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Italian Serie A Betting Odds, Picks, Preview, Predictions: Our Projections & Best Bets, Featuring Juventus vs. Napoli (Jan. 6)

Italian Serie A Betting Odds, Picks, Preview, Predictions: Our Projections & Best Bets, Featuring Juventus vs. Napoli (Jan. 6) article feature image
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Giuseppe Maffia/NurPhoto via Getty Images. Pictured: Napoli standout Lorenzo Insigne.

  • With the Premier League on a break, Serie A gets some of the European spotlight with Thursday's busy card.
  • Handicapper BJ Cunningham drops his three best bets and projections for the slate.
  • Check out below his featured plays, including a betting angle from the AC Milan vs. Roma clash.

After a two-week break, the Italian top flight returns to action Thursday with some tasty fixtures on the full slate.

At the moment, Inter Milan is starting to run away with the title, as it has a four-point lead over inner city rival AC Milan and sits seven points clear of Napoli, which was upset by bottom-of-the-table side Spezia before the hiatus.

The latest set of fixtures feature two huge matches with top-four and title-race implications, as AC Milan hosts Roma and Juventus takes on Napoli.


*(graphic via Google — all times ET)


Like most of the sports world, a wave of COVID-19 cases has hit Serie A as well. So, this would be an important time to say my projections below don’t take into account suspensions or injuries. That said, it might be a good idea to wait until lineups come out or injury news gets announced.

If you’re looking for a resource on Serie A injuries/COVID-19 news you can find that here. If you’d like to read more about how I determine my projections, you can check it all out here.

You can use these projections to identify betting value on current lines, plus follow me in The Action Network App to see any bets I make during the week.

Serie A Projections

Best Bets

Atalanta vs. Torino

Atalanta Odds -190
Torino Odds +550
Draw +340
Over/Under 2.5 (-145 / +125)
Day | Time Thursday | 10:30 a.m. ET
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I can’t get over how good Torino’s numbers are this season, especially on defense. They’re only allowing 0.80 NPxG per match, 10.1 shots per 90 minutes and 9.5 box entries per outing, all of which is top five in the league.

Even their last contest before the break they went on the road to the San Siro to take on Inter Milan, who is averaging 2.17 xG per match and held them to a 1-0 loss and only 0.90 expected goals. In fact, Torino has only conceded 10.97 xG in 19 fixtures from open play, which is the second-best mark in Serie A. 

Atalanta is likely going to be without star striker Duvan Zapata, which is detrimental to their offense because he’s been one of the best in Italy at his position. He averages 0.83 xG per 90 minutes and has created 33 percent of their xG in the league this season.

Atalanta has been pressured at the third-lowest rate in Serie A and when they do face pressure, they’re pretty average in allowing a 29% successful pressure rate. Torino is the best pressing team in Serie A by PPDA and pressure success rate, so it’s not going to be easy for Atalanta to move the ball into the final third and penalty area.

Offensively, Torino has been slightly above average, creating 1.21 xG per match. The only real advantage they will have is big scoring chances, which Atalanta has been susceptible to allowing, with 17 conceded this season.

I only have Atalanta’s spread projected at -0.48 and their moneyline at -106, so I love Torino +1 at -110 odds via DraftKings and will make it my top pick.

Pick: Torino +1 (-110)

AC Milan vs. Roma

AC Milan Odds +100
Roma Odds +280
Draw +265
Over/Under 2.5 (-135 / +110)
Day | Time Thursday | 12:30 p.m. ET
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Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here

AC Milan might be sitting in second place, but they have been drastically over-performing this season, as their actual goal differential is sitting at +18. However, their xG differential is only +8.9. Almost all of that has to do with their offense, which has scored 40 goals off of only 30 xG this season. 

Also, AC Milan also has only created 17 big scoring chances, which is 10th in the league. That’s a problem because that’s the biggest weakness of Roma’s defense, which has allowed the eighth-most big scoring chances.

In fact, Milan has only created four big scoring chances in their last seven games and Roma has only conceded three big scoring chances in that same time frame. Also, Roma is only allowing 9.6 shots per 90 minutes on the defensive side, which is the second-best mark in Serie A, per fbref.com.

Tammy Abraham strikes again 🎯 pic.twitter.com/PMiKC9cIC0

— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) November 28, 2021

The Roma offense is on fire this season creating chances left and right, as they’re averaging 1.60 NPxG per match. That’s good enough for the second-best mark in the first division. The addition of Tammy Abraham has done wonders for them, as the Englishman is averaging 0.55 xG per 90 minutes. That’s  fifth best in Serie A for strikers who have played more than 1,000 minutes.

Defensively, AC Milan has been good, allowing only 0.90 np xG per match, but that impressive average has mostly come from limiting bottom-half-of-the-table offenses. Against Juventus, Atalanta, Roma, Inter Milan and Napoli, they allowed 7.8 xG in those five fixtures. 

I only have AC Milan projected at +136; FiveThirtyEight has AC Milan at 45%; and, Infogol has AC Milan at 46% when it comes to their respective forecasts.

That said, give me Jose Mourinho’s men at +0.5 at -115 odds.

Pick: Roma +0.5 (-115)


Juventus vs. Napoli

Juventus Odds -105
Napoli Odds +295
Draw +250
Over/Under 2.5 (+105 / -120)
Day | Time Thursday | 2:45 p.m. ET
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We have the top defenses by NPxG allowed going up against each other in Turin to cap off the midweek schedule. 

Napoli is only allowing 0.69 npxG per match, while Juventus is conceding just 0.78 NPxG per contest. Combined this season, both defenses have allowed a total of 15 big scoring chances. For comparison, Salernitana has allowed 32 big scoring chances so far.

Napoli matches were extremely low event before the Christmas break, as their last five outings featured an average of only 2.00 total xG and only two big scoring chances. Not to mention one of their best strikers — Victor Oshimen –is off to the Africa Cup of Nations this week. 

Juventus themselves has been struggling to create high-quality chances this season, averaging 1.27 npxG per match, per fbref.com. There’s a bigger issue at hand as well, because Juventus tactically usually plays out of a 4-4-2 formation and tends to be more defensive. I mean defender Leonadro Bonucci has created the third most xG on the team.

Additionally, the  rumor mill around Álvaro Morata leaving for Barcelona is swirling right now, so who knows if he’s in the squad or off to Spain by kickoff.

Also, Juventus really struggles when they have to play a good defensive opponent. In five matches against the top six defenses in Italy (Napoli, Torino, AC Milan, Inter Milan and Roma) by xG , Juventus created only 5.5 xG in the games. Also, the last time they faced Napoli, they had 11 shot-creating actions.

I have the Both Teams To Score (No) line projected at -162, so I love the value on the current number of -105 odds and will make it my top selection.

Pick: Both Teams to Score — No (-105)

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