Betting on the Remainder of the 2019/20 Serie A Season
Following a three-month layoff, the 2019/20 Serie A season is set to resume on Saturday, June 20.
At this stage of the season, Juventus usually has the title wrapped up. But with 12 rounds of fixtures remaining, the defending champion leads Lazio by just a single point, so there is still plenty of time for things to change.
The relegation battle is also likely to go down to the wire. Brescia and SPAL have struggled throughout the campaign, but even top-flight regulars Fiorentina and Udinese aren’t safe just yet.
In this post, I’ve covered odds and picks for the 2019/20 Serie A season. I check out the odds for the 2019/20 Serie A outright markets, and after taking a look at the contenders, I share my pick for the title, top four, and relegation.
Let’s begin by analyzing the title race.
Serie A Title Race – Can Lazio Overtake Juventus?
Here are the odds for the 2019/20 Serie A title race.
There is no denying that this season’s title race has been one of the tightest that Serie A has produced for a long time. Juventus and Inter have both led the way at different points in the campaign, while Lazio has always remained within touching distance.
Juventus currently sits one point clear of Lazio at the summit, with third-place Inter — who has a game in hand over the top two — eight points behind Lazio.
Let’s take a closer look at the teams in this market and assess each side’s chances of winning the title.
I know what you’re thinking. Here we go again. Another year, another Juventus title. Boring, one-sided, uncompetitive Serie A.
Well, it’s hardly surprising that the Old Lady will resume the campaign as the bookies’ favorite to clinch a ninth consecutive Scudetto. However, it’s been far from straightforward for Juventus this term, and the odds certainly don’t tell the whole story.
Maurizio Sarri hit the ground running as Juventus boss, going unbeaten in his first 14 league games. But despite the team’s strong start to the season, defeat to Lazio in December saw Juventus surrender top spot to a resurgent Inter side.
The Bianconeri has since reclaimed the lead, although two defeats in their six games heading into the unscheduled break have left the title race hanging in the balance.
Of course, Juventus boasts a star-studded squad. Even at 35, Cristiano Ronaldo remains a perilous threat. With a remarkable 16 goals in his previous 12 appearances, it goes without saying that Ronaldo will be difficult to stop when the campaign restarts.
Still, Juventus hasn’t dominated Serie A in their usual manner this time around. The 35-time champion is normally miles clear at this stage of the season, but they haven’t had it all their own way this term.
Following an eighth-place finish in 2018/19, Lazio would’ve realistically been hoping to push for a European spot this year. But after enjoying an outstanding season so far, the capital club is in a superb position to claim their first Serie A title since 1999/2000.
When the Eagles lost two of their opening five games, all the signs were pointing towards another disappointing campaign. But nobody could’ve predicted that the two early losses to SPAL and Inter would be the team’s only defeats this season.
Lazio hasn’t tasted defeat since Matchday 5, and their astonishing 21-game unbeaten streak — which includes a run of 11 straight victories — has kept them in contention for the Scudetto.
Not only does Lazio boast the best defensive record in the division, but Simone Inzaghi’s men are also the second-highest scorers. Ciro Immobile’s record of 27 goals in 26 games sees him sit six goals clear of Ronaldo in the Capocannoniere standings.
Lazio has exceeded all expectations this season, but can they leapfrog Juventus and snatch the title?
Inter will have probably been using the three-month layoff to reflect on where it all went wrong.
Ten wins in their opening 12 games saw Antonio Conte’s side shoot to the top of the table. The former Chelsea manager had his team playing the best soccer in Italy, with forward duo Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez tearing opposition defenses to shreds on a weekly basis.
However, it appears that Inter peaked too soon. The team’s performances drastically dipped following the turn of the year, and the Milan outfit only managed to win two of their seven games leading up to the break.
Back-to-back defeats to title rivals Lazio and Juventus in their previous two games have left Inter with a mountain to climb. Nine points behind Juventus, the Nerazzurri will have to win all of their remaining games to stand any chance of winning the title. They will also need the top two to drop a lot of points.
Sorry, Inter supporters. But it’s not looking likely.
Juventus to Win the Title1.35
I’d love to back Lazio in this market. But as much as I want to have a different Serie A winner this season, I just can’t see it happening.
I can’t help but feel that the unexpected break will have a negative impact on Lazio. Inzaghi’s side was enjoying an amazing unbeaten run, but the interruption to the campaign has undoubtedly halted their momentum.
