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Serie A Matchday 3 Odds & Picks: Benevento vs Bologna, AC Milan vs Spezia & Juventus vs Napoli

After two rounds, Napoli are first in Serie A but face a stern test against champions Juventus this weekend. Photo by @sscnapoli (Twitter)
  • Serie A Round 3 kicks off on Saturday, October 3, 2020
  • After two rounds 16/20 teams are averaging 3.5 goals or more in their matches
  • Read on for the odds and best bets from Serie A Round 3 below

After a few midweek games to make up from Round 1, all teams in Italy’s Serie A have now played two games. The high-scoring affairs we saw when the league picked back up this summer seems to be continuing.

So far, 16/20 teams have averaged 3.5 or more goals in their matches. Seven teams are 2-0 to OVER 2.5 totals, ten are 1-1 and just three are 0-2.

There is an equal amount, five, teams that are undefeated at 2-0-0 and also five who are winless at 0-0-2. Three of those undefeated teams, Napoli (8 goals), Atalanta (8 goals) and Inter Milan (9 nine goals) have come out of the games flying filling their opponent’s nets with plenty of goals.

This round will only feature nine matches instead of ten, as Saturday’s Genoa vs Torino has been postponed as 15 of Genoa’s players have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Let’s take a look at the odds for each game this weekend along with our top picks from the slate below.

Serie A Round 3 Odds

Team Β Odds
Fiorentina -138
Sampdoria +400
Draw +260
Team Odds
Sassuolo -225
Crotone +600
Draw +375
Team Odds
Udinese +450
Roma -163
Draw +300
Team Odds
Atalanta -400
Cagliari +900
Draw +550
Team Odds
Benevento +210
Bologna +120
Draw +260
Team Odds
Lazio +200
Inter Milan +120
Draw +260
Team Odds
Parma +187
Verona +155
Draw +210
Team Odds
AC Milan -500
Spezia +1200
Draw +550
Team Odds
Juventus -110
Napoli +260
Draw +275

All odds taken Oct 1

Pick 1: Benevento vs Bologna

Newly-promoted Benevento hosts Bologna at 9:00 am EST Sunday morning.

The defensive futility Benevento showed the last time they participated in Serie A has reared its ugly head once again through two matches.

After going down early 2-0 to Sampdoria and fighting back to win 3-2, they again fell behind early to Inter Milan, this time 3-0 just 28 minutes in, during their midweek match on Wednesday. While they would cut that lead to 3-1 minutes later, this time the hole was too big to climb out of. They were down 4-1 at the half and eventually were defeated 5-2.

Inter held 66-percent possession and put 12 shots on target and very easily could’ve scored more than five. Though never really in the match, Benevento did have 12 attempts, putting seven on target. However, even their first goal was a result of a poor giveaway by Inter keeper Samir Handanovic

Losing to a side that many think can legitimately challenge Juventus for the title this year is nothing to be ashamed of though. Sunday’s opponents Bologna may be a better barometer for head coach Filippo Inzaghi to gauge his team’s level.

Bologna were Round 1 losers to AC Milan 2-0 but responded with a convincing 4-1 win over current bottom-side Parma last Sunday. Bologna was well in control of the match from the get-go with goals at the 13′ and 30′ minutes by Roberto Soriano.

Bologna finished 12th last season in Serie A but their downfall often came on the defensive end of the pitch. In 38 matches they scored 52 goals but kept just two clean sheets. Two. They allowed 65 goals.

They’ve now conceded at least once in 35 straight league matches after their two results this season.

Had you bet on both teams scoring during those 35 Bologna matches you’d be 27-8. And if you’d bet on both teams scoring and at least three goals being scored you’d be 21-14. Given how both teams have started this season I see the trend continuing this weekend.

Pick: Both Teams to Score & Over 2.5 Goals (-110)

Pick 2: AC Milan vs Spezia

Spezia’s return to Serie A ended poorly last weekend and things won’t get any easier when Vincenzo Italiano’s side travel to face AC Milan at 12:00 pm EST on Sunday.

Spezia entered the half tied 1-1 with Sassuolo last weekend but the second half saw Sassuolo blow the game wide-open in what ended as a 4-1 defeat. Considering Sassuolo had three additional goals called back by VAR, a 4-1 scoreline was flattering to the Aquile.

Milan hasn’t been spectacular so far, but have still come out 2-0 winners in both of their matches, wins over Bologna and Crotone. It’s early, but they’re currently second in the league in xG (5.3) and are third in xGA (1.8). They’ve also made 30 attempts at goal, good for a tie at sixth overall.

Milan’s win last week was made more impressive, given striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic was held out after testing positive for coronavirus last Thursday. Ibra had two goals in Milan’s first win, while Brahim Diaz and Franck Yannick stepped up with goals in last week’s win over Crotone.

A win over Crotone is nothing to get too excited about, but Spezia should be in tough to offer up much more resistance this week. Will Spezia be the team to stop Milan’s undefeated streak of 14 matches in Serie A and 17 across all competitions (21 if you count friendlies)? I think not.

I could see Milan scoring in both halves (-125) or possibly three goals scored by the Rossoneri at (+100). However, a Milan win on the spread at -1.5 would be my best bet.

Pick: AC Milan -1.5 (-150)

Pick 3: Juventus vs Napoli

The weekend wraps up with champions Juventus hosting Napoli at 2:45 pm EST. Napoli had become the closest challengers to Juventus for the title in recent years before last season’s drop off. That decline had a lot to do with a horrendous start to the 2019/20 campaign, something they would never recover from to make a title push.

Gennaro Gattuso looks to have Napoli starting more positive this season, a carryover from their strong end to last season. After two matches, Napoli sits atop the table with six points from 2-0 (Parma) and 6-0 (Genoa) wins. Hirving Lozano and Dries Mertens both lead the team with two goals each.

Neither of those sides compares to the Juventus team they’ll face this weekend. But Juve looks to have its hands full this season for the title, with several worthy challengers.

Juventus did begin their campaign with a 3-0 win over Sampdoria, though the second and third of those goals came late on. Last weekend they drew 2-2 to an AS Roma side which had just lost 3-0 on Matchday 1 to Verona. Both teams exchanged PK goals in the first half, with Roma taking the lead in first-half stoppage time. Juve drew level with Ronaldo’s second goal (three on the year) in the 69′ minute. It was Roma though who held the advantage in both attempts and shots on target.

Last year both teams won at home during the season: Juve 4-3 at home and Napoli 2-1 on their ground. Napoli was also victorious over Juve in the Coppa Italia Final, winning on penalties (0-0 in regulation) in one of the first Italian soccer matches to be played coming out of the shutdown.

In any match between these sides since December 2014, 16 matches in total, both teams have scored 12 times. At least three goals have been scored in 11 and both teams scoring and OVER 2.5 goals has cashed in 11 as well.

There’s still an image out there of a suffocating Juventus defense, but that hasn’t been the case of late. Juve limped to the finish line last season and in their past 12 Serie A matches, they have now kept just two clean sheets. Both of those have come against Sampdoria. They’ve scored 18 goals and conceded 19 during the stretch.

Keeping Juve off the board on their own pitch is unlikely, but with an in-form Napoli against a shaky Juve defense, both teams scoring looks to be the best bet. I grabbed this at -110 earlier this week but the price has since shortened to -125.

Pick: Both Teams to Score – Yes (-125)

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