How To Bet On Ligue 1
The rise in popularity of Ligue 1 in recent seasons has likewise seen the growth in Ligue 1 betting. Regarded as one of the most defensive leagues in European football, betting on Ligue 1 offers football punters a range of markets to exploit across the course of the 380 match season. Our detailed How To Bet On Ligue 1 guide will show you to approach this unique football competition.
Ligue 1 Betting: An Introduction
France's Ligue 1 is one of the most popular football leagues in Europe, with a total match attendance figure of almost 8 million people in the 2015/2016 season. Home to some of Europe's most famous and successful clubs, it's a league that has become more popular with bettors from across the world with millions of pounds bet each year on France's top division.
In our How To Bet On Ligue 1 guide, we will discuss in detail how to approach betting on France's top flight division.
2016/2017 Ligue 1 Dates
The Ligue 1 season commences 12th August 2016 and finishes 19th May 2017.
- How Ligue 1 Works
- The History Of Ligue 1 Football
- Ligue 1 Odds Explained
- How To Bet On Ligue 1 And Win
- Ligue 1 Betting Statistics
- Betting On Ligue 1 Online
- Ligue 1 Live Streaming
- Ligue 1 Betting Tips
1. How Ligue 1 Works
Also known as Ligue Un, as the top division of the French football system, Ligue 1 betting is incredibly popular across not only France but Europe. Ligue 1 consists of 20 teams, who play each other twice a season, once at home and once away, for at total of 38 matches each. The Ligue 1 season runs from August to May, with a two week 'Winter Break' starting from the weekend before Christmas and ending in the second week of January.
Ligue 1 Champions
At the completion of the 380 match Ligue 1 schedule, the team with the most points wins the Ligue 1 title. If two or more teams finish on equal points, the title is decided by the following criteria:
- by goal difference
- goals scored
- head to head points
- head to head goal difference
- Fair Play points
In the history of Ligue Un, the title has never been decided by these final methods of classification.
Ligue 1 European Qualification
There are three Champions League places available in Ligue 1. The teams that finish first and second gain automatic entry to the Champions League Group Stages for the following season. The team that finishes in third place are given a Champions League play-off spot, where they enter the qualification rounds at the third stage.
There are also three Europa League places to play for. The Ligue 1 side who finishes in fourth place qualifies for the secondary European club competition. The two other places are given to the winners of the two domestic French cup competitions, the Coup de France and the Coup de la Ligue. However, if the winner(s) of these competitions have already qualified for a European place through their league standings, these two places are given to the two sides who finished fifth and sixth in the Ligue 1 table.
Ligue 1 Relegation
Ligue Un implements a promotion and relegation system with the second tier of French football, Ligue 2. The two teams that finish in the bottom two places of the Ligue 1 table are automatically relegated to Ligue 1, and are replaced by the top two sides of that division.
The side that finishes third from bottom enters a promotion/relegation play-off tie against the team that finished third in Ligue 2. The winners of this tie play Ligue 1 football the season after, with the losers finding themselves in Ligue 2.
Ligue 1 Fixtures
Upcoming Ligue 1 fixtures are displayed below. If you would like to see 1X2 match odds for an individual match, simply click on the matchup link between the two competing clubs. If you would like to download the complete Ligue 1 fixtures list for 2016/17 in Excel spreadsheet format, click here.
Current Ligue 1 Table
2. The History Of Ligue 1 Football
There was no professional football in France prior to the 1932/1933 season, when The National was founded. In it's inaugural season, the 20 teams were split into two groups of ten, with the bottom three of each group relegated to the second tier. The winners of each group then faced each other in a final to decide the overall Champions. The first winners were Olympique Lillois, now known as Lille after they merged with SC Fives in 1944.
The number of teams competing in the French top division has changed over the years. There were 20 in its first season, 14 in the second, when the league was renamed to Division 1, and 16 from 1934/1935 where a promotion as well as relegation system was implemented.
