EUROPEAN football expert Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) shares his betting thoughts from Wednesday night’s Serie A action.
Sassuolo v Sampdoria | Wednesday 17.30 | BT Sport 2
Sampdoria were a touch unfortunate not to pick up a point against Milan on Sunday night with a controversial offside call preventing Vincenzo Montella’s men from opening the scoring.
The 1-0 defeat has left Samp six points above the relegation zone and the Blucerchiati should be safe. However, they’ll know one last push is probably required to ensure their Serie A status.
Andrea Ranocchia returns for Sampdoria on Wednesday night but having claimed just three wins in 21 on their travels and keeping a solitary shutout in 16 games as guests – against rock-bottom Verona – the visitors are unlikely to pick up maximum points at Sassuolo.
The Neroverdi suffered a shock reverse when hosting Genoa recently but it was only their fourth defeat in 23 home encounters but with Nicola Sansone back in the fold, Sassuolo should be on song.
The home side have a strong draw bias when welcoming league opposition but a superb Both Teams To Score record should be extended here. It’s a selection that’s banked in 22/35 (63%) of Mapei Stadium meetings since the start of last season.
Sampdoria have scored in each of their last 10 on their travels with a huge 24/35 (69%) away games since the beginning of 2014/15 also proving profitable for BTTS backers, making a repeat look very attractive.
10Bet are offering Both Teams To Score at 10/13 – odds that suggest just a 56% of landing on Wednesday. Taking the two teams’ aforementioned records, we could expect a 66% chance of BTTS, a percentage probability that implies of just 1/2, making it a big value bet.
Juventus v Lazio | Wednesday 19.45 | BT Sport 2
Napoli’s hopes of catching Juventus this season had already been dealt a fatal blow when they lost to Udinese two weeks ago, but now we are running out of space for nails in the coffin.
Beaten 2-0 by Inter on Saturday, the Partenopei finished the weekend nine points off the pace. Maurizio Sarri’s men closed the gap to six on Monday night with a 6-0 shellacking of Bologna but the race is run, the contest over, the parrot definitely deceased.
Juventus can put one hand on a fifth successive Scudetto on Wednesday night by beating Lazio in style in Turin and it would take a brave punter to oppose Max Allegri’s men doing just that.
The Old Lady have dropped just two points since September and returned an astonishing W22-1-L0 from their past 23 Serie A outings. The Bianconeri saw off Palermo with ease at the weekend to make it a sensational 13 straight wins on home soil, as well as 10 clean sheets on the spin at the J-Stadium.
Unfortunately, a cruciate ligament tear has ended Claudio Marchisio’s season but Juventus can be trusted to deliver the goods in his absence having claimed seven successive triumphs, leaking just twice in that spell. I
ndeed, each of Juve’s last eight home Serie A encounters have ended in wins ‘to nil’ for Allegri’s troops, so it would make sense to bank on a repeat occurring at 29/20 (BetVictor) here.
Lazio have won back-to-back games under Simone Inzaghi but this is easily their toughest test of the campaign. The Romans have lost five of their past six meetings with the champions, firing blanks in each defeat.
The Biancocelesti have actually W0-D1-L9 in their last 10 duels with the Old Lady and this season the visitors have lost their five games against the top-three by an aggregate score of 15-1, failing to score in four of those five contests.
Roma v Torino | Wednesday 19.45 | BT Sport ESPN
Roma’s sloppy backline allowed the Giallorossi to surrender a 2-0 lead at Atalanta on Sunday with Luciano Spaletti’s side requiring a late equaliser to take a 3-3 draw. The result meant the capital club were unable to close the gap on second-placed Napoli, who’d lost at Inter on Saturday night
. Roma have now failed to keep their sheets clean since February and although Wednesday night’s hosts have W9-D3-L0 in their last 12 Serie A matches and boast the league’s most formidable attack, their dodgy defence is reason enough to leave the Wolves alone here.
Spaletti’s side have W10-D5-L1 on home soil but bang out-of-form Bologna escaped with a point from the Stadio Olimpico recently, one of nine successful Both Teams To Score bets in Roma’s last 10 league encounters.
The home side have scored at least twice in 10 of their unbeaten 12-game run whilst Over 2.5 Goals has proven a winning formula in eight of their most recent 10. But it’s BTTS that makes most appeal with Bet365 offering 10/11 when Torino pitch up in the capital.
The Granata have W0-D3-L8 in their last 11 duels with Roma but head south on the back of a three-match winning streak that includes a 2-1 success at Inter.
Veteran boss Giampiero Ventura is expected to rotate his squad but Andrea Belotti should keep his place, a striker that’s scored nine goals this calendar year – only Gonzalo Higuain has more in 2016.
Torino have seen BTTS bank in 22/35 (63%) of their road trips since the start of last season and with Roma following suit in 12/16 (75%) of their home outings in 2015/16, the 10/11 looks far too big when the pair lock horns in the Eternal City.
Genoa v Inter Milan | Wednesday 19.45 | BT Sport Extra
Genoa were stunned 4-1 by lowly Carpi at the weekend but Gian Piero Gasperini’s troops should be trusted to bounce back from that implosion by holding Inter Milan at the Marassi this midweek.
The Rossoblu are rated 39/40 (Bet365) with a +0.50 Asian Handicap start – a selection that will return profit should Genoa avoid defeat. The hosts have lost just 12/51 (24%) of their home excursions under Gasperini, taking 17 points from their past 21 when welcoming Serie A opposition.
Indeed, Genoa have shutout five of their last seven visitors, as well as recording 21/51 (41%) clean sheets during those Marassi matches under their wily head coach and have Alessio Cerci vying for a start now the Italian international is back to full fitness.
Inter moved to within five points of Roma having beaten Napoli at the weekend and the Nerazzurri’s easier run-in makes Roberto Mancini’s live candidates to potentially steal a top-three finish.
But despite winning back-to-back matches, Inter have W1-D3-L3 on the road and make the journey south without crucial defensive midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia. When the Frenchman has played, the Nerazzurri have won 12 of 17 matches but without him, Inter have won just six of 17 and kept one clean sheet in nine.
Since Mancini arrived at the club, Inter have failed to win 17/30 (57%) of their away days and I reckon that record will be extended come the close of Wednesday and I’m happy to get Genoa onside here.
Sassuolo v Sampdoria – Both Teams To Score (10/13 10Bet)
Juventus v Lazio – Juventus win ‘to nil’ (29/20 BetVictor)
Roma v Torino – Both Teams To Score (10/11 Bet365)
Genoa v Inter Milan – Genoa +0.50 Asian Handicap (39/40 Bet365)
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