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Much of the world is set for another sport-less week, as the biggest “top-level” leagues still playing are the Belarusian and Nicaraguan Premier Leagues. For Europe, the ex-Soviet country of Belarus is defying the norm yet again despite fans of at least four clubs boycotting their games out of concerns for player safety.
Despite the league being played halfway across the globe and only available via grainy borderline legal streams, the team over at DraftKings is booking bets on Vvsshaya Liga throughout the weekend and beyond.
Let’s take a look at an early morning match I have my eye on for Sunday.
Energetik-BGU (+185) vs. FC Minsk (+135), 7:00 AM EST (via DraftKings Sportsbook)
After finishing second in the Belarusian First League in 2018, Energetik-BGU was promoted to Vvsshaya Liga in 2019 for the first time since 2008. In their first season in the top league, they finished 14th (of 16), narrowly avoiding yet another relegation. In fact, it came so close that if it not for a 5-3 win in their final game of the season, they would’ve been demoted.
Through the first two weeks of this season, Energetik is off to a strong start, winning both games with an average score of 2 – 0.5. Their opening season 3-1 win against BATE was a great win at the time, as it came against one of the best franchises in the league, but it looks more pedestrian given the putrid performance of BATE in week two as well.
On the other side of this matchup, FC Minsk is coming off a mediocre season of their own, finishing 9th in the league with an average game score of 1.2 to 1.5. In their first two games of this season, Minsk has been the class of the league, however, as they’ve won both of their matches by an average score of 3-1.5. A closer look, however, reveals that Minsk has also beaten up on relatively weak opponents, starting with a 3-1 thrashing against bottom-dweller Belshina Bobruisk.
The last time these two faced off, Energetik got the better of Minsk, and the club won 6-1 in a game that was just 2-1 at the half. Since they appear much improved through the first part of this young season, I’ll take Minsk — the hottest team in the league — to continue their winning ways in what’s also a revenge spot.
I’m also leaning the under in this one. Despite the relatively higher scores turned in by these two teams in the first two weeks, both of them played some of the league’s current bottom-tier teams, and they will finally meet their respective match in this one.
Following the week one theme we rode last weekend, six of the eight games last week finished with a score of 2-0 or lower. In fact, four of them finished with a score of 1-0. Until this league proves to me otherwise, I’m inclined to auto-play any total at 2.5 or higher that’s at plus money.