After World War Two, 18 teams were given places in the top tier, and this stayed the same until the 1965/1966 season when this number was increased to 20. The league stayed as Division 1 until 2002, when it was re-branded as Ligue 1.
Since the professional era, there have been 19 clubs who have won France's top tier. Of these 19, 12 have won it two times or more, with Saint Etienne the most successful club, picking up the title on ten occasions.
|Stade de Reims||6||3||1961/1962|
3. Ligue 1 Odds Explained
Understanding Ligue 1 odds and betting markets is absolutely vital for making consistent profits with your Ligue 1 betting. Bookmakers offer Ligue 1 odds on almost everything related to the division, with both Ligue 1 match betting as well league outrights being particularly popular.
Ligue 1 Odds For Individual Matches
There is a diverse range of bet types covering outcomes for each Ligue 1 game. The most popular of these betting markets include:
- Match Result 1X2: Selecting the result (Home win, Draw, Away win) at the end of 90 minutes plus added time.
- Asian Handicap: Selecting the winner with each competing team carrying a goals handicap.
- Goal Total Over/Under: Selecting either over or under a specified number of goals.
For a comprehensive list and detailed descriptions of football bet types, please read our How To Bet On Football - Football Bets Explained guide.
Ligue 1 Title Odds
Many bookmakers offer odds for each Ligue 1 side to win the title. Ligue 1 title odds can be bet on before the season begins and throughout the campaign. These odds can of course, fluctuate as the Ligue 1 season progresses, depending on a team's form, goalscoring record, new signings and so on.
There can also be a difference in Ligue 1 title odds from bookmaker to bookmaker. It is always worth comparing the odds on offer at a variety bookmakers when you want to bet on Ligue 1 title odds to ensure you're getting the best odds possible. Try using Smartbets to compare title odds from a range of bookmakers.
Below we can see an example of Ligue 1 title odds at the start of the 2016/2017 campaign, with odds listed by Ladbrokes. As you can see, the difference in odds from the favourites to the rank outsiders is huge with PSG overwhelming favourites before the season even began. While PSG may have had recent success, it's interesting to know that in the last 15 years, Ligue 1 has seen 8 different champions.
Some bookmakers also offer Each-Way Ligue 1 title odds. This is where you can select a team to win the title and if they finish first or second (and sometimes third) you will still win part of your bet. Each-Way title odds can be significantly reduced from the usual odds, so make sure you're happy with the odds on offer before placing your bet.
Ligue 1 Winner 'Without PSG' Odds
The success of Paris Saint Germain in recent years, (winning four consecutive Ligue 1 title wins) cannot be underestimated. In the 15/16 season PSG won the league at a canter, finishing a massive 31 points ahead of their nearest rivals.
With such a tight grip on the French league, many bookmakers offer Winner Without PSG odds, whereby PSG are hypothetically eliminated from the Ligue 1 table. If you select a team to win Ligue 1 in this market and they finish second behind Paris Saint Germain, your bet wins.
Below you can see an example of Winner Without PSG odds prior to the start of the 2016/17 Ligue 1 season, with odds listed at Coral. You can see that Lyon are favourites in this market, after two consecutive second place finishes to PSG.
Ligue 1 Winner Without PSG is a great market to keep bettors interest in Ligue 1 high throughout the season. By excluding PSG, and selecting another side, it makes betting on the title race far more exciting.
Ligue 1 Top 3 Finish Odds
Betting on the Ligue 1 Top 3 race is another market that offers bettors the chance to make some decent profit. With the reward of a Champions League place for the following season, teams are desperate to finish in the top three positions to ensure they play in Europe's top club competition.
A market such as Ligue 1 top 3 betting provides bettors with many opportunities to find value. Make sure you follow the latest Ligue 1 news and Ligue 1 results as the season progresses and keep an eye out for fluctuating odds.
