A couple of dramatic fixtures between teams near the top and bottom of the table offer up excellent betting opportunities on the last weekend of the regular season in France, writes James Eastham...
"Toulouse have failed to win any of their last five home matches (W0-D4-L1) and have won just one of their last 12 games home and away (W1-D7-L4)."
Best Bet: Dijon to win at Toulouse @ [2.98]
Toulouse v Dijon (11th v 16th)
Sat, 20:00 BST
Toulouse are [2.56] favourites to win on Saturday night, which makes little sense when you look at Toulouse's recent form and how much more at stake there is for Dijon.
In mid-table with nothing to play for, Toulouse have been drifting for weeks. They've failed to win any of their last five home matches (W0-D4-L1) and have won just one of their last 12 games home and away (W1-D7-L4). Those deeply unimpressive stats, together with the fact that this game simply doesn't matter to them, makes it hard to fathom why they're such short odds to win.
Visitors Dijon are one of five sides that go into the final matchday battling to avoid relegation. They're currently outside the bottom three but the only way they can be sure of staying up is to win, meaning they'll be fully fired-up.
Dijon arrive in good form, too, having run out highly convincing 2-0 winners at home to relegation rivals Nancy last weekend. On the back of that victory Olivier Dall'Oglio's players will be confident of picking up at least a point.
Dijon are a tempting bet at [2.98], or you can back them with a small start on the Asian Handicap at [1.85]. With the Asian Handicap wager you'll make a profit if Dijon win or the game ends in a draw. With nothing at stake for the hosts, however, we're backing Dijon to win.
Dijon @ [2.98]
These two games pitch sides chasing a Europa League place (Marseille and Bordeaux) against sides fighting to stay out of the bottom three (Bastia and Lorient). We ought to witness two highly entertaining games between four sides that are obliged to play to win.
Marseille are [1.34] favourites to get the victory they need to be sure of finishing in the Europa League positions. They have a formidable collection of attacking talent (Dimitri Payet is suspended, but Remy Cabella is a good understudy) and will be confident of getting the early goal that would see this game open up. Bastia head into the weekend in the automatic relegation positions so will be forced to throw caution to the wind if they fall behind.
In the other match, Lorient look set to take an attacking approach against Bordeaux. The Brittany outfit have to win to be sure of finishing outside the automatic relegation positions (19th and 20th) and to give themselves the best possible chance of moving out of the bottom three altogether (this season the team that finishes 18th faces a playoff against the team that finishes 3rd in Ligue 2). Lorient have been a better attacking than defensive side all season - they're the 16th-highest scorers in Ligue 1 but have the second-worst defensive record.
Bordeaux have to win and then hope Marseille drop points at home to Bastia in order to clinch the final automatic Europa League place. The visitors will attack knowing they can exploit the fact the hosts also have to play to win and are likely to leave gaps at the back.
Normally Over 2.5 Goals is around evens or odds-against on Ligue 1 matches. The prices on Over 2.5 Goals are shorter here - [1.48] in the Marseille v Bastia game, [1.58] in the Lorient v Bordeaux game - because all four teams will play to win. By putting the two matches in an Over 2.5 Goals double, however, the odds are worth taking.
Over 2.5 Goals @ [2.34]
James' 2016/17 P/L