Our League Scouts have scoured the fixture list to find the games which provide the best bets here on Sunday.
We will be taking in games from across Scandinavia, with ties in the Swedish Allsvenskan alongside a full slate of games in the Norwegian Eliteserien.
Bodo/Glimt against Molde has all the makings of a potential banana skin game for runaway leaders Bodo, whilst third-placed Brann will hope to narrow the gap at the top before that evening clash gets underway to put maximum pressure on the league leaders.
We have you covered with the best bets today for leagues across the continent, and to take advantage of these you can sign up to Betfair via the offer below. Sign up to Betfair, deposit £5 on any game and get £20 in free bets:
Sunday’s Best Bets
IFK Norrköping v BK Häcken
Our first of five best bets comes from two teams coming into this match-up trending in opposite directions – while Norrköping have been struggling in recent games, Häcken have produced three wins in a row.
The home side started the season off in style, only losing one of their first eight matches, to an imperious Malmö FF. Things have taken a turn for the worse, though, as they have only managed to collect a single point in the last four games. Rather than being an unexpected loss of form however, this is somewhat of a regression to the mean with Norrköping having overperformed their xG in the early stages of the campaign.
With Totte Nyman having lost some form and the team being over-reliant on Arnor Sigurdsson who has then been man-marked out of matches, the rest of the side have not been able to step up thus far. The lack of depth and quality from elsewhere is worrying, and a mid-table finish should be the best they can wish for, especially with the main man Sigurdsson now gone.
Häcken’s season has been about as good as you could expect and very similar to last year’s title win. The biggest difference this time around is there are two other teams in red-hot form, with both Malmö and Elfsborg sitting above Häcken currently. They are only three points off the top nearly halfway through the season though and are scoring for fun, with 34 goals in 12 games to date.
Their defence is sometimes overly exposed, but with the sort of attacking talent they possess, it rarely matters. Against better sides there is a potential to be picked apart if pressed high, as we saw against Djurgården at the end of May. Some reinforcements would be useful, with a squad light in depth and going into the Champions League qualification soon. After a summer break, they should however be refreshed and raring to go, and we can expect them to control this encounter.
Bryne v Raufoss
Our first best bets from Norway come in the OBOS Ligaen. This is a battle between 14th and 13th in the table and the quality on show might not be particularly great. Bryne head into the contest on the back of a crucial 1-0 win vs Hodd which snapped a four game losing streak. They have lacked goals this season and only netted 12 times in 13 games which is really low for OBOS Ligaen standards.
Defensively, they haven’t been too bad at least. Only one team has scored more than two goals against them in any fixture. Bryne’s underlying metrics are actually quite decent, and they have underachieved at both ends of the field. They have the 7th best xGA in the division and have an overall xG of 18.85 but only netted 12 goals. If they could convert more of their chances, then they would likely be ticking along nicely in midtable.
The most important factor regarding this match is that the visitors Raufoss are coming into it off the back of a sensational Norwegian Cup victory vs Viking. It was a wild encounter which ended 4-4 and went all the way to penalties. For Raufoss that was a tremendous night and result but to pick themselves up and go again just 3 days later will be extremely difficult for a semi-professional side.
Weird things happen in cups and that result in midweek must be considered a total anomaly. Raufoss have been the lowest scoring team in the OBOS Ligaen this season amassing a measly 11 goals in 13 games. They have had the second most under 2.5 goal matches out of any team and their fixtures average just 1.80 goals.
There is a reason why under 2.5 goals is priced at 1.87 here. It’s rare to see the under favoured vs the over in this division but a lack of goals are expected. This should suit Bryne who have had a full week to prepare for the game whilst Raufoss will have to overcome an emotional high after their crazy game vs Viking three days ago.
Taking Bryne draw no bet at 1.65 looks like quite a safe option. I would be surprised if they lost this match at home and should build on the victory obtained last week. Raufoss have lost 5 out of 7 away matches and don’t travel well.
