The French Ligue 1 is one of the top five soccer leagues in the world, founded in 1932 and consisting of 20 clubs each season from August until May. The Ligue 1 is the top tier of the French soccer, and similar to the other European leagues, every season the two last-ranked teams are relegated and replaced by the top two sides from the Ligue 2.
The top-placed team at the end of the season wins the Ligue 1 Trophy as the champion, the second-placed and third-placed teams both earn the qualification for the UEFA Champions League, while the fourth place team heads to the UEFA Europa League along with the winners of the French Cup and French League Cup.
In the league’s 86 year history, the most successful club has been Saint Etienne with ten titles, but the last one came in the 1980-81 season. Marseille has won the French Ligue 1 nine times thus far, with the last one coming back in 2010. Monaco and Nantes have both been victorious eight times. The defending champions, Paris SG, has seven crowns — same as Lyon who won five consecutive championships from 2003 to 2008.
How To Bet On The French Ligue 1
Since the 2012-’13 season, Paris SG has been the dominant force in French Ligue 1 due to a great financial advantage relative to the other teams which mostly rely on young and talented players. France has become a real talent factory, investing a lot of money in youth teams and training facilities, so it’s not a surprise that the national team won the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
During the season, the odds on Paris SG to win a game are not tempting at all, ranging from -500 to -200 when playing against high-ranked teams, but the bettors around the world like to wager on Monaco, Lyon, and Marseille as their games offer a much greater wages, according to BetDSI Sportsbook. In the 2017-’18 season, Paris SG won the title with a 29-6-3 record and a 108:29 goal difference, while 27 out of its 38 Ligue 1 games had at least three goals. Monaco finished second with a 24-8-6 record and an 85:45 goal difference, also finishing 27 encounters with at least three goals, while 19 of them had at least four.
We saw a thrilling race for the top-three finish last year, and Lyon managed to finish third with a 23-9-6 record, one point ahead of Marseille who recorded 22 wins, 11 draws, and five losses. The gap between Marseille and the fifth-placed Rennes was 19 points which tell a lot about the strength constellation. The top four teams mostly surpass the 20-win mark, while on the other side, those who battle against the relegation barely reach the 10-win mark, recording around 20 losses per season.
The French Ligue 1 is quite popular among the bettors who prefer betting on the totals as it offers plenty of attractive odds during the season, especially on the Over/Under 2.5 Goals market. The odds on the over go from -125 up to +150, while the odds on the over of the total of 3.5 goals can reach +300. In the 2017-’18 season, 52 percent of all games had more than two goals in the total, and 28 percent had more than three. The home team won 46 percent of the matches and 25 percent ended in a draw. The most common result was a 1-1 draw (12 percent), and 10 percent of the games resulted in a 2-1 victory, so the bettors who like to predict the full-time score can lay some wagers on these results.
Apart from the betting on single games during the Ligue 1 season, the bettors can wager on the future odds — picking the potential winner, top-three teams, and the sides which would be relegated. Paris SG is the runaway favorite at -1000 to retain the title, while the second strongest favorite Lyon is at +1200.
One of the most popular futures is picking the top goalscorer, and last year, Paris SG’s striker Edinson Cavani won the title with 28 goals on his account. Marseille’s winger Florian Thauvin came in second, scoring 22 goals, while Lyon’s Memphis Depay and Paris SG’s Neymar both bagged 19 goals to finish third. Cavani is the biggest favorite for the 2018-19 season with the odds at -110.
Best French Ligue 1 Bets
Paris SG’s major goal for the 2018-’19 season is to win the UEFA Champions League for the first time ever, but with plenty of pure talent on its squad, the Parisians should cruise through the French Ligue 1. They acquired the legendary goalie Gianluigi Buffon, who will bring even more experience and quality into the locker room.
The battle for the UEFA Champions League qualification should be as interesting as it was a year ago, but this time Lyon and Monaco both look closer to the finish line than Monaco, as the Monegasques lost a couple of indispensable players in Fabinho and Thomas Lemar. Lyon seems like a nice wager at -110 odds to finish among the top three teams, particularly if the Kids keep Nabil Fekir and Memphis Depay on the team until the end of the summer transfer window. Marseille will miss the Champions League for the fourth season in a row, so the Olympians are certainly keen to finally grab the top-three finish this year.
Bordeaux is at +1200 to finish in the top three, but the Girondins sold their best player, Malcom, this summer, as the 21-year old forward joined Barcelona for a $47.4 million fee. Hereof, they could easily struggle offensively, so the bettors should be cautious in the first few rounds of the 2018-19 Ligue 1 season. Saint Etienne at +1400 and Montpellier at +1600 both don’t to be serious contenders.
On the other side, the battle for survival in the French Ligue 1 should offer plenty of attractive markets during the season. According to the BetDSI Sportsbook, the newcomers, Nimes at +175 and Reims at +187, are the biggest favorites to return to the Ligue 2 at the end of the season. The bookies consider Amiens, Dijon, Strasbourg, and Guingamp all as strong candidates to be relegated, but it is hard to predict some ups and downs in each team’s form, so Angers at +900 and Toulouse at +1400 could also be nice wagers.
The bettors should pay attention to Dijon, as in the previous season, the Mustards finished 28 out of their 38 games in the over of the total of 2.5 goals with average odds around +100. Strasbourg could be another pick after ending 24 games in the over last season. On the other hand, Montpellier had just nine tilts with more than two goals in the total, while Nantes’ 12 matches were ended in the over.
French Ligue 1 Picks
Winner: Paris SG (-1000)
Top 3: Paris SG (-6600), Lyon (-110), Marseille (-125)
Relegated Teams: Strasbourg (+250) and Angers (+900)
Top Goalscorer: Kylian Mbappe (+650)