Serie A Outright Winner – Analysis
Serie A Outright Winner 2017/2018
Unlike most of the other top European leagues, the Serie A title race is still very much on. Sure, the first two spots are decided due to the 13-point gap carved to 3rd place Lazio, but the competition between Juventus and Napoli for the league title is heated. Napoli are top with 69 points at the moment, while Juventus is four points behind with a game in hand. Bookies have them each at 1.9 to win the league, so we here at Bookie Insiders will try to figure out which of the duo has better value to end the season in that top spot.
Maurizio Sarri’s Napoli have a lot going for them, beyond just the larger number of points. Napoli have the Serie A as their single great focus for the season, so much so that they rotated and ended up getting knocked out in all other competitions. They have 13 games left in the season, all for the league, with 5 of them being against opponents from the league’s top 7 teams – with trips away to Inter, Milan, Juventus and Sampdoria. They have been dominant in the league, leading the Serie A in Expected Goals for and against – meaning they have been producing offensively and shutting down opponents at a higher rate than any other side in the league.
With 10 wins in a row in their last 10 games they have picked up a lot of momentum, but their start to March will be crucial: Sarri’s side will host Roma and then play Inter on the road.
Juventus, on the other hand, have had an odd season. They won the last six league titles in a row and, while still very much with a chance of making it seven, they haven’t been anywhere near as dominant this season. From an offensive standpoint, their attack hasn’t been producing chances at a very high rate, but they’ve still managed to score more goals than any other team in the league. This means that they are relying on their world-class attacking talent to put away chances that many others wouldn’t do at such high frequency and, while some believe that this over performance of their Expected Goals will soon catch up to them and be detrimental, we’ve seen teams riding waves like this for full-seasons (see last season’s Monaco).
Defensively they have been nothing short of outstanding, though. Allegri’s side has conceded only a single goal in the league since mid-November – that is 11 clean sheets in 12 matches, which is truly incredible. Worth noticing that, according to Expected Goals against, they are also outperforming on this side of things but to a lesser, and therefore more plausible to keep going, extent.
Unlike Napoli, though, they have a long road of matches ahead of them until the end of the season. Between Coppa Italia, Serie A and Champions League they will have 14 matches at the bare minimum – depending on their progression in the Champions League after facing Tottenham at Wembley, that could go up to 19 games. At the moment they are behind after a 2-2 draw in Turin and, if knocked out, that could well end up as a benefit for their performances in national competitions. Especially because, while Allegri has a larger squad at his disposal when compared to Sarri at Napoli, they’ve also been enduring a larger amount of injuries which can put a dent in the amount of rotation they’re able to do between competitions.
Their calendar is arguably even tougher than Napoli’s, with 6 matches left against teams from the Serie A’s top 7, which includes playing away to Lazio next weekend and away to Inter and Roma in their last two outings of the season. At home, they will host AC Milan, Sampdoria and Napoli – this last one being the match that could sway the title race either way.
While the title decider could be the match in Turin, things are likely bound to change in the next two weeks: Juventus will likely total more points against Lazio and Udinese than Napoli will against Roma and Inter, which means that if the Bianconeri win their game in hand, they’ll jump to the lead. From that moment on, odds are bound to drop on Juve since they’ll only have to hold the top spot and their match against Napoli is at home.
If there’s a moment to bet on Juventus, now it appears to be a decent window to do so.
Pick: Juventus to win Serie A in 17/18 at 1.9 with Bet3656
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