Napoli’s Matteo Politano, center, celebrates after scoring his side’s opening goal during a Serie A soccer match between AC Milan and Napoli, at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Sunday, March 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
- Serie A Matchday 28 begins on Friday, followed by three matches on Saturday and another six on Sunday
- AS Roma are still winless against any team ranked in the top eight
- Read on for the odds and our best bets from Serie A Matchday 28 here
Italy’s Serie A Matchday 28 kicks off Friday afternoon with Parma hosting Genoa. Saturday’s Inter Milan vs Sassuolo match has been postponed due to positive COVID tests in the Inter camp and the match of the weekend rounds off the slate when Roma hosts Napoli at 3:45 pm EST Sunday afternoon.
In the midweek, one league match was played with Torino defeating Sassuolo 3-2. While on Thursday, two Italian sides participated in the Europa League Round of 16. Roma won 2-1 over Shakhtar Donetsk and advanced to the quarterfinals, while AC Milan were sent packing after their 1-0 loss to Manchester United.
With an international break coming up next week, Serie A will be off until Saturday, April 3 after this weekend.
Let’s look ahead to the odds and best bets from the Serie A Matchday 28 schedule below.
Serie A Matchday 28 Odds
|Parma vs Genoa||+130||+220||+230|
|Crotone vs Bologna||+250||+260||+105|
|Spezia vs Cagliari||+162||+210||+187|
|Inter Milan Sassuolo||—||—||—|
|Verona vs Atalanta||+400||+300||-154|
|Juventus vs Benevento||-550||+600||+1400|
|Sampdoria vs Torino||+137||+220||+210|
|Udinese vs Lazio||+260||+225||+115|
|Fiorentina vs AC Milan||+260||+240||+110|
|Roma vs Napoli||+160||+250||+162|
All odds taken Mar 18 at Bet365
Spezia vs Cagliari Prediction
Two struggling teams meet when 15th-place Spezia hosts 19th-placed Cagliari at 1:00 pm EST Saturday afternoon.
Cagliari had suffered through a spell of 16 league matches without a victory before back-to-back wins to close out February and begin March. However, a 2-2 draw at Sampdoria and 3-1 home loss to Juventus last week, now sees them winless in the past two. Goals though, in four-straight games, is a marked improvement from a previous run which saw them score just one in seven.
Spezia started the year strong and even posted wins over Sassuolo and then-leaders AC Milan back in February. But they’ve fallen off since with zero wins in their past five at 0-2-3 (WDL). Last weekend they lost 3-1 on the road to Atalanta. Even without winning, and even with only scoring four goals in those five matches, four of the five still saw at least three or more total goals scored. At 20-7, Spezia and Crotone have been filling OVER bettor’s pockets as the two teams whose scores have exceeded 2.5 totals at the highest rate.
This is the second meeting this season after the first one back in November saw Spezia steal a point on the road. With Cagliari leading 2-1 into stoppage time, Mbala N’Zola converted a penalty to level the score at 2-2.
Spezia regularly plays an open-style, and this match will be one that both expect to gain points from. At -125, the odds for both finding the back of the net look like a good bet.
Pick: Both Teams to Score (-125)
Sampdoria vs Torino Prediction
Earlier in 2021, Sampdoria were enjoying a run of just one defeat in five matches. But since that time, and their last victory, a 2-1 win over Fiorentina on February 14, they are winless at 0-2-3 (WDL). Last weekend they lost 3-1 away to Bologna, and that comes after a 2-2 draw with Cagliari and 1-1 draw with Genoa. They enter Serie A Matchday 28 in 11th place with 32 points.
During the only midweek match being played, Torino pulled themselves out of the relegation zone and into 17th with a thrilling 3-2 win over Sassuolo on Wednesday. Down early, after two Domenico Berardi goals for Sassuolo at the 6′ and 38′ minute marks, the score would remain that way until late-on. Then, in quick succession, Torino struck in the 77′, 88′ and 92′ minutes to steal the win. Simone Zaza, who scored the first goal, also got the winner.
The win is the second in four for Torino, but also just their second in their past 11.
.@TorinoFC1906_En gets an amazing win: great 3-goals comeback in the 2nd half! 🔚🐂#TorinoSassuolo #SerieATIM #WeAreCalcio pic.twitter.com/3LyClrtn2o
— Lega Serie A (@SerieA_EN) March 17, 2021
In 14 of the last 15 league meetings at least two goals have been scored when these teams meet. In those 15, ten matches have seen both teams scoring in the match. That was the case in this season’s earlier meeting when they split the points in a 2-2 draw.
Sampdoria has 13 losses on the season. But generally, their struggles have come against the league’s top sides. Of those 13 defeats, eight have come against teams currently ranked eighth or higher in the table. From a scoring standpoint, only twice in 13 home dates this campaign have Sampdoria been held off the scoresheet. Problematically, they’ve kept just a single clean sheet on their home pitch though.
Torino’s matches have averaged 3.4 goals per game this term and they’ve also found the back of the net in seven of their past eight. They too have defensive issues though, having conceded eight times in their past three, including four to Crotone. Backing both to score at -143 is definitely in play, but for enhanced value, I’ll back both to score and at least three goals being scored.
Pick: Both Teams to Score & Over 2.5 Goals (+125)
2021 Serie A Odds Tracker
Roma vs Napoli Prediction
It’s fifth versus sixth when Roma hosts Napoli, with both tied on 50 points in the table at 3:45 pm EST Sunday afternoon to close out Serie A Matchday 28.
Despite their position in sixth in the table, Roma have been sinking down the standings of late. Typically, they’ve been strong against weaker opposition, but have remained winless against top opponents in the league. Heading into Matchday 24 against AC Milan, they were 0-4-4 against teams in the top eight. After a 2-1 loss, that record is now 0-4-5 (WDL). Since that loss, they’ve posted wins over Fiorentina and Genoa but then dropped a horrible result in losing 2-0 to a Parma side who were winless in 17 prior to last weekend. Roma has now also only scored four goals in their past five Serie A matches. That’s well below the 7.6 expected goals (xG) they’ve combined for in those games according to FBRef.
The new #SerieATIM League Table! 🔍
How is your team doing? 👍 👎#WeAreCalcio pic.twitter.com/t9it2oLCBS
— Lega Serie A (@SerieA_EN) March 14, 2021
Napoli’s form has been strong of late going 4-1-1 in their past six. That run has included 1-0 wins over both Juventus and Milan. They are undefeated in four as well after their second-straight win (Milan) last weekend. A look at Napoli’s past six matches sees them outperforming their xG of 8.4, by scoring 12 goals.
It was a straightforward win for Napoli earlier this season in a 4-0 win. Last season each team won on their home pitch by a 2-1 scoreline. Napoli’s clean sheet this season broke a streak of five-straight which saw both teams finding the scoresheet and four of which seeing at least three goals scored combined.
Napoli takes the most shots of any team in Serie A and have registered the second-most shots on target of any team as well. They will have every opportunity to get on the scoresheet Sunday against a struggling Roma team on short rest. I’d lean towards a Napoli win in this one, but will be backing the Napoli team total for goals at OVER 1.5.
Pick: Napoli to Score Over 1.5 Goals (+110)
Ryan is SBD’s resident soccer pro, though his repertoire is by no means limited to a single sport. His articles have been published by the Canadian Hockey League (CHL), Ontario Hockey League (OHL), and the Kitchener Rangers, and outlets like SportsXpress and Shredthespread.com