Atalanta vs. AC Milan: Sunday Serie A Soccer Betting Odds, Picks & Preview (May 23)

Atalanta vs. AC Milan: Sunday Serie A Soccer Betting Odds, Picks & Preview (May 23) article feature image
Credit:

Marco Rosi/Getty Images for Lega Serie A. Pictured: Ruslan Malinovskyi.

  • Atalanta may have lost the Coppa Italia final earlier this week, but their place in the Champions League is secure.
  • AC Milan is still in need of all three points to secure their spot, but the haven't been the same team since Christmas.
  • Anthony Dabbundo explains below why he doesn't think Milan has what it takes to pick up a win against La Dea.

Atalanta vs. AC Milan Odds

Atalanta Odds +135
AC Milan Odds +160
Draw +310
Over/Under 3.5 (-120 / -100)
Day | Time Sunday |2:45 p.m. ET
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Odds updated Saturday morning via DraftKings.

Atalanta lost another chance at a trophy on Wednesday when a late Juventus goal gave Juve the Coppa Italia. La Dea have already secured top four, but now they have a chance to play spoiler on Sunday by knocking AC Milan out of the Champions League if they can get at least a point on Sunday.

Milan needs a win to confirm its place in the top four. A loss or draw would leave them vulnerable to getting passed by Napoli and Juventus if they both won their matches against lower-league opposition. Milan’s draw with Cagliari last weekend is what will likely cost them if they fail to qualify for the CL after leading the league table at Christmas.

The line is fully taking into account the increased motivation for Milan to win this game, but I’m not buying into the lack of motivation for Atalanta in this one. Had Atalanta won the Coppa Italia on Wednesday, it might be a different situation. But a loss could leave them wanting to secure second place in the league with a result.

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Atalanta and the Question of Motivation

The days of being much higher than the market on Atalanta pretty much ended this year, with La Dea being fully recognized as one of Italy’s elite. My numbers show them as the best team in the league, playing at home. My projections show them at -140 to win this match, which is my biggest Italian edge of the weekend.

They have a chance for their best league finish in club history, which provides financial incentive for the club to play its best players. Their pressing and elite attacking unit are tough to handle for a Milan side that has struggled defensively the second half of the season.

The entire handicap for this match is whether or not Atalanta is really motivated to win this, and after their loss to Juventus, there’s no reason to think they’d call it a year just yet. On the last day last year, with nothing on the line and European football upcoming, Atalanta played Inter about even at home, suggesting they aren’t about to lay down headed into the offseason.

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AC Milan Face a Must-Win Scenario

Since the New Year, the underlying numbers suggest that AC Milan is not only not a top-four team, but not even a top-five team in Serie A. Atalanta, Napoli, Inter, Juventus and Lazio all rank higher in expected goals.

They rank sixth in points gained since Christmas, when they were top of the table. Here’s the kicker though: They weren’t even top four in underlying numbers before Christmas.

Milan performed way above their numbers early in the season, the market overreacted, and they have been the top of the fade list across Europe’s top leagues in the second half of the season, along with Tottenham and Leverkusen in England and Germany.

They suffered deserved defeats to Sassuolo and Lazio and appeared to have done just enough to survive with a deserved win against Juve, even if the 3-0 scoreline flattered them. However, a goalless draw with lowly Cagliari leaves them in a must win spot against a team that destroyed them in January.

Atalanta ripped Milan’s defense apart in transition in the first meeting and should have plenty of success doing the same if it wants to again.

Betting Analysis & Pick

Milan is way overvalued in this match and has been overvalued the entire season. The run of penalty luck early in the year and hot finishing have both regressed. Milan isn’t one of the four best in Italy, and I don’t think they will finish in the top four when the season concludes on Sunday.

Given that Atalanta is -120 on the draw no bet line and my projections show them -0.5 at -140, I will back the boys from Bergamo to close the season out with a win, but include some draw protection.

Pick: Atalanta draw no bet -120

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