Below we can see an example of Ligue 1 top 3 odds, with odds listed at Paddy Power prior to the start of the current season. As we should have expected given their status as overwhelming favourites to win Ligue 1, PSG are at odds of 1.004 to finish in the top 3 places in 2016/17. To place this in perspective, you would have to bet £250 on PSG at those odds, in order to win merely £1 profit.
As well as Ligue 1 top 3 odds, some bookmakers also give you the opportunity to select two or all three sides to finish top three, though this of course is much more difficult to predict.
As well as top 3 finish odds some bookmakers also offer odds on:
- Not To Finish Top Three
- To Finish Top Half
- To Finish Bottom Half
To find the bookmaker who offers the markets and bets you want, read our bettingexpert bookmaker review guide to help you pick the bookmaker(s) for you.
Ligue 1 Relegation Odds
It's not just the top end of the table where Ligue 1 outright markets can be found. Just as popular, and sometimes just as financially rewarding is betting on the Ligue 1 relegation odds. Being one of Europe's most popular divisions, teams are desperate to keep their Ligue 1 place.
Here we can see an example of Ligue 1 Relegation Odds prior to the start of the 2016/2017 season, with odds listed by Winner Sport.
The table above is indicative of how those sides recently promoted are the shortest odds to go straight back down to Ligue 2. But it's worth noting that in the last five seasons, out of the 15 teams who gained promotion to Ligue 1, only four have been relegated back the season after.
Like Ligue 1 title odds, there is a huge difference between the odds for favourites to go down to the sides not expected to be anywhere near the drop zone. If we follow Ligue 1 closely, this gives us the opportunity to find value bets, and successfully select a side at reasonable odds.
Again as with betting on the title winners, Ligue 1 relegation odds can fluctuate as the season goes on depending on a team's form and standings. By following the latest Ligue 1 news you give yourself the best chance of spotting odds that are worth betting on.
As well as relegation odds, some bookmakers also offer odds on Not To Be Relegated market, otherwise known as the To Stay Up market.
Ligue 1 Top Goalscorer Odds
Ligue 1 Top Goalscorer odds is a very popular market among football bettors not only in France but across Europe. The league possesses some of the world's best players and as such, Ligue 1 Top Goalscorer market can offer some very tasty odds.
Typically, and as you can see above, the odds on players to finish top scorer are massively shorter if they play for the team(s) expected to be successful (as is the case with PSG's Edinson Cavani). Again, odds on this market can change as the season progresses and can depend on both the club's as well as the player's form.
With Zlatan Ibrahimovic moving to pastures new, after picking up the Ligue 1 Top Goalscorer award in three of the last four seasons, it's going to be an exciting race in 2016/17. Look at those sides who may not necessarily be title challengers but who have good goalscoring records year upon year, or who have quality attacking players who pick up numbers of assists, you might just find yourself a value bet.
Again, the stats associated with Ligue 1 top goalscorer are interesting. In seven of the last ten years the player who has finished the season as top goalscorer has played for the side who won the league that campaign too, something to bear in mind when selecting your top goalscorer bet.
4. How To Bet On Ligue 1 And Win
There are a number of basic principles to keep in mind when betting on football, no matter what league or tournament it may be. These princilpes are the basis of any profitable football betting strategy, and should form the basis of your Ligue 1 betting. If you want to know how to bet on Ligue 1 and earn consistent profits, you should always apply the following:
- Bet only when there is value
- Specialise in certain markets
- Apply a consistent staking method
- Keep detailed records of your bets
- Have accounts with multiple bookmakers
If you want to learn more about the basics of profitable football betting, please refer to our How To Bet On Football And Win guide.
Conduct Regular Research And Analysis
It doesn't matter whether you grew up a fan of Ligue 1 or you're a recent convert to the top flight of French football, at the end of the day, knowledge is power. This is particularly true when it comes to beating the bookmakers. If you want to bet on Ligue 1 and win consistently, you must conduct regular research. Like any elite football competition, bookmakers have some of the sharpest minds and most cutting edge analytical tools at their disposal to compose what are for the most part, extremely accurate odds. You're simply not going to beat the bookmakers long term unless you develop a nuanced perspective of Ligue 1 football.
