Serie A Betting Odds & Pick for AC Milan vs. Napoli (Sunday, March 14)
Franco Romano/NurPhoto via Getty Images. Pictured: Lorenzo Insigne.
- AC Milan is clinging to its Serie A title hopes and faces a tough test Sunday against visiting Napoli.
- The visitors are looking to break into the top four, with the hope they claim a big result against their second-place foes.
- Kieran Darcy breaks down where he sees betting value is this match below.
AC Milan vs. Napoli Odds
|AC Milan Odds||+163|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-121 / -104)|
|Day | Time||Sunday | 3:45 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||ESPN+|
|Odds as of Saturday afternoon via DraftKings.|
The best of the five Serie A matches on Sunday is the final one between AC Milan and Napoli.
Milan entered the weekend in second place with 56 points, six points behind Inter Milan at the top of the table.
Napoli started Sunday in sixth place with 47 points, and third through fifth — Juventus (52 points), Atalanta (52) and Roma (50) — are all within striking distance. Plus, Napoli have played at least one game fewer than all of the clubs ahead of them, except for Juve.
Here’s a closer look at Milan and Napoli, followed by a prediction.
Milan are coming off a 2-0 win at eighth-place Hellas Verona last Sunday. It wasn’t a particularly impressive victory, statistically. Each team had 11 shots, and Milan barely topped Verona in terms of expected goals (xG), 0.7 to 0.6 according to FBref.com.
Milan were missing several key players against Hellas, in particular Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The 39-year-old Ibrahimovic is tied for fourth in Serie A with 14 goals this season, despite making only 14 appearances (13 starts) so far.
On the bright side, Milan is expected to have some of the others back:
Stefano Pioli confirms Davide Calabria and Alessio Romagnoli are in doubt to face Napoli, but Milan have Theo Hernandez, Hakan Calhanoglu and Ante Rebic back https://t.co/VG1J1jRy55 #ACMilan #Napoli #SerieA #MilanNapoli #SerieATIM pic.twitter.com/e9mnjhQLqK
— footballitalia (@footballitalia) March 13, 2021
Milan also played out a dramatic draw at Manchester United in the Europa League on Thursday, leveling the match in the 92nd minute thanks to Simon Kjaer’s header. It’s also worth noting they dropped points in three of their previous four Serie A matches prior to last weekend, with losses to 14th-place Spezia (2-0) and Inter (3-0), as well as a draw with 11th-place Udinese (1-1). Milan did beat Roma during that stretch, 2-1, though.
The underlying numbers tell us that Milan are a little fortunate to be in second place right now. Their goal difference of +20 ranks fifth in the league, and their xG differential of +16.9 places them fifth, as well.
Napoli are ahead of Milan in terms of goal difference, at +26. They’ve scored 55 goals, five more than Milan despite playing one less match. And they’ve conceded 29 goals, one fewer than Milan.
In terms of xG differential, however, Napoli are in the same spot as they reside in the table — sixth, at +14.4, below Milan.
Napoli are coming off a 3-1 win over 12th-place Bologna last Sunday. And they’ll be the more rested team since they were off during the week, having already been knocked out of the Europa League by Granada in the Round of 32 earlier last month.
Prior to the win over Bologna, Napoli had drawn with ninth-place Sassuolo (3-3) and beaten 16th-place Benevento (2-0).
Lorenzo Insigne is Napoli’s leading scorer with 13 goals in the league. He scored two of their three goals against Bologna last weekend.
Betting Analysis & Picks
These teams are pretty evenly matched, as evidenced by the similar xG differentials and the odds.
Milan won the first meeting, 3-1, back in late November, but Napoli’s Tiemoue Bakayoko was sent off in the 65th minute and Ibrahimovic scored two of Milan’s three goals.
Napoli have scored three goals in each of their past two matches and are more rested than Milan, who are missing their top scorer. I think there’s value with the away side here.
Pick: Napoli ML (+180)