Serie A Betting: Back Fiorentina to triumph and goals at Genoa and Sassuolo

You can bet Fiorentina will be back celebrating again in their 2017 opener against Pescara
You can bet Fiorentina will be back celebrating again in their 2017 opener against Pescara
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With Serie A returning after its winter break, Dave Farrar predicts Fiorentina will start 2017 with a bang, plus fireworks in Genoa-Roma and Sassuolo-Torino.

“I'm surprised to see Fiorentina as big as 1.910/11 to win this, and they represent just a little bit of value.”

I always approach the first round of matches in the new Serie A year as I do the games at the start of the season: with caution, and a little trepidation. Any themes that we've noticed early (Atalanta's form, Torino and Cagliari's penchant for goals) aren't guaranteed to have been carried over into 2017, so we must keep stakes small and watch carefully to see where value might appear.

That said, readers of this column want to have a bet, and so here are three sensible and hopefully well-judged selections.

Pescara v Fiorentina
Sunday, 14:00

I don't think that it's unreasonable to keep opposing Pescara. They snatched a late equaliser against Palermo, which cost us a winning bet, but they're still a poor proposition and a team that loses all too frequently. Valerio Verre and Cristian Biraghi are suspended with Simone Pepe and Jean-Christophe Bahebeck nursing injuries too.

Fiorentina are no great shakes on the road, but they won't have to be against Pescara, and I'm convinced that their performance in that remarkable 3-3 draw against Napoli will carry them forward with confidence into this game.

Borja Valero is also back and so I'm surprised to see them as big as 1.910/11 to win this, and they represent just a little bit of value. After all, Pescara have never won this Serie A fixture in six previous attempts.

Recommended Bet
Back Fiorentina to beat Pescara @ 1.910/11

Genoa v Roma
Sunday, 14:00
Live on BT Sport 3

Suggesting that there'll be goals in a Roma game isn't the most original choice, but their performances against the lesser lights of the division have been pretty consistent.

Roma's games against the better sides in Serie A have tended to be tight, as they change their freewheeling approach. Against the likes of Genoa, though, there's an altogether different way of doing things, and when Luciano Spalletti's team feel that they can simply outscore someone, that's exactly what they do.

Added into the mix is Genoa's ability to hurt teams. They beat Juventus at Marassi in a high-scoring match and put three past Milan. They've also been involved in two seven-goal thrillers here, and so you can feel that the odds are on your side.

Roma are likely without Kostas Manolas and Thomas Vermaelen, which further reduces their likelihood of keeping it tight at the back. Five of the last eight editions of this fixture have been Over 3.5 goals, so history is on our side.

I expected Over 3.5 goals to be trading at under the 3.02/1 mark, and it's a nice surprise to see that outcome available at 3.02/1.

Recommended Bet
Back Over 3.5 goals in Genoa v Roma @ 3.02/1

Sassuolo v Torino
Sunday, 14:00

Torino let us down just before Christmas when they lost 1-0 at Genoa, but there's a chance that they could be back to their old selves at Sassuolo.

Sassuolo lost a remarkable game in Cagliari just before the break, when they went down 4-3, and while I doubt that this will be an Over 6.5 game, there's enough juice in the 1.794/5 available about there being at least three goals to suggest that's worth a bet.

Both of these teams have spent much of the season (with varying degrees of success) trying to play open football, and there's no reason why that would stop. I know that Sassuolo have had a poor campaign, but they are seven points from relegation.

We know all about Torino as a strong attacking force and poor defensive one, and the fact that three of Sassuolo's last four Serie A games have gone Over 2.5 goals leads me to think that this is the most realistic and worthwhile third bet of the first weekend back.

No point commenting on the Sassuolo injury crisis anymore, but in addition to all that Lorenzo Pellegrini and Luca Mazzitelli are suspended, so they essentially have no midfield. Juan Manuel Iturbe completed his move from Roma to Torino and could get his debut in the second half.

Recommended Bet
Back Over 2.5 goals in Sassuolo v Torino @ 1.794/5

2016-17 P/L

Staked: 55pts
Returned: 69.40pts
P/L: +14.40pts

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