Atalanta vs. AC Milan Odds, Pick, Prediction: Back Rossoneri to Scratch Out Road Result (Oct. 3)
Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images. Pictured: Brahim Diaz.
- Serie A stalwarts Atalanta and AC Milan square off in Sunday's showdown.
- The visiting sides had the upper hand last season, with each club picking up wins on the other's home pitch.
- Matthew Trebby breaks down the contest below and details why he likes AC Milan to get a result.
Atalanta vs. AC Milan Odds
|AC Milan Odds||+245|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-145 / +115)|
|Day | Time||Sunday | 2:45 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||Paramount+|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.|
A battle of northern sides highlights this weekend’s Serie A slate when AC Milan makes the short trip east to take on Atalanta.
Atalanta are usually the must-see team in the Italian top flight, although they have fallen short of that expectation so far this season. Meanwhile, AC Milan have started well, but whether they can maintain a title challenger remains up in the air.
Let’s break down what could be a key matchup come the end of the season.
Atalanta Falling Short of Lofty Expectations
The Bergamo-based team has entertained fans and bettors over the past few years, but this season has been slightly underwhelming. After averaging more than 2.00 non-penalty expected goals (NPxG) per game last season en route to a top-four finish, Atalanta have just 8.35 NPxG through six games in the league.
There were signs of optimism with 2.0 xG during their Champions League win over Young Boys on Wednesday, but Atalanta are rarely going to play a team like that in Serie A. It was just the third time in eight games between the Champions League and Serie A that Atalanta hit 2.0 xG in a game this season.
Atalanta’s last league game against Inter Milan was a typical outing for Gian Piero Gasperini’s team. It finished a 2-2 draw with the teams registering a combined 5.02 xG. The midfield was nonexistent for both teams and there were chances galore. It was a joy to watch.
Much of what Atalanta do well goes through their two wingbacks, primarily Davide Zappacosta and Robin Gosens this season. Unfortunately, Gosens went off injured against Young Boys and appears unlikely to feature against Milan or for Germany during the upcoming international break.
AC Milan Have Started Well Without Zlatan
Milan’s fantastic start to the domestic season continued with a deserved 2-1 win away to Spezia. A late goal from Brahim Diaz was the difference in putting the Rossoneri at 16 points through six games, just two behind top-of-the-table Napoli.
It has been a different story for Milan in the Champions League, in which they have dropped their first two games — away to Liverpool and home to Atletico Madrid. The loss on Tuesday to Atletico was mostly because of a 29th-minute Franck Kessie red card. Milan led 1-0 at that point but conceded in the 84th and 97th minutes, the latter on a penalty.
Like last season, when Milan led Serie A for a lot of the season with unimpressive underlying metrics, there’s reason to believe the Rossoneri are going to slow down. Milan have a +9 goal difference through six games, but their non-penalty expected goal difference is 5.50.
The Milan attack was a one-man show last season, going through Zlatan Ibrahimovic and struggling when he was absent. This season, Olivier Giroud was brought in to help ease that burden. Ibrahimovic is again injured, and the World Cup-winning Frenchman has two goals in his first three Serie A appearances.
Diaz has been the star, though, with three goals and an assist through six league games, as well as scoring at Anfield in the Champions League. He was substituted early against Atletico but appears likely to make the short trip to Bergamo.
The Milan defense is solid. Theo Hernandez broke out last season at left back, while Simon Kjaer partners promising Englishman Fikayo Tomori in the center. Mike Maignan was brought in as Gianluigi Donnarumma’s replacement and has fit in well.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Last season’s matchups between these teams went to the away side. Atalanta dominated at the San Siro, winning 3-0 against a full-strength Milan team. Then, in Bergamo on the final matchday of the season, Milan won 2-0 and dominated the xG tally at 1.9-0.5 to clinch a top-four spot.
Atalanta are favored to take the three points in this game, but based on recent performances I think the line is a bit skewed.
Last season, I’d tell you to quickly pick Atalanta, but the 2021-22 version simply has not been the same so far. Maybe the hectic game against Inter is a sign of things to come, as well as the win over Young Boys, but I’m going to wait to get back on the Gasperini train until I see consistent results.
At PointsBet, AC Milan’s Draw No Bet line is +150 and their Asian Handicap (Milan +0.5) is at -125 odds. The Rossoneri have seven points from three road games this season, only dropping points in Turin against Juventus. I suggest playing either but will be going for the win and plus number.
I also see some value on the under. Books are still valuing Atalanta based on how they played last season, not adjusting for a slow start to the season.
Milan have a strong manager in Stefano Pioli and enough experience to get a result against an Atalanta team that simply hasn’t shown enough to get me to back it against a big team like Milan.
Pick: AC Milan — Draw No Bet (+150)