Serie A: Betting Breakdown of This Weekend’s Biggest Matches in Italy
Napoli. Pictured: Dries Mertens
There is some great action across Europe in the world of soccer this weekend, especially in Italy, where six of Serie A’s top seven teams are in competition with one another, starting with a trip to the capital for the champions.
The three matches I’ll break down below: Lazio-Juventus (Saturday, noon ET), Napoli-Roma (Saturday, 2:45 p.m. ET), AC Milan-Inter (Sunday, 2:45 p.m. ET).
Let’s dive in.
Lazio (+250) vs. Juventus (+120), Draw (+230)
Kickoff: Saturday, 12 PM ET
What might have been for Lazio, who would have hoped for this game to be a prequel to the Coppa Italia final. Instead, as I predicted during the week, while Juventus secured a 1-0 win over Atalanta to ensure they will be fighting for a fourth consecutive title in the tournament, Simone Inzaghi’s men lost a penalty shootout after a goalless 120 minutes with AC Milan.
Fatigue could be an issue for the hosts here, having gone full strength in the week, while The Old Lady could welcome back both Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain into their starting XI, with the latter having recovered from injury. Max Allegri would no doubt love to apply some rotation this weekend with a crucial game at Tottenham next week in mind, but Juve simply can’t afford to lose ground on Napoli at the top, aware that this is a far from favorable fixture.
Lazio have, after all, won the last two meetings between the sides, with Ciro Immobile scoring four goals in said games. Out as far as 3.20 (+220) to score at any time with Unibet, he’s a tempting wager. However, I’d be more inclined to play it safe and back the visitors to put the pressure on Napoli atop the standings, bearing in mind the host’s record against the best sides in the division of late.
In eight matches against the rest of the sides in the top seven in Serie A thus far, Lazio have won three times, but just one of those has come since the start of November. Their form over that time has been patchy in general, whereas the visitors have been superb. With Bet Victor offering a price as high as 2.38 (+138) on an away win, that’s where my money would be placed in this one.
Napoli (-175) vs. Roma (+500), Draw (+300)
Kickoff: Saturday, 2:45 PM ET
As mentioned, if Juventus can pick up all three points in their earlier kickoff, Napoli will have to answer back against a strong opponent of their own when Roma visit the San Paolo. However, like their capital city rivals, the Giallorossi are not in the form that they were at the start of the season, and that has certainly been reflected in the outright odds.
The hosts are strong favorites, and rightly so, now fully focused on league commitments, having exited the Coppa Italia and Europa League in recent weeks. Those defeats at the hands of Atalanta and RB Leipzig, respectively, have been the only two that the Partenopei have suffered since the turn of the year, winning their other eight fixtures in that time, and each of their last 10 in Serie A.
Maurizio Sarri’s side play the best football in Italy, and as such have a four-point lead at the top of the table. The margin back to Roma in fifth is a whopping 19 points, which is quite the swing when you consider this weekend’s visitors to Naples pipped their hosts to the second spot last season. Factor in that the leaders have scored 14 goals in their seven matches against sides in the top seven, and this could be a comfortable win, with multiple bookmakers offering 2.30 (+130) on a home win with over 2.5 goals in total.
AC Milan (+139) vs. Inter (+220), Draw (+200)
Kickoff: Sunday, 2:45 pm ET
The balance of power in Milan is swinging once again, and while it isn’t in AC Milan’s favor as far as the standings are concerned, they are very much the form team of the two fierce rivals since the turn of the year. Indeed, while seven points separate the two in the table, the smart money suggests that will be four come the end of the latest installment of the Derby della Madonnina.
In 2018, under the stewardship of their iconic former midfielder Gennaro Gattuso, AC Milan have been rejuvenated. In fact, if the season had started in this calendar year, they would be second, dropping just two of a possible 21 points, while Inter would be in 10th, having dropped 11 by comparison. The goals have dried up for the Nerazzurri, with Mauro Icardi struggling in particular, which is a concern against their rivals’ vastly improved defense.
The stalemate in midweek at Lazio was the sixth consecutive clean sheet that Milan had kept, and they have conceded just four times in their last 13 matches, going back to their Coppa Italia date with Inter. That game ended in an extra-time win for the Rossoneri, and while it may not take them so long to break the deadlock this time around, a similarly low scoring affair is to be expected.
There have been under 2.5 goals in 11 of Inter’s last 13 matches and 10 of AC Milan’s last 14, so odds of 1.82 (-122) on a repeat are certainly appealing enough, but if you are after something longer, try adding a home win to that under bet to raise the stakes to 5.00 (+400) with Betfair.
Odds current as of Friday evening