After being dethroned last season, PSG have returned to their familiar spot at the top of Ligue 1 and are looking dominant again going into 2022.
|To win Ligue 1|
Who do Bettors Favor?
Last season’s temporary shift in the Ligue 1 pecking order caught out some of the best online sportsbooks but pricing up the current futures markets has proven to be a lot easier.
PSG are once again top of the league and top of the Ligue 1 winners market, at an extremely short price. There is some minor disagreement over their main challenger. Nice, Marseille, and Monaco are the main contenders, though none is lower than +4000, while Lille and Lens are generally priced at +8000.
PSG Cannot be Opposed when Betting on Ligue 1
Kylian Mbappe. Neymar. Lionel Messi. Sergio Ramos. Marco Verratti. Keylor Navas. Angel Di Maria. The list of names in the PSG squad reads like the sort of team you might assemble if you were playing a fantasy football game. But this team of awesome talents is the real-life consequence of PSG’s inexorable quest for national and international dominance.
Last season they suffered a rare slip, being beaten to the Ligue 1 title, and the inevitable result was another wave of big spending, with the arrival of Messi being the biggest story.
The result has been inevitable. PSG hit the top of the table after three games and have stayed there ever since, losing only once and opening up a big gap over Nice, Marseille, and the rest of the chasing pack. Bettors who opposed the Parisian giants in the pre-season futures markets have most likely torn up their betting slips already and few will be interested in playing at odds of -6600.
Best Bets on Ligue 1 Without PSG
Fortunately, the one-sided nature of Ligue 1 has been recognized by many bookmakers so it is possible to find some futures markets that offer betting on the league winner without PSG.
Last season’s winners Lille are already 11 points behind second-placed Nice, and although they have improved a little since the fall, the task of closing that gap against a bunch of other contenders is likely to be beyond them. The same can be said for Lyon, languishing in mid-table after a bitterly disappointing campaign strewn with unexpected defeats and underwhelming draws.
Can Nice maintain their surprise good form and cling on to second? Bookmakers seem to think they will falter, rating them third in this market behind Marseille and Monaco, but Les Aiglons have returned to action in the New Year in fine form and appear rejuvenated. The pecking order of French football beneath PSG is volatile and it can’t be assumed that better-known teams will assert themselves, so at the current odds, Nice rate as a good bet.
Who will be Relegated from Ligue One?
At the foot of the table, St Etienne appears to be in a precarious situation and would be most people’s relegation favorites. It is worth remembering, however, that only the bottom two teams at the end of the season will be relegated to Ligue 2. The team that finishes 18th will go into the relegation play-offs, so will have another chance to survive in the top flight.
Assuming that St Etienne ends up as one of the bottom three, it looks like Bordeaux, Troyes, Lorient, and Metz will be fighting to avoid claiming the other two places. Lorient signed off before their winter break with a remarkable draw against PSG, which gives them hope, while Troyes, Bordeaux, and Metz have shown the ability to win games, particularly against other bottom-half teams. This could develop into a fascinating battle, but for the moment, a watching brief is advised.
Who will Finish as Ligue 1 Top Scorer?
Lille’s star striker Jonathan David is top of the goalscoring charts but not the betting for league top scorer, as bookmakers are favoring last year’s runaway winner Kylian Mbappe.
That is understandable to an extent, given that the French international star has topped the scoring charts individually or jointly for three seasons in a row. Still, it does a disservice to David, who has been in strong form for Lille, despite the fact that the team has been struggling.
It also overlooks the additional competition that Mbappe faces this season, with Lionel Messi in the PSG side, along with Neymar, both of whom, when fit and available, will see themselves as the main striker in the team. Assuming that Lille continue to improve, David’s goalscoring rate is likely to increase rather than decline and he looks the best play in this market at the moment.
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