Kongsvinger v Start
Both teams have promotion aspirations this season and are doing well. Kongsvinger have been knocking on the Eliteserien door for quite some time and lost in the playoff vs Sandefjord in the previous campaign. At the start of 2023 they appointed Vegard Hansen as their new manager which already looks to be a shrewd move.
Hansen is best known for his remarkable 16 year spell as Mjondalen manager before getting sacked last year. He has obtained multiple promotions in the past and knows how to get out of this league. Kongsvinger find themselves top of the table with 9 wins out of 13. They’ve won 5 out of 6 home fixtures so will be confident of another victory again.
They welcome a Start team who have been involved in a lot of high scoring matches this season. They have netted 28 times which is the most of any team in the OBOS Ligaen. They pack an impressive punching power in the final third of the field with several different players all contributing. Striker Henrik Skogvold leads the line with 6 goals.
Start have a major problem at the other end of the field though and have conceded 22 times. Only Skied have shipped in more goals. Start fixtures average an astronomical 3.8 goals per game this season, which is miles clear of anyone else. Their last 12 consecutive matches have contained at least 3 goals and both teams have scored in their last 11 games. It’s a remarkable run and until it ends then I think the best option is to keep riding this wave.
Both teams are performing well and are in the top six positions, Start will clearly look to make this match an end to end type of shootout which obviously suits them. They will play to their strengths and look to be on the front foot where possible.
This team doesn’t really know how to defend right now. At some stage Start’s run of over 2.5 goals per game will end, but until it does then odds of 1.50 look very big and simply must be snapped up.
Brann v HamKam
This looks like a total mismatch on paper. Brann have been flying and played like one of the best teams in the Eliteserien this season whilst Ham Kam have been struggling mightily. A lot of hype and expectations were on the shoulders of Brann ahead of the season and they have generally lived up to the billing. Eirik Horneland’s men are 3rd in the table and already have a Norwegian Cup trophy to show for their efforts.
For a club which was relegated in the 2021 season then it has been an impressive rebound. Brann have been legitimately strong too and average 2.00 xG per 90, which is the second best of any team in the league. They’ve been led by key man in attack Bard Finne, who has scored 10 goals and chipped in with six assists.
Brann will be favourites at home against most teams this season but the fact that they are as short as 1.20 here demonstrates how poor Ham Kam are. The visitors haven’t even scored a single league goal since May 13th and have lost 7 of their last 8 fixtures. I don’t think they have ever really recovered from conceding seven goals in one half to Viking at the end of April.
Ham Kam were one of the big favourites for the drop pre-season and have done little to dispel those predictions. A shocking away record of 5 out of 5 defeats and having scored 5 goals while conceding 20 tells the story, and it would be a big surprise if they got close to Brann here.
Brann have failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their last 6 matches which will give Ham Kam some hope, but the firepower of the home team should see them cruise to victory. Combining Brann to win & over 2.5 goals at 1.57 looks like a good bet. Brann are capable of scoring 3 goals or more themselves anyway, but this bet does cover for the 2-1 scoreline.
Bodø/Glimt v Molde
The biggest match of the round, and the setting for the last of five best bets on Sunday, takes place at Aspmyra Stadion where the winners of the last four Eliteserien titles do battle. Glimt started the season unbeaten in 11 games with 10 victories but were on the end of a shock defeat to Strømsgodset last week (0-2). They simply didn’t take their chances and they weren’t clinical enough in front of goal.
These things can happen in football and even the best of teams can have a bad day. Glimt are still well clear at the top of the table but will be very aware that slipping up again could see their lead evaporate at an alarming rate. They have impressive attacking firepower, netting 32 goals and have an average xG of 2.24 which is the most of any team in the league. The likes of Amahl Pellegrino and Faris Moumbagna have been in terrific form.
Molde have already lost five Eliteserien matches this season which is far too many for a club of their calibre. The defending champions did beat Haugesund last week 1-0 and still possess a strong home record. Molde have been poor on the road though losing 4 out of 6 games and have been clearly vulnerable on their travels.
