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Serie A Odds, Picks, Preview, Prediction: Our 3 Best Bets, Featuring Juventus vs. Napoli & Atalanta vs. Torino (Jan. 6)

Serie A Odds, Picks, Preview, Prediction: Our 3 Best Bets, Featuring Juventus vs. Napoli & Atalanta vs. Torino (Jan. 6) article feature image
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Stefano Guidi/Getty Images. Pictured: Juventus standout Federico Chiesa, second from left, celebrates his goal with teammates.

  • Serie A takes center stage Thursday, with a full slate of games on the schedule.
  • Soccer analyst Nick Hennion delivers his three best bets on the midweek card, including a play from the Juventus vs. Napoli match.
  • Check out below his favorite plays on the slate in the Italian top flight.

The winter break in Serie A has concluded and teams return to action Thursday before taking the pitch again for Sunday’s matches.

That means The Action Network is back to give you a trio of best bets for both slates, beginning with the midweek card. Headlining Thursday’s slate are two matches — AC Milan vs. Roma and Juventus vs. Napoli — which could prove impactful in the race for Champions League positions.

That said, I believe there’s a ton of value to be found across the betting board. So without further ado, here are the games and plays I’m targeting below.

Sassuolo vs. Genoa

Sassuolo Odds -165
Genoa Odds +425
Draw +340
Over/Under 2.5 (-155 / +125)
Day | Time Thursday | 10:30 a.m. ET
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To me, this is the perfect time to buy-low on a Sassuolo side that has only produced two victories in its last nine Serie A fixtures.

Historically, I Neroverdi have dominated Genoa at home. They’re unbeaten in their last five games (four wins; one draw) and only posted one outright defeat in its last eight matches against I Rossoblu. Additionally, Sassuolo has won three of the last four contests at both venues and four consecutive outings in the battle of expected goals, per fbref.com.

Plus, Sassuolo is due for some positive regression at home. Entering this fixture, it’s tied for 14th in terms of home goal differential. However, it also possesses the 10th-best home xGDiff and has won four of five home matches against bottom-half sides on xG, according to fbref.com.

Furthermore, bettors will find focusing in on those five particular fixtures shows even more positive regression should be coming Sassuolo’s way. In those matches, it has scored six times on 8.5 xG, whereas it has over-performed its xG total (six goals on 4.9 xG) in the other five matches.

The final element I’m considering are the recent struggles of the Genoa offense.  It has posted below-average shots on target in four of its last five games, and below-average goal-creating actions in two of its last three contests.

Lastly, put the Sassuolo attacking numbers up against Genoa’s defensive metrics — it has conceded the seventh-most road xGA in the league — and I expect you’ll see a healthy victory margin from Sassuolo.

Pick: Sassuolo -1 (+105)

Atalanta vs. Torino

Atalanta Odds -195
Torino Odds +550
Draw +340
Over/Under 2.5 (-150 / +120)
Day | Time Thursday | 10:30 a.m. ET
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Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

The only thing more dangerous than the Atalanta offense? Facing the Atalanta offense with time off to rest.

In Atalanta’s four matches this season played on the heels of an international break or with eight or more days rest, all games cleared 2.5 goals while three have surpassed 3.5 goals. Extrapolate that data out further and bettors will find the former benchmark has been surpassed in 16 of Atalanta’s last 20 such fixtures.

Even though Torino is due for a sizable amount of positive road regression in the goal department — four goals on nine xG — its defense has earned every road concession via nine goals against on nine xG so far.

Additionally, Torino has struggled to find an answer for the Atalanta attack in recent meetings. In their last five head-to-head contests, Atalanta has cleared at least one xG in all five games and at least 1.8 xG in three of the last five outings, per fbref.com.

Bettors should also expect a powerful Atalanta press (first in successful pressure percentage) to force mistakes out of a Torino defense that has struggled against pressure (13th in successful pressure percentage against) this season.

At the same time, though, this isn’t an Atalanta side that hangs its hat on defense. In its last eight home matches, the Nerazzurri have kept only one clean sheet. That came against Venezia, who hold the fourth-worst xG/90 Serie A mark.

Finally, this fixture has been no stranger to goals on the historic front. Five games in a row have gone over 2.5 goals, while four of the previous five clashes have finished at least four goals. Therefore, bettors should back history here and expect another goal-fest at the Stadio di Bergamo.

Pick: Total Over 3 Goals (+110)

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Juventus vs. Napoli

Juventus Odds -105
Napoli Odds +290
Draw +250
Over/Under 2.5 (+100 / -125)
Day | Time Thursday | 2:45 p.m. ET
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I’m choosing to stay away from a side play in this fixture, mainly because there are too many factors going against each other.

Napoli won the reverse fixture, 2-1, but has lost three consecutive league meetings at Juventus. However, I don’t want to lay a price with Juventus facing a Napoli side that has allowed the fewest road xGA in Serie A (6.9) this season, per fbref.com.

That said, what does grab my attention is the total. As I just mentioned, I don’t foresee Napoli conceding more than once against a Juventus outfit that has only scored two or more home goals against teams ranked 15th, 18th and 19th in the table.

Plus, The Old Lady has produced a brilliant run of form defensively on home soil. In its last four games at Allianz Arena, she has conceded only one time. Additionally, Juventus has allowed fewer than one xG in three of those fixtures.

Finally, both sides’ underlying defensive metrics are encouraging. Both rank top three in shots on target allowed and goal-creating actions conceded, while Napoli’s calm under pressure (second in successful pressure percentage against) should mitigate Juventus’s strength in that department (third in successful pressure percentage) during this meeting.

Combine all those trends with the fact these clubs will have rested legs and I believe bettors are in for a tight, low-scoring fixture.

Pick: Total Under 2.5 Goals (-125)

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