Granted, everyone is in the same boat at the moment, and every team will effectively be starting from scratch when the seasons gets back underway. Still, I believe Juventus will benefit most from the current situation.
The Old Lady is a serial winner, and the club knows what it takes to get the job done. Given that Juventus has completely dominated Italian soccer for the best part of a decade, odds of 1.35 for them to win yet another title aren’t actually too bad.
Top Four – Will Atalanta Hold On?
This is how the top online soccer sportsbooks view the race for the top four.
As you can see, Juventus and Lazio have been left out of this market. The bookies clearly think that the frontrunners are guaranteed to finish in the top four, but that still leaves us with two spots that need to be filled.
With a six-point lead over fourth-place Atalanta, Inter is the clear favorite at 1.02. However, Roma is only three points behind Atalanta, so Roma’s price of 4.50 to finish in the top four is looking very attractive at this stage.
Napoli will return to action nine points shy of fourth place. Odds of 19.50 for them to end up in the top four may seem a bit high, but you can’t really argue with the bookies’ viewpoint here.
I don’t think it’s worth discussing Inter at such a low price, so let’s check out the other three teams in this market.
After last year’s third-place finish, Atalanta will probably be slightly disappointed not to be in with a chance of clinching the title this season. But if there was a prize for being the most exciting team to watch, Atalanta would win. Hands down.
Atalanta’s fearless approach has seen them score 70 goals in 25 league outings this term. That’s an average of 2.8 goals per game! In fact, La Dea has scored ten goals more than their nearest challenger Lazio and a whopping 20 more than league-leader Juventus.
But with manager Gian Piero Gasperini setting up his team to outscore their opponents, his side inevitably concedes a lot of goals. The top three teams have all conceded at least ten fewer than Atalanta this season, so it’s no surprise that they find themselves out of the title race.
Still, Gasperini’s men are on course to secure their third fourth-place finish in four years.
Following five consecutive top-three finishes, Roma ended up sixth last season. It was unclear how the team would fare this term, but the capital club has been in and around the Champions League places for much of the current campaign.
Three straight defeats in February dented Roma’s top-four hopes, but successive four-goal thrashings over Lecce and Cagliari just before the break put their season back on track.
It’s fair to say that the Giallorossi has experienced somewhat of an inconsistent 2019/20 campaign. Even so, there is plenty of time for Roma to string together enough positive result to move up the table.
With 12 goals and six assists in Serie A this season, veteran striker Edin Dzeko is set to become the club’s top scorer for a fourth straight year. The importance of Dezko’s goals in the latter stages of the campaign cannot be overstated.
Sure, Juventus hasn’t had much competition in recent years. But if there is one team who could be classed as their main challenger, it would have to be Napoli.
The two-time Serie A champion has finished runner-up in three of the past four seasons and only missed out on the title by four points in 2017/18. However, off-field issues have hindered the club of late, and Napoli has endured a poor campaign by their own high standards.
A seven-game winless run at the end of 2019 led to the sacking of manager Carlo Ancelotti, with former Milan legend Gennaro Gattuso brought in to steady the ship. Gattuso’s appointment did bring about an upturn in form, but Napoli is still nowhere near the level they need to be.
I’m not exaggerating when I say that Napoli needs a minor miracle to secure a top-four finish.
Roma to Finish in the Top Four4.50
A top-four finish is all but secured for Juventus and Lazio, while Inter — who is nine points ahead of fifth-place Roma — would have to slip up pretty badly in order to miss out. So, that leaves us with just one more place up for grabs.
In my opinion, it only makes sense to back Roma in this market. Inter and Atalanta’s odds are far too low to bother with, and I simply can’t make a case for Napoli, even with their hugely attractive price of 19.50.
I mentioned earlier that Roma has been fairly inconsistent this season, but that doesn’t mean that Paulo Fonseca’s side isn’t capable of closing the three-point gap between them and Atalanta. Roma has plenty of winnable fixtures remaining and has a history of finishing in the top four.
Given that Roma has 12 games left to overtake Atalanta, I believe odds of 4.50 are extremely generous.
Relegation – Can Brescia or SPAL Escape?
There are a host of teams in danger of relegation when the season recommences. Here are the odds.
Brescia and SPAL have both spent the vast majority of the 2019/20 campaign in the bottom three. Brescia is currently stranded at the foot of the table and nine points from safety, while SPAL is seven points inside the relegation zone.
It feels like the bottom two are doomed, but the third relegation spot is wide open. Lecce and Genoa are locked on 25 points, with Sampdoria (26 points), Torino (27 points), Udinese (28 points), and Fiorentina (30 points) all looking over their shoulders.