Ligue 1 Matchup Analyser
If you like stats (and let's face it, if you're into betting, you probably do), the Ligue 1 matchup analyser is your dream come true.
First, select the season and the two competing Ligue 1 clubs that you want to compare and matchup data across a range of statistical categories will be available instantly. To conduct details Ligue 1 betting analysis, simply open and close the tabs below.
If the our Ligue 1 analysis tool doesn't satisfy you, well here are our recommended top sites for additional Ligue 1 stats and news:
- bettingexpert Clash
- FourFourTwo Ligue 1 News
- ESPN Ligue 1 Stats
- Fox Sports Ligue 1 Stats
- WhoScored Ligue 1 Stats
Football Betting Calculator Spreadsheet
To help you keep track of your Ligue 1 betting through the 2016/17 season, we've developed the bettingexpert Football Betting Spreadsheet. The spreadsheet is free and it's easy to use. The sheet allows you to keep track of each Ligue 1 bet you place this season, the odds, the bookmaker you bet with and your overall profit and loss. .
2016/17 Ligue 1 Fixtures Excel Spreadsheet
You can also download the complete 2016/17 Ligue 1 fixture list in excel spreadsheet format. Download it now.
5. Ligue 1 Betting Statistics
Ligue 1 is widely regarded as one of the most defensive football leagues in the world, but how does it compare in terms of goal averages? How often do Ligue 1 matches end without a single goal scored? And what is home field advantage worth in such a defensive league? In this section we'll take a look a close look at Ligue 1 betting statistics, considering data from 1,900 Ligue 1 matches played over the last five seasons, from the start of the 2011/12 season to the end of the 2015/16 season. We will be comparing this Ligue 1 data with nine other top European football leagues.
Please keep in mind that these stats should be considered only as part of your preliminary analysis and as a comparative guide to Ligue 1 and other European leagues. So please don't place bets using this data and this data alone.
5.1 What Is Home Field Advantage Worth In Ligue 1?
Let's begin our analysis by looking at home field advantage in Ligue 1. The table below shows the winning percentages for both home and away clubs in Ligue 1 and across ten European leagues the last five seasons.
|League||Home Win %||Draw %||Away Win %|
|French Ligue Un||45.1%||27.4%||27.5%|
|Belgian Pro League||46.5%||25.0%||28.5%|
|English Premier League||44.5%||25.2%||30.3%|
|Italian Serie A||45.2%||27.0%||27.8%|
|Russian Premier League||43.8%||26.5%||29.7%|
|Spanish La Liga||47.9%||23.5%||28.6%|
As far as home club winning percentages go, Ligue 1 home clubs performed pretty much to the ten league average the last five season, with home teams winning 45.1% of matches played compared to the ten league average of 45.3%. In terms of competition points won, the average Ligue 1 home club earned 1.627 points per home match the last five seasons, compared to the ten league average of 1.612. Away clubs in Ligue 1 earned an average of 1.099 per match compared to the ten league average of 1.135.
But in terms of an actual goal advantage, what was home field advantage worth in Ligue 1? The table below shows the average goals scored for both home and away clubs across the last five seasons of play.
|League||Home Goals||Away Goals||Home Advantage|
|French Ligue Un||1.44||1.07||+0.37|
|Belgian Pro League||1.62||1.22||+0.40|
|English Premier League||1.54||1.19||+0.35|
|Italian Serie A||1.50||1.14||+0.36|
|Russian Premier League||1.39||1.08||+0.31|
|Spanish La Liga||1.63||1.13||+0.50|
We can see that while Ligue 1 on average saw fewer goals (2.51 per match to the average of 2.73) home field advantage was +0.37 goals, the same as the ten league average. This +0.37 goal advantage translates to a +0.74 goal swing between an averahe Ligue 1 team playing a home match as opposed to that same average Ligue 1 team playing an away match.
