Our League Scouts have once again been crunching the numbers and keeping an ear to the ground, combing through all available options to deliver the very best bets for you this Sunday.
We have a heavy Scandinavian focus this weekend, with games in the Norwegian Eliteserien, the Finnish Veikkausliiga, and in the Swedish Superettan.
All three leagues have been running throughout the summer, and are beginning to shape up as they head towards the second half of their respective campaigns; with the teams who are realistically in the hunt for championships, European places and those who will be battling relegation becoming more clear by the week.
We also have plenty of games from the other side of the world, with three South American leagues also being covered by our League Scouts: the Paraguayan Primera Division, the Brazilian Serie A, and the Bolivian Primera Division.
We have you covered with the best bets today across all the football being played across the world, and to take advantage of any of these value picks you can quickly 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 League Scout Best Bets
Utsiktens v Jönköpings Södra
Ahead of this 15th round of Swedish Superettan fixtures in the 2023 campaign, these two sides will be very pleased with their starts so far, as they both begin the weekend sitting in the top four with the two best attacking records in the division.
There are two top four clashes this weekend, allowing for a potential shake-up happening at the top-of-the-table and Utsiktens will be keen to prevent their lead at the top of the table being eroded any further by Västerås. Today’s hosts had an opportunity to move eight points clear at the top of the Superettan but, instead, they start two points ahead of the aforementioned Västerås.
That defeat ended an eight-match winning streak in which they had appeared almost destined for an early automatic promotion into the top-flight for the first time ever, leaping from the sixth tier to the Allsvenskan in just 17 years.
Under the management of former Getafe youth coach Andres Garcia, who was appointed ahead of this season, Jönköpings Södra have been playing a front foot style of football that has led to them becoming one of the most entertaining sides in the division. In their 14 matches so far, there has been an average of 3.5 goals per game with no team scoring more and only three conceding more.
Despite those poor defensive stats, they have remained relatively effective as they challenge for promotion to the top-flight. After an inconsistent 2022 season in which they won ten, drew ten and lost ten; J-Södra come into this on the back of a four-match unbeaten run which has meant they could move into the top three, just five points behind league leading Utsiktens this weekend.
Despite Utsiktens’ impressive defensive record, they will feel a bit of tension after last week’s defeat and this one could well be very entertaining for the neutral, especially given J-Södra’s high-scoring tendencies.
Sandefjord v Bodø/Glimt
This should be a regulation away win because Sandefjord don’t look capable of getting remotely close to Norwegian Eliteserien leaders Bodø/Glimt. In pre-season, Sandefjord were one of the big favourites for relegation with all the media experts citing their lack of quality, depth and especially a major defensive vulnerability. They actually started the campaign reasonably well with just 1 defeat in 5 games, but things have gradually started to slide downhill.
Sandefjord have now lost 6 of their last 8 league games and conceded 22 goals during this period. They have taken some big hidings such as a 0-5 loss to Molde, a 1-6 defeat to Sarpsborg and most recently they came unstuck 2-4 at Lillestrom last week. Sandefjord now rank joint worst in the Eliteserien average xGA chart (1.83), so their terrible defensive numbers are legitimately bad. This is a team which is spiralling downwards, and you fear for them in a fixture like this one.
Bodø/Glimt have not actually been at their best recently but should still have sufficiently enough to claim a comfortable win. They only just squeezed past Haugesund 2-1 last week and they have failed to score more than two goals in any of their last four league games. Glimt have won 12 out of 15 league fixtures and are well clear at the top of the table.
They still dominate metrically and have the best xG per 90 mins of any team (2.33), whilst at the other end of the field they have the joint best defensive record with Tromsø. It is slightly concerning that they are not playing their best football but that should come again soon and now after a full week of rest they should be ready and raring to go. The squad is in a healthy condition right now with only winger Nino Zugelj and wing back Brice Wembangomo doubtful. The likes of captain Ulrik Saltnes are now back in full contention for selection.
Bodø/Glimt are only priced at 1.25 to win the match, which is on the short side, although fully justifiable odds. It would be a big surprise if they didn’t take all 3 points. We have to go hunting for a better value bet and taking the visitors to win and over 2.5 goals at 1.62 looks an excellent price.
Last time out I made the mistake of taking the Glimt handicap, but this bet also covers the 2-1 Glimt win, which has actually occurred in 3 of the last 6 H2H meetings. I do not expect that we will need this cushion, as they should realistically score three goals on their own against this porous Sandefjord defence, but at this price it is worth having the extra insurance against a potential 2-1 win.
