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Serie A Odds, Picks and Predictions: Napoli vs. Sassuolo (Sunday, Nov. 1)

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Giuseppe Maffia/NurPhoto via Getty Images. Pictured: Napoli striker Dries Mertens.

  • Sassulo, Serie A’s latest darling, travels to the Stadio San Paolo for a matchup with Napoli.
  • Dillon Essma breaks down the meeting and how he sees the game playing out for bettors.

Napoli vs. Sassuolo Odds

Napoli Odds -245 [BET NOW]
Sassuolo Odds +600 [BET NOW]
Draw +390 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 3.5 (+133/-165) [BET NOW]
Time Sunday, 12 p.m. ET
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Napoli welcome Sassuolo to the Stadio San Paolo on Sunday afternoon. This is my favorite Serie A match of the weekend, and I knew right away that this was the one I wanted to write about.

Napoli have been impressive to start the season and seem to have the quality to make a run for the top six in Serie A. Sassuolo are a poor man’s Atalanta, a team with an attacking flair. They are a really fun side but probably a bit below the upper-tier of Italian clubs.

This should be a fun matchup to break down.

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Napoli

Napoli have had a great start to the year, with four wins and one loss. However, the loss is a forfeit due to COVID-19 protocols. The team refused to travel to Turin for a match against Juventus due to a local outbreak of the virus in Naples and were subsequently docked one point in addition to the loss. They haven’t actually lost a game.

I have to be honest though, Napoli are one of the more frustrating teams to bet on, for me, in Serie A. They sometimes struggle to create good chances, and I wouldn’t say they are elite in terms of finishing. Nevertheless, it’s a really high-quality side that put it on Atalanta two league matches ago and beat Real Sociedad, 1-0, in the Europa League this past week. I still think Napoli might be a step below the top tier in Serie A, but they should be a top-six club and should challenge for a Champions League place.

While Napoli’s goal total this season in Serie indicated they are creating chances, their expected goals (xG) output is a different story. Napoli are creating 1.83 xG per game while actually scoring 3.5 goals per game. Their finishing has been elite, but the goals will likely regress unless they can create easier chances.


Expected goals (also known as xG) is an advanced statistic that gives an indication of whether results are based on sustainable factors like a steady creation of scoring chances, or whether it is down to aspects such as luck or outstanding goalkeeping.


Defensively, manager Gennaro Gattuso’s team has been truly superb, allowing only 0.43 xGA per game. That’s clearly unsustainable, but limiting opponents’ chances seem to be a significant improvement for Gattuso’s men this season.

Sassuolo

Sassuolo are one of those teams that may take a few years off your life if you bet on them. It can be stressful, but boy, is it fun.

Last week’s match against Torino, who could be a bottom-five club in Serie A this season, is a perfect example. Poor defending and a significant fog in the air caused them to fall behind 3-1 in the 79th minute. I was happy because my over cashed, but then Sassuolo proceeded to score twice, in the 84th and 85th minutes, to pull out a draw. That is the Sassuolo experience, so be prepared.

Sassuolo currently are fourth in the table with three wins and two draws on the season, level on points with Napoli because of the point deduction.

Their advanced metrics are actually really impressive offensively, generating 2.29 xG per game (fifth in Serie A). This figure will likely regress, but Sassuolo have shown the ability in the final third to hang with some teams you would not necessarily expect them to. Defensively, they could use some work, allowing 1.48 xGA per game (seventh in Serie A).

In general, Serie A has seen an abundant amount of goals, and Sassuolo are a good case study for that. Their first five games have had goal totals of two, five, five, seven and six. I do expect them to be able to create some good chances against Napoli, as well as to concede a good amount of chances.

Napoli-Sassuolo Pick

I really think Sassuolo +1.5 is great value here. Napoli’s numbers look more impressive than if you actually watched their games.

I wouldn’t say this will be a smooth or easy game for Napoli. Sassuolo are a class side that can score with the best of them. They have the advantage defensively, but I see a draw or a one-goal win for Napoli.

The Neapolitans are not Bayern Munich. They’re more likely to run out the clock with a one-goal lead instead of aim for a second. With that, I also like the under.

Picks: Sassuolo +1.5 (-130) | Under 3.5 Goals (-112)

[Bet the Napoli-Sassuolo match now at DraftKings and get a $1,000 sign-up bonus.]

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