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Sassuolo vs. Napoli Odds, Pick | Serie A Preview (Friday, Feb. 17)

Sassuolo vs. Napoli Odds, Pick | Serie A Preview (Friday, Feb. 17) article feature image

Timothy Rogers/Getty. Pictured: Alessio Dionisi.

Sassuolo vs. Napoli Odds

Friday, Feb. 17
2:45 p.m. ET

Sassuolo Odds


Napoli Odds

Draw +320
Over/Under 2.5 (-162 / +130)
Both Teams to Score (Yes/No) (-154 / +122)
Odds via FanDuel. Get the latest soccer odds here.

Napoli are putting up some of the most impressive performances not just in Italy, but in all of Europe. They have a 15-point gap at the top of Italy, which is more than double the points gap that PSG and Bayern have in France and Germany, combined.

Luciano Spalletti’s Napoli has dazzled in Italy and abroad for the first half of the season and the market now has huge respect for their talent with this -190 road moneyline price at Sassuolo on Friday.

Sassuolo played their way off the relegation bubble with wins against AC Milan and Atalanta in consecutive matches. Their underlying numbers remain solid and actually better than last season, despite their lower position in the league table.

Napoli will welcome European football back into its schedule on Tuesday when they visit Eintracht Frankfurt. Could the visitors get caught looking ahead and overlook an underrated Sassuolo on Friday?

Sassuolo an Underrated Side

Sassuolo sit in 15th in Serie A, but the underlying numbers of this attack suggest that they’re actually quite underrated. Most of the process and progression numbers are encouraging.

Sassuolo have the most progressive passes + dribbles per match, which is a key to playing through the pressure Napoli will apply without the ball.

They also rank seventh in passes into the penalty area and 10th in shots per match. All of that results in an attack that ranks 10th in xG per 90 and has room to improve on that number.

Sassuolo’s attack is more than capable of playing through Napoli’s midfield and creating chances. They produced 10 shots and 1 xG in Naples earlier this season. The problem for this team has come in its defense and most importantly, its goalkeeping.

Goalkeeper Andre Consigli has been the second-worst goalkeeper in all of Italy this season and it has really cost them points. He’s been consistently poor in goal for Sassuolo for three of the last four seasons and he’s 36-years old.

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Napoli in Interesting Position

Given their lead at the top of the Serie A table, this is an opportune time for Spalletti to potentially rotate through his top attackers and midfielders.

It’s unclear exactly what that would look like in practice, but it could mean Khvicha Kvaratskhelia or Piotr Zielenski are given the match off or play limited minutes to rest this season.

It’s hard to poke holes in the Serie A profile for this team, especially given they rank first in xG per match, expected threat and shots per 90. The addition of Kvaratskhelia and the health plus breakout of striker Victor Osimhen have both contributed to Napoli improving their xG difference per 90 from roughly +0.7 last season to +1.1 this season.

That level of improvement should immediately raise questions as to their sustainability and we’re certainly at the top of the market on Napoli at this number as a solid road favorite against a mid-table team.

Similar to how Arsenal took a huge leap in the first half of this season and then showed some cracks in the last month once reaching a market peak, the same could happen to Napoli.

It’s also a pretty safe bet that Napoli will not continue to finish nearly 25% over their xG for the rest of the season. They’ve scored 54 goals from 41 xG and now face a goalkeeper that has been second-worst in Italy in shot stopping this season.

Sassuolo vs. Napoli Pick

It will be key for Sassuolo to produce chances in transition because Napoli have been dominant at tilting the field on opponents this season. That’s where elite dribbler and solid chance creator David Frattesi comes in.

They’re getting decent but not great shot production from Domenico Berardi, and Frattesi is adding 0.24 xG per 90 with elite box entry numbers.

Sassuolo have the attack to threaten Napoli and this is as good of a buy low, sell high spot as you’re going to find in Serie A this season.

Napoli are about 0.75 goals better on the road for me, even after making small adjustments for goalies. At a flat +1, I’d bet Sassuolo at home and expect Napoli to finally show some cracks and cool off from their finishing heater.

Pick: Sassuolo +1 (-110 or better)

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