Sunday & Monday’s Norwegian OBOS-Ligaen Best Bets

Andy

Stjørdals-Blink v Brann

Sunday 19th June – 2:00PM KO

Brann have won their last five consecutive league games and should comfortably collect another 3 points away to semi-professional outfit Stjørdals-Blink. Brann were shockingly relegated from the Eliteserien last season but were the red hot favourites to bounce back with an immediate promotion. They are one of the bigger clubs in Norwegian football and have the most sizeable budget out of any team in the OBOS-Ligaen. They are top of the table and the only remaining unbeaten side. They dropped a few points early on this season but have been playing some magnificent football recently. The 7-0 victory against promotion rivals Mjøndalen last time out demonstrated their qualities. Brann have scored a staggering 30 goals in 9 matches. That is over 10 goals more than their expected xG of 19.89 but statistically they have the best offense in the league and have individual players who can score from more improbable positions. Mathias Rasmussen and Niklas Castro have especially been looking in great form, but they have players all across the field who can contribute with goals.

Brann travel to a Stjørdals-Blink side who picked up their first win of the season just before the international break when they beat fellow strugglers Grorud 2-1. Everyone knows this will be a tough season for the part timers who are from the Trondheim region. They lost their highly rated young English manager Tom Dent to Ham Kam during the winter, and he played a huge part in securing their survival last year. Snorre Lillebo is now in charge and is fully aware of the challenge to keep this club in the OBOS Ligaen. The positive for Blinks is that they rank 9th best for xG per 90 mins with 13.23. They have only converted that into 10 goals though and missed several chances. At the other end of the field their 18 goals conceded is the joint worst record in the league and they’ve yet to keep a clean sheet. Left winger Sondre Stokke has been a key man for Stjørdals-Blink this season netting five goals and is the top scorer.

It would be a big surprise if Brann didn’t win this game, but you won’t get very rich backing them at odds of 1.25. The better option is to look towards the handicap or goals market. Brann have one of the best defensive records in the league so simply taking themselves to score over 2.5 goals might be the best bet. Brann have scored at least three times in 7 of their 9 fixtures this season and carry a huge attacking threat. They should be able to easily beat up a semi-professional outfit who are poor defensively. Just in case Stjørdals-Blink get inspired and score a goal or two themselves, taking the individual Brann goal line makes the most sense and is also quite a juicy generous price.

Prediction: Brann to Score Over 2.5 Goals, 2.00 on Betfair (⭐⭐⭐⭐)


Skeid v Sogndal

Monday 20th June – 5:00PM KO

The bottom club of the OBOS-Ligaen are Skeid who have lost 8 out of 9 matches and have just one solitary victory to their name. Skeid are a semi-professional side that got promoted and were one of the big favourites to struggle this season. They have the lowest reported budget in the entire league and manager Gard Holme knows this is going to be a challenging campaign. He has been operating with a 3-4-3 or 3-5-2 formation this season but defensively they don’t seem anywhere near good enough at this level, conceding a league high 19 goals. Their xGA of 13.23 would suggest they have maybe been a bit unlucky though. It has not been much better at the other end of the field and their 0.88 average xG per 90 mins is the second worst in the league. Only striker Johnny Buduson with four goals has offered any sort of threat but in general this team does not offer much in the final third of the field.

Travelling here are a Sogndal team who started the season well but have gone off form in the last few matches. The international break probably came at a good time for Tore Andre Flo’s men because they have lost 3 of their last 4 games. Defensive issues have plagued Sogndal, and they’ve failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their last 7 fixtures. They have the 6th worst xGA in the league averaging 1.53 per 90 mins. We must however consider that two recent defeats have been against Sandnes and Start, who are strong sides. Let’s not also forget that Sogndal are one of the few teams who have taken any points off Brann this season. Just one defeat on the road in 2022 is quite an impressive statistic, especially when you consider they’ve already travelled to the likes of Brann and Stabaek. 

Sogndal are a fully professional side and that definitely gives them an advantage at this level when facing semi-pro opposition. They beat Stjørdals-Blink 3-1 away from home in their most recent away match and Skeid are arguably even worse. I would expect the visitors to show their extra quality and class by inflicting yet another defeat on the newly promoted outfit. Sogndal can be backed straight on the nose to win at odds of 2.25 but perhaps a safer option is to take the DNB at shorter odds. This would cover the risk of Skeid scraping a draw but the logical outcome here is for a Sogndal victory.

