Serie A Betting: Back goals at the Tardini and a war of attrition between Napoli and Roma

Gonzalo Higuain will hope to be on target for Napoli against Roma, but he might not get what he wants
Gonzalo Higuain will hope to be on target for Napoli against Roma, but he might not get what he wants
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Dave Farrar gives the hottest tips for this weekend's Serie A action, but also an intriguing time to bet on the Scudetto race...

"Napoli's last home game had eight goals, and that's why "overs" are trading as the favourite here, but I think that this will be a rather more placid affair. Under 2.5 Goals are trading at 2.111/10, and that's a price worth taking."

This Serie A season was always going to be fun and fascinating, and the title race took a major twist on Wednesday night with Juve's defeat at Genoa. Despite that, and Roma winning routinely against Cesena to draw level, Juve are still only 1.758/11 to win Serie A. I was hoping to see them drift back out to odds-against, as I still feel that Juve will be too strong for Roma over the course of the season. If Juve's relatively poor run continues for another couple of weeks, and if Roma can capitalise, then it may be time to go in again on the Champions. 

Napoli v Roma
Saturday, 14:00

There's a defensive injury crisis at Roma, and with a trip to Naples on the horizon, it couldn't really have come at a worse time for Rudi Garcia and co. This should have been the weekend that Roma piled the pressure on Max Allegri and Juve, and instead of that they head to the San Paolo knowing that a draw would be a really good result. 

I wouldn't worry too much about the prospect of Daniele De Rossi playing at centre half alongside Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa. De Rossi is a fantastically adaptable player, and I know one or two respected Serie A watchers who feel that he may end his career at centre back, and will be all the better for doing so. There are even rumours that Kostas Manolas may not be as injured as was first thought, and so I wouldn't panic too much about Roma's ability to perform against their old friends, and now fierce rivals. 

Napoli are 2.466/4 to beat a side that has lost only once this season so far, and while Rafa Benitez's men are capable of a big display, they are not to be trusted at that kind of price. Roma are 3.211/5 to win, but I believe that Rudi Garcia would be happy with a draw, and so I'm struggling to take them to win.
  
The goals markets are interesting, though. Roma have played four away games in Serie A this season, and while that insane fixture against Juventus produced five goals, two of the others have had one goal between them, while it took a late Miralem Pjanic winner to force the game in Parma over 2.5 goals. Napoli's last home game had eight goals, and that's why Overs is trading as the favourite here, but I think that this will be a rather more placid affair. Under 2.5 Goals is trading at 2.111/10, and that's a price worth taking.  

Recommended Bet: Under 2.5 Goals in Napoli v Roma @ 2.111/10

Parma v Inter
Saturday, 19:45
Live on BT Sport 1

Parma were one of the most pleasant surprises in Serie A last season, but they have had a horror start to this campaign, and the word on the street is that, should they lose to Inter on Saturday night, then Roberto Donadoni will be out of a job. After eight defeats in their opening nine fixtures, Donadoni is lucky to still be in his position. Former glories are holding sway over stark reality, but I suspect that won't remain the case for long.

Walter Mazzarri is also under pressure, and while his Inter team have managed to win two matches in a row, they haven't been at all convincing, and it would be no great surprise to see Parma justify a bet at 3.613/5. Donadoni's team has the worst defence in the division, though, and with Inter also struggling at the back (don't be fooled by three clean sheets in a row, they've been mightily lucky), I think that this will be a Saturday night game to remember. There has been a devil-may-care feel to Donadoni's news conferences this week which suggest to me that he may try to attack his way out of trouble, and that makes over 3.5 Goals at 3.814/5 and Over 4.5 Goals at 8.27/1 both backable. Someone may be out of a job come Saturday night, and it'll fun finding out whether Donadoni or Mazzarri wins the battle of wills at the Tardini. 

Recommended Bets

Over 3.5 Goals in Parma v Inter @ 3.814/5
Over 4.5 Goals in Parma v Inter @ 8.27/1


Sampdoria v Fiorentina
Sunday, 14:00
Live on BT Sport 1

Losing his Sampdoria team's unbeaten record at his old club Inter will have hurt Sinisa Mihaijlovic, and don't be at all surprised if his super solid team bounce back with a win over improving Fiorentina (another of his former sides). Samp's strength is their defence, which has conceded just five times this season, and given that two of those goals came on a crazy afternoon against Cagliari, Samp can be proud of five clean sheets in nine games. Goals have been the issue for Fiorentina this season so far, and even though that midweek 3-0 win over Udinese looks like a return to form, it may be something of a false dawn. Udinese were the better side for the opening half hour of that game, and if Antonio Di Natale had scored rather than hit the post, then it could have been a different story.

In their previous match at the Artemio Franchi, Fiorentina had been comprehensively outplayed by Lazio, and that's a game that Mihaijlovic will have watched closely. Samp will play like the away side this Sunday, hard to break down and quick on the counter, and I have feeling that it may work. They certainly shouldn't be the outsiders at 3.185/40 to chalk up another win. 

Recommended Bet: Back Sampdoria to beat Fiorentina @ 3.185/40 

Dave Farrar is a Commentator at BT Sport and author of the bestselling gambling book "The Perfect Punter". From 21 points staked on Serie A this season, Dave is currently showing a loss of 6.06 points.

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