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Atalanta Overpriced To Continue Catania’s Travel Sickness

January 8, 2014

Luca CigiriniAtalanta has won half of its Italian Serie A home matches and yet it is not far off even money to beat an opponent whose away record reads nine losses from nine matches.

BetVictor are offering odds of 1.91 about Atalanta defeating Catania on Saturday and, even though there is a well known betting saying about avoiding bad sides at bad odds, Atalanta is not a terrible team, particularly when playing in front of its own fans.

Atalanta has lost just two of its 10 home games across all competitions, with a couple of Italian Serie A’s top four sides, Fiorentina and Juventus, being the only teams to lower its colours. Atalanta has defeated Bari, Bologna, Lazio, Sassuolo, Torino and Udinese so perhaps it is not worth going overboard about its overall strength as just Lazio and Torino are ranked in the league’s top 10 sides.

However, one has to factor in travel-sick Catania being Atalanta’s opponent. Catania has not won an away match of any kind since upsetting Parma 2-1 in February 2013. Since then Catania’s road record reads zero wins, three draws and 12 losses, including going down in chronological order to Fiorentina (1-2), Livorno (0-2), Lazio (1-3), Cagliari (1-2), Juventus (0-4), Napoli (1-2), Torino (1-4), Sampdoria (0-2) and Roma (0-4). Admittedly, Catania has had to play the Italian Serie A’s top four teams away from home in the first half of the season but, also, it has crashed and burned at 14th-placed Sampdoria and 19th-placed Livorno.

Atalanta is not one of the Italian Serie A side on which one would want to bet one’s house but it should be trading at shorter odds than 1.91 to beat Catania. Odds of around 1.70 would seem to be more appropriate in view of the statistics.

Lazio is a false favourite for its Italian Serie A road assignment versus Bologna. Lazio’s away form is that of a relegation candidate as only Catania has accrued fewer road points than the Rome-based team. Catania and Lazio are two of the three sides yet to post an away league victory, with Cagliari being the other team without a road triumph.

One can reasonably expect Lazio to experience a short-term bounce following its decision to change of management from Vladimir Petkovic to Edoardo Reja but it was not as if the Biancocelesti were awful under Petkovic. After all, Lazio won the Coppa Italia last term and it is through to the knockout stage of the UEFA Europa League. It would appear that bookmakers think that punters will take silly odds about Lazio because of the so-called new manager syndrome, which is why the Biancocelesti are available at odds of 2.40 with Unibet. Lazio makes absolutely no appeal at odds of 2.40.

Lazio is trading at odds of 1.60 with Bet365 not to defeat Bologna and the draw is available at odds of 3.25 with Ladbrokes. It is a line-ball call as to which represents the value play but, if had to choose, backing the draw at odds against would be the go as Bologna and Lazio taking one point apiece from the Italian Serie A game is the likeliest outcome.

Finally, backing both sides to score when Verona and Napoli meet in the Marc’Antonio Bentegodi makes sense. Ladbrokes is offering odds of 1.70 about that eventuality and it appeals given Verona’s formidable home record and Napoli’s tendency to both score and concede away from its San Paolo ground.

Verona has won eight of its nine Italian Serie A home games, with its only failure coming in its city derby against Chievo. However, Verona’s eight victims have been ranked eighth or lower so bookmakers are entitled to be offering what seem like generous odds about the home side. Backing Verona to score a goal makes more sense than backing it to beat a Napoli team that has won five of its eight league road matches and scored a goal in half a dozen of them.

About the author

Eric Roberts
Eric Roberts

Sports Journalist

Eric has been a sports journalist for over 20 years and has travelled the world covering top sporting events for a number of publications. He also has a passion for betting and uses his in-depth knowledge of the sports world to pinpoint outstanding odds and value betting opportunities.