Prediction: Sogndal Draw no Bet, 1.67 on Betfair (⭐⭐⭐⭐)

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Kongsvinger v Grorud

Monday 20th June – 5:00PM KO

Two struggling sides meet here at the Gjemselund Stadion where a victory would be worth its weight in gold. Kongsvinger are newly promoted this season and have their necks above the relegation zone for now, but only just. They have lost 6 out of 9 fixtures although most of their main problems are on the road where they’ve yet to pick up a single point. Kongsvinger were a steady OBOS Ligaen side for nearly 15 years before relegation in the 19/20 campaign. They even reached the final of the Norwegian Cup back in 2016. The team known as ‘KIL’ bounced back with an immediate promotion last year winning 22 out of 26 matches in the 3rd tier. They rank 11th best for xG this season with 11.79 but have only converted those numbers into 9 goals, which is the joint lowest scoring team in the division. At the other end of the field, they have some big defensive problems with their xGA of 15.12 being the 3rd worst out of anyone. It is hard making the jump to the OBOS Ligaen for a lot of teams, and they definitely lack defensive quality. More was expected of ex Brann centre back Lars Gerson, but some injury problems have seen him miss the last three matches.

Travelling here are a Grorud side who are still winless after nine games. They have drawn 5 times, but they could desperately do with a victory soon to settle them down. Just before the international break they lost 1-2 at home to Stjørdals-Blink which was a huge chance for them facing similar opposition. Now this is another opportunity vs a team only just above them in the table. Grorud have clung onto OBOS Ligaen safety in each of the last two years, picking up 34 points on both occasions. The loss of promising young manager Eirik Kjönö to Stabaek a year ago was definitely a blow. Grorud have the second worst xGA out of any team in the OBOS Ligaen, averaging 1.70 per 90 mins. Their 18 goals conceded is one of the worst records in the league and they’ve yet to pick up a clean sheet. It is worth noting that both teams have scored in 9 of their 10 fixtures this season and 7 of their 9 games have ended with over 2.5 goals. Midfielder Hassan Mohamed Yusuf returns after missing the last match with suspension.

This is a matchup between two poor teams down towards the bottom of the table. These type of fixtures in most leagues worldwide tend to be quite high scoring where both sides fancy the victory and will be on the offensive. There is no doubt that each of these teams will be strongly targeting this fixture. Kongsvinger are 1.80 favourites, but it is hard to trust an outfit that have lost 6 out of 9 matches. Their home record is however not too bad, picking up 7 points out of 12. The obvious pick here is for both teams to score. Between them, they have one clean sheet out of a possible 18 this year which is a shambolic record. I suspect over 2.5 goals also has a big chance of landing but at similar odds I would rather take BTTS as it covers the potential of a 1-1 draw.  Grorud already have three 2-2 draws this season and it would not surprise me if they added to that tally here.

Prediction: Both Teams to Score, 1.44 on Betfair (⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐)


Åsane v Ranheim

Monday 20th June – 5:00PM KO

The home side are in 11th place on 9 points but are statistically the worst side in the OBOS Ligaen. They have the worst average xG per 90 mins, with a measly 0.78 and also have the worst xGA (1.74). At both ends of the field they have been very poor but managed to win 2 of their last 3 matches, both by a 3-2 margin. Make no mistake though, this is not a good footballing side, and they will be strongly involved in the relegation battle this season. Åsane have yet to keep a clean sheet and conceding 19 goals is one obvious Achilles heel. Goalkeeper Idar Lysgard signed from Mjøndalen during the winter and is still settling into the club. This is a semi professional outfit and they do lack some quality and experience at this level of football. Manager Morten Rössland has been with the club since 2019 and generally employs a 4-2-3-1 system. Åsane have scored at least one goal in 7 of their 9 fixtures but their xG metrics are very worrying, they simply aren’t creating the chances.

Ranheim were an Eliteserien side for a couple of seasons in 2018 and 2019 and finished a disappointing 12th last year in the OBOS. However, this is a team who have the potential to at least make the playoffs and head into this match in fairly good form. The club from Trondheim have 18 points and are in 6th place. They have lost just twice all season against Brann and Stabaek who are probably the two strongest teams in the league. Recent wins against both Mjøndalen and Fredrikstad demonstrate that this is a serious team who cannot be taken lightly. Portuguese manager Mito Pereira plays an exciting brand of football employing an attacking 4-3-3 system. Since he took over mid-way through last season 26 out of 32 Ranheim matches have all ended with over 2.5 goals, so you know what you’re going to get with this team. There are players in this squad such as midfielder Mads Reginiussen and wide man Erik Tonne who would not look out of place at Eliteserien level.

When Ranheim are involved, the obvious bet is often taking over 2.5 goals. However, Åsane’s really poor xG stats put me off taking that selection. I am expecting Ranheim to be too strong and get the 3 points. They beat Stjørdals-Blink 1-0 away from home recently and I wouldn’t be surprised if the visitors won this game to nil. They are in good form and a price of 2.10 on them to win looks quite generous. The best bet is to take them on a DNB handicap at 1.57 though. This covers for any potential draw risk. Ranheim have only been beaten by Brann and Stabaek this season so the chances of them losing would logically appear quite low.

Prediction: Ranheim Draw no Bet, 1.57 on Betfair (⭐⭐⭐⭐)


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