The table below shows the average differential between a club's home goal difference and their away goal difference in Ligue 1 matches played over the last five seasons. For example, Bastia have been on average a +1.10 goal better team at home in Ligue 1 matches played the last five seasons as opposed to away. This was the greatest differential in home and away form of Ligue 1 clubs during this span.
5.2 How Often Are Ligue 1 Matches Drawn At Halftime?
Considering its defensive reputation, how often were Ligue 1 matches drawn at halftime in recent seasons? Ligue 1 matches were drawn at halftime in just under 44% of matches played the last five seasons. This was the highest rate of halftime draws with Serie A matches drawn at the half 43.7% of the time, with both leagues above the ten league average of 41.5%.
|League||Home Win %||Draw %||Away Win %|
|French Ligue Un||34.2%||43.9%||21.9%|
|Belgian Pro League||34.4%||42.6%||23.0%|
|English Premier League||34.0%||42.3%||23.7%|
|Italian Serie A||34.5%||43.7%||21.8%|
|Russian Premier League||34.5%||42.3%||23.2%|
|Spanish La Liga||37.4%||40.0%||22.6%|
5.3 How Often Do Ligue 1 Home Clubs Lead Halftime/Fulltime?
Again, considering its defensive reputation, we would expect Ligue 1 matches to perform above average in terms of matches ending drawn at the half, drawn at fulltime. In fact just under 17% of Ligue 1 matches finished in such a manner, below Serie A that saw a rate of 17.3%.
5.4 Who Wins When A Ligue 1 Match Is Drawn At Halftime?
When Ligue 1 matches were tied at the halftime break, how often did home clubs win? How often did away Ligue 1 clubs win? How in how many Ligue 1 matches did the fulltime result remain drawn? The table below shows the chances of each across ten leagues the last five season.
|League||Home Win %||Draw %||Away Win %|
|French Ligue Un||37.9%||38.4%||23.7%|
|Belgian Pro League||37.9%||37.9%||24.2%|
|English Premier League||36.0%||36.8%||27.2%|
|Italian Serie A||36.5%||39.5%||24.0%|
|Russian Premier League||33.7%||38.5%||27.8%|
|Spanish La Liga||38.1%||36.6%||25.3%|
Ligue 1 matches didn't skew too far from the averages here. While we have seen that a higher rate of Ligue 1 matches were drawn at the half, coming out of a halftime result, Ligue 1 matches tend to play out similarily to other leagues.
5.4 What Is The Most Common Winning Margin In Ligue 1?
How often did Ligue 1 matches end with margins of at least three goals? The table below displays a break down of match results, based on fulltime margins across ten leagues the last five seasons.
|League||Home 3+||Home 2||Home 1||Draw||Away 1||Away 2||Away 3 +|
Ligue 1 saw the lowest rate of matches ending with a minimum margin of 3 goals, with 12.5% of games seeing such blowouts, 9% for home teams and 3.5% for away clubs, while Serie A saw 13% of matches end in such a manner. Both were well below the ten league average of 16%.
5.5 How Often Do Ligue 1 Matches End Over 2.5 Goals?
So let's now see how Ligue 1 performed in terms of goal totals. In particular, what percentage of Ligue 1 matches that finished under 2.5 goals? The table below shows the Over/Under results for Ligue 1 matches compared to ten major European leagues the last five seasons.
|League||Over 1.5||Under 1.5||Over 2.5||Under 2.5||Over 3.5||Under 3.5|
As we would have expected, on average just 44.6% of Ligue 1 matches exceeded 2.5 goals, well below the ten league average of 51.1%. Even the defensively minded Serie A saw 48.3% of matches end with at least three goals. Only 24.9% of Ligue 1 matches ended with at minimum of four goals, far below the ten league average of 30%.
