Football betting analyst Mark O’Haire returns to share his favourite fancies from the weekend with a pair of plays from Brazil and Norway this weekend.
FOGO FANCIED TO EXTEND UNBEATEN STREAK
Botafogo were taken over by a US investment fund in early 2022 and the Rio de Janeiro outfit have enjoyed a significant upswing across the following 18 months.
Having consolidated in Brazil’s Serie A last season, O Glorioso come into the weekend’s action with a remarkable 12-point lead at the top of the Campeonato (W14-D1-L2).
Despite head coach Luis Castro’s departure to Al Nassr earlier this campaign, Fogo have continued their upward trajectory under the tutorship of former Wolves boss Bruno Lage.
Last weekend’s 4-1 home thrashing of Coritiba extended Botafogo’s unbeaten run of league form to eight (W7-D1-L0) with the table-toppers looking like the real deal.
O Glorioso boast a flawless record at their Estadio Nilton Santos base yet haven’t been quite as ruthless on their travels (W5-D1-L2).
Still, the visitors hold plenty of appeal at 1.86 with the opportunity to back Botafogo with a +0.25 Asian Handicap start at Cruzeiro on Sunday night – the selection sees us make money should the league leaders avoid defeat.
Cruzeiro are only inside the top-half of the table on goal difference and have managed only three Serie A successes since early May (W3-D5-L5), seeing our proposed play pay-out in 10 of those 13 fixtures.
Meanwhile, at the Mineirao, the hosts have posted W3-D1-L5 in 2023, failing to score on six occasions and mustering up a paltry tally of four goals.
Look closer at Cruzeiro’s recent home return and we can see Pepa’s posse have actually fired blanks in each of their last seven here, with the only strike in their favour during that bleak streak arriving as an own goal.
That’s over 10 hours of football without a home goal – and now they’re welcoming a Fogo outfit with 10 shutouts in 17 outings.
KEEP TRICKY TROMSO ONSIDE
Tromso overachieved to pocket a top-half Eliteserien finish in 2022, and the Arctic outfit are once again making headlines in Norway with Gaute Helstrup’s group defying the data to sit third at the halfway stage of the season.
The Gutan even managed to ruthlessly dispose of runaway league leaders Bodo/Glimt last time out, with an eye-catching 2-0 away triumph.
After 16 rounds of action, Tromso have suffered only three defeats (W10-D3-L3) and can call upon the top-flight’s strongest defensive record as only three league rivals have managed to net more than a solitary strike against Helstrup’s charges.
Now the plucky underdogs look well worth supporting with a +0-goal start on Sunday when welcoming Lillestrom.
Lillestrom have enjoyed a solid campaign of their own to sit just four points shy of their hosts, although the majority of the Kanarifugla’s best work has been achieved on home soil, and against bottom-half fodder. Indeed, 52% of the visitors’ points haul has been picked up in that specific spot as only two triumphs have been achieved against top-half opposition.
With leaky Lillestrom also collecting only two clean sheets across the season as a whole, a long trip north to Tromso is bound to test the Kanarifugla’s credentials.
Despite returning reasonable underlying metrics, I’m happy to back against an away success at the isolated Romssa Arena this weekend with the draw returning a push from our proposed poke.
- Botafogo +0/0.5 Asian Handicap in Cruzeiro vs Botafogo – 1 unit @ 1.86
- Tromso +0 Asian Handicap in Tromso vs Lillestrom – 1 unit @ 1.80
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