Napoli vs Liverpool Betting Preview: Updated Champions League Odds, Picks, Prediction
James Gill – Danehouse/Getty Images. Pictured: Liverpool star Mohamed Salah.
- Italian outfit Napoli hosts Premier League juggernaut Liverpool in Wednesday's Champions League meeting.
- The Reds are favored to earn all three points on Italian soil, but analyst Anthony Dabbundo likes a Same Game Parlay as his top pick.
- Check out below to see which two wagers he's pairing together for his selection.
Napoli vs. Liverpool Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (-166 / +136)|
|Day | Time||Wednesday | 3 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||Paramount+|
|Odds updated as of Wednesday morning via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.|
Liverpool came up one match short of the Champions League title after a loss to Real Madrid this past May.
After the Reds won all six of their group-stage games last season, they open the 2022-23 edition of the Europe’s most prestigious competition Wednesday with a difficult road trip to Napoli.
The Serie A side, which finished third in its league last season, is off to an excellent start to the new season despite a bunch of turnover to the squad. Napoli did manage to keep hold of young striker Victor Osimhen in the transfer window and has a realistic chance of competing in Italian top flight and getting out of a competitive UCL group.
On the other side, Liverpool’s underlying numbers remain solid throughout the early stage of the season, but the Premier League power has dropped points to Fulham, Everton, Manchester United and Crystal Palace and won just two wins from six EPL matches.
Napoli is unbeaten in Serie A, but has only played one above average team with its 2-1 win at Lazio last weekend. The club flashed out of the gate and really impressed in attack with 10.2 xG for in five league games. Napoli also ranks first in xG difference per 90 minutes, with its soft schedule not factored in.
Despite the loss of Kalidou Koulibaly on defense, the unit has remained above average dating back to last season. The back line ran pretty fortunate to not concede more goals down the stretch run last year and began this season in a similar way, though.
If Osimhen takes a step forward to improve Napoli’s attack — and that’s a good bet given his age profile — the club has a top four attack in Italy. I do expect the defense to not be as solid as it was last season, though.
New signing Khvicha Kvaratshkelia has posted four goals in the young Serie A season and done so while producing more than 0.5 xG per 90 minutes. Napoli boasts plenty of attacking ability, but the defense is untested and I think could struggle more than the market suggests.
By The Numbers
- 0.82 — Osimhen has averaged this many xG per 90 minutes thus far in the 2022-23 campaign.
- +1.22 — Napoli’s xG difference per 90 minutes in six Europa League group-stage matches last season.
One bright spot for Liverpool early in the season has been Darwin Nunez, who has been a shot monster in his young career with the club. Nunez did get a red card against Crystal Palace, but the attack has been productive as a whole when he’s on the pitch.
The Reds had an early season dip in production from Mohamed Salah — he’s at just 0.42 xG/90 minutes — and that leaves a concern they won’t be able to match their lofty underlying numbers and results from last season without Salah at full go.
The sample remains too small to draw meaningful conclusions, but Salah would not be the first wide forward to show declines in production at age 30 and beyond.
The biggest issue for the Reds has been the regression of its defense. Manager Jürgen Klopp’s intense pressing system can be exposed if it’s not aligned and drilled properly, and the club has conceded more than 0.9 xG in all but one EPL match.
By The Numbers
- 15 — Nunez has produced this many shots in 1.9 90-minute efforts, which is an absurdly impressive return for someone in the start of their EPL career.
- 3rd — For all of the talk about Liverpool’s early season issues, some of them are real. The Reds remain in this spot in xG diff per 90 minutes.
Betting Analysis & Pick
The market has moved toward Liverpool after the club opened as a +115 moneyline favorite. The Reds closed at a similar price at Inter Milan last spring, and while Napoli is solid, it’s not on Inter’s level based on the previous season’s data.
The market could be underrating Napoli’s attack and overrating its defense early on in the year, though. Throw in Liverpool’s defensive issues to begin the campaign and two surging strikers in Osimhen and Nunez, and I’d look to bet the over.
Liverpool’s attack should be just fine, especially with Nunez leading the line. However, the defensive fragility without Thiago and the same pressing intensity seems real.
The moneyline odds look right to me, but defensive regression for both clubs lands me on both teams scoring and the game being more open than oddsmakers suggest.
The Pick: Same Game Parlay — Both Teams to Score (Yes) & Total Over 2.5 Goals (-125)