The Scandinavian leagues that have been running throughout the summer have been a happy hunting ground for bettors and we are hoping that this Sunday is no different.
We have consistently found value in these games over the summer break and that doesn’t stop here, with enticing betting tips coming from the Norwegian Eliteserien and the Swedish Allsvenskan. We take a close look at the title races in both countries, with Viking and Bodo/Glimt facing off in a huge Eliteserien clash, whilst Elfsborg’s Allsvenskan title charge seems to have hit a stumbling block.
We have also delved into the second tiers in these nations, with games from both the Swedish Superettan and the Norwegian OBOS Ligaen. All four leagues are well past the halfway point of the season and things are really starting to heat up at both ends of the table, which usually makes for excellent value bet opportunities, and you can rest assured that our experts will find them.
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Sunday’s European League Best Bets
Kongsvinger v Raufoss
The big success story in the Norwegian OBOS Ligaen before the summer break was the performance of Kongsvinger. Last season they lost in the promotion/relegation playoff match but seem determined to go one better this time around. They hired Vegard Hansen as their new manager at the start of the year, someone who is a promotion expert especially from this division.
In 16 years managing Mjøndalen he managed to gain a lot of experience at this level of football, obtaining several promotions and also regularly being involved in the playoff system. He is the Norwegian equivalent of a Mick McCarthy, Steve Bruce or Neil Warnock. Kongsvinger won seven of their last eight games prior to the summer break and have a very strong home record (6-0-1). They also have the second best defensive record in the OBOS Ligaen which is not a surprise considering Hansen is known for being more of a cautious tactician type of manager.
It is no surprise to see Kongsvinger as a strong home favourite this weekend. Raufoss have the worst away record in the Norwegian OBOS Ligaen and have not travelled well this season. The visitors have lost six out of eight away games and only scored five goals in the process. Raufoss are one of those teams who have been underperforming with their metrics at both ends of the field.
Their xG is 20.85 but they’ve only netted 17 goals, whilst their 32 goals conceded far surpasses their xGA of 19.35. This suggests that they have major problems in both boxes either converting chances or conceding too many goals due to bad luck or individual errors. The simple fact is they are a part time team who generally lack the quality. They will probably finish in mid to lower table and don’t have the resources and overall class when facing the better teams in the division.
Backing Kongsvinger to win at 1.40 is an obvious bet but sometimes these types of bets are the best ones. It is a clear case of one of the best teams in the OBOS with a favourable matchup vs a terrible away side. Kongsvinger are very much a result team and can get the business done either in a shootout or grind out a tough 1-0. The hosts are difficult to ignore in this game.
Sandnes Ulf v Sogndal
Both teams had promotion aspirations heading into this season but so far only Sogndal have lived up to that billing. The visitors are situated third in the Norwegian OBOS Ligaen table at the halfway stage of the season whereas Sandnes have been disappointing in 11th. The main issue for the home team has been conceding too many goals.
They’ve kept just two clean sheets in their last 11 games and have been plagued by defensive inadequacies all year. Sandnes have an average xG of 1.46 per match which is the fifth worst of any team in the OBOS Ligaen. At least they have some attacking firepower themselves and have scored 20 goals in their last eight games. Sandnes won their most recent match just prior to the summer break which was a stunning 5-0 success away at Ranheim.
Sogndal, who are managed by former Chelsea striker Tore Andre Flo also managed to score five goals the last time they played. They hammered Jerv 5-1 and prior to that they won 4-2 away at Skeid. Sogndal have generally been too inconsistent under Flo since he took charge at the start of last season but on their day, they are capable of beating anyone.
It is not a surprise to see them have the third best average xG out of any team (1.53). It is somewhat encouraging that Sogndal don’t rely on any one individual for goals and the whole squad contributes. Midfielder Kristoffer Nesso and winger Jonatan Ingi Jonsson have been standout players this season.
Over 2.5 goals can definitely be considered here at 1.44 but both teams to score yes looks more reliable. This is simply based on the offensive strength that both teams provide and taking this option covers the 1-1 draw which is a slight danger for anyone backing the overs. The achilles heel for both sides is at the back and it is difficult to see either keeping a clean sheet. Sandnes have lost impressive defensive midfielder Mathias Emilsen who has returned to Vålerenga after a strong loan spell. That will further weaken them defensively and add further weight to both teams scoring.
Elfsborg v Sirius
Elfsborg’s were charging towards the Swedish Allsvenskan crown looking in great shape until last week’s encounter with Häcken. With the latter reduced to ten men for more than half the game, the league leaders were expected to push on and secure the victory. Instead, despite creating some danger themselves, they were picked apart on the counter in the second half and ended up losing by a 3-1 scoreline. Certainly, a miscalculation, making the chasing duo of Häcken and Malmö smell blood.
Nonetheless, Elfsborg have an incredible resilience and experience in the squad which few other teams can come close to. They should be able to move past the defeat in swift fashion and kick on against one of the worst sides in the division. Elfsborg have made light work of dispatching some of their lesser Allsvenskan opponents this season, scoring three goals or more on no less than six occasions already.
Sirius, conversely, are struggling at the wrong end of the table, hovering just above the relegation zone only due to a small resurgence before the summer break. Before then, they went nine consecutive matches without a victory to start the campaign and have, since the league’s resumption, only mustered a single win among four defeats.