VPS v Haka
The Finnish Veikkausliiga form table this week was stark for both of these sides – VPS top, Haka bottom. An unlikely scenario a month ago, as VPS were rooted to the bottom of the table and struggling to score. They’ve won their last four fixtures, scoring nine and conceding zero. Saturday’s win over AC Oulu was an impressive performance to lead the charge up the table, with the club now sitting just one point outside the championship play-off spots.
Long shots and direct running are the flavour at the moment, they should have plenty of chances against a poor Haka side. The opening goal last week came from Prosper Ahiabu, his first in Finland with a fine diving header coming from deep – he’s played every minute (except for suspension) so far and may now have a taste for it.
Haka’s European campaign, won after an impressive 2022 and the extended play-off at the end of the domestic season, ended at the first hurdle on Thursday evening with a 1-0 defeat to Crusaders in Northern Ireland. In poor form, a long flight and also without their inspirational assistant coach Ossi Virta (now at HJK), the rest of the season appears to be a dogfight to avoid relegation.
Argentinian striker Juan Lescano is struggling for fitness and despite playing the full ninety minutes in midweek, he is unlikely to repeat the feat here. The transfer window is open and the side needs a serious injection of steel and creativity in midfield – there are goals dotted around the wings but little service. Teemu Tainio needs to solve a very difficult puzzle if his hard work of the past three years is to continue.
Strømsgodset v Rosenborg
A great run of four consecutive Norwegian Eliteserien wins for Strømsgodset was ended by Brann last week (0-1), but the hosts are still well situated 8th in the table. That match was a bit of anomaly because it was played in very harsh weather conditions on a wet grass pitch. It was a brutal and physical contest which was very old school. Godset did not adapt as well as their opponents and got out fought. I don’t think we can judge them too harshly though. Things will be much different this week at their own stadium on an artificial surface.
New manager for this season Jorgen Isnes deserves a lot of credit for turning around their fortunes. Isnes switched from a 4-3-3 to a 3-4-2-1 system which has taken some time to implement, but the players are now fully on board. One statistic which is slightly concerning is their average xGA of 1.75 per 90 mins. They do press a lot which can sometimes leave them exposed in certain areas.
There was massive relief for Rosenborg last week when they beat Tromso 2-1. Ulrik Jenssen’s late goal gave them a much needed 3 points to move up to 10th in the standings. It has been a horrible season for RBK, and their focus now is to limit damage in the league and try to have a decent European run. The win was big for interim manager Svein Maalen who is in charge until the end of the season.
It was a deserved success though and Rosenborg generally dominated the contest. They were actually unfortunate to concede a goal, but it sums up their defensive vulnerabilities that they can’t be relied upon to keep clean sheets. Individual mistakes or lapses of concentration have been a general pattern this season but that could be linked to confidence. One big recent positive has been the return to fitness of key striker Ole Christian Saeter who has scored two goals in his last two games. He looks sharp and hungry.
Whenever these teams meet there tends to be fireworks. 9 of the last 10 competitive meetings have all contained over 2.5 goals and these two just tend to fight punch for punch. In 2019 and 2020 this fixture at Marienlyst Stadion both resulted in memorable 3-3 draws and plenty of goals look in order again.
Godset’s recent 5-2 victory here vs Sarpsborg reminded us of all that they have plenty of attacking potential with Jonatan Braut Brunes especially one to watch. Rosenborg are not here to play for a draw they will be after all 3 points, so I expect them to be aggressive. Over 2.5 goals at 1.60 looks a decent enough price even though both teams do have new managers this season.
Santos v Botafogo
Brazilian Serie A leaders Botafogo take on struggling Santos at the Vila Belmiro, where they will be looking to carry on their wonderful form. Fogo haven’t beaten Santos away from home since September 2013, but come into this matchup as heavy favourites.
Santos have been in horrendous form this season, in their 15 games they have only four wins with four draws and seven losses. Of their last 14 matches in all competitions, Peixe have only won once and look like they could have a relegation battle on their hands if they don’t raise their game.
Last time out, Santos took on rivals São Paulo away from home and were outplayed in a 4-1 loss. Sao Paulo were simply levels above Santos which was backed up by the expected goal statistic which saw Tricolor notch up an xG of 3.91 compared to Santos’ lowly 0.41.
For this duel, Alison and Felipe Jonatan will miss out through injury, but Rodrigo Fernandez and Vladimir can return from suspension.
It’s the polar opposite for Botafogo who are having a perfect season and lead the way in Brazil by 12 points. They are currently unbeaten in their last ten matches in all competitions and in midweek, they progressed to the Copa Sudamericana last 16 with a 3-1 aggregate win over Patronato of Argentina. In their last league outing, Botafogo put in a solid display to beat Red Bull Bragantino in a 2-0 home victory.
