2021-22 Italian Lega Basket Serie A Betting Preview with Odds and Analysis

By Zarko Naric in Basketball
| September 22, 2021 9:57 am PDT

The 100th edition of the Italian Lega Basket Serie A starts on Saturday, September 25, 2021.

In its one-century-long history, the top tier of the Italian basketball league system had 17 different champions. Nine of those teams will be competing in the 2021-22 season.

The regular season of the Lega Basket Serie A will see 16 teams playing against each other in a round-robin format. Each team will play 30 games (15 home and 15 on the road), meaning that there is a total of 240 Lega A games to bet on in the regular season.

Those teams that finish among the top eight will advance to the playoffs, where they ought to play best-of-five series. What this means is that we could end up seeing as many as 35 playoff games next spring.

Obviously, there will be plenty of betting opportunities in the 2021-22 Lega A season, but did you know that betting on individual games isn’t the only thing you can do?

You can also bet on the winner of the Lega Basket Serie A, for which you’re bound to get pretty decent odds. Speaking of odds, let’s see which teams the top basketball betting sites price as the most likely trophy candidates.

Lega Basket Serie A Odds to Win for 2021-22

The reigning champion of the Italian Lega A, Virtus Bologna is the second favorite to win the 2021-22 title.

You may find this strange, but there’s a simple explanation – the #1 favorite is Olimpia Milano, the most successful Italian basketball team ever.

Olimpia Milano has won the Italian basketball league 28 times in the past 100 years, the most recent of which happened in the 2017-18 season.

The next team in the list of Lega A favorites is Dinamo Sassari, who won the title in 2014-15, which was the first (and so far, the only) title in the club’s history.

Venezia comes next, the team that won two titles in the past five years. Then, there’s Brindisi, which still has no Lega A trophies in the cupboard.

All the other teams look like big underdogs, with Tortona being the biggest of them all, with odds of +12,500.

Should Olimpia Milano Be the #1 Favorite?

The club owned by fashion designer Giorgio Armani is the main candidate for the 2021-22 Lega A title. Are bookmakers right to think that?

I think they are. After all, Olimpia Milano is the richest club in Italy. This team has the best roster, as well as the best coach in the league.

The Olimpia Milano coach is Ettore Messina, whose portfolio is nothing short of breathtaking. Not only did he coach the Italian national team for nearly eight years in two terms, but Messina also has some NBA experience.

In fact, from 2014 to 2019, he worked as an assistant coach for Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs.

When he returned to Italy in 2019, he was joined by some top-class players. For example, Spanish point guard Sergio Rodriguez signed for this team the same year.

Nicknamed El Chacho, Rodriguez has plenty of individual awards in his possession, including the 2014 EuroLeague MVP.

Other notable players who’ve arrived at Olimpia Milano since Ettore Messina has been in charge include the following.

  • Nicolò Melli (center) – Came from the Dallas Mavericks in the summer of 2021.
  • Troy Daniels (shooting guard) – Came from the Denver Nuggets in July 2021.
  • Shavon Shields (shooting guard) – Signed for Olimpia in 2020; became the team’s PIR and scoring leader the same season.
  • Kyle Hines (power forward) – The 4× EuroLeague champion came to Milano from CSKA in 2020.
  • Malcolm Delaney (point guard) – Arrived in 2021 from Barcelona.
  • Luigi Datome (small forward) – The 2017 EuroLeague champion came from Fenerbahce in 2020.

With such players on the roster, Messina looks capable of leading Olimpia Milano to glory this season. By “glory,” I don’t just mean winning the Italian Basket Serie A, but also the Italian Cup and Super Cup.

On top of everything, this team is also expected to do well in the 2021-22 EuroLeague.

Can Virtus Bologna Retain the Lega A Title?

The fact is that Virtus Bologna has plenty of talent on the roster, which is why this team’s second in the list of top Lega A favorites.

This team’s key players belong to the elite of European basketball. Or, should I say, they used to belong there?

Unfortunately for Virtus Bologna, their best players are all in their mid-to-late 30s, starting with their captain Marco Belinelli.

The three-pointer expert who won the NBA Three-Point Contest in 2014 while playing for the San Antonio Spurs is turning 36 in March.

Then, there’s Miloš Teodosić, the 2010 EuroLeague MVP and the guard who was voted the best non-NBA player by NBA coaches in 2016.

Although he surely still has the right skills, his fitness might not be ideal as he’s turning 35 in a few months’ time.

They might be approaching the end of their careers, but these guys led Virtus Bologna to the 2020-21 Italian Lega Basket Serie A title. Why wouldn’t they be able to do the same once again?

Sure, there is a chance for that happening, but not a good one. The thing is that Olimpia Milano just looks like a much, much better team.

Can a Dark Horse Win the Race to the Lega A Title?

Probably not, is the answer.

As you can see from the betting odds, bookmakers think the 2021-21 season of Lega Basket Serie A is going to be a two-horse race. Olimpia Milano is the main favorite, followed by Virtus Bologna.   

So, is there a dark horse that can cause an upset? Well, Venezia might be able to do it. After all, this is the team that last won the title in 2019.

Apart from Venezia, Dinamo Sassari and Brindisi are in the conversation as the teams that could go far this season.

They all look capable of reaching the playoffs, but winning the title seems like a mission impossible for them.

Luckily for Venezia fans, most of the players who won the Lega A trophy that year are still in the club. Their captain Michael Bramos is still on the roster, same as Mitchell Watt, Austin Daye, and Andrea De Nicolao.

They also have the same head coach as they had in 2019 – Walter De Raffaele.

Betting on the 2021-22 Lega Basket Serie A Winner

So, who’s going to win the 2021-22 title? I say Olimpia Milano and oddsmakers seem to agree with me. They’re giving -200 on this team to win its 29th title.

There’s probably no getting around Milano here. They’re the best team, and they’re the rightful favorite at -200.

The odds might not be too attractive, but Olimpia Milano seems like a very safe bet. This team’s players are much better than those playing for any Italian club, including the #2 favorite, Virtus Bologna.

Furthermore, Olimpia Milano is led by one of Europe’s best coaches, Messina, who’s signed for this club with the intention of winning trophies.

Prepare for the 2021-22 seasons of other euro basketball leagues. Check out their previews below.

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