AC Milan vs Inter Milan, Atalanta vs Napoli & More

Serie A Matchday 23

Inter Milan’s Romelu Lukaku celebrates after scores with penalty against Lazio during a Serie A soccer match between Inter Milan and Lazio at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

  • Serie A Matchday 23 kicks off on Friday, February 19, 2021 with two matches in the afternoon
  • Atalanta and Napoli are playing each other for the fourth time this season and the third time this month
  • Read on for the odds and our best bets from Serie A Matchday 23 here

Serie A Matchday 23 gets started Friday afternoon with Fiorentina hosting Spezia at 12:30 pm EST, followed by Cagliari hosting Torino at 2:45 pm EST. Three more matches take place on Saturday, followed by four on Sunday before the round concludes with Juventus hosting Crotone on Monday afternoon at 2:45 pm EST.

The fixture list is piling up for some teams with some playing in the Europa League both this week and next (Milan, Roma, Napoli) and Juventus coming off a midweek loss to FC Porto in the Champions League. Others, namely, Lazio and Atalanta could be caught looking ahead to their own midweek Champions League commitments next week with Bayern Munich and Real Madrid respectively.

All this and we haven’t even mentioned the biggest match of the weekend. That is when the Milan rivals lock horns in the Milan Derby with each hoping to end the weekend at the top of the summit.

Let’s look ahead to the odds and best bets from the Serie A Matchday 23 schedule below.

Serie A Matchday 23 Odds

Matchup Home Draw Away
Fiorentina vs Spezia +100 +230 +300
Cagliari vs Torino +180 +240 +150
Lazio Sampdoria -154 +300 +400
Genoa vs Verona +170 +210 +180
Sassuolo vs Bologna +120 +240 +225
Parma vs Udinese +260 +240 +110
AC Milan vs Inter Milan +260 +250 +105
Atalanta vs Napoli -110 +280 +275
Benevento vs Roma +450 +350 -182
Juventus vs Crotone -600 +700 +1400

All odds taken Feb 18 at Bet365

Sassuolo vs Bologna Prediction

Sassuolo broke a streak of five matches winless when they defeated Crotone 2-1 on the road last weekend. They’ll look to start a streak in the win column when they host 12th-placed Bologna at 2:45 pm EST Saturday afternoon.

Bologna themselves are now undefeated in two matches after last week’s 1-1 draw with Benevento and a 3-0 win over Parma the round prior.

There’s a clear trend when these teams meet up and that’s goals. Earlier this season, Sassuolo won on the road 4-3 when the sides combined for seven goals. Last season Sassuolo won both meetings 3-1 and 2-1, making it now six-straight meetings between them where both teams have scored and at least three goals have been scored.

Sassuolo looks back to being a team you can regularly count on to both score and concede in most matches. After last week’s result, both teams have scored in each of their past 11 matches. At least three goals have been scored in eight of those. And while their offense failed to score more than once during their five-match slide, that changed last week when Domenico Berardi returned to the starting lineup and made an instant impact scoring 14 minutes into the match.

Bologna hasn’t been leaking goals quite to the extent of last season or to the extent of earlier this season, but they’ve still allowed multiple goals in 12 of their 22 matches. That includes allowing multiple goals in eight of nine matches played against teams ranked eighth or higher in the table—Sassuolo is eighth.

It won’t offer much value, but both teams scoring (-200) could be a good parlay play. But, I think Sassuolo, who holds the highest average possession in the league (59.2-percent) according to FBRef, and with Berardi back in the fold should have every opportunity to find the back of the net twice in this Serie A Matchday 23 game. I liked the Neroverdi to score twice last week and I’ll back them to do so again.

Pick: Sassuolo Over 1.5 Goals (-120)

2021 Serie A Odds Tracker

AC Milan vs Inter Milan Prediction

The Milan Derby highlights the weekend of action on Serie A Matchday 23, kicking off at 9:00 am EST on Sunday morning.

After leading the way on top of the table for much of the season, Milan was shocked by newcomers Spezia 2-0 last weekend. The drop of points allowed rivals Inter to leapfrog the Rossoneri for the top spot with their 3-1 win over Lazio.