Bruno Lage will take charge of his first Brazilian Serie A match here. He will be without the injured duo Patrick de Paula and Rafael, as well as t Victor Cuesta who’s suspended.
With Botafogo having the best away record in the league and Santos way out of touch at the moment, it’s hard to see anything other than an away victory in this duel.
Bolivar v The Strongest
An always keenly awaited La Paz derby plays out on Sunday evening between top of the table The Strongest and their arch-rivals Bolivar who are hard on their heals having assembled what is widely considered to be the most promising squad in recent years. Bolivar’s promising squad are not just doing well domestically, also performing successfully in the Copa Libertadores, having comfortably qualified for the last 16, a rare occurrence for Bolivian teams in recent history.
It should be noted there is no real home advantage in this game as they share the Hernando Siles stadium in which the game will be played. In the Bolivian Primera Division, Bolivar come into this match with three wins and two draws in their last five, whilst The Strongest are blowing rather hot and cold with three wins and two defeats to their name in the same period.
Historically, this fixture leans heavily in Bolivar’s favour but in the last few years it has been much more evenly matched, with some incredible scorelines and battles, including a 5-4 and a 3-3.
Interestingly, Bolivar top scorer Chilean Fernandez has scored 11 goals this season but none in the last nine, however, their ability to absorb this goal drought without their form dropping of is testament to the strength in depth of the squad with Vaca, Villamil, Poveda and Algarañaz all scoring regularly. For The Strongest’s part they depend almost entirely on Argentine Triverio (12 goals) and Uruguayan Arias (6 goals).
I do expect Bolivar will win this one, although how easily remains to be seen.
Vasco da Gama v Athletico Paranense
Out of form Vasco da Gama host Athletico Paranaense on Sunday evening, in what could be an interesting Brazilian Serie A match-up. Athletico sit eighth in the league, whilst Vasco are second from bottom, however, Vasco have a dire home record, whilst Athletico have the fifth worst record on the road in the division meaning there’s an air of expectancy for this one.
Vasco da Gama come into this one in dire form with only two wins from their last 14 league matches, their form and performances have been poor and they must raise their game if they want to start winning matches. Going into the game, Vasco sit in 19th place and are four points adrift of safety. Last time out, Vasco could feel hard done by as they suffered a 1-0 home loss to Cruzeiro, despite having an xG of 1.24 compared to Cruzeiro’s 0.48, so they’ll be hoping to be more clinical in this duel.
For this duel, Vasco will be without De Lucca, Cauan Barros and Gabriel Dias through injury, whilst Manuel Capasso is suspended.
After four matches without a victory, Athletico Paranaense returned to winning ways with a 2-0 home win over Bahia last time out. First-half goals from Barcelona-bound Vitor Roque and Erick were enough for the victory. It was a much-deserved win for Athletico who had the main share of the chances, something they’ll be looking to do in this game, as they seek to climb their way up the table. They are without a win on the road in the league in over two months.
Fernando, Romulo, Pedro Henrique and Thiago Heleno miss out due to suspension.
All of Vasco’s last four matches have seen under 2.5 goals, whilst Athletico’s last three have had this outcome. With Vasco terrible at home and Athletico not having the best of away records, that could be a likely outcome in this duel.
Olimpia v Nacional
Olimpia’s obsession with the Copa Libertadores, openly admitted by the players, has seen their Paraguayan Primera Division form drop off a cliff. Two league defeats followed by a penalty shootout cupset against Sportivo San Lorenzo has surprised many. Nacional are not much better however with just one point in their two Clausura contests.
Diego Aguirre fielded essentially a full-strength side in the Paraguayan Cup only to see his side fail to score in 90 minutes for the first time since losing to Libertad in May. First choice goalkeeper Gastón Olveira suffered a broken hand in the defeat to Resistencia meaning Juan Espínola is between the posts. Captain Richard Ortiz played ninety minutes for the first time this season in the last league match and could re-establish his prosperous partnership with Marcos Gómez in midfield.
Nacional have had a sluggish start to the season but could be excused for losing to Libertad in the opener before drawing with an improved Tacuary. With a Paraguayan Cup game on Thursday night they have one day less rest than their rivals but didn’t field as strong a side. New signings José Ariel Núñez, Blas Cáceres and Orlando Gaona Lugo could all appear from the start having been used from the bench so far.
Pedro Sarabia and Nacional have a strong record in this fixture going unbeaten for the six games the Paraguayan coach has overseen, including two wins at the Manuel Ferreira. Although the most common result in recent games has been a draw, the sides drew 1-1 in four consecutive matches across 2022 and 2023. With both sides conceding regularly it looks like BTTS could land for a 6th time in the last 7 meetings.
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