MARK O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) is hunting another European NAP winner as he chases goals in Serie A on Sunday.
Hellas Verona v Napoli | Sunday 17.00 | BT Sport Extra
I’ve said many times before that goals-based bets in Serie A (and occasionally Ligue 1) are often overpriced compared to the Premier League, Bundesliga or even at times La Liga. These leagues are thought-of as low-scoring, putting off punters and inflating the quotes on Over 2.5 Goals and Both Teams To Score selections.
Well, you might be surprised to learn that Serie A is averaging 2.59 goals-per-game in 2014/15 with 55% of fixtures also featuring BTTS winners. That figure dips to 48% when looking at the Over 2.5 Goals market. But compare and contrast to the Premier League where matches are averaging 2.55 goals-per-game with 51% featuring BTTS and 49% producing Over 2.5 Goals and you’ll see what I mean.
I’m keen to continue betting on goals markets in Italy and France (where possible) and I reckon I’ve found an angle for Sunday’s Serie A showdown between Verona and Napoli. Betway have made Both Teams To Score a 4/5 shot and by my maths, it should be closer to 4/6, giving us a great value bet.
Nicolas Lopez grabbed a stoppage-time equaliser for Hellas last time out in the San Siro as Andrea Mandorlini’s men held Milan 2-2. Having won away in Cagliari the week previous, on the back of a 1-1 draw with Roma on home soil, it's helped move the Gialloblu nine points clear of the relegation zone.
And goals have been in plentiful supply this season. Verona have scored in 21/26 (81%) of their Serie A fixtures with Chievo the only side to shut the hosts out at their Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi home. However, clean sheets have proved just as scare with Hellas stopping their opposition scoring just twice since early October. Unsurprisingly, this has led to 18/26 (69%) Both Teams To Score winners including 9/12 (75%) at the Bentegodi.
Those trends have remained a constant under Mandorlini’s management. In 31 home league fixtures under the former Inter defender’s charge, Verona have seen BTTS bank in 65% of their matches, only failing to score in five and keeping just seven clean sheets.
Napoli’s form takes a similar path. Last weekend’s 2-2 draw at home to Inter was the seventh occasion in 10 Serie A outings to produce BTTS and with the Partenopei only failing to trouble the scorers twice since September, their galaxy of attacking stars rarely let Rafa Benitez down. However, six clean sheets across their campaign just isn’t good enough for a team chasing a Scudetto dream.
Like Verona, the longer-term trends under Benitez’s tutelage remain strong too. Since the ex-Liverpool boss took charge at the start of last season, Napoli have seen ticks in the BTTS column in 17/32 (53%) away games in Italy’s top-flight, scoring in 24/32 (75%) and keeping just 8/32 (25%) shutouts.
Should we put the two long-term Both Teams To Score percentage figures together we’ll come away with a 59% average between the two teams. Translate that to equivalent odds and we’re looking at a bet around the 4/6 mark.
As already mentioned, Betway are offering 4/5 and as we can see, that’s a great value bet to be on this weekend.
Hellas Verona v Napoli – Both Teams To Score (4/5 Betway)
Do you agree with Mark’s selection? Are there better value bets to be had on the continent this weekend?
We’d love to hear your views so let us know in the comments box below.