Serie A Odds, Picks and Predictions: Napoli vs. Atalanta (Saturday, Oct. 17)

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Giuseppe Cottini/NurPhoto via Getty Images. Pictured: Mario Pasalic

Serie A: Napoli vs. Atalanta

Atalanta Odds +155 [BET NOW]
Napoli Odds +150 [BET NOW]
Draw +275 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 3 (-148/+118) [BET NOW]
Time Saturday, 9 a.m. ET
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Both Atalanta and Napoli are off and running 2020/21. Both clubs have high ambitions this season and a combined 5-0-1 (Win-Draw-Loss) start has done nothing to deter them. In fact, the only loss between these two teams came in a forfeit by Napoli after some confusion over Coronavirus protocols.

There are a ton of exciting soccer matches this weekend, but this is the match I’m looking forward to the most, both as a bettor and a fan. The odds are tight. and the total suggests there will be goals, so you won’t want to miss this one.

Napoli

Napoli are one of a small number of clubs in Italy that are expected to make a run for a Champions League spot in 2020/21. They had a successful transfer window and have the quality to hang with the top clubs in Serie A. I still think Juve, Inter and Atalanta are clearly the three best teams in the league, but that fourth spot is up for grabs between AC Milan, Napoli, and Roma.

I really like the way that Gennaro Gattuso has his squad set up and playing. They’ve put together a very strong start to season, beating Parma 2-0 and Genoa 6-0. I am choosing not to read too much into the crooked scoreline in the latter match as Genoa were missing several players due to Covid-19.

Napoli managed to generate an average of 1.94 expected goals, while only conceding 0.21 xGA in those two victories, but those numbers will surely regress when Gli Azzurri play better competition. Their season-long data last season of 1.68 xG/game and 1.14 xGA is probably where we can expect Napoli to end up this season, though I would expect their offensive output to tick up closer to 2.0 xG/game.


Napoli Expected Goals

19/20 xGF/90 19/20 xGA/90 20/21 xGF/90 20/21 xGA/90
1.68 1.14 1.94 0.21

The question for Napoli, especially in a match with Serie A’s most dynamic offensive force, is whether or not their defense will hold up. Atalanta doesn’t get blanked by anyone these days, so Napoli will need to score some goals if they want to get a result of this game.

Napoli could be without Eljif Elmas and Piotr Zielinski due to positive Covid tests from before the international break, so keep an eye on the lineups on Saturday morning.

Atalanta

If you like having fun, I would really implore you to watch the Assassins from Bergamo. In my mind, they are the third-best team in Serie A and could very well fight for the Scudetto this season.

Atalanta were within five points of the champions in 2020/21 and had a fantastic transfer window in my opinion. La Dea struggled a little bit down the stretch due to lack of depth, but they bolstered a squad that was a few minutes from a trip to the semifinals of the Champions League.

Gian Piero Gasperini is one of the best managers in the world and if he can develop a deeper bench, La Dea has a chance to at least match last season’s success.

There is no secret as to why Atalanta has become one of the trendiest teams in Europe over the past few seasons. La Dea are incredibly fun to watch. They have scored 13 goals in their first four games this season, with four of those coming against Lazio, who finished fourth in 2019/20.


Atalanta Expected Goals

19/20 xGF/90 19/20 xGA/90 20/21 xGF/90 20/21 xGA/90
2.27 1.10 2.66 1.08

La Dea have generated a marvelous 2.66 xG/game over those three matches and their defense is holding up, conceding just 1.08 xGA per match. Those numbers aren’t too far off from where Atalanta finished last season (2.27 xG; 1.10 xGA).

Atalanta vs. Napoli Betting Pick

I think the data makes a pretty compelling case for the Over 3.25 (-110) or Over 3.5 (+115). Both of these clubs have been scoring at will to start the season, so I’ll happily back the goals to keep coming as I don’t expect Napoli to keep Atalanta out of the net, and Napoli should have plenty of chances as well.

As for the side, I like Atalanta PK at -115. La Dea have shown they are up for big games and a high-scoring game should suit their style.

The Bets: Over 3.25 (-110), Atalanta Pk (-115)

[Track all of your soccer bets by downloading the free Action Network App.]

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