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Aug 18, 2017

Outright Serie A betting: Who can challenge Juventus?

Should Juventus' Serie A winner odds be so short?

Can Napoli end their 28-year wait for a Serie A title?

How important is AC Milan's transfer investment in outright Serie A betting?

Outright Serie A betting: Who can challenge Juventus?

As the start of the Serie A season approaches, bettors may look to the outright market to find potential value. Juventus have dominated Italian soccer in recent years but the gap is beginning to close. Which teams have a chance in the outright Serie A betting market? Read on for some expert insight.

In addition to in-depth analysis of outright Premier League betting and Premier League relegation betting, a move across Europe highlights how betting on the winner of Serie A this season could also offer value.

The outright Serie A betting market suggests there are five main contenders for the title. A closer look at their performances in recent campaigns and team statistics will certainly help bettors make more informed decisions when analysing Pinnacle’s unbeatable Serie A winner odds.

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Juventus

Juventus will most likely be a popular choice for this season’s Serie A title - only Bayern Munich and PSG are shorter favourites in the outright market for any of the top five leagues in European soccer - and with good reason.

The Old Lady has won the last six Serie A titles (a record 33 in total) as well as dominating Italy’s main cup competition, the Copa Italia; with three wins in the last three years (a record 12 in total). However, bettors may want to note how the title-winning margin has shortened in recent years.

Serie A winning margin 2013/14-2016/17

Season

Winning margin

2013/14

17

2014/15

17

2015/16

9

2016/17

4

There’s no doubt that Juventus’ success has been built on a solid defence (particularly under current manager Massimiliano Allegri) - they had the third best defence in Europe’s top five leagues last season conceding just 0.71 goals per game. But in order to justify such short odds, Juventus will have to improve on their record of 2.03 goals per game scored in 2016/17.

Juventus still have their top goal scorer from last season Gonzalo Higuain (24 goals) but have already lost the influential defender Leonard Bonucci to rivals AC Milan and after Neymar’s move from Barcelona to PSG, holding on to the emerging talent Paulo Dybala will prove difficult.

Juventus probably still deserve to be favourites in the outright Serie A betting but for the first time in six years, their dominant reign in Italian soccer could be severely under threat.

  • Juventus are 1.613* to win Serie A. Bet now.

Napoli

Napoli (5.270* to win the Serie A title) is widely regarded as one of the biggest clubs in Italian soccer, yet they have won just two league titles in their history (the last of which came back in 1989/90). Unfortunately for Gli Azzurri, their impressive stats and bursts of form in the last four years haven’t produced the rewards they perhaps deserved.

Along with Real Madrid, Napoli were the only team in the top five leagues of European soccer to have four different players score more than ten league goals.

Last season’s points total of 86 was the highest in Napoli’s history; showing that they are continuing to improve. Maurizio Sarri's side scored the most goals per game (2.47), had the highest average possession (59%) and the best pass success rate (87.2%) in Serie A last season. Napoli also averaged 680.9 passes per game in the league, 135 more than any other team.

Bettors may have been wary of Napoli’s chances in 2016/17 after Gonzalo Higuain’s £75.3m move to Juventus but Dries Mertens filled the void left by the Argentinian striker. While Mertens scored more goals than Higuain, he was helped by goal contributions from all over the pitch (along with Real Madrid, Napoli were the only team in the top five leagues of European soccer to have four different players score more than ten league goals).

AC Milan

Very few would have predicted AC Milan would feature as one of the favourites in outright Serie A betting after a sixth place finish last season. However, having spent more than £160m already this summer, I Rossoneri are considered to be one of the main contenders in the Serie A winner odds (currently priced at 6.980*).

If AC Milan are going to compete for the title this year they will have to beat the other elite teams in the league - they only won two of their ten games against the top five last season.

The second most decorated club in Italian soccer has enjoyed sporadic success in both league and cup competitions. After featuring in the top six for 15 consecutive seasons, AC Milan’s eighth-place finish in 2013/14 was unexpected. The five managers since then haven’t managed to restore former glory but Vincenzo Montella led Milan to sixth last season and appears to have provided some stability.

The arrival of Leonardo Bonucci, Ricardo Rodriguez, Mateo Musacchio and Andrea Conti will strengthen a defence that conceded 1.18 goals per game last season, while Hakan Calhanoglu and Andre Silva will provide some creativity and firepower in attack.

Crucially for AC Milan, Gianluigi Donnarumma has committed his future to the club and Suso is beginning to fulfil his potential - the Spanish forward had more assists (9) and created more chances (62) than any other player aged 23 or under in Serie A in 2016/17.

If AC Milan are going to compete for the title this year, their host of new signings will have to gel quickly (most have them are already used to Italian soccer) and most importantly, they will have to beat the other elite teams in the league - they only won two of their ten games against the top five last season. 

AS Roma

No team has come as close to dethroning Juventus as Roma did last year. Luciano Spalletti guided Roma to their third second-place finish in four years but as hard as they tried, I Giallorossi couldn’t give Francesco Totti a fairytale send off - last season was Totti’s 24th and final season playing for the club.

Bettors should also consider how using an expected goals model or a Brier Score look at Serie A will inform their betting heading into the new season.

While other teams in the outright Serie A betting seem to be focused on attack or defence, Roma are more balanced in terms of their strengths. A counter-attacking style is one thing that sets them apart from others - the five counter attack goals they scored last season was the highest in the league.

Roma gave away the second fewest fouls per game last season (12.2) and made more interceptions per game than any other side in the top six (15.5). It is also worth noting that Roma scored the most goals from penalties in 2016/17.

Roma find themselves slightly lower down the list of favourites in the Serie A winner odds because they have lost last season’s first choice goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny and one of their most creative players Mohammed Salah - Salah scored 15 goals and assisted 11 (seven of those to the league’s top scorer Edin Dzeko who scored 29 in total).

Inter Milan

The last team to feature in the outright Serie A betting is Inter Milan. Similarly to their local rivals, Inter suffered a fall from grace in 2010/11 - they had won five league titles and finished second in the six seasons prior. The highest Inter have finished since then is fourth and rightly find themselves as outsiders in the Serie A winner odds.

  • Inter Milan are 10.970* to win Serie A. Bet now.

I Nerazzurri took advantage of Luciano Spalletti’s fallout with Roma fans and will now start the season with one of the best managers in the league. Spalletti will likely bring a creative, more possession centric approach that his new side were lacking last season.

Inter were good with the ball at their feet during the last campaign - completing the most successful dribbles per game in the league (11.4) - and worked hard when the opposition had the ball (their total average of 20 tackles per game was the second highest in the league).

Outright Serie A betting: Final things to consider

In addition to looking for value in the Serie A winner odds, bettors should also consider using an expected goals model or a Brier Score look at Serie A to inform their betting heading into the new season.

Odds subject to change

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Benjamin studied English with Creative Writing (BA) before pursuing a career that combined his love of sport and fascination with betting. An avid fan of numerous sports, his writing now covers anything from in-depth major sporting event previews, to examining betting trends and techniques.

By Benjamin Cronin

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