Friday, 17 September, 2021

PREVIEW ON SOME SERIE A WEEK 17 MATCHES


The race for the Scudetto is tightening up after AC Milan fell to their first defeat in 27 matches after Wednesday’s loss to Juventus. That leaves AC Milan, Inter Milan, Roma and Juventus all within seven points at the top of the table as we head into Serie A Matchday 17.

Inter also missed a chance to take over top spot with their 2-1 midweek defeat which snapped their eight-match winning streak as well. They meet AS Roma early Sunday morning in a top three clash.

Elsewhere, Bologna have now drawn five-straight after Wednesday’s action, while Parma rides a four-match losing steak and Crotone continues to give up an alarming rate of goals, 38 in just 16 matches. If you’re playing streaks, Atalanta now ride a six-match undefeated streak while Cagliari hasn’t won since November 25, a streak of eight matches.

Let’s look ahead to the odds and best bets from the Serie A Matchday 17 schedule below.

AC Milan vs Torino

Leaders AC Milan missed a big opportunity to put further distance between themselves and the chasing pack on Wednesday when they fell flat at home to Juventus and lost 3-1.

While the teams were drawn 1-1 at the half, Federico Chiesa scored his second of the match in the second half, and Weston McKennie added a third for Juve late in the match for the win. The loss snapped an incredible streak for Milan who were undefeated in 27-straight Serie A matches while having also scored at least twice in 17-straight. They’ll have a chance to get back on track when they host 17th-place Torino.

The Toros have been struggling this campaign but have hit a strong patch of form of late. Torino is undefeated in four matches after Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with Verona. The streak has also seen them draw 1-1 with Bologna and Napoli and win 3-0 over Parma.

As poor as Torino has been, they have been scoring goals. Their 26 tallies are the eighth-most in the league. They’ve scored in each of the past nine. However, they’ve also conceded in each of those nine matches, and their 33 total goals allowed on the season are only better than Crotone’s 38. Milan too, despite their prolific scoring stats, have had some struggles defensively. They’ve conceded in 11/13 of their recent matches.

Home teams were perfect last season in this matchup. Torino won 2-1 on their ground and Milan were 1-0 winners on their pitch. Additionally, Milan won 4-2 in extra-time in the Coppa Italia at home.

The absentees are starting to pile up for Milan which could be a cause for concern. Already missing Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Rade Kunic and Ante Rebic will miss out due to COVID-19. Hakan Calhanoglu was injured versus Juve, and the team was already without Alexis Saelemaekers. Ismael Bennacer and Matteo Gabbia.

After such a long undefeated streak, I often like to come back and bet against that team in their new couple of matches. The stress of maintaining that streak is now gone and I often find there is value in betting against that team in the short-term while they regroup.

But in this case, I can’t trust Torino on the road, a team with only two wins on the season, and against the likes of Parma and Genoa. If you think Milan can bounce back there could be some value on a Milan win and for them to score at least twice at -120 odds. However, for a smaller payout, I will settle on backing both teams to score in this one.

Pick: Both Teams to Score

Roma vs Inter Milan

Roma vs second-place Inter Milan on Serie A Matchday 17.

These teams are coming off much different midweek results. Roma ran wild against Crotone, jumping out to a 3-0 lead at the half, with Crotone only pulling one back late in the 71′ minute.

Inter meanwhile, suffered a shock defeat on the road to Sampdoria, 2-1. Inter had been riding a eight-match winning streak and gave up an opportunity to pass AC Milan at the top of the table. The match started poorly for Inter when Alexis Sanchez missed a penalty in the 12′ minute, only to see Sampdoria score two first-half goals thereafter which would prove to be enough for the three points.

This one shapes up to be the match of the weekend with two top three teams each looking to make up ground on AC Milan. A win for Roma will draw them level with Inter on 36 points.

Last year these teams played out a 2-2 draw in Rome and drew 0-0 in Milan. The previous six meetings all saw both teams scoring. Four of those six also saw at least three total goals in the game. Further, each of the past four matches in Rome have seen both teams scoring and the OVER 2.5 total cashing. Each of the past three in Rome have seen four goals scored.

Everything here points to a high-scoring affair on Serie A Matchday 17. Both teams are 12-4 to OVER 2.5 totals, only behind Sampdoria at 13-3 for OVER results. They both also rank in the top three for average goals scored per game in their matches: Inter matches average 3.9 GPG, while Roma’s average 3.7.

Inter on the road have kept just a single clean sheet this season, but they have scored in every one of those road matches, as well as in every game this season. For Roma, five of their past six have seen both teams scoring and at least three goals, with the average goals scored in those matches being 4.17.

Pick: Both Teams to Score & Over 2.5 Goals (-125)

Parma vs Lazio

Parma are now winless in seven matches after falling to defeat, 3-0 to Atalanta on Wednesday. It was their second-straight 3-0 loss. Their past four matches now read: 3-0 loss (Atalanta), 3-0 loss (Torino), 2-1 loss (Crotone) and 4-0 loss (Juventus). Heavy losses to Atalanta and Juve may have been expected. But a loss to last place Crotone as well as 17th-placed Torino have to be especially concerning for the free-falling Crusaders.

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In fact, the loss was the final straw for Parma management as on Thursday they sacked manager Fabio Liverani. He’ll be replaced by ex-Parma manager Roberta D’Aversa who managed the club form December 2016 until last summer.

Parma can’t score. They have the fewest goals in the league at 13 and have the worst expected goals (xG) total at 13.8 according to FBRef. Lazio are actually overperforming their xG at 25 goals scored, with an xG of 20.3.

It’s been all Lazio in this matchup in recent years. Parma hasn’t won against the Biancocelesti since March 2012. Granted Parma has spent time in Serie B, but last season Lazio won both meetings 1-0 and 2-0. In 2018/19 Lazio were also 4-1 and 2-0 winners. Lazio have now won each of the past eight meetings, seven in Serie A and one in the Coppa Italia.

Lazio have been strong of late at 2-2-1 (WDL) in their past five. They’ve lost just twice in their past seven and one of those came to AC Milan.

Parma are in dreadful form and simply backing a Lazio win at -163 looks pretty straightforward but offers little return. The line has already moved in Lazio’s favor, after being -150 on Wednesday. Even on their home pitch, Parma has struggled with zero wins (or goals) in their past five. A bet on Lazio to score twice on Serie A Matchday 17 offers a little better return at -138.

Pick: Lazio to Score Over 1.5 Goals

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