Learn all about betting on Ligue 1 . French professional football did not exist until 1932, and rugby was king at that time in the Hexagon. But the new sport gained ground and followers fast enough in France. And now betting is crazy as far as Ligue 1 is concerned. 76 clubs have played in Ligue 1 so far.
The first French league has also gone through many reforms to become what it is today. It started with 20 teams divided into two groups of 10 whose winners disputed the grand final of the championship. The first club to achieve the professional status was Olympique Lillois, and until 1939, when the World War II began, only Sete and Sochaux became champions, both twice, Marseille once and Racing Club de France once. From the moment of its establishment until today no fewer than 76 clubs have set foot on the stage of French football. Of the 20 founders only Marseille, Montpellier, Nice and Rennes are still playing in the first league today.
With this aura, it is clear that Ligue 1 quickly won fans everywhere, and that could not be speculated in bets. The problem with the French is that they are betting on their matches abroad, with the Government of Paris having stringent requirements regarding gambling and sports betting, which are forbidden in the city but allowed only in particular places. This makes them inaccessible to the masses, and therefore Ligue 1 is most sought after by bettors outside the borders.
The most powerful teams in Ligue 1
Ligue 1 value boomed after most clubs came into the hands of wealthy owners, and the money from TV rights, marketing, and tickets began to flow in. That made most teams afford the acquisition of valuable players and each match to become a gladiator battle. The game was reset after the Qatari princes bought Paris Saint Germain and monopolised Ligue 1. The team from the capital won five of the last six seasons and seemed unstoppable. Monaco, another team under the auspices of a Russian owner, forced them to take a break last year and this season will most likely finish second. Marseille and Lyon rank 3rd and 4th and hope they will soon be able to play against PSG with equal chances of winning.
Historically speaking, regarding the strongest teams in Ligue 1, things are changing because not necessarily those currently on the rise are the most titled. Saint-Etienne has 10 titles, most in the history of French football, Nantes 8, and Bordeaux and Reims, the last in Ligue 2, 6 each.
Ligue 1 takes place as a season with 380 matches
The number of teams in Ligue 1 and the French first league format have changed many times since 1932. Since the 2002-2003 season, Ligue 1 has entered a new era and stayed with 20 teams. That means 38 rounds of 10 matches, that is, a total of 380 matches per year in the championship. The League Cup and the French Cup are something else, and they also wear out the players but offer extra betting options for those who love the Hexagon football.
Regarding stakes, it is quite clear: to qualify in European Cups and avoid relegation. From the rebranding season, the champion and the 2nd ranked team go straight into the Champions League groups, 3rd into the League as well but in the preliminaries, while the 4th and 5th ranked teams get the consolation from the Europa League. The the last two teams will relegate, while the 18th will meet the 3rd ranked in the Ligue 2.
The impact of the Ligue 1 on European level is weak
The French teams can be as charming in the domestic championship, as they have been disappointing in the history of the continent. At the European level, only Marseille managed to raise a cup over the head at the Champions League of 1993 after a memorable final with AC Milan. Apart from that, they lost many finals, both in the Champions League and the UEFA Cup, today’s Europa League. Reims was also a two-time finalist in 1956 when it was also the first final of the European Champions’ Cup in history, and in 1959, both lost to Real Madrid. Saint-Etienne was also one step away from victory in 1976, but Bayern stole its dream, and Marseille suffered a significant defeat with Red Belgrade in 1991 in a final in Bari and lost on penalties.
In the UEFA Cup or today’s European League, it was even more agonising. Bastia, Bordeaux and Marseille were twice defeated in the finals with PSV Eindhoven, Bayern Munich, Parma and Valencia.
Marseille, Queen of Ligue 1 Cheats
As we said, France is not a very permissive country with sports betting and gambling, although this phenomenon is blooming on its southern Riviera. But the Principality of Monaco is another country, and the French found a scapegoat in that explanation. Thus, scandals related to gambling were not too many, although they often hit the Hexagon headlines.
There was a big one that shook France, and Olympique Marseille was in the lead role together with its legendary owner, Bernard Tapie. In 1993, when OM was preparing for the Champions League final with Milan, which it would win 1-0, Marseille tried to fix a championship match with Valencienne, but the ones who were supposed to tank the game revealed everything. Jacques Glassmann, Jorge Burruchaga and Christophe Robert were contacted by Jean-Jacques Eydelie, a Marseilles player, who offered them a sum of money to get the OM victory, but mainly to not play hard and not accuse any of the Marseille players before the Grand Final in the League.
The cost was the relegation of Marseille right after winning the championship, they were stripped of their title, and Tapie was sent to jail. OM returned to the first division after two years but needed another 10 to become a French football force. And all because of a single fixed match that Marseille did not need that much. Of course, there may have been other hidden issues. Even so, the match-fixing does not seem to have rooted from gambling, but from something bigger.
Under 2.5 goals – the most common bets
Anyone looking at the French championship knows it’s not a very technical one. Ligue 1 brings speed and rhythm to football but also hesitation upon completion or assists for instance. Thus few goals are scored in the first French league, and that’s why the odds are very high, over 2.1, for minimum three goals in a match. Thus, betting under this limit is one of the punters’ favourites, alongside perhaps the famous X at halftime/ fulltime.
Ligue 1, difficult to analyse
That is not because we do not have reliable sources, but because the French Championship offers the most significant and most often surprises, which makes it at least very difficult to analyse with standard arguments. Thus, with a few small exceptions offered by the top teams, Ligue 1 is complete madness, similar to the lottery, and just the inspiration of the moment can make you earn money only from the French championship. An example of this is the 2018 champion, PSG, which has two defeats, one with Strasbourg, a team from the bottom of the standings, and three draws, of which one in Montpellier, ranked 8th.
Where to bet on French Ligue 1
The French championship is also part of the excellent gallery of top leagues that no bookie can afford to leave behind or underestimate. However, the best bookmakers where you can bet on Ligue 1 can also be chosen according to the number of special offers, bonuses, increased odds or the ability to livestream your favourite matches.
Marseille – PSG the famous derby that brings the cards
France is not the most peaceful country in the world, and the fans from the Hexagon know how to stand up when it comes to rivalries. By far the bloodiest of all is Marseille – PSG, considered the classic of Ligue 1 and a sort of Barcelona – Real Madrid from Spain. The Derby of the Olympians, Marseille – Lyon, is also very attractive to the public and the media, and Nantes – Saint-Etienne, the shock between two teams that were once the most titled in France, but now only the fans and Wikipedia got to know that. We do not have to forget when it comes to the famous derby in Ligue 1 of the Corsican War, Bastia – Ajaccio, where the number of police forces often exceeds that of the fans.
Betting on Ligue 1 is hard
At one of the previous points, we have mentioned that Ligue 1 is a hard-to-pinpoint championship. However, after long studies, one aspect comes out to the surface in this crazy first French league: the strength of home play. It is valid especially for the the top 4 ranked. The PSG did not lose any points on its own in the first 33 stages of the 2017-2018 season, Monaco lost one match on Louis II, and Lyon and Marseille bowed twice in front of their fans. You can have this as a tip or recommendation for future bets on Ligue 1.