Erling Moe’s men have the best xGA average out of any team (1.00) but have clearly underachieved this metric by conceding 16 goals in 12 games. Several individual errors and conceding at the wrong moments have cost them dearly.
Both teams will have absences. Key midfielder Sivert Mannsverk is on international duty for Molde whilst Glimt have lost winger Joel Mvuka to French club Lorient. Talented midfielder Hugo Vetlesen may soon be on his way out too and is doubtful here. The obvious bet here is over 2.5 goals at 1.47.
This is a battle between two teams who score a lot of goals and between them have been involved in 17 out of 24 over 2.5 matches this season. Molde won both league games 3-1 and 4-1 last season so Bodø/Glimt will be out for revenge. I am expecting this to be an end-to-end type contest full of goals.
Botafogo v Vasco da Gama
Sunday evening sees two Rio de Janeiro sides at separate ends of the table battle it out at the Estádio Nilton Santos as high-flying Botafogo host the struggling Vasco da Gama.
Botafogo comes into this duel in fantastic form. They lead the way in Brazil by seven points and are unbeaten in their last five matches in all competitions, a run which has seen them win their last three league matches. Their biggest test to date came in their last match, away from home against Champions Palmeiras. Despite allowing Palmeiras to an XG of 2.70 and only putting up an XG of 0.71. It was Fogo who ran out 1-0 winners, thanks to a first-half strike from Tiquinho Soares.
Soares is the current top scorer in the Brasileirão with ten goals. He would love to add to his tally here. Despite their great form, manager Luis Castro left the club this week to join Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia. Cláudio Caçapa will take interim charge. For this game, they will be without not just a permanent manager, but also Marcel, Patrick De Paula and Lucas Fernandes.
Their opponents Vasco da Gama have been in terrible form of late. Prior to Monday, they had gone ten matches without a victory. Thankfully during Monday evening’s game, Vasco enjoyed a much-needed 1-0 victory over Cuiaba at home, thanks to a spot kick from Jair. They were worthy winners according to the XG statistic which saw Vasco put up an XG of 1.92 compared to Cuiaba’s 0.46. They’ll be hoping for more of the same. Gabriel Dias, De Lucca and Barros miss out through injury. Vasco also come into this game with an interim manager.
With the league leaders flying and Vasco in poor form, Botafogo should pick up the points here and maintain their amazing run.
Cuiaba v Santos
Cuiaba host Santos in what promises to be an exciting match-up between two sides who haven’t had the best of starts to their 2023 season.
After going unbeaten in last four matches, Cuiaba have now lost two on the spin, something they’ll be desperate to bounce back from. On Monday evening, Cuiaba took on Vasco da Gama away from home and were second best in a 1-0 loss. Their xG of 0.46 was way below Vasco’s 1.92. Dourado will be hoping for an improvement in this game.
After 12 matches, they sit in 16th place, just a point above the drop zone, but know a victory here will see them overtake Santos in the league standings. Cuiaba have three players missing out; Fernando Sobral, Mateusinho and Alan Empereur are all suspended for this one.
Santos have been in horrendous form at the moment and are without a victory in their last eleven matches. Their last victory came all the way back in May and as expected their fans are becoming frustrated. Last time out in the league, they put in a decent display but suffered a 3-2 home loss to Flamengo in an exciting game.
Peixe will be disappointed with the result as they put in an XG of 1.62 compared to Flamengo’s 0.95, showing they did shade the game in terms of chances, but were unable to take them. Then in midweek, with their fate already sealed in the Copa Sudamericana, Santos put out a mixed starting XI and drew 0-0 with Blooming. Felipe Jonatan and Joao Lucas miss out here due to injury.
With both sides not in great form of late, it’s hard to pick a winner from this one. Cuiaba will feel they can impress at home, but having three key players suspended will make it tricky for them. With either side not wanting to lose points here, it could be a cagey affair.
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