The last preview I wrote before COVID-19 stopped football in its tracks was a French Ligue 2 fixture between Lens and Orleans. I remember I had been in two minds as to whether to back Lens or over 2.5 (or both). Typically, I only took over 2.5 and Lens won 1-0, which although we didn’t know it at the time was a very significant result which earned Lens promotion - anything less and they would have stayed in Ligue 2! That was the first French match to be played behind closed doors and I have to admit I didn’t initially enjoy watching football without fans. In fact, I decided to ‘stay away’ for the next few weeks until fans would be allowed back in. Little did we all know that it would be the LAST MATCH of the entire French season!
Overall results from ALL picks recommended on meatmansoccer.com in 2020
Units staked: 166
Profit: +15.21 units
French Ligue 2 results in 2020
Units staked: 63
Profit: +1.51 units
2020 started auspiciously with my first recommended pick Le Mans DNB at home to Auxerre on January 10th, which they lost 0-1 to a Dejan Sorgic goal. In the January - March period I actually had an overall betting loss of -1.74 units in French Ligue 2. I couldn’t seem to get any rhythm going, although I had slightly picked up form as COVID enclosed on proceedings. Ultimately, I was to end the 2019/20 season with a loss of -2.74 units, the majority of which was the result of a shocking September 2019 in which I lost nearly -5 units. We will never know if I would have ended the season in profit or loss but it’s fair to say it was never going to be the greatest campaign.
So far in the 2020/21 season I am in a profit of +3.25 units on advised selections in French Ligue 2. I have said many times before that it’s one of the harder leagues in the world to make profit on and I am probably a madman for being involved in this division! But it has always been my baby and nothing will change there. This season I have cut down on over/under betting in Ligue 2 - not deliberately but slightly more discipline appears to have paid dividends as my handicap betting has so far been +5.32 units, something I am keen to continue. French Ligue 2 is a marathon, not a sprint and a lot of patience is required. I would honestly be happy with anything between the +5 to +10 unit range at the end of the season. The one thing about COVID and fan restrictions is that it hasn’t really affected anything statistically in Ligue 2. Home wins are still around the 40% mark and over 2.5 games are still around 40%. Goals per game have slightly increased but not significantly. Playing behind closed doors might be a more dull watch but I feel like I’ve got a good grasp on things.
Eliteserien 2020 results
Units staked: 96
Profit: +13.44 units
The big success for me in 2020 was Norwegian Eliteserien betting. The league started back in June and I was RARING to go with a bang. July 2020 was one of my best ever betting months on advised selections, managing to amass +10.60 units from 25 picks. I bagged a huge 17 winners with just 4 full losers on the card. It was the ‘holy grail’ of a month and perfectly set me up for the months ahead. I probably should have got more than +1 unit out of August in Norway before stuttering a bit in the Autumn. I have always preferred matches to be played regularly in leagues so I can get a nice feel and rhythm - probably why I was so successful in the summer and in December this year as fixtures pile up. I found that international breaks, along with the transfer window really halt momentum and make betting a lot harder. I was also ill in September and to be honest I’ve said it before that you need to be sharp both physically and mentally in the betting industry otherwise there is no point being involved - you need to take a break if you aren’t feeling on top form.
A large chunk of the +13.44 units I gained in the Eliteserien this year were a result of over/under betting. In total, my profit for overs in particular was +10.16 units from 48 selections and I was delighted to take advantage of what was a much higher scoring league in 2020. Over 2.5 goals was up near the 63% mark which is about 10% higher than in recent seasons. Starting the league in the summer probably helped the goal production but it was encouraging to see lots of high scoring games as we headed towards winter as well. I really hope the Eliteserien stays high scoring in 2021. Having Mjøndalen still in the division won’t help matters in that regard but they do have their uses for under betting at least. I was slightly disappointed that my Handicap bets in Norway only resulted in a +1.77 profit from 36 picks this season - and prior to December I was running at a loss in this department. I need to look at how I can improve to either become more selective or increase returns. Certain teams such as Brann , Rosenborg and Odd cost me at times with handicaps. I know I can’t rely on such amazing returns on over/under goals in 2021 so it’s vital I raise my form with handicaps a bit. I am really looking forward to the Eliteserien 2021 though and feel like I properly nailed the league this year. Having 200 fans in the stadiums was great and they actually generated a nice atmosphere. Norway didn’t really lose any significant home advantage. Away wins were increased was actually draws which dropped and of course the big increase in goals, as aforementioned.
I actually did some previews on the first two normal rounds of MLS before the league was stopped and in 7 picks gained a profit of +0.16 units. I personally followed the league upon its resumption but I didn’t have the time to continue picks and previews for this league. I feel like MLS is a hotbed of betting potential though and despite COVID restrictions still managed to maintain roughly a 50% home win rate, which remains one of the highest in the world. The goal potential is high in this league considering everyone over there craves entertainment. Unfortunately, there are so many teams in MLS now it’s difficult to stay on top of things. I hope to be able to produce more previews and picks in MLS for 2021 but I can’t promise anything. It might be a case of one weekly post highlighting the best selections.
2021 & the Future
The future for meatmansoccer.com is to hopefully go from strength to strength. I will continue to provide match previews and picks for all games in Ligue 2 and Eliteserien. It would be nice to expand back to French Ligue 1 again and offer something MLS related, so watch this space. There also might be the potential for individual in-depth team reports including analysis on players at specific clubs in France and Norway. I know many people have been intrigued as to how I rate certain players and teams. This is something which might become a subscription based system, as indeed there is always the possibility of my own betting picks becoming a subscription service. I have said many times though I would not move back to a sub service unless I can guarantee a high quality of product and commitment though, and always at competitive prices. It is my aim and ambition for Meatmansoccer.com to always maintain some sort of free service even if part of the site is subscription based.
Away from my site I still make the Nordic Football Podcast with my good friend Jonathan Fadugba. 2021 will be our 5th season doing the podcast together. The lockdown allowed me to do some other things such as streaming Football Manager on Twitch. This is something I have retained and I have really enjoyed mixing with the FM community on twitch. Links to all my socials and key channels can be found below.
I wish everyone the very best for 2021. Stay safe, hang in there and hopefully we can all have a profitable and prosperous year!