Ligue 1 Matchday 18 Preview and Best Bets

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Rennes' French midfielder Lesley Ugochkwu. (Photo by OLIVIER CHASSIGNOLE / AFP)

France’s top-flight brings another full slate of weekend footy for soccer bettors to spot. We look at some of the best bets on hand for Saturday and Sunday’s slate and preview the matchups complete with Ligue 1 odds and soccer picks.

So, let’s get cracking then, shall we!

Stade Brestois 29 vs. Montpellier HSC

Saturday, December 11, 2021 – 11:00 AM EST at Stade Francis-Le Blé

Brest is riding a six-match winning streak that goes back to October 31 when the Ty Zefs defeated Monaco 2-0. Before that fateful day, things looked bleak with Brest going winless in the first eleven rounds of top-flight action and hobnobbing with the league’s stragglers in the relegation zone.

Since flipping the switch, Michel Der Zakarian’s side has been virtually unstoppable. They’ve reeled off wins home and away to claw their way into the top ten. As things currently stand, Brest is 10th in Ligue 1 with a 6-6-5 record and 24 points.

On Saturday, Brest chained its sixth straight victory at the Velodrome, beating Marseille 1-2 to defy the soccer odds as the away underdogs. One of the keys to their success has been improved defending. Brest has conceded just three goals while scoring 13 over this positive run.

Montpellier comes into this weekend with a two-game winning streak. They beat Metz 3-1 and then Clermont 1-0. In their last five fixtures, Olivier Dall'Oglio’s side is 3-0-2. On the season, they’re 7-4-6 with 25 points, which puts them in 9th place.

A few weeks ago, this matchup would have had an entirely different complexion. Now, with both teams inside the top ten, it’s shaping up to be a riveting contest between two sides that have form and high aspirations.

The best sportsbooks have tipped the hosts as the favorites, but the soccer odds are just shy of even money. Given Brest’s form, they strike a convincing pose to continue their supreme form at the expense of La Paillade.

Dall’Oglio’s side won’t be a cakewalk, buoyed as they are by back-to-back wins, but seeing as both wins came against bottom-of-the-table competition, they’ll be challenged to serve up the upset.

Soccer Pick: Stade Brestois 29 (+116) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Stade Brestois 29 (+116)
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Stade Rennais FC vs. OGC Nice

Sunday, December 12, 2021 - 09:00 AM EST at Roazhon Park

Rennais and Nice enjoyed contrasting fortunes on matchday 17. Rennais routed St. Etienne 5-0 while Nice suffered a 3-0 defeat to Strasbourg. It follows that Rennais will be keen to keep the momentum going while Nice will be eager to bounce back in this clash of the league’s top five teams after 17 rounds.

Rennais is riding high in the Ligue 1 table with a 9-4-4 record and 31 points, which makes Les Rouges et Noirs the biggest threats to PSG’s quest for the domestic title at the moment – albeit they’re 11 points adrift of the lofty league leaders. Rennais lost to Lille on matchday 16 but bounced back in fine style to improve their record to 3-1-1 in the last five fixtures.

Granted, Les Rouges et Noirs took advantage of an inferior opponent in St. Etienne (20th in the table), but things would have been much worse if they didn’t.

Nice’s form has taken a bit of a nosedive in recent weeks with three defeats in their last five fixtures. Nice lost to Montpellier and Metz (both by a score of 1-0) at home before losing to Strasbourg 3-0 at the Allianz Riviera. Les Aiglons are 1-1-3 in their last five fixtures, slipping ton 8-4-5 record and 27 points on the season, which puts them in 4th place overall.

All told, this should be a fascinating contest between two sides that have big ambitions in 2021. The hosts strike a convincing pose for the win, and they may well come through as the home favorites. However, Nice could make things tougher than the soccer odds would suggest.

Perhaps the draw bet makes better sense for soccer picks here.

Soccer Pick: Draw (+278) at YouWager (visit our YouWager Review)

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Draw (+278)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.