Ligue 1 Betting: Bordeaux and Valenciennes a pair of odds-on lays on a weekend for the underdog
James Eastham says hosts won't have things all their own way in France this weekend.
"Bordeaux have won just five of their 14 home games all season so their odds-on price looks too short"
Bordeaux v Lorient (9th v 8th) Sat, 19:00 GMT
We've opposed Bordeaux at home several times this season and I'm happy to do so again this weekend.
Bordeaux's home stats make a mockery of the [1.92] on them winning this game. Their W5-D6-L3 record puts them 15th out of 20 teams in the home form league table. As an essentially counter-attacking side, Bordeaux struggle to create clear scoring chances when the onus is on them to make the play. This explains why they have scored just 12 times in 14 home matches - the joint-lowest scoring tally at home this season.
Lorient are hopeful 11-goal top scorer Jeremie Aliadiere will be back after injury. If so, they will expect to collect a point, because the league table shows they are Bordeaux's equals (Lorient sit one place and one point above them in the standings) and they have the ability to frustrate Bordeaux at one end while creating chances at the other.
I would back the draw at [3.45] or lay Bordeaux at [1.94].
Valenciennes v Bastia (12th v 14th) Sat, 19:00 GMT
The 2012-13 campaign has turned into a season of two halves for Valenciennes.
As high as fifth in December, the Nordistes played some sparkling football from August to December. Since the turn of the year, though, their form has plummeted. They are bottom of the table based on results over the past 10 games (W1-D4-L5), with just six goals scored in those 10 matches. It's difficult to say why they have performed so poorly over the past three months, although the January sales of underrated centre-half Gil (Corinthians) and playmaker Foued Kadir (Marseille) didn't help.
Bastia are unbeaten in three of their past four games and go into this match on the back of a 4-1 victory over Lyon a fortnight ago. The scoreline flattered the Corsicans but they will travel to northern France with plenty of confidence.
At [1.93], Valenciennes are too short. I would lay the hosts.
Rennes v Nancy (10th v 20th) Sat, 19:00 GMT
Nancy may struggle to win this game but I would give them a good chance of scoring.
The Lorraine outfit are rock bottom of the table but have found the net at least once in 17 of their last 19 league games. Their inability to score more than once in matches and to keep clean sheets explains their lowly position.
Nancy's scoring stats, and Rennes' poor defensive record - they have conceded in seven of their last eight league games - makes both teams to score the smart selection. Rennes have been less effective going forward since losing 10-goal left winger Romain Alessandrini to injury last month, but the expected return of Julien Feret (nine goals) is a boost this weekend.
Rennes look a little short at [1.74], but instead of opposing the hosts I would back both teams to find the net.
James Eastham has made 15.62pts from 97pts staked on Ligue 1 matches this season (16.1% ROI). You can follow him on twitter: @james_eastham