- Serie A Round 11 kicks off on Friday with Sassuolo hosting Benevento, followed by three matches on Saturday and six on Sunday
- AC Milan are 7-0-0 when leading at half-time
- Read on for the odds and our best bets from Serie A Round 11 here
As we head into Serie A Round 11 it’s AC Milan which sits at the top of the table with 26 points and undefeated at 8-2-0. With five teams all within seven points of the leaders though, the race for the Scudetto is still well in sight for many sides.
Earlier a goal-haven for neutrals and OVER bettors alike, scoring in Serie A has subsided in recent weeks. Since Round 6, the following weeks have seen an average of 1.8, 2.4, 2.9 and 2.1 goals scored per match.
Betting road teams has also proved to be a profitable endeavor as road teams are 15-14-9 (WDL) in the past four rounds.
Let’s look ahead to the odds and best bets from the Serie A Round 11 schedule below.
Serie A Round 11 Odds
|Sassuolo vs Benevento||-163||+350||+350|
|Crotone vs Spezia||+150||+240||+170|
|Torino vs Udinese||+175||+230||+150|
|Lazio vs Verona||-167||+320||+425|
|Cagliari vs Inter Milan||+600||+425||-275|
|Atalanta vs Fiorentina||-150||+300||+375|
|Bologna vs Roma||+260||+275||-110|
|Napoli vs Sampdoria||-225||+333||+600|
|Genoa vs Juventus||+700||+400||-275|
|AC Milan vs Parma||-334||+450||+750|
All odds taken Dec 9 at Bet365
Crotone vs Spezia
Two newly-promoted teams meet when 20th-placed Crotone hosts 15th-placed Spezia at 9:00 am EST Saturday morning. These teams know each other well from their time in Serie B. Last season each won on the road by 2-1 a score. During the 2018/19 season, Spezia took all three points in both contests, winning 3-0 on the road and 2-0 at home.
As the only winless team on the season, it’s clear that Crotone has struggled more to acclimate to Italy’s top division so far. Rooted at the foot of the table at 0-2-8 (WDL) with just six goals scored to go with 24 allowed makes them a clear candidate for immediate relegation back to Serie B.
— Lega Serie A (@SerieA_EN) December 9, 2020
Being at home would appear to be an advantage for the Pythagoreans, however, they’ve actually only scored two of their six goals on their own pitch. No matter how you slice it, one draw and two goals in five home matches is poor. But, it’s also hard to look past the treacherous slate of opponents they’d had to face at home. AC Milan, Juventus, Atalanta, Lazio and Napoli would give any side issue, much less a newcomer.
Despite their scoring struggles, (they also have a league-worst expected goals (xG) total of 8.4 according to FBRef), there could be some hope for improvement against a shaky Spezia backline. Spezia has conceded 19 goals in their ten matches, and own a 19th-ranked expected goals against (xGA) of exactly 19.
— Lega Serie A (@SerieA_EN) December 7, 2020
Spezia actually owns the league’s seventh-best road record at 2-2-1 and has scored multiple goals in four of five matches. A goal haul of 14 is not bad for the newcomers, with nine coming away from home. They are one of three teams to be leading the league with matches going OVER 2.5 totals at an 8-2 clip.
The Aquilotti also holds an edge in average possession, shots and shots on target over Crotone, so may in fact carry the play in this match.
This should be a match both go into expecting to win in Serie A Round 11. No matter the result, with the home advantage and the added impetus to make up ground in the relegation race, Crotone should score and we should see a few goals overall.
Pick: Both Teams to Score & Over 2.5 Goals (+105)
Napoli vs Sampdoria
It’s third in the table Napoli hosting 12th-placed Sampdoria at 9:00 am EST Sunday morning.
Napoli has just three losses on the season and one came via default to Juventus. They’ve won three of their past four and two-straight after a 4-0 dismantling of Crotone last week. That followed a similar 4-0 win over Roma the week prior. Just six points adrift of the summit they are right in the thick of the Serie A title race behind Milan and Inter.
Napoli are the division’s second-highest scorers with 24 goals, smashing their xG of 17.1.
Sampdoria’s defense has been breached 17 times this season, and twice in each of their past four matches. Those opponents have included Cagliari, Bologna, Torino and Milan. Outside of Milan, that’s hardly a who’s who of the league’s elite. They also conceded three times to newcomers Benevento back in September.
Despite their defensive deficiencies, a goal haul of 15 is decent and they have scored at least once in eight of ten matches.
But Claudio Ranieri’s Sampdoria looks set to struggle on Saturday. They own the division’s worst average possession at just 42.3-percent. Napoli should easily control the tempo of this match as they average 56.3-percent possession.
