Serie A Betting: Paolo Bandini's expert tips

Pescara 15.0, the draw 7.0, Milan 1.16

News of Pescara’s relegation on Sunday came as something of a surprise. Most casual fans assumed that had happened months ago. Could a team which has collected two points in four months spring an upset on Wednesday? Never say never; they did pinch a draw away to Roma just two short weeks ago. But given that Pescara have failed to score in five of their last seven home games, my money would be on the the away clean sheet at 1.75.

Atalanta 3.75, the draw 3.3, Juventus 2.0

“Fino alla fine,” goes the familiar exhortation at Juventus Stadium – “Until the end”. The Old Lady’s supporters expect her to carry on scrapping until her fat sister sings, and Antonio Conte is of a similar mindset. Juventus might have won the Scudetto on Sunday, but their manager has made it clear that he still wants three more victories to round out the season. 

Nevertheless, it is hard to know what to expect from a group of players who will barely have had time to recover from their post-Scudetto hangovers. German Denis might be worth a look in the goalscorers’ market. The stats show that he has tended to save his best for the most high-profile opposition this season.

Bologna 4.6, the draw 3.65, Napoli 1.72

On Sunday, Bologna gave up six goals to a Lazio team which had previously scored three in its last eight league games. You probably should not expect quite such a rout on Wednesday, but Stefano Pioli’s side have long given off the impression of a team which has already packed up for the summer. Napoli have not yet formally tied up second place, and will want to do so as soon as possible. Away win. 

Cagliari 2.7, the draw 2.4, Parma 3.75

Both of these teams achieved mathematical safety over the weekend. Neither was ever really at risk, but that psychological release might nevertheless lend itself to a more open encounter than we could otherwise have expected. Parma have a hideous away record but this game will be played in Trieste, not Cagliari, and their nominal hosts could be without a number of important players. Mauricio Pinilla is suspended while late decisions will have to be made regarding the fitness of Danilo Avelar and Andrea Cossu. Honestly, I might steer clear of this game as a betting prospect, but if anything the odds tempt me slightly towards the away win.

Inter 2.6, the draw 3.25, Lazio 2.75

Welcome back, Miroslav Klose. Before Sunday, the German had gone 11 games without a goal. Against Bologna, he averaged one every 13.6 minutes. Had he not been substituted by Vladimir Petkovic midway through the second half, there is a good chance Klose would have equalled or even broken the Serie A record for most goals in a single game. It presently stands at six, but Klose had to settle for five. 

How worried, then, should Inter be? Their defence remains in tatters, with Andrea Ranocchia’s status once again uncertain after he limped out of Sunday’s game against Napoli. On the other, Lazio are without a win in eight away games and have failed to even score in five of the last six. The unders are generously priced at 2.15.

Palermo 2.2, the draw 3.5, Udinese 3.0

Three points adrift in 18th place, Palermo need everything they can get from their remaining games. The good news for the Sicilians is that, prior to this weekend’s visit to Juventus, they were one of the division’s form teams – with 11 points from their last five games. The bad news is that their opponents this weekend are in even better shape. Udinese have won five in a row and have their sights set on a Europa League berth. 

Palermo have failed to beat Udinese in any of their last six meetings, but more than past records it is the hosts’ reliance on Josip Ilicic that has me leaning towards the away win. The Slovenian has been in inspired form over the past month, but he has also been playing through injury and the weight of carrying his team is beginning to show. 

Sampdoria 2.0, the draw 2.9, Catania 4.3

Six points clear of the relegation zone with three games left to play, Sampdoria would probably survive even if they lost all of their remaining fixtures. Nevertheless, their manager Delio Rossi would prefer not test that theory. His team have lost their last three home games, but I am inclined to think they should prevail against opponents who are notoriously poor travellers. 

Siena 5.0, the draw 3.75, Fiorentina 1.65

Tuscan derbies are always keenly felt, but this one matters more than most. Siena, five points from safety, must win to preserve what slender hopes they have of survival. Fiorentina, meanwhile, have not yet given up hope of claiming third place, and a spot in the Champions League qualifying round. 

The Viola will have to do without Alberto Aquilani, who strained his knee ligaments against Roma, but should still feel confident of getting a result. Siena have not even scored in their last four home games. The visitors are available at 3.3 to win while also keeping a clean sheet. 

Torino 3.3, the draw 1.75, Genoa 5.0

The draw would be a mutually beneficial result for two teams perched right on the cusp of the relegation zone, though I’m not so certain that the ‘biscotto’ should be taken as a given. After consecutive victories, Genoa’s confidence is high, while Torino have been locked into a downward spiral since the beginning of February. A victory would take Genoa to the brink of safety, making this a moment to go for the jugular. At 5.0, the away win certainly tempts. 

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