Serie A Betting: Back end of season goals galore

Felipe Anderson and Marek Hamsik go head-to-head for the Champions League
Felipe Anderson and Marek Hamsik go head-to-head for the Champions League

Dave Farrar predicts the final round will see caution thrown to the wind in the Capocannoniere decider and battle for third place...

“It means that Napoli will go hell for leather, and that Lazio will counter with glee. Lazio can be shaky defensively, Napoli can be awful.”

Lazio v Napoli
Sunday, 19:45
Live on BT Sport 1

So it has come to this: third place is up for grabs on the final day, with Napoli knowing that they need to beat Lazio to seal it, and Lazio fully aware that a point takes them to the Champions League qualifiers. And here's the thing: I just don't fancy Napoli at all.

This is a team which has proved time and again that they fail to handle pressure. It's a curious characteristic, and it's hard to definitively work out the reasons for it, but they're the masters of blowing a big chance. Lazio's late defeat by Roma last week should have Napoli fans licking their lips at one final chance. Instead of that, they'll be nervous.

The league table shows us that, to this point, Lazio have been the better side, and the naked eye bears that out. Stefano Pioli is a humble man who has grabbed his chance, Rafa Benitez an arrogant one who seems more concerned with reputation than performance. If there's an excuse to be found, then Rafa will grab it.

The Aquile also already knocked Coppa Italia holders Napoli out of the tournament in the semi-finals, winning at the San Paolo.

So what does this mean with regard to the weekend's game? It means that Napoli will go hell for leather, and that Lazio will counter with glee.

Lazio can be shaky defensively, Napoli can be awful. The two prices of interest are the Lazio win at 3.65 and over 3.5 goals at 3.185/40. Napoli's last home game was a 3-2 farce against Cesena, when nerves affected them and their bad habits came to the fore. I expect something similar, except Lazio are better than Cesena. A lot better.

I think that Lazio are overpriced for the win, but what bothers me is that they don't NEED to win. A draw gives them what they want, and I'm not inclined to back a team to do something that they don't have to.

I think that the way the game will play out will lead to goals, though, and with Napoli's last five League games producing 24 goals, I've no problem in taking 3.185/40 about there being at least four in this one.

Recommended Bet: Back Over 3.5 Goals in Napoli v Lazio @ 3.185/40

Sassuolo v Genoa
Sunday, 19:45

This isn't a weekend to go crazy with your stakes on Serie A: most issues are settled, and there are a lot of dead games to avoid.

Genoa have had a wonderful season, and even if off field issues deny them a place in Europe, there's a lot to be proud of. Sassuolo too, have been entertaining to watch and successful enough, and I expect them both to end the season with a considerable bang.

Earlier in this campaign, the two teams played out a 3-3 draw at Marassi, while in this fixture on the penultimate weekend of last season there were also six goals. Like the best top of the bill fighters, their styles seem to suit: think of these two as the Arturo Gatti and Mickey Ward of Serie A.

The market of course acknowledges the fact that Genoa's last three games have had six, five and five goals and that two of Sassuolo's last five have also produced five. Over 2.5 Goals is trading at 1.548/15, but I'm inclined to hope for a little bit of a final day party, and take the 7.613/2 about their being over 5.5 goals.

That's been the outcome the last two times that they've played, and while going as high as that is a risk, I think that it's one worth taking.

Recommended Bet: Over 5.5 Goals in Sassuolo v Genoa @ 7.613/2

Verona v Juventus
Saturday, 17:00

I'm tipping goals as well in Verona. Put simply, Verona want Luca Toni to be Capocannoniere, Juve want the same for Carlos Tevez.

Tevez is likely to be risked ahead of the Champions League final for that very reason, and this column is very keen for him to overtake Toni. We backed him at 11.010/1 pre-season, and it's only Juve's Champions League progress which has let us down.

Mauro Icardi will still have a major shout as Inter face Empoli, but I think that both teams, with nothing else to play for, will be geared to winning the prize for their man. That could lead to an open game, and one which features plenty of quality in front of both goals. Over 3.5 goals are overpriced at 2.568/5

Recommended Bet: Over 3.5 Goals in Verona v Juventus @ 2.568/5

2014-15 P/L

Staked: 96
Returned: 93.55
P/L: -2.45

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