5.6 How Often Do Both Teams Score In Ligue 1 Matches?
Over the last five seasons, how often did Ligue 1 matches end with both teams scoring? The table below shows the percentage of Ligue 1 matches that ended with either both teams scoring or either one team/neither team scoring.
|League||Both Teams To Score Yes||Both Teams To Score No|
|French Ligue Un||49.7%||50.3%|
|Belgian Pro League||54.4%||45.6%|
|English Premier League||51.3%||48.7%|
|Italian Serie A||51.0%||49.0%|
|Russian Premier League||47.0%||53.0%|
|Spanish La Liga||49.7%||50.3%|
Considering its defensive attitude and low scoring rates, we may have expected Ligue 1 to show low eates of both teams scoring. But in fact we can see that while below the average, almost 50% of Ligue 1 matches ended with both clubs on the scoreboard. In fact, four other leagues ended with either the same rate or lower.
5.7 How Often Do Ligue 1 Matches End Scoreless?
What percentage of Ligue 1 matches end without a goal scored? The table below displays how often the home club scored first, how often the away club scored first plus the overall rate of scoreless matches the last five seasons across ten major European leagues.
|League||Home Scores First||Away Scores First||Match Ends Scoreless|
As we may have expected, Ligue 1 saw a high rate of scoreless matches, with 8.4% of all matches played ending without a goal scored the last five seasons. This was the highest of our ten leagues, with only Serie A seeing a higher rate of scoreless contests at 8.5%.
6. Betting On Ligue 1 Online
Choosing an online bookmaker for your Ligue 1 betting can at first seem a little daunting. As a league steadily increasing in popularity, the number of bookmakers offering Ligue 1 odds has likewise grown, not to mention the range of betting markets available on both Ligue 1 matches as well as league outrights.
Regardless of the football league you want to bet on, there are a number of key criteria any bookmaker must satisfy before you sign up and deposit funds. Whether it's Ligue 1 or another popular European league, the following must be considered before you register with any bookmaker:
- The bookmaker's reputation and media profile.
- The diversity of Ligue 1 odds and markets available.
- Ligue 1 In-Play betting markets and Cash Out available.
- Ligue 1 betting odds and bookmaker commissions.
- Mobile betting for Ligue 1 games.
- Welcome Bonus, Ligue 1 free bets and other promotional offers.
To learn more about selecting a suitable Ligue 1 bookmaker, please consult our Football Bookmakers guide.
To read detailed reviews of over 50 online bookmakers, please visit our Bookmaker Reviews listing.
For all the latest Ligue 1 free bets and promotions available, please visit our Free Bets listing.
7. Ligue 1 Live Streaming
Coverage of Ligue 1 matches is available all over the world. Canal+ and beIN Sports have the rights to broadcast live Ligue 1 matches predominantly in France and in other countries across the globe, broadcasting the matches themselves or through sister channels in Europe, Africa, the Americas and China.
There are a number of channels offering live streams of French league games, such as Sportv and TV5 Monde. BT Sport also offer live Ligue 1 games in the UK.
8. Ligue 1 Betting Tips
While it may not have the stature of leagues such as the English Premier League or La Liga, Ligue 1 still generates a tremendous amount of interest within the bettingexpert community. Tipsters from France and all over Europe posts dozens of tips week in and week out during the Ligur 1 season.
While it would be fantastic if each of our Ligue 1 tipsters was profitable, it's simply unrealistic to expect that to be the case. At bettingexpert, we're all about transparency, providing you with intimate details of each tipsters performance, not just in Ligue 1, but in every league or tournament they have posted tips in. This way, you can select to follow the tips of only the best Ligue 1 tipsters at bettingexert.
Best Ligue 1 Tipsters 2015/16
The table below presents our top Ligue 1 tipsters from the 2015/16 season. Which of our best Ligue 1 tipsters will show us the profits again in 2016/17?
For the latest tips, please visit our Ligue 1 Betting Tips page.
To learn more about betting tips, please read our guide to following betting tips.