Sunday Serie A Odds, Picks, Prediction: Value Sitting With Roma in Fiorentina Matchup (August 22)
- Jose Mourinho will make his Serie A debut as Roma's manager on Sunday against Fiorentina.
- The Giallorossi are coming off a disappointing seventh-place finish, after which they sacked Paulo Fonseca.
- BJ Cunningham breaks down the matchup and delivers his pick below.
Roma vs. Fiorentina Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (-145 / +120)|
|Day | Time||2:45 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||Paramount+|
|Odds updated Sunday morning via DraftKings.|
After a very busy summer, Roma looks to start off their Serie A campaign with three points when they host Fiorentina.
It’s going to look like a completely different Roma side in 2021-22 because Jose Mourinho has returned to Italy to manage the club. On top of that, striker Edin Džeko was sold to Inter Milan and replaced by the incredibly talented former Chelsea target man Tammy Abraham.
New No. 9⃣ … 𝙎𝙊𝙍𝙏𝙀𝘿 🔥
— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) August 17, 2021
Roma finished seventh last season but are hoping the addition of Mourinho at the helm and Abraham up front will push them back toward the top four.
Fiorentina have been a mid-table side for the past five years now and progressively getting worse, falling to 13th last season. They are also in a period of transition with former manager Giuseppe Iachini leaving the club and Spezia manager Vincenzo Italiano taking the reins. We’ll see if he can guide the club back into the top half of the table.
Roma Set for New Look Under Mourinho
Roma had one massive flaw last season. They couldn’t beat anyone ahead of them in the Serie A table. In 12 matches against the top-six teams in Italy, I Giallorossi was a disappointing 1-4-7 overall. However, against teams below them in the table they were amazing, especially at home.
In 13 matches at home against teams below them in the table, Roma went 12-1-0 and outscored their opponents 34-9. Now, with a new manager at the helm and likely a change in tactics, I don’t expect Roma to be as perfect at home against lower competition than they were last year, but it is still a very impressive feat.
The addition of Abraham is going to do wonders for Mourhino’s side because in limited appearances in the Premier League last season, he was Chelsea’s best striker, with a 0.52 xG per 90 minute scoring rate. I expect Roma to continue to flourish offensively after averaging 1.90 xG per match last season.
Few Reasons for Optimism Surrounding Fiorentina
There are not a lot of positives that you can take from Fiorentina’s 2020-21 campaign. Their expected goals numbers were very close to their actual results, so they were deserving of a 13th place finish with a -15.82 expected goal difference (xGD). They were dreadful on the road, picking up a total of only 16 points in 19 matches with a -11.92 xGD.
Now, with all that being said, Fiorentina does have an incredibly talented young striker on their hands in Dusan Vlahovic. The 21-year-old scored 21 of Fiorentina’s 44 goals in Serie A last season and carried a 0.56 xG per 90 minute scoring rate, which was the 11th-best mark in the Italian top flight.
Vlahovic is already garnering a lot of interest from bigger clubs, but if he stays at Fiorentina this season, he will have a big hand in any potential success this season.
Fiorentina got swept by Roma last season and were out-created according to xG data, 4.96-0.94. I don’t give them much hope on the road on Sunday.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Even though there were a lot of changes at the club this offseason, I still think Roma is undervalued at home. Their performance last season against teams below them in the table was almost perfect and they should be able to take three points from a below average side like Fiorentina.
Since I have Roma projected at -196 odds, I think there is value on them at -130 and would play it up to -168 as my top pick.
Pick: Roma ML (-130, play to -168)