Despite having played one less game due to their default against Juve, Napoli still has the most attempts (161) and shots on target (65) of any team in Serie A. Those numbers are five and 16 better than the next closest teams in those categories. They should easily control the middle and attacking thirds of the pitch where they rank fifth and third in touches respectively.
How the table is looking after Round 10 in Serie A 🇮🇹 pic.twitter.com/fnbuYtRLcL
— Italian Football TV 🔟💙 (@IFTVofficial) December 8, 2020
Also, a pre-match bet on this alone will offer little value. But should Napoli find themselves needing a goal in the second half, an in-game bet on them to score in the second-half may offer a good price depending on how the match is playing out. Napoli has scored 66.7-percent of their goals this year in the second half. Only Sassuolo and Lazio have scored more second half goals.
With 11 goals conceded in the second half, only Spezia and Torino have conceded more goals from minutes 45-90 than Sampdoria.
Sampdoria will have to make do with taking advantage of their countering opportunities and certainly are capable of scoring. But against a potent Napoli attack which should be buzzing all match, they are likely to concede a couple.
2020-2021 🇮🇹 Serie A xG Leaders
Zlatan Ibrahimović (7.5)
Romelu Lukaku (6.7)
Cristiano Ronaldo (5.5)
Edin Džeko (5.1)
Henrikh Mkhitaryan (5.1)
Fabio Quagliarella (5.0)
Andrea Belotti (4.2)
Ciro Immobile (4.1)https://t.co/BEDPCozOP4
— ⚽️FBref.com⚽️ (@fbref) December 9, 2020
The fact Napoli will have played Thursday in the Europa League against Real Sociedad could force Gennaro Gattuso into some rotation. This could give a small boost to Sampdoria in the fatigue department.
I’d be happy with a Napoli win where they score OVER 1.5 team goals at -150 odds. But for a little more value a Napoli win and OVER 2.5 total match goals is my best bet.
Pick: Napoli Win & Over 2.5 Goals in Match (+100)
AC Milan vs Parma
Serie A Round 11 concludes with 1st-place Milan hosting 16th-placed Parma at 2:45 pm EST Sunday afternoon.
At home and five points clear of the next closest challengers for the summit, it’s no surprise the Rossoneri are heavy -334 favorites for the win against two-win Parma. That price is obviously too short so let’s look for some better value.
Milan has scored the most goals in the league at 23, while also owning the highest xG at 24.2. They’ve created the second-most attempts and fifth-most shots on target. They are sure to control the play, averaging 54.2-percent possession compared to Parma’s 44.3-percent.
Milan are currently enjoying an incredible run of 22-straight matches undefeated in Serie A play. That streak extended after last weekend’s 2-1 road win over Sampdoria, their third-straight victory.
Those 22 matches have also seen them score multiple goals 21 times. That’s amazing. During the current campaign, they’ve kept clean sheets in three of five home matches while outscoring opponents 12-5.
But they also get off to quick starts which could put Parma behind the eight ball early. Milan owns the best first-half record in the league at 7-2-1 (WDL), scoring 11 goals and conceding just four. While Parma ranks 14th in first-half results at 2-5-3, scoring four and conceding eight.
In those seven matches in which Milan have been leading at the half, they’ve yet to drop points, going on to win all seven. Parma, when being behind at the half, have gone on to lose twice, while drawing once.
Milan will be in action Thursday in the Europa League against Sparta Prague. But it would seem Stefano Pioli plans to rotate on Thursday and be fresh come the weekend for Serie A Round 11.
#ACMilan coach Stefano #Pioli has claimed Zlatan #Ibrahimovic is ‘feeling better’ and confirmed he will rotate the team against #SpartaPrague with Rafael #Leao who is back in the squad after an injury. https://t.co/mBeKFDNGpG #SpartaPragueMilan #UEL #SerieA #Calcio #Milan pic.twitter.com/ylXVGcVKen
— footballitalia (@footballitalia) December 9, 2020
Last season Milan were 3-1 winners at home and 1-0 winners away against Parma. It’s a head-to-head they have enjoyed of late owning a 5-1-0 (WDL) record against the Crusaders in the past six meetings.
Against top competition on the road Parma has conceded multiple goals to each of Inter Milan (2-2 draw) and AS Roma (3-0 loss).
For me, there are a few ways to find value in a Milan win in Serie A Round 11. A Milan win to nil at +125 certainly offers value but can always be dangerous. Instead, I would look to a Milan win by two goals or to bet them on the half-time/full-time market to be leading at the half and also at the end of the game.
Pick: Milan -1.5 (-103) or Milan half-time/full-time (-120)