With the Premier League returning on Wednesday, Serie A will be the last of the “big four” football leagues to resume with four games on the docket this weekend. If you were missing football and betting on football during the pandemic, you’ll be spoiled for choice in the coming weeks.
Find a sportsbook to bet the return of the Serie A!
I’ve posted recaps for each of the Bundesliga, La Liga and Premier League where I’ve gone back to check the betting records and where things stood prior to the hiatus and I’ll do the same here for Serie A.
It’s been a very interesting season with Juventus holding a one-point lead atop the table over an incredibly impressive Lazio side that had won four straight games prior to the break and had gone unbeaten in 21 straight (17 wins, four draws).
Inter and Atalanta hold the other two Champions League places while Roma is just three points back in fifth.
At the other end of the table, Brescia is last with 16 points with SPAL on 18 and Lecce 25 in the three relegation spots, though Lecce is even on points with Genoa and one back of Sampdoria so there’s a bit of a fight for survival down there.
Lazio is easily on the best form of anyone in the league, though Napoli really started to hit its stride under Gennaro Gattuso with three straight wins and five in six prior to the break.
As for bad form, Torino had been a disaster before the pandemic struck with a run of six straight losses. In that six-game span, Torino scored just three goals while conceding a whopping 19, giving them a pathetic -16 goal differential which was miles worse than anyone else.
If you’re new to betting soccer, make sure you read our page on how to bet soccer and don’t forget to check out the latest in Serie A futures odds.
Most Profitable ML Bet: Cagliari (+$1522.00)
Up until mid-December, Cagliari was one of the biggest surprises in football. After 15 games, they had eight wins, five draws and just two defeats. In fact, they opened the Serie A season losing their first two games and then went on a 13-game unbeaten run.
During that run, they beat Napoli (+1350) and Atalanta (+850) in two massive underdog spots to help solidify their place atop this moneyline table.
Sadly, that well may have dried up a bit. Cagliari hasn’t won in its last 11 games so it might not be the most confident betting option on the calcio board. They play Hellas Verona (more on them in a moment) in the second game on Saturday as +250 underdogs.
At one point this season, Cagliari was flirting with the idea of a Champions League place. Reality came crashing down hard and fast and now the Sardinian side sits 12th. Despite sitting atop the Serie A moneyline table, this is probably a team to avoid until they reverse their fortunes.
Costliest ML Bet: Brescia (-$1172.66)
Dead last in the league with just four wins, it makes perfect sense to see Brescia as the costliest moneyline bet in Italy this season. And it’s not close, really.
Fiorentina is the next-costliest bet but Brescia is comfortably ahead by some 420 bucks.
The promoted club has scored some decent moneyline upsets in their wins, cashing as +387 dogs at Cagliari, +324 dogs at Udinese and +222 dogs at SPAL. But yeah, the wins have been few and far between for this club and it’s looking likely to be relegated back down to Serie B.
They do boast one of the brightest young talents in the world in midfielder Sandro Tonali and they also feature Mario Balotelli, but even the league’s brightest young star and a Serie A goalscoring vet can’t save this team.
Only SPAL has scored fewer goals and only Lecce has conceded more and that means Brescia is two points back of SPAL at the bottom of the table. They’ll resume their season against Fiorentina and are currently +500.
Best OVER Record: Sassuolo (17-6-2 O/U)
A team that likes to score? Check. A team that likes to concede? Check.
To be fair, Serie A features 12 teams that have an above-.500 OVER percentage so the OVER is a common result in Italy and anyone in the top four in the table below is definitely worth a shot in any game.
Sassuolo plays possession-based football (55.7 percent), has one of the top pass percentages in the league (86.3 percent) and fires a respectable 14.5 shots per game. Pretty decent for a team with a fraction of the payroll of most of the teams above them.
This team gets some balanced scoring from the likes of Francesco Caputo (13 goals), Domenico Berardi (nine) and Jeremie Boga (eight) and they’ve only been held off the scoresheet in five games this season. That’s not bad for a team that sits 11th in the table.
OVER bettors will be salivating to get bets in on Sassuolo’s first game back. They face the top-scoring team in the league in Atalanta and the reverse fixture was a 4-1 Atalanta win. The total is currently 3, 3.5 with OVER -120 and UNDER even money.
Best UNDER Record: Hellas Verona/Parma (8-15-2 O/U)
Two absolutely defensive-minded teams find themselves with the best UNDER records at 8-15-2.
Hellas Verona has conceded the fourth-fewest goals with 26 and Parma has conceded the fifth-fewest with 31. Furthermore, Hellas has scored the seventh-fewest goals with 29 and Parma has scored the ninth-fewest with 32.
Parma is the best tackling team in the league with 17.2 per game but both teams do allow a lot of shots against per game – Parma 18 per game and Hellas Verona 16.2. Those numbers place them in third and seventh respectively.
The caveat here is that both clubs have much higher xGA (expected goals against). Parma’s xGA is 38.10 (+7.10) while Verona’s is 35.26 (+9.26).
Does that mean the numbers will even out and we might see more OVERs with these two teams? Well, who knows, but those xGA numbers are a bit concerning. Parma gets things started against Torino on Saturday while Verona faces Napoli on Tuesday.
Best ATS Record: Hellas Verona (17-4-4 ATS)
No real surprise to see promoted Verona, which sits eighth in the table with nine wins and eight draws in its return season back in the top flight, as the best spread wager in Italy.
Verona has only lost by more than one goal twice. That’s it. Two times. One was a 2-0 loss at Napoli and the other was a 3-1 loss at home to Roma. That’s pretty impressive for a promoted club in any league.
In a peculiar twist, Verona’s last game before the hiatus was a 2-1 defeat away to Sampdoria with this game closing as a pick. Peculiar in that Sampdoria has been very poor this season and Verona had won the reverse fixture 2-0 earlier in the season.
Still, as documented in the UNDER bets section, Verona is suffocating defensively and just doesn’t concede goals, so that obviously keeps them in games and cashing ATS bets.
A pleasant surprise this season, to be sure, and one that looks to be a solid spread bet the rest of the way.
Worst ATS Record: Napoli (6-16-4 ATS)
Napoli really hadn’t gotten it together until right before the COVID-19 break. As mentioned above, Napoli finished with a three-game winning streak and had won five of six prior to the break but won the Coppa Italia on Wednesday by playing 0-0 against Juventus before winning on penalties.
It hadn’t really worked under Carlo Ancelotti this season and he was let go in December and replaced by Gennaro Gattuso. It took some time to get acclimated under Gattuso but things started clicking before the break and culminated with that Coppa Italia win.
That pre-hiatus run propelled Napoli back into the Europa League spot in sixth, three points up on Milan. It would take a miracle to get into the Champions League at this point as they are nine points back of Atalanta.
Even with that three-game winning streak, they only covered as 0.5-goal favorites at Cagliari in the first win before getting pushes away to Brescia and at home to Torino.
Napoli is a half-goal favorite in its first Serie A game back against Verona. So the best spread bet against the worst. Interesting indeed.