The hosts have drifted a bit in the last couple of weeks. A hectic schedule of juggling Tippeligaen & Europa League matches hasn't done them any favours. They were disappointed to get knocked out of Europe after an extra time goal denied them. In the league they lost at Bodo and conceded late against Viking last weekend. As a result, they’re now six points behind Rosenborg although have a chance to make some ground up here with RBK not in action this round. But the condition of their squad isn’t ideal. Some key players are missing because of injury. Left back Thomas Grogaard, midfielder Fredrik Nordkvelle are both definitely out, whilst wingers Bentley and Zekhnini are doubtful. The former is supposedly ‘sick’ but he’s wanted away from the club and this is probably just an excuse. Odd have only lost once at home all year, but this is the most shorthanded they’ve been due to player absences.
On the contrary, Brann come here with a full compliment of players at their disposal, minus midfielder Remi Johansen who wouldn't have started anyway. The last time Brann took to the field was nine days ago and they brilliantly beat Aalesund 6-0 on that occasion. Ok, that was facing a poor side who played very badly on the day, but let's give Brann some credit for their performance too. They are fifth in the table and have enjoyed a very good season. Considering they are a promoted side, then this is a very good achievement. Defensively, they’re one of the best in the Tippeligaen and right now you have to feel like they are riding the crest of a wave. Away performances haven’t been as strong for them in 2016, but their stats are still reasonable enough. A win in this game would only put them one point behind Odd and right in the hunt for a medal position.
Conclusion & betting analysis
I don’t particularly like the feeling around Odd right now. The Bentley transfer saga thing is a bit unsettling and their current injuries don’t help either. I rate Odd, but there’s a chance their season might begin to unravel, or at least enter a mini crisis or sticky spell. Their home record needs to be respected but I think Brann can get at least a point here. There’s no way the hosts should be priced around the 1.75 mark, this is too big. I feel like I should have a go with Brann +0.75 but I’m just generally not a fan of backing away teams with a substantial bet. I will however have a slight nibble of Brann on the nose @ 5.45. This is too big for a team in great form, potentially facing Odd at the right time. I don’t think this’ll be a very open or exciting game, and the goal line between 2.25 and 2.5 reflects that. I could see the visitors keeping things really tight and managing to sneak the odd goal to win it.
Recommended bet: 0.5 unit: Brann win @ 5.45 (minimum odds acceptable 4.50)