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Serie A Betting Odds, Picks, Preview, Predictions: Our 3 Best Bets, Including Juventus & Torino (Feb. 26-27)

Serie A Betting Odds, Picks, Preview, Predictions: Our 3 Best Bets, Including Juventus & Torino (Feb. 26-27) article feature image
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SSC Napoli via Getty Images. Pictured: Napoli standout Lorenzo Insigne.

A positive start to last week’s trio of plays became undone quickly over the weekend.

Juventus and Torino stayed under 2.5 goals to cash, but our AC Milan goal-line and Atalanta team-total wagers never stood a chance, resulting in a 1-2 record. Those results leave this column at 13-10-3 overall.

However, we’re starting anew this weekend as I sought out value on the odds board. So, without further delay, here are my three best bets for the latest Serie A action.

Serie A Best Bets

Empoli vs. Juventus

Empoli Odds +475
Juventus Odds -155
Draw +285
Over/Under 2.5 (-130 / +110)
Day | Time Saturday | 12 p.m. ET
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Even though Juventus arrives at this fixture on short rest, this shapes up as a good revenge spot for The Old Lady.

In the reverse fixture at the Allianz Stadium, Juventus lost 1-0 despite generally dominating the match. It won the expected-goals battle by a 1.5-0.8 margin, registered 215 attacking-third touches and 37 touches in the Empoli penalty area, its third- and fifth-highest totals this season, per fbref.com.

Yet, that contest remains the only loss for Juventus this season in which it generated more than 200 attacking-third touches and more than 36 penalty area touches.

Plus, Empoli has played like straight garbage at home. It owns the worst home xGDiff in the Italian top flight and has accumulated the fourth-fewest home points. Attribute those marks to Empoli’s poor defensive record at home, where it has conceded 29.3 home xGA, which is the worst output in the league, per fbref.com.

Empoli has also struggled to get results at home against top-half opposition. In six such fixtures, Empoli is 1-5-0 (W-L-D) and is conceding nearly 2.4 xG per 90 minutes.

Lastly, the assumption we can make with Empoli is that it will struggle to contain a Juventus press ranking first in the league in successful pressure percentage. Against the top-five teams in that category, Empoli owns a -4.9 xGDiff and has overperformed its underlying attacking numbers (six goals on 4.7 xG) this season.

Add in that Juventus, prior to its most recent defeat, won nine consecutive games against Empoli and I believe you’ll see it get revenge.

Hennion’s Pick: Juventus -1 (+120) 

Torino vs. Cagliari

Torino Odds -150
Cagliari Odds +500
Draw +270
Over/Under 2.5 (-105 / -115)
Day | Time Sunday | 6:30 a.m. ET
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This could be the perfectly laid trap, but I’m of the opinion Torino should be north of -200 odds in this fixture.

The host side has played superbly at home this season, winning all but one game on xG and earning at least a point in 10 of 13 home contests. Torino also own the fifth-best home xGDiff in Serie A and could be in for some positive defensive regression (13 goals conceded on 10.7 xGA), per fbref.com.

Additionally, in the reverse fixture against Cagliari, Torino emerged the far superior side in a match without talisman Andrea Belotti. It created both more xG (1.77-1.16) and more big scoring chances (2-1), per fotmob.com.

My other takeaway from that previous meeting? Cagliari was lucky to get on the scoreboard in what finished a 1-1 draw.

The Rossoblu only generated 0.45 xG from open play, while creating 0.71 xG from set pieces. However, Torino is normally a reliable side in the former category. Per Opta, Torino has conceded the fourth-fewest xG off set pieces.

Given Cagliari has struggled to establish rhythm away from home — it holds the third-worst road xGDiff in the league — I expect Torino will handle this foe with relative ease.

Hennion’s Pick: Torino -1 (+130)

Lazio vs. Napoli

Lazio Odds +195
Napoli Odds +150
Draw +230
Over/Under 2.5 (-110 / -110)
Day | Time Sunday | 2:45 p.m. ET
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Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

This is a classic “hold your nose” play and could easily backfire.

Even though the first meeting was a 4-0 Napoli victory, the match was a relatively low-event game. Both sides combined to create only 1.17 xG and — this is not a misprint — zero big scoring chances, per fotmob.com.

Additionally, all four of Napoli’s goals were worth fewer than 0.06 xG as well.

There’s also the small matter to consider of Lazio’s wild over-performance this season on the offensive end. Through 26 fixtures, manager Maurizio Sarri’s side has scored 53 goals (the second most in Serie A) on 36.9 xG (the seventh most in Serie A), per fbref.com.

Further, Lazio has struggled to generate meaningful chances against Italy’s top defenses. In six fixtures, I Biancocelesti has scored only five goals on 5.8 xG overall. Given the Napoli defense arrives in top form — fewer than one xGA in five of its last six outings – I question whether Lazio will contribute to the total in this meeting.

That said, Lazio has also demonstrated a recent penchant for strong defensive play at home. In its last four home fixtures, it has conceded less than one xG three times.

With a sour taste from that 4-0 drubbing left with Lazio, expect a much closer, low-scoring contest.

Hennion’s Pick: Total Under 2.5 Goals (-110)

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