Italian Serie A Preview 2/28
All times EST
Hi everyone! This article will hopefully help to provide you with an insight into tomorrow’s soccer games. With the help of Statsational’s model, we will analyze where there is value and which spots would be best to avoid. Soccer can be a fickle sport, so I typically stick to smaller (0.25) units. Also, please note that I am not a coach and thus these picks should always be considered unofficial and for fun. Good luck!
As always, if you have questions about a team or matchup, feel free to ask in the free public #soccer channel on the SBA Discord!
6:30am: Atalanta @ Sampdoria
A busy day in Serie A kicks off with 10-place Sampdoria hosting 5th-place Atalanta. When these teams last met on October 24, Sampdoria came away with a shocking 3-1 upset despite Atalanta dominating nearly every statistical category. Atalanta has been one of the more exciting teams in Europe this season, and is currently on a 3-1-1 over their last five league games. Sampdoria, meanwhile, is 2-2-1 over the same stretch.
I expect Atalanta to get their revenge from earlier this season and find a way to get the win here. The line is currently -175, which is a bit steep, but with the support of the model (albeit small support), I am going to go ahead and take Atalanta here for 0.25 units ar -175. I would be very surprised if they lose to Sampdoria again.
9:00am: Cagliari @ Crotone
Relegation-worthy teams meet in the next one as Cagliari (18th) travels to Crotone (20th). Both teams have had disappointing seasons, with only 3 wins apiece in 23 games. As you might expect, neither team has been impressive over the last five Serie A games, with Cagliari going 0-4-1 and Crotone going 0-5. Cagliari won the first match 4-2 early in the season, and will look to pick up another three points here.
This one reeks of a tie to me, with both teams struggling this year and in need of some points. If I were to choose a side, I always like to choose the better odds when I think the game will be close, which makes me lean towards Crotone. Looking at Statsational’s model, the fair line for Crotone is +199 while the actual line is +230, which shows us some value. However, with the very distinct possibility of a tie, I prefer the Asian line of +0.25 for Crotone at +108 odds, risking 0.25 units.
9:00am: Genoa @ Internazionale
We have a potential mismatch in this one as league leaders Internazionale host 12th-place Genoa, with a whopping 27 points separating the two in the standings. This is the first meeting between the two this season, but it is hard to see Inter losing here. They have only two losses on the season and are 4-0-1 over their last five league games. Genoa, meanwhile, is 3-0-2 and has been in solid form lately.
As expected, Inter is the heavy favorite in this one, with the line checking in at a whopping -560 compared to +1500 for Genoa. It is really tempting to take the huge underdog here for a fun bet in the event of an upset, but Statsational’s model doesn’t show any value on either side, so I think this is a good game to avoid betting on.
9:00am: Fiorentina @ Udinese
The third of our mid-morning games promises to be a tight one, as Fiorentina (14th) travels to Udinese (13th). These teams are even in just about every category, with Udinese having a slight one-point advantage in the standings. These teams have actually met twice this season, with Fiorentina taking the regular-season game 3-2 and the Coppa Italia game 1-0. Udinese is 2-1-2 while Fiorentina is 2-2-1 over the last five league games, so both teams come into this one in similar form.
Looking at the model, there doesn’t seem to be value here. Both teams are showing a negative EV, which suggests this would be a great one to avoid. With so many games on the schedule tomorrow, there is no need to force anything so I would recommend not betting on this one.
12:00pm: Benevento @ Napoli
Napoli (7th) hosts Benevento (15th) in the noon game tomorrow. These teams meet for the second time, with Napoli winning the first match 2-1 back on October 25th. That one could have been an even bigger margin of victory for Napoli, as they dominated a less talented Benevento team in every major category. Benevento has been playing teams tightly lately, going 0-1-4 over their last five Serie A games, while Napoli is only 2-3 over the same stretch.
The lines on this one currently show Napoli at -240 while Benevento is at +600. I hate taking huge favorites of over -200 so it would be tempting to take Benevento here. However, after consulting the expert model from Statsational, there isn’t any value on either side, with the fair line for Benevento at +851 and Napoli at -237. I expect Napoli to win here, but I am not willing to lay those odds.
2:45pm: AC Milan @ AS Roma
The final match of the day in the top Italian league sees AC Milan (2nd) travel to AS Roma (4th) in a clash of titans. These teams have yet to meet this season, and this should be quite the game as both teams look to gain on Internazionale’s slender lead in the table. Over the last five Serie A games, AC Milan is a paltry 2-3 while AS Roma has been better at 3-1-1.
The model shows value on AS Roma in this one, with a fair line of +106 compared to the actual line of +132. AC Milan comes in at +205, which is very tempting as the 2nd team in the league, despite their recent struggles. I think this game is actually going to be much closer than these lines would suggest. I don’t normally like to play things that don’t show positive value, and I absolutely hate going against the expert model from Statsational. However, this is one situation where I am going to go with the side with better odds in what I see to be a close game. AC Milan still has a chance to win the league and I think they come out with urgency and quality and find a way to win. Besides, it’s only a quarter unit, right?