Serie A betting: All aboard the Asian Handicap train

Luciano Spalletti’s celebration at an Inter resurgence may well be short-lived in Genoa
Luciano Spalletti’s celebration at an Inter resurgence may well be short-lived in Genoa
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Dave Farrar predicts Genoa will end the Inter resurgence before it begins, Sampdoria can cut Milan back down to size and decimated Bologna should still crush Sassuolo.

“When you consider that they’ve won their last four home games against Inter, it’s not too difficult to give Genoa a significant chance, far more than their price suggests.”

Genoa v Inter
Saturday, 19:45
Live on BT Sport 1 and Betfair Live Video

Davide Ballardini's rebuilding of Genoa has continued impressively, and Diego Laxalt has been an unlikely hero in recent weeks, scoring two consecutive 90th minute winners at Lazio and Chievo.

Only Juve and Napoli have picked up more points than the 21 that Genoa have managed since Ballardini took over, and they face an Inter side who might have won against Bologna last time, but needed a moment of genius from the youngster Yann Karamoh to do so against nine men, and still look shaky and tentative.

It looks as if Mauro Icardi might not return to the Inter side this weekend, which of course would be a boost, but they shouldn't be as short as 2.285/4 to beat a side who are set up to suffocate and deny space, which is Inter's worst nightmare.

Inter are easily discouraged, and that has been at the root of many of their problems this season, and I just can't see the likes of Ivan Perisic, Marcelo Brozovic or Borja Valero being able to influence the game as they would like. They become too easy to play against, and while Icardi or Karamoh could spark Inter into life, I think that Genoa represent a bit of value.

The only slight issue with Genoa is their form at Marassi. They've been outstanding away, but only Verona and Benevento have picked up fewer than their eight points at home. I'm prepared to forgive them that, though, and when you consider that they've won their last four home games against Inter, it's not too difficult to give them a significant chance, far more than their price suggests.

It's a toss up between backing Genoa to win at 3.613/5, or to take advantage of the Asian Handicap, and I'm going to do the latter, keeping the draw on our side.

Recommended Bet:
Back Genoa +0 and +0.5 on Asian Handicap v Inter @ 2.021/1

Milan v Sampdoria
Sunday, 19:45
Live on BT Sport 1 and Betfair Live Video

So the Gennaro Gattuso revolution at Milan continues after a dominant display at SPAL (too dominant for this column) means that they are now unbeaten in six League games, and have won four of those.

They haven't kept back-to-back clean sheets in the League for over a year though, and Sampdoria will cause them problems on Sunday night after enjoying their best season since three points for a win was introduced.

I'm surprised to see Samp trading at 4.67/2 to win here, as Milan's resurgence hasn't been THAT impressive, and Marco Giampaolo's side are tempting with a half-goal start on the Asian Handicap, especially as they have scored in the last eight Serie A rounds.

Milan's good recent run included a win over Lazio, but that's the only stand out result, and I think that the jury is out on Gattuso; they're unquestionably better than they were under Vincenzo Montella, but I'm not sure how much better.

Samp are on a five-match unbeaten run of their own, and their last away game was a 1-0 win at Roma, so I find their price here a little baffling. Milan played well against Ludogorets on Thursday night, but fielded a strong side, and they may be a little leg-weary here. I think that Samp will be primed to take advantage.

Recommended Bet:
Back Sampdoria +0.5 on the Asian Handicap @ 2.226/5

Bologna v Sassuolo
Sunday, 14:00
Live on Betfair Live Video

Bologna ended last week's game at San Siro against Inter with nine men, but came close to leaving with a draw, and I was impressed by their endeavour and stickability; they should have too much for Sassuolo this weekend.

I'm surprised to see Roberto Donadoni's team trading at 2.77/4 for the win, but that's because of the run that they're on. They've lost their last three, but two of those defeats were against Napoli and Inter, and they're playing better than their form suggests.

Sassuolo haven't won since before Christmas, and while the point they got in Rome at the turn of the year hints that they could get something here, they were fortunate that day, and I fancy Bologna to have a little too much for them.

Bologna won at Sassuolo earlier in the season, and they're unbeaten in their last four Serie A games against them, and Donadoni has a better Serie A record against Sassuolo than any other team.

I like the Bologna front three, and even though Rodrigo Palacio is suspended, Mattia Destro will have much to prove, and will be ably supported by Federico Di Francesco and the outstanding youngster Ricardo Orsolini. As a result of that, I like their price as well. 2.77/4 could look like a steal come Sunday evening.

Recommended Bet:
Back Bologna to beat Sassuolo @ 2.77/4

2017-18 P/L

Staked: 69 points
Returned: 84.66 points
P/L: + 15.66 points

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