Just five points separate thirteenth-place Fiorentina and eighteenth-place Lecce, meaning that the six-way battle to avoid the third and final relegation spot is set to be fiercely contested.
I’m leaving Brescia and SPAL out of the conversation here, but let’s take a closer look at the other six teams in this market.
Coming into this season on the back of consecutive promotions was never going to be easy for Lecce. The club’s rise from third-tier champion to top-flight hopeful in the space of just two years has seen Fabio Liverani’s men struggle to adapt to the demands of Serie A.
Three straight victories in February briefly lifted Lecce out of the relegation zone, but two heavy defeats before the break — including a 7-2 hammering at the hands of Atalanta — suggest that the team is out of their depth. It’s certainly going to be a difficult couple of months for Lecce.
The fact that Genoa is already on their third manager of the season speaks volumes about the club’s struggles in 2019/20. Thiago Motta lasted just two months after replacing Aurelio Andreazzoli in October, and now it is Davide Nicola’s job to guide the team clear of relegation trouble.
Genoa won three of their four games leading up the break, lifting the club out of the bottom three for the first time since November. Interestingly, the Red and Blues still have to face every other team in the bottom seven, so avoiding defeat in those games will be vital.
Sampdoria got off to a terrible start this season, losing seven of their opening nine games. Manager Eusebio Di Francesco was sacked soon after, and new boss Claudio Ranieri has managed to keep the club out of the bottom three ever since.
However, Sampdoria is only one point clear of the relegation zone at the moment. Of course, 37-year-old striker Fabio Quagliarella is still hitting the back of the net on a regular basis. But will the old-timer’s goals be enough to keep Sampdoria in the top tier?
Torino has been in freefall since the turn of the year and entered the break on a run of six successive defeats. The club had no option but to part ways with manager Walter Matzzarri in February, although new head coach Moreno Longo did little to galvanize the squad when he took over.
The Bulls narrowly missed out on European qualification with an impressive seventh-place finish last term, but things couldn’t be more different this time around. It’s worth mentioning that Brescia and SPAL are the only teams to have lost more games than Torino this season.
Udinese is currently enjoying their 25th consecutive season of top-flight soccer. The Udine outfit has been a mainstay in Italy’s premier division for a long time, but six straight bottom-half finishes suggest that the club has been riding their luck.
It’s been another disappointing campaign for Udinese. Despite sitting fourteenth, Luca Gotti’s side has the second-lowest scoring record in the division, leaving them three points clear of the relegation zone.
Udinese is without a win in their previous seven league games, and things aren’t about to get any easier. The Friulians still have to face five of the top six teams, so victories are likely to be few and far between when the season resumes.
It seems almost inconceivable that a club of Fiorentina’s stature could drop out of Serie A. La Viola has consistently challenged for a European place in recent years, but they now find themselves just five points clear of the relegation zone.
In fairness, Fiorentina doesn’t deserve to be any higher up the table. The team has only managed to win seven of their 26 league games this term and has claimed back-to-back victories on just two occasions. A distinct lack of consistency has left Fiorentina fighting for their lives.
Udinese to Be Relegated3.00
Udinese’s seven-game winless run across January and February dragged the mid-table club firmly into the relegation battle. There are a couple of reasons why I believe Udinese is the best bet in this market.
Firstly, the team has struggled for goals throughout the season, while only second-bottom SPAL has scored fewer goals in the division. Udinese managed to score just twice in their six outings before the break, and if they continue like that, they’ll be in trouble.
Secondly, Udinese’s run-in is downright horrible. Gotti’s men still have to face Juventus, Lazio, Atalanta, Roma, and Napoli, so I can’t see them picking up any points from those fixtures.
Sure, there are more likely relegation contenders. But given the circumstances, Udinese’s price of 3.00 is too good to ignore.
For the first time in what feels like forever, Juventus has some serious competition. Granted, the Bianconeri hasn’t been at their best this season. But Lazio has been a revelation in 2019/20, and Inter isn’t out of the equation altogether.
Better still, the relegation battle is set to be a thriller. I’m not holding out much hope for Brescia and SPAL, but there are so many other teams who are in danger of the drop.
I like the look of Udinese at 3.00 right now, although I recommend checking the top-rated online soccer betting sites on a regular basis when the season resumes. The odds in these markets will fluctuate, so it makes sense to keep an eye on them as the campaign unfolds.
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