Odd v Vålerenga
I have to say I was impressed with Odd last week. They had struggled on the road for quite some time but put up a really good performance away at Godset, winning 3-2. Bear in mind that was against one of the in-form teams in the league at a difficult location. Clearly, it shows that Odd aren’t willing to give up on their outside chance of a gold medal just yet. Knowing their manager Dag-Eilev Fagermo he will just want the team to finish as high as possible though. He’s a winner through and through and even a dead rubber is something he’d demand success in. Odd have been excellent at home this season and possess a stunning 10-2-0 record, the best in the entire Eliteserien. Only Molde and Rosenborg have managed to obtain anything at the Skagerak Arena and this place has become a total fortress.
Travelling here are a Vålerenga team who continue to underachieve. It’s now 9 games without a win for Ronny Deila’s men after they could only draw 1-1 vs Ranheim last weekend. To be fair, it was a much improved performance from VIF, but then again you’d expect it to be. Ranheim are one of the worst sides in the Eliteserien and it’s the sort of fixture VIF should be winning all day long. In terms of league position, 9th place with 28 points doesn’t put ‘Enga in any real danger yet. But the pressure is certainly on and you just feel that Deila’s time will be up in Oslo after this season whatever happens. Nobody in the team is particularly playing well right now and you can just sense there is a noose around their neck restricting their belief and confidence.
When you consider Odd’s amazing home record, current form and the plight of Vålerenga, the obvious pick here is to back the men in white. I am surprised they can be taken straight on the nose around the 1.85 mark. I would personally make Odd -0.75 or even -1 Asian Handicap favourites here. I just don’t see any recent signs that this one will go against the formbook. VIF are either going to have to get really lucky or dramatically improve to get anywhere close to Odd in this game. In Torgeir Børven, Odd have the Eliteserien top scorer in their ranks. He’s fired in 17 goals and you’d be brave to bet against him finding the back of the net again here. I just think in all areas of the pitch it’s a mismatch at the moment though and I see no department where ‘Enga have the edge. Odd take this one fairly comfortably in my opinion.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Odd -0.50 at 1.840
Tromsø v Kristiansund
It suddenly looks like Tromsø are a team in trouble. Perhaps this has been brewing up for a while now but in recent weeks certain performances have left a lot to be desired. Sunday evening’s derby defeat to local rivals Bodø/Glimt 4-0 was a shambolic defensive display and they were honestly lucky not to concede 6 or 7 goals. It looked at one stage as if TIL would be raising their bat to an unwanted half century of conceded goals, in just 23 games! As things stand their 48 shipped in at the back is by far the worst in the league. When you are letting in an average of more than 2 goals per game it’s always going to be extremely difficult to pick up points. I would say tactical inconsistency along with the sheer fact that some of their players simply aren’t good enough defenders at this level are to blame.
This looks like a tough time to be facing a Kristiansund team, who as usual are finishing the season strongly. KBK are unbeaten in 6 straight games and have been playing some good football of late. The addition of Amahl Pellegrino has been excellent, whilst striker Flamur Kastrati seems to have found his mojo following some injury problems. There’s no real pressure on Kristiansund at the moment and they can just enjoy their football with freedom. It looks like they will have another good chance of finishing in the top half of the table and could even squeeze fifth spot with a very strong ending to the campaign. There is really good balance and an excellent atmosphere around the KBK squad at the moment and they will be confident heading up north this weekend.
It is worth noting that since Kristiansund obtained promotion to the Eliteserien in 2017, Tromsø have failed to beat them in five attempts. They have lost on all three visits to KBK whilst both fixtures here at Alfheim Stadion have ended draws. TIL are slight favourites on a DNB Asian handicap which is probably just about fair. But I don’t think they are an attractive prospect to back right now and I suspect Kristiansund might do a job on them here. The bet that I like is over 2.5 goals. It’s well documented how poor Tromsø are defensively and probably the only way they can get points right now is to outscore their opponents. Kristiansund aren’t always the most free flowing team in terms of amount of goals but I think they have the type of players who can really hurt Tromsø. Someone like Pellegrino, Gjertsen or Kastrati could have a field day if TIL defend to their normal shambolic capacity. I think there’s potential for goals at both ends with the most likely outcome a 1-2 or 1-3 away victory.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 2.50 goals at 1.890
Preview by: @meatmansoccer.