Inter is in the midst of a three-match winning streak where they’ve outscored their opponents 9-1. In fact, Antonio Conte’s side has just a single defeat in the league in their past 18 matches and are odds-on favorites right now to win the Scudetto. In their past five matches, they’ve now conceded just that single goal to Lazio.

For Stefano Pioli’s Milan, some cracks are starting to show with losses in three of five overall competitions and in two of four in the league. Still, the form guide can be thrown out when these two rivals meet, as both sides will be fully focused for this battle at the top of the summit.

For that reason, despite playing in a Thursday Europa League Round of 32 match against Red Star Belgrade where they drew 2-2, they should be well-focused. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, amongst others, was also rested for that match.

These teams have already met twice this season. First, Milan was 4-2 winners at home in the league in September, while Inter were victorious most recently, 2-1, in the Coppa Italia.

Inter has recently held the advantage in this Milan Derby, having won both Serie A matches last season as well as being 4-1-0 (WDL) in the five matches prior to Milan’s win this season.

To me, the obvious pick here looks to be in backing the goals markets. Both teams scoring (-175) or both scoring and over 2.5 goals at (-125) both look like good bets. Both teams rank in the top four in goalscoring and top three in xG.

But with so much on the line, it’s also possible the match starts a bit cagey with neither wanting to find themselves behind too early. Not surprisingly, these teams both have strong first-half records this season. However, Milan has scored 22 goals in the first half, while Inter has just 18, both in 22 matches according to Soccer Stats. Compare that to second-half stats where Inter has an incredible 36 goals scored and Milan 23, and the average for both increases after half-time.

Odds for each team individually to score in the second half sit at -120 (Milan) and -188 (Inter). But odds for the second half to simply have more goals combined than the first half sits at a reasonable +100.

Additionally, if we see goals, they’re likely to come from one or more of the big boys in this match. I’ll side with a bet on Zlatan as an anytime scorer (+110), but Romelu Lukaku (-110) and Lautaro Martinez (+125) from Inter are good bets too.

Pick: More Goals in 2nd Half (+100), Ibrahimovic Anytime Scorer (+110)

Atalanta vs Napoli Prediction

Once the Milan Derby wraps up, we’ll have a short break before another heavyweight tilt kicks of at 12:00 pm EST with Atalanta hosting Napoli on Serie A Matchday 23.

We’ve seen plenty of this match of late and twice already this month. Napoli were 4-1 winners in the league meeting back in October. However, it was Atalanta who got the best of a two-legged Coppa Italia semifinal, with the teams drawing 0-0 in Naples and Atalanta winning 3-1 in Bergamo. Last year, the teams drew 2-2 and La Dea won 2-0.

These teams find themselves both tied on 40 points and in similar current form. Napoli has nine points in their past five matches, and Atalanta has eight. While Atalanta holds a slight edge in goalscoring (49-45), Napoli have been stronger defensively. They’ve allowed 21 goals compared to Atalanta’s 29.

Both are coming off 1-0 victories in the league last weekend. Atalanta won 1-0 on the road to Cagliari and Napoli stepped up with a big home performance over Juventus.

Napoli played Thursday in the Coppa Italia against Spanish side Granada and was defeated 2-0. They only managed to register a single shot on target, despite holding 62-percent possession. Napoli were without several regulars who missed out with injury or COVID-positive tests and that will likely still be the case on Sunday.

So on one hand Napoli could be facing some fatigue and be shorthanded. On the other hand, Gian Piero Gasperini has a huge tilt in the Champions League upcoming at home against Real Madrid next Wednesday. He too  could elect to rest some of his own regulars.

At this moment it’s hard to know exactly who will be in the lineup for either side. However, Atalanta should be the more rested and healthy team. Even if some regulars start on the bench, they could be brought on late in the match against a tiring Napoli side.  Atalanta has the third-most (25) second-half goals in the league and I’ll back them to score in the final 45 minutes.

Pick: Atalanta to Score in 2nd Half (-120)