Only one favorite in Ligue 1
With the Premier League gathering all the attention this weekend, the season starts also across the canal in France, where the celebrations for the World Cup win are still underway. It’s once again believed to be a one team show, as PSG seems like a clear winner for the sixth time in seven years. Monaco achieved the impossible the season before last, but they’ve also been bought out of the competition by wealthier clubs in Europe.
The top four in France has been pretty much set for a while, with Olympiques from Marseille and Lyon challenging for the title among Monaco. PSG is still above everyone else by a clear margin, but it gets more interesting behind PSG, as only 2nd and 3rd placed teams get a chance to compete in the Champions League.
According to the odds, the trio of Monaco, Marseille and Lyon rise up to the challenge, but are brushed aside by PSG, who win the title with ridiculous odds of 1.13, which means 88.5% probability. As overwhelming that PSG are, perhaps they’re finally putting emphasis on the Champions League, hence offering an opening for the hungry challengers to exploit.
Accuscore’s simulation engine has been busy and calculated the most probable outcome of the season in French Ligue 1 and this is how the simulations compare to current odds just before the season kicks-off:
Analysis and Picks
As mentioned before, it’s quite clear that PSG is a massive favorite to capture the title again. However, with odds set ridiculously low, there’s little point in investing to a surefire horse that might as well fail. Even if the title going to Marseille, Lyon or Monaco might seem like a long shot, it shouldn’t be as long as the odds indicate: Lyon receives odds of 17.00, while Monaco and Marseille get 21.00. In percentages those odds are 5-6%, which in any league in any sport should be considered worth a try – even in Ligue 1.
The bottom of the table looks a lot more volatile than the top, according to the odds and simulations. In Accuscore simulations there are six teams that are likely to end up in the relegation battle: Reims, Angers, Nimes, Dijon, Strasburg and Amiens. In the simulations all the teams fit inside 10 points. The biggest fall is suffered by Angers, who are deemed 14th according to odds but down five spots in simulations. Other teams in relegation battle receive mixed odds getting relegated, finishing in top-3 and winning the league – which tells a story of how close it will be at the bottom of the table.
According to simulations, it is Angers with the best value in relegation odds, which are set around 10.00. Another playable selection would be Dijon, with odds of 6.00.
There’s not that much value in other picks this time around, but it should be kept in mind that the transfer window is still open and there could be some major moves still on the way. But Accuscore’s pre-season picks at the moment would be as follows:
To win the league: Lyon @17.00, Marseille & Monaco @21.00
To get relegated: Angers @10.00, Dijon @6.00
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