Thursday’s Norwegian OBOS-Ligaen Best Bets


Kongsvinger v Brann

Thursday 26th May – 5:00PM KO

There is no doubt that Brann are starting to find their stride at OBOS-Ligaen level. They were the red hot pre-season favourites, but some dropped points at home vs Asane and Sogndal raised some question marks. The club from Bergen have been in rich goalscoring form, netting 20 goals in 7 games and head into this match in great form. They beat KFUM Oslo 5-1 away then claimed comfortable 3-0 home victories vs Sandnes and Fredrikstad. All of those sides are fairly respectable, and Brann seem intent on an immediate bounce back promotion. Brann average the highest xG per 90 mins (2.11) which is a really impressive statistic. They also have the best xGA per game (0.63) and statistically are the best outfit in the division. Niklas Castro and Mathias Rasmussen are the top scorers, each with four goals so far this year. Castro is a proven top talent at this level of football, whilst the likes of midfielder Sivert Heltne Nilsen and centre back Fredrik Knudsen are far too good for OBOS-Ligaen football. 

Brann are 2nd in the table and know they need to win this match to keep a gap to the likes of Start and Stabaek who are starting to find some form and creeping up the standings. They travel to a Kongsvinger side who are in 10th place on 7 points. This is a very acceptable start after promotion back into the OBOS-Ligaen, although all the points they’ve obtained have come vs teams below them in the table. It is noticeable how Kongsvinger have only kept one clean sheet all season, a statistic which does not bode well when facing the power of this Brann scoring unit. They have the third worst xGA overall averaging 1.59 per game. On a more positive note, Kongsvinger remain unbeaten at home, although this will be by far their toughest test yet. Former Viking striker Mathias Bringaker, who signed from Sandnes during the winter will lead the line and he’s scored 2 goals in his 6 appearances so far this season.

Brann are in such great form that it makes sense to keep riding them whilst they are hot. They are priced at 1.62 to win outright but possibly a safer pick is for the visitors to score over 1.5 goals. Brann’s away matches this season have ended 4-0, 3-2 and 5-1. Kongsvinger don’t have a great defence so Brann can surely hit the back of the net at least twice. They should win comfortably, but just in case Kongsvinger put up some sort of a fight then I prefer this selection. Brann don’t seem to be the type of team that wins matches 1-0 yet this season which would be the only real danger score.

Prediction: Over 1.5 Brann Goals, 1.57 on Betfair (⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐)

Start v Raufoss

Thursday 26th May – 5:00PM KO

After seven games played, Start are in 3rd place and have found some good form recently. The fully professional club who are one of the favourites for promotion have been especially impressive in the final third of the field. The team managed by Sindre Tjelmeland are the second highest scoring team in the OBOS-Ligaen after Brann. They recently could only draw 2-2 with Ranheim but prior to that smashed a decent Sogndal side 5-1 and comfortably beat strugglers Grorud 3-0. Start average 1.76 xG per 90 mins and their offensive threat is legitimate. They are led by two young stars who are on loan. Jonatan Braut Brunes has scored an astonishing 11 goals in 7 appearances whilst Oskar Fallenius has already racked up 7 assists in the same timeframe. Brunes is a goalscoring machine and in absolutely red hot form. At the other end of the field Start have the 4th best xGA with an average of 1.07 per 90 mins. This team are a big candidate for promotion in what looks to be a very competitive OBOS-Ligaen this season.

Travelling here are a Raufoss side who have only won 1 of their first 7 games. The biggest worry has come in their last two fixtures which resulted in a 1-4 loss at Kongsvinger and then a 0-4 home defeat to Stabaek. They are leaking goals and kept just one clean sheet all season which was against struggling Bryne. Raufoss only just escaped relegation by 3 points last season and are expected to struggle once again this year. Raufoss lack goals and no player has netted more than once for them so far. They are underachieving considering they are 4th in average xG with 1.63 per 90 mins. They are not taking their chances though and don’t seem to have anyone reliable in front of goal. Centre back Nicolai Fremstad is suspended for this match. He has played every minute of their matches this season, so his absence will be a blow.

This is a very obvious pick but Start should win the game. They are priced at just 1.40 to take the victory but they should win with relative ease, so it makes sense to bump up the price and take them to win and score over 1.5 goals. This is at a tastier price of 1.62 and the only danger score would be a 1-0 victory, not something which you expect from such a high scoring side. Maybe Raufoss can get on the scoresheet themselves, but this bet covers a 2-0, 2-1 or 3-2 win so is probably better than taking a -1 handicap selection. Start should have too much firepower overall and claim an easy victory.

Prediction: Start to Win & Over 1.5 Goals, 1.62 on Betfair (⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐)

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