While the schedule hasn’t been the kindest, an improvement in form is needed in order to avoid the drop. The squad, unfortunately, is severely lacking in quality and depth and there are limited goal threats, especially after Christian Kouakou’s departure. 21 goals in 17 matches is still better than most of their relegation rivals, but if they can’t keep clean sheets, not much will change.
With Elfsborg able to unlock even the best of defences in a number of ways, we should not expect Sirius’ fortunes to turn around just yet.
Skovde v Västerås
As we head into the second-half of the Swedish Superettan campaign, these two sides begin the weekend’s round of fixtures at opposite ends of the table with very different objectives for the final 14 matches of the campaign.
Last season, Skövde finished fifth in the table, just a few points behind third-placed Osters, who were beaten in the Swedish Allsvenskan/Superettan relegation/promotion playoff encounter. This time around, though, they have dropped significantly and face relegation into the regionalised third-tier of Swedish football.
After 16 games of the season, they sit rock-bottom in the Swedish Superettan.
The visitors come into this off the back of a continuation of their fine form with a 1-0 win at home to Gefle in their most recent outing, last weekend. That victory has extended Västerås’ current winning streak to six matches in the Superettan, either side of the mid-summer break, moving them level with Utsiktens at the top-of-the-table but with an inferior goal difference.
Västerås, under the management of Kalle Karlsson, are performing above all pre-season expectations, much like their league leading rivals Utsiktens. Their most recent Allsvenskan campaign was all the way back in 1997 and they were a third-tier side as recently as 2018.
This appears to be a bit of a mis-match and despite Skӧvde’s home advantage, their title challenging opponents are firm favourites for this one.
Sandefjord v Sarpsborg
There was a shock win last week for Sandefjord as they went to Valerenga and prevailed 3-2. A late goal earned them a vital three points which has currently moved them out of the bottom two places. It was a victory which didn’t look like coming and in all truth, it was hard to see when Sandefjord’s next win was going to arrive. From a defensive perspective they have been a total disaster this season, and have conceded 26 goals in their last eight league games.
That is a huge figure, and they have the worst xGA average of any team in the Norwegian Eliteserien (1.89). Sandefjord know they aren’t going to survive by keeping things tight at the back and their only hope is to win a few shootouts. They do retain a decent enough counter-attacking threat and can be dangerous from set pieces. There could be some serious gremlins in their mind after losing 6-1 to Sarpsborg in the reverse fixture only a few weeks ago.
The visitors should of course take great confidence from the fact they smashed Sandefjord back in early July. Sarpsborg are one of the most exciting teams in the Norwegian Eliteserien and the style they play is extremely entertaining. Manager Stefan Billborn only really knows how to employ attacking and positive tactics. Sarpsborg are not a very adaptable team and will play hard on the front foot with aggressive pressing and risk taking.
Sarpsborg have only kept 1 clean sheet in their last 12 games which rather sums up their football. They do pack plenty of attacking punch though and netted at least once in all of those contests. One statistic which really stands out is their average xG of 2.03 per 90 mins. Only table toppers Bodø/Glimt have a better xG so it’s clear to see that Sarpsborg are regularly creating big chances.
The away side are 1.53 to win here which is a fair enough price. They cannot always be relied upon though due to their defensive deficiencies. Over 2.5 goals at 1.40 looks a far better and more secure bet. The main strength of each team is in attack, and neither can be trusted at the back. There is a history of goals when these sides meet such as the 6-1 earlier this season and a 4-3 outcome last year. The overs stand out like a sore thumb and there should logically be at least three goals in this match.
Viking v Bodø/Glimt
Both teams were unusually involved in two low scoring matches last week but it is difficult to ignore the prospect of goals in this top of the Norwegian Eliteserien fixture. Viking have won seven consecutive matches and know if they can beat Glimt here in addition to their game in hand and they would tie level at the summit of the Eliteserien. If Viking can win this game, then the title race is most definitely back on although it is Bodø/Glimt who head into the match as 2.30 favourites.
Viking have been a big surprise this year. Nobody really knew what to expect from them, but fifth or sixth spot looked like their ceiling. They have reeled off 11 out of 16 victories though including the aforementioned recent run of seven straight wins. Viking have clear offensive strengths and netted 36 goals this season averaging an impressive 1.75 xG per 90 minutes. They are a strong attacking unit.
Bodø/Glimt are the highest scoring team in the Eliteserien and racked up a massive 43 goals. They have the best underlying metrics in the division with an average xG of 2.32 and an xGA of 1.10. Glimt have looked more vulnerable defensively recently though and have conceded 11 goals in their last nine matches in all competitions. They can leave themselves open and exposed at the back which is where Trømso managed to exploit them last week.
Viking have some fast transition players and skilful individuals such as Zlatko Tripic and Lars Jorgen Salvesen so should be able to at least get on the scoresheet here. Goals always flow when these two teams meet with ten of the last H2H meetings all ending with over 2.5 goals. Some of the results have been wild such as 5-3 and 5-4 victories for Bodø/Glimt last season.
New Glimt midfielder Tobias Gulliksen, who has been signed from Stromsgodset, could make his debut here. He replaced the outgoing Hugo Vetlesen who was sold for a hefty £7.75 million to Belgian side Club Brugge. Gulliksen will add some extra creative spark to their midfield and could make an immediate difference.
It is very hard to argue against over 2.5 goals here and the odds are surprisingly generous at 1.40. Both sides are really strong offensively and it’s difficult to envisage anything other than a shootout. Over 3.5 goals is also very backable at 1.90 but taking the over 2.5 option looks very secure.
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Written by an Andy verified content writer
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