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Upstart Lens to Defy Odds at Lyon

Ligue 1 Runner-Up Big Underdog on Road

One of the most surprising soccer picks of the season, RC Lens only trails PSG in the Ligue 1 table. Lyon will attempt to move past a traumatizing blown two-goal lead in its last match as it plays host to this upstart Lens team.

Despite some inconsistent performances and its ninth-place standing, Lyon is currently listed as a -140 favorite at home.

Lens' French foward Wesley Said celebrates after scoring a goal during the French L1 football match between RC Lens and FC Metz at Stade Bollaert-Delelis in Lens, northern France on October 24, 2021. (Photo by FRANCOIS LO PRESTI / AFP)

Game: Olympique Lyonnais vs RC Lens

Location: Groupama Stadium, Décines-Charpieu, France

Date/Time: Saturday, 3 p.m. ET

Team Goal Line Moneyline Over/Under Team Total
Lyon -½ (-140) -140 3 (-120o) 1½ -170o/+140u
Lens +½ (+110) +365 3 (-110u) ½ +180o/-230u
Draw +315

Lyon vs Lens Betting Preview

Head to Head

Lens returned to Ligue 1 in 2020-21 for the first time in five seasons. So, these teams have only met twice in the last six years.

Last season, Lyon defeated Lens 3-2 at the Groupama Stadium behind two Memphis Depay goals. At home, Lens was on the back foot but managed to eke out a 1-1 draw. Lens has won just one of the last five meetings as Lyon has historically been the better pick for betting online.

Lyon’s Meltdown

In the 80th minute away at Nice, Lyon held a 2-0 lead with goals from Karl Toko Ekambi and Houssem Aouar. Over the next 10 minutes plus stoppage time, Lyon suffered a complete meltdown. First, Nice’s Youcef Atal scored a brilliant goal to bring the home side within one.

Shortly after, Lyon attacker Tino Kadewere was sent off for a two-footed challenge and left-back Emerson conceded a sloppy penalty. Nice’s Andy Delort converted the spot kick to draw the home side level. With seconds to go, Evann Guessand scored the winner to cap off an unlikely comeback win vs a 10-man Lyon.

The loss ended OL’s four-game Ligue 1 unbeaten streak and Kadewere, who was making his first start of the season, will be suspended for the game vs Nice. With striker Moussa Dembele still out with an injury, Lyon will be relying heavily on Toko Ekambi.

Ekambi is currently the top scorer in the Europa League with five goals, and he has added three goals in Ligue 1. He’s a huge reason why OL is undefeated through three Europa League matches and he found the net twice in last week’s wild 4-3 win vs Sparta Prague.

Assessing Ekambi’s importance to Lyon, “It’s like whether PSG play with or without Mbappé,” stated journalist Hugo Guillemet. Toko Ekambi’s pace and energy could give Lens a few problems at the weekend.

Lens Exceeding Expectations

Five points ahead of Lyon in the Ligue 1 table, Lens has gotten off to a super start. Bouncing back in a big way from a 1-0 defeat to Montpellier, Lens won its last match 4-1.

FC Metz was no match for a Lens side that scored on an efficient four of its five shots on target. In just his second start of the season, Lens midfielder Wesley Saïd found the net twice in the first half.

Lens has been excellent away from home and a big-game team. Three of RCL’s six wins have come against teams playing in continental competitions in Monaco, Marseille and defending Ligue 1 champion Lille. Both the Monaco and Marseille wins were on the road.

Midfielder Przemysław Frankowski has been excellent since joining from the Chicago Fire of the MLS. The Polish international has the most goal contributions on the team with three goals and three assists in just eight starts.

Lens has managed the second most goals in Ligue 1 and has won three of its last four matches. The current soccer odds of +365 are disrespectful to RCL, given its recent play.

Prediction

While Lyon has a very talented roster on paper with the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri, Lucas Paqueta and Aouar, it has been inconsistent in Ligue 1.

Only six teams have conceded more goals than Lyon, which has given up six goals in its last two matches in all competitions.

Lens seems to make the most of its goal-scoring opportunities and it’d be surprising if the visitors don’t manage to get on the scoresheet. At +365 to win in the sportsbook, I think there’s a lot of value here on Lens.

However, Lyon’s resolve will definitely be tested after an embarrassing loss and its response should make for an intriguing watch. The range of outcomes for this game is pretty wide, which makes the value bet, the best one. Take Lens at +365.

Pick: Lens (+365)

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