Serie A Picks & Betting Odds: Juventus vs. Lecce Predictions for Friday
MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP via Getty Images. Pictured: Cristiano Ronaldo
- BJ Cunningham previews Friday's Serie A match between Juventus and Lecce, featuring betting odds.
- Cunningham breaks down the analysis behind his pick of over 3.5 goals.
Lecce at Juventus Odds, Pick
|Lecce odds||+1900 [BET NOW]|
|Juventus odds||-770 [BET NOW]|
|Draw odds||+750 [BET NOW]|
|Time||Friday at 3:45 p.m. ET|
Juventus return home on Friday to play host to relegation-threatened Lecce.
Juve are four points clear of Lazio at the top of the table and are in a good position to extend that lead after Le Aquile blew a two-goal lead against Atalanta on Wednesday.
Time is running out on Lecce, who looked terrible in a 4-1 loss to AC Milan on Monday. I Giallorossi are in the thick of a relegation battle and any result at Juventus would be a welcome boost to their survival hopes.
Juventus were able to bounce back from a poor performance in the Coppa Italia Final with a 2-0 win against an underrated Bologna side on Monday.
Home-field advantage is certainly different without a crowd but Juve’s record at the Allianz Stadium is worth noting. The Old Lady have not lost in its last 34 matches at the Allianz and they are only allowing 0.73 expected goals against per game across 13 matches this season.
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.
Juventus have been lining up in a 4-3-3 lately and that’s the formation that best suits Cristiano Ronaldo. The 4-3-3 provides plenty of options going forward and it allows teams to combine two factors, a three-man central midfield — which can hold possession via passing triangles — and three strikers, who can press high up the field.
Juventus and Ronaldo have been very successful playing out of this formation, as shown by their +10.18 xG differential and Ronaldo’s 0.82 xG per 90 minutes.
Juve shouldn’t have any issue with Lecce’s porous defense on Friday.
It’s hard to understate how bad I Giallorossi have been defensively this season.
Lecce concede more expected goals per match (2.54) than any team across Europe’s major leagues and that number only gets worse (2.60) on the road. Even more concerning is the fact that they allow 3.28 xG when they’re playing on the road against teams in the top half of the table.
Despite their terrible defensive record, Lecce isn’t horrible offensively, scoring 1.25 xG per game. It’s no secret that most of their matches are high scoring affairs, with 56% of their matches going over 3.5 goals.
It’s hard to imagine how this team will keep Juventus and Ronaldo in check on Friday afternoon.
Lecce scored a surprise draw with Juventus, 1-1, back in October but Juventus were absolutely dominant in that match, outshooting Lecce 25-10 and holding 70.6% of the possession.
The expected goals report showed the match should have ended 4-1 to Juve.
Juventus are gigantic favorites in what is one of the most lopsided matchups since soccer returned. My model is a little lower on Juve compared to the current line:
- Juventus projected odds: -451 (81.96% win probability)
- Lecce projected odds: +1217 (7.59%)
- Draw projected odds: +857 (10.45%)
- Juventus projected xG: 3.14
- Lecce projected xG: 0.73
Weirdly, Juventus have had a hard time putting teams away and have only won by more than two goals on two occasions this season, so instead of betting on a Juventus romp, I’ll bet on this game to go over 3.5 goals.