Four of Italian Serie A’s top five meets in the 16th round of matches and one cannot understand why bookmakers are going out of their way to lay the two visiting teams.
Napoli hosts Roma in the first of Sunday’s Italian Serie A blockbusters and anyone would think that it was a clash between sides at opposite ends of the ladder based on the betting. Roma, which is positioned fourth on the Italian Serie A ladder, is one of the round’s roughest outsiders even though it is only three points below third-placed Napoli and backing up off one more day of rest.
One will harp on about collateral form analysis for a good number of rounds because it is the stage of the Italian Serie A season when it highlights dangerous flaws in the ladder. Napoli and Roma have had 12 common Italian Serie A opponents and one’s reading of those results is that six of them favour the Wolves, with three going against them and three ties. So, while Roma trails Napoli on the Italian Serie A ladder, one would argue that there is greater substance to the form of the Wolves than their Sunday guests. Quite why bookmakers are so keen to lay Roma, particularly not to lose, is something of a mystery.
Roma officials are making the right noises about Gervinho returning from injury to face Napoli in one of the biggest Italian Serie A games. One acknowledges that away wins are like hen’s teeth in heavyweight Italian Serie A clashes so picking Roma to win at Napoli may be asking too much of the Wolves. However, there are straightforward value cases for backing Roma in receipt of various head starts, with the most attractive wager being the Wolves plus two goals at odds of 1/21.50-2000.50-2.000.50 with Bwin. Asking yourself this question: would you rather backing Napoli to win or Roma not to lose by two or more goals? The odds about both options are very similar.
Fiorentina’s midweek schedule was not as kind as that of Juventus but, even so, one cannot allow bookmakers to get away with treating the Purples with such contempt for the second of Sunday’s sensational Italian Serie A showdowns.
Juventus and Fiorentina have faced 12 of the same Italian Serie A opponents and one’s collateral form analysis comes out in favour of the Purples with six wins to four and two ties. Essentially, what this means is that the raw Italian Serie A numbers suggest that there is very little between Juventus and Fiorentina when one takes into account that Sunday’s championship six-pointer will occur in Turin.
One will afford respect to Juventus because of its superb home record across all competitions since it moved to its current stadium but one would rather back Fiorentina plus two goals at odds of 2/51.40-2500.40-2.500.40 with Bet365 than lump on Juventus at odds of 7/101.70-1430.70-1.430.70 with numerous bookmakers.
Finally, Sassuolo is overpriced to make it eight wins from the first 16 Italian Serie A rounds with a home victory over Torino. Sassuolo is available at odds of 47/252.88+1881.881.88-0.53 with Coral when one’s Italian Serie A collateral form analysis suggests that, even without Domenico Berardi, it should be trading as the favourite for Saturday’s match. Sassuolo and Torino have had 12 common Italian Serie A opponents and only two of those collateral form lines favour the Maroons over the Black and Greens. Sassuolo managed to win 3-1 at Sampdoria in its latest Italian Serie A assignment without Berardi, whose indiscipline may prevent him realising his potential.
Roma+2 to beat Napoli
13th December 17:00 GMT
Fiorentina+2 to beat Juventus
13th December 19:45 GMT
Sassuolo to beat Torino
12th December 17:00 GMT
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.
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