Football betting analyst Mark O’Haire returns to share his favourite fancies from the weekend’s European action with a firm focus on Norway’s Eliteserien title race.
Bodo Can Deliver The Bounty
Bodo/Glimt won the Norwegian title for the first time in their 104-year history last term – the first Arctic team to clinch Eliteserien honours.
The Superlaget succeeded with a squad built on a much smaller budget than many of their rivals and were crowned champions with five rounds of action to spare in a memorable season.
Head coach Kjetil Knutsen, who had never managed in the top-flight until he took over at Glimt in 2018, was rightly lauded for his efforts with Bodo smashing age-old records along the way. But the club’s remarkable achievements attracted plenty of interest from elsewhere, and the vultures began to circle for the side’s standout stars.
Bodo/Glimt are back in the box seat as the Eliteserien turns for home despite a series of key departures. We’re 19 rounds down in a 30-matchday campaign in Norway, and the defending champions sit top of the tree.
However, the Superlaget are just one point ahead of Molde, whilst only four points separate the top five teams. It’s tight at the top.
A welcome four victories from five and a seven-game unbeaten streak has given Glimt a platform to kick on, and the hosts look well placed to extend that recent run on Sunday when Valerenga arrive.
The table-toppers also lead the way in most major data metrics this term, be it Expected Goals (xG), shots, shots on-target, shots in the box or chances created.
Bodo might not be quite as commanding as 2020, but they remain significant players, and at their Aspmyra Stadion base, they’ve proven pretty formidable opposition too.
Glimt, are generating 2.09 Non-Penalty Expected Goals (npxG) per game as hosts, scoring twice or more in eight of 10 home tussles. Overall, the Superlaget have smashed multiple goals in 13 of 19 league encounters, with eight of their 11 Eliteserien triumphs arriving by a margin of two goals or more.
With Valerenga residing 11 points behind Bodo, the visitors are understandable outsiders.
Indeed, the Oslo outfit have earned 70% of their points tally against bottom-half dwellers and pitch up with a solitary success in nine to their name. This will be a tough test, but Dag-Eilev Fagermo’s charges tend to come out firing.
Valerenga have scored in all bar one of their 19 league games and made their mark in all nine match-ups with top-half teams, including a 3-2 win at Molde.
Go back further, and the guests have struck in 21 of their past 24 road trips, and 16 of their 19 matches in 2021 have delivered for Both Teams To Score backers.
Considering Bodo have conceded in 10 of their most recent 12 Eliteserien encounters, there’s a solid case to be made to back the home side to win, alongside BTTS, for a significant odds leap from 1.50 to 2.75.
The majority of firms rate both the Bodo victory and the chance of both teams scoring, around the 1.5 mark, and simply doubling the two outcomes gives us a 2.25 shot, therefore making the 2.75 a little too big to ignore.
Vikings Will Go Down Fighting
Molde’s hopes of winning back Norwegian title honours has hit the buffers in recent weeks.
Since July, Erling Moe’s men have posted W3-D2-L3 to surrender top spot with MFK’s main struggles arriving on the road; in the comforts of their Aker Stadion surroundings, the hosts have remained devilishly difficult to oust (W8-D0-L1).
The home team have averaged 3.44 goals on home soil, notching twice or more in all nine games, whilst also generating league-high figures for both xG and npxG at the Aker Stadion.
Naturally, the odds on offer for Molde to pick up maximum points against Viking are a little too short to support, but again we can boost the price by adding in Both Teams To Score.
MFK’s visitors are Viking, one of the Eliteserien’s most forward-thinking teams.
Matches involving the Stavanger side have averaged a huge 3.89 goals.
All bar three of Viking’s 19 league games have paid out for BTTS backers, including all nine match-ups with top-half teams, and the away side are yet to keep their sheets clean in 2021’s renewal.
Looking purely at Viking’s dates with Bodo and Molde, contests have concluded 2-2, 3-2 and 3-1, suggesting another high-scoring showdown could be on the cards, particularly with the overall xG accumulated in those three fixtures reaching an average of 3.38 per game.
Molde’s class should tell on Sunday, but expect Viking to go down fighting.
- Bodo/Glimt to win and Both Teams To Score – 1 unit @ 2.75
- Molde to win and Both Teams To Score – 1 unit @ 2.50
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