- Serie A’s final weekend sees five matches on both Saturday and Sunday
- Who will finish in second? Can Lazio’s Ciro Immobile break the all-time goals record?
- Read on for the full Matchday 38 odds as well as our best bets for the week
The final weekend is here in Serie A and most of the significant races have been decided. Juventus are champions, the top four and top six are locked in and two of the three relegation spots are confirmed. For what it’s worth, second place is still on the line, with Inter leading the pack at 79 points, closely followed by Atalanta and Lazio, both on 78 points. So depending how badly these teams want it, there is some intrigue yet to be decided.
For Lazio, striker Ciro Immobile is on 35 goals for the year, one away from tying the all-time record and four ahead of Ronaldo in the current season. In what looks like two games with little appeal, Lecce vs Parma and Genoa vs Verona on Sunday afternoon are huge tilts when you consider Genoa lead Lecce by one point (36-35 points) in the fight for survival in Serie A.
Finally, be sure to check the game day lineups as teams like Inter Milan (August 5) and Roma (August 6) have important Europa League matches coming up next week. Further, Juventus and Napoli, with nothing left on the line the season, could also be looking ahead to Champions League clashes next weekend on Friday and Saturday respectively. Atalanta, also in the UCL, have a little longer break, not playing PSG until August 12.
Serie A Matchday 38 Odds
|Team||Moneyline Odds at Bet365|
All odds taken July 31. For more betting options visit Bet365
As has been the case since the restart, let’s give a quick recap of some key betting trends since Serie A restarted ahead of the final weekend. Home teams have now gone 51-24-38, both teams scoring in a match is 77-37, OVER 2.5 totals are 81-33, OVER 3.5 totals are 43-71 and the average goals scored are per game is 3.30.
Pick 1: Atalanta vs Inter Milan
The battle for second place in Serie A kicks off at 2:45 pm EST Saturday afternoon. Inter currently holds pole position going into the final match, sitting on 79 points, with Atalanta just behind at 78.
Both teams have been in imperious form with Inter losing just once since the restart and being undefeated in their past seven. Inter have scored in every match since the restart except one (0-0 draw with Fiorentina) but have also kept things tight defensively, with now four clean sheets in their past five matches, after Tuesday’s 2-0 win over Napoli.
— Lega Serie A (@SerieA_EN) July 29, 2020
Inter scored early and late, though Napoli did create plenty of chances for large portions of the game, yet came up short and faded towards the later stages of the match. Napoli were also without the services of Dries Mertens who was suspended.
As strong as Inter have been, Atalanta top them having yet to lose in 12 since restarting. Their high-flying attack has produced 98 goals on the season, though has calmed down of late. Atalanta’s last four matches have seen them draw 1-1, win 1-0, draw 1-1 and win 2-1 in their most recent match on Tuesday against Parma. However, having fallen behind 1-0 in the first half, both goals came late in the 70′ and 84′ minutes.
Atalanta are 19 games unbeaten after beating Parma. They sit 2nd in Serie A with 98 goals.
They face PSG in 15 days 🍿 pic.twitter.com/r5mRf7xsK3
— B/R Football (@brfootball) July 28, 2020
No team has hit the 100-goal mark in Serie A since the 1950/51 season when each of AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus all did so. Atalanta also have a chance to finish in second, which would be their highest-ever ranking in a Serie A season.
Recent results between these sides would point to a low-scoring affair this weekend. The teams drew 1-1 earlier this season, while last season saw another 0-0 draw and Atalanta winning 4-1. But 2017/18 season saw Inter win 2-1 and the teams draw once again 0-0. So 3/5 have ended drawn and 4/5 have now gone UNDER 2.5.
With Inter playing on Wednesday in the Europa League, they could rest some starters. But in Atalanta’s quest for 100 goals, their defense could be exposed resulting in a few goals in this one. I’ll bet the goals market, but the value would also be on an Atalanta win (+130) or on Atalanta to simply score OVER 1.5 goals at -125.
Pick: BTTS & Over 2.5 (-150)
🎙️ "If you ask me about finishing second, third or fourth, I'd say that the second place is for the first team among the losers."#Inter boss Antonio #Conte isn't a happy man as his side's title hope seems to be over after a draw with #Fiorentina.#InterFiorentina #SerieATIM ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/bjAdGgBSt2
— Sportstar (@sportstarweb) July 23, 2020
Pick 2: Napoli vs Lazio
Another match among top seven sides sees fourth-place Lazio traveling to seventh-place Napoli.
Top two is still on the line for Lazio, but the big story here is if Ciro Immobile will match or beat Gonzalo Higuain’s 2015/16 record of 36 goals in a season. Immobile has 35 and has scored six goals in his past four games. He looks to have a safe lead over Ronaldo for the current season but there’s no doubt he and his Lazio teammates will be doing everything possible to get their talisman the record.
Ciro Immobile leads the European Golden Boot race with his 35th league goal! 👏 pic.twitter.com/mmOTypB533
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) July 29, 2020
The season ends for Lazio after this game so there’s no reason to hold back and not get Immobile on the scoresheet and try for second place. Napoli meanwhile, can not move up or down in the table and it would seem likely they rotate their squad as they prepare to play Leg 2 of their Round of 16 tie with Barcelona next Saturday.
