Nice, without their injured striker Alassane Plea and influential midfielder Wylan Cyprien, moved up to second on 70 points from 32 games.
They trail leaders Monaco by one point and lead third-placed Paris St Germain by two points.
Monaco and PSG have two games in hand after the defending champions beat the principality team 4-1 in the League Cup final last Saturday.
Monaco travel to Angers on Saturday with PSG taking on En Avant Guingamp on Sunday.
Italian striker Balotelli netted his 12th and 13th league goals as Nice came from behind after Ibrahim Amadou's deflected shot put the hosts ahead on 14 minutes.
Read the full article on eurosport.co.uk: Balotelli lifts Nice to second in Ligue 1