gifted playmaker, Houssem Aouar before the transfer window closes.
Last season, Lyon won just 11 of their 28 games, including 5 from 13 at home. This season, they have just one win and three draws in five matches. They remain overrated for now, but the bookmakers will surely adapt as this season progresses.
Predictology members can see an enormous array of data at a glance, such as the percentage of home wins, away wins, and draws in a variety of leagues. The above screenshot relates to the English Premier League.
You may have noticed that the English Premier League has begun in a blaze of goals. The same cannot be said for Ligue 1. Indeed, data from the opening few fixtures is extremely consistent with previous seasons.
So far this season, only 48% of matches have over 2.5 goals. It was 48.5% last season, and just above 49% for the last three seasons combined. In contrast, the English Premier League has jumped from 52% to 67%.
What’s more, Ligue 1 is also remarkably consistent when it comes to goals per month. There are no standout times of the year. Like most other leagues, however, most goals are scored in the final 15 minutes plus stoppage time, and the 15 minutes before half-time.
In the last three seasons, between 21% and 25% of total goals are scored from the 76th minute onward. Overall, around 40% of goals are scored between 31-45 and 76-90+.
Unsurprisingly, PSG excels in the final 15 minutes of games, outscoring the opposition 16-4 last season. There are no other standout options from last season, though Rennes are arguably interesting this year. In 2019/20, there were 20 goals in the last quarter of an hour of Rennes games. This accounted for almost 30% of their total match goals. This season, Rennes have outscored the opposition 5-1 in their first five matches during this period.
Laying Match or Team Goals?
With a little over 2.5 goals per match, there is a wide selection of boring teams where you can lay match goals! Angers have become extremely good at sucking the life out of the beautiful game (I hope this doesn’t make Angers fans angry!).
In the last three seasons, they have scored 1.11, 1.16, and 1.00 goals per game, respectively. In total, their games average less than 2.5 goals. Last season, it was just 2.18! 45% of Angers games in 2018/19 had over 2.5 goals, but that figure fell to just 36% last season.
Reims are another side worth looking at when laying match goals. Since securing promotion in 2018, they have also kept things tight. In 2018/19, their games had just 2.13 goals on average. Last season, that figure was 1.68! Only 14% of their games had over 2.5 goals in 2019/20 and 32% in 2018/19!
Ligue 1 – Summary
- Look to lay home sides outside of the top three or four places.
- Bookmakers continue to overrate Lyon, so consider laying them depending on the opponent and odds.
- Look to trade match goals in the final 15 minutes of the first half, and again in the final 15 minutes.
- Consider backing Rennes to score in the final 15 minutes.
- Look at Reims and Angers when laying match goals.
We hope you enjoyed the first in our new series of ways to “Profit With Predictology”. We’ll be sharing more ideas in the coming weeks and if you’ve found a great way to profit on Predictology, feel free to share in the comments or in our private Facebook group here.