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While the rest of the sporting world is put on hold, it's business as usual in the Belarusian Premier League.
It's the only professional soccer league playing through the coronavirus pandemic, and it's gaining new fans in droves from every corner of the world, with gamblers leading the parade.
But I'd be lying if I said betting on clubs like Isloch and Vitebsk was a new experience for me. I've been wagering obscure soccer leagues since high school, and while I undoubtedly miss the Liverpools and Barcelonas of the world, it's nice to get back to my roots and see some of these leagues get their moment in the spotlight.
Rukh Brest's story is actually pretty remarkable. The club was only founded in 2016, but its rise through Belarusian soccer has been something of a fairytale. In their debut season, Rukh Brest won the Second Division title, and they earned promotion in their maiden campaign in the First Division last season. Last week, the club made its Premier League debut and stunned seven-time league winners Dinamo Minsk 1-0 on the road.
On Friday evening, Rukh Brest are set to host their first-ever Premier League match and the atmosphere should be something special. They'll be approaching this fixture like it's the World Cup final and they're a good value to pick up a famous win against Energetik-BGU, who might be in for a bit of a letdown after shocking BATE Borisov last weekend.
Pick: Rukh Brest (+155)
Both clubs lost their opening-weekend matches 1-0, continuing where they left off last season as two sides frequently involved in low-scoring affairs. Shakhtyor conceded very few times - 21 in 30 games - while Gorodeya were stingy at both ends, allowing the fewest goals of any club outside the top three while averaging just one goal per game. When these sides meet, goals tend to be scarce as well, with the last four meetings in Gorodeya producing just three total goals. Expect that trend to continue Saturday.
Pick: Under 2.5 (-120)
All eyes will be on the derby Saturday as these rivals meet at Stadion FK Minsk. Historically, the derby has been dominated by Dinamo. Minsk have never won at home to their rivals, with eight draws and six defeats from 14 matches. Minsk started the season on a high with an impressive win away to newly promoted Belshina, while Dinamo Minsk suffered a shock defeat at home to Rukh Brest. I think Minsk should have enough belief here to frustrate their rivals and force them to settle for a point.
Pick: Draw (+210)
Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.