Will we see Napoli’s second leader scorer Dries Mertens? The striker seems interested in stopping Immobile’s quest for the scoring record, however, Mertens has seen limited action of late through injuries and suspension. He hasn’t played more than 31 minutes since July 12.
Napoli may wish to go into their UCL tilt on a high, given their recent performances haven’t been too strong. After winning three of four in the restart, they drew back-to-back matches and followed that up with a narrow 2-1 win over Udinese. Their past three results were a 2-1 loss to Parma, 2-0 win over Sassuolo (though Sassuolo had four disallowed goals) and a 2-0 loss to Inter Milan on Tuesday.
#Napoli forward Dries Mertens hopes to stop #Lazio striker Ciro Immobile from beating Gonzalo Higuain’s record of 36 goals in a #SerieA season. #NapoliLazio https://t.co/6JWavVGBj9 pic.twitter.com/OHSYsnRuVV
— footballitalia (@footballitalia) July 30, 2020
The past two meetings, both coming in 2020, have seen tight low-scoring 1-0 results with Lazio winning in the league in January and Napoli winning a couple of weeks later in the Coppa Italia. Prior to these results though, these teams have seen more open scorelines with both teams scoring in 5/6 and also OVER 2.5 totals cashing at 5-1. Napoli were 2-1 winners in both league matches last season. In fact, the Gli Azzurri have owned Lazio of late, as overall across their past ten head-to-heads in the Cup and league, Napoli are 8-1-1.
I think a bet on Immobile to score is a must here at -138. Immobile to score and OVER 1.5 goals in the match would pay at -125 odds, while Immobile to score and both teams to score can net you just over even-money at +110.
Pick: Ciro Immobile to score (-138), Immobile to score and both teams to score (+110)
Pick 3: Lecce vs Parma
While the league’s bigger teams all play on Saturday, the relegation battles take place on Sunday. Lecce, battling for their lives host Parma at 2:45 pm EST on Sunday.
Lecce, just one point back of Genoa for the final safety spot have it all to play for when they host 11th-place Parma. Lecce have kept their hopes alive with wins in two of their last three and were 2-1 winners over Udinese on Wednesday. Lecce are always capable goalscorers with 49 goals on the year and seven goals in their past three. Their defense is abysmal though, having conceded 81 this season and at least once in 9/10 since the restart. In their past five they’ve conceded ten goals.
Lecce are alive and kicking, fighting back from a goal down to beat Udinese and close the gap from Genoa to one point, so relegation is decided on the final day https://t.co/V4damxsRKw #UdineseLecce #SerieA pic.twitter.com/Gh35mESO7n
— footballitalia (@footballitalia) July 29, 2020
That’s bad news as they come up against a Parma team who have scored in every single game since the restart. Parma have also conceded in every single game as well. They’ve scored 15 while conceding 21, and OVER 2.5 totals are a perfect 10-0 in their matches.
Lecce need the win and even if they draw and Genoa lose, they own an inferior goal-differential and Genoa owns the head-to-head advantage, meaning they need to go for the win, which should result in an open match with plenty of scoring opportunities. This price was better at -138 a little earlier but is still a good bet at -150.
Pick: BTTS & Over 2.5 (-150)
Pick 4: Sassuolo vs Udinese
It’s the last day of the season so let’s throw a fourth one out there which kicks off at 2:45 pm EST on Sunday as well.
Coming out of the stoppage Udinese were in real danger of falling into the relegation zone after going winless in seven matches. They resumed play with two more losses before picking up 7/9 points in their next three. After then going winless in three, they did enough to secure their safety with wins over both Juventus and Cagliari. On Wednesday they played their final home match and despite getting in front early, still fell 2-1 to a desperate Lecce side in defeat.
They’ve done their job in securing another season of Serie A play next year and I find it hard to see them putting up much of a fight against a team in Sassuolo full of confidence.
The Neroverdi can’t move up from eighth, but they could drop down if Verona were to win. Sassuolo were one of the league’s most impressive teams coming out of the break, prior to a run of four winless results. However, that included a 3-3 draw to Juventus where they led, a 2-1 loss to AC Milan after they picked up a red card and a 2-0 defeat to Napoli where they had four goals called back for offside.
The results didn’t dampen their spirits and on Wednesday their offense ran rampant over a Genoa side in need of a result as they brushed aside the Grifone 5-0 with four different goalscorers and Francesco Caputo scoring a brace.
5 – Since the restart of top European Leagues, Samuel #DiCarmine and Francesco #Caputo have netted 5 goals in home matches, alongside Benzema, Lewandowski, Aubameyang and Martial – only Cristiano Ronaldo (7) scored more in the period. Predators.#SerieA pic.twitter.com/rim9gJhup6
— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) July 30, 2020
Sassuolo have scored the fourth-most goals since the restart (28) and have far outperformed their xG of 18.86 (6th) per Understat in that timeframe.
While Udinese have kept things relatively tight at the back and own an xGA of 10.56, but have underperformed in allowing 14 goals.
Getting Sassuolo at home at near-even money just looks like too good of value to pass up. They were just over even-money earlier this week but have seen some action of late to lower that price.
Pick: Sassuolo win (-110)
Let's have fun and keep it civil.