Italian Soccer - Serie A
Week three of the Italian Serie A kicks off in midweek and as usual there are several betting opportunities that stand out. The premier matchup pits this season's joint Scudetto favourites against each other. With Juventus out of the title race, and AC Milan at an 8 point disadvantage, it's hard to look past Roma and Inter Milan this year.
Roma v Inter
A "six pointer" early in the season, and crucial match for both Scudetto contenders. From a wagering standpoint, the teams are evenly matched: the handicap is set at level ball (draw no bet). But looking at the formbook, Roma get the nod to come away with 3 points in front of a packed Stadio Olimpico. The Giallorossi have started the season with two wins from two games, scoring 5 goals and conceding 1. They also impressively saw off Shakhtar Donetsk by a score of 4-0 in a recent Champions League match. The bookies may have priced this game closer than it should be because Inter beat Roma 4-3 in the Italian SuperCup in August. But that was little more than an exhibition match for both teams, as the high score indicates. Off a level handicap, Roma are the call in this one, with full stakes refunded in case of a draw.
Fiorentina v Parma
This could prove a tougher game for the hosts than the odds indicate. Fiorentina have started the season slowly and have not yet hit their form. They are a weaker side this year and it's hard to see them replicating their high table finish of last season. And with a 19 point penalty handed to them after the match fixing scandal last year, Fiorentina have no incentive to do anything but survive in Serie A and not get relegated. Last season the Viola thrashed Parma 4-1. Fiorentina are 1.50 odds to win this match, or -1 goal favourites on the Asian Handicap. At those prices this game has no appeal from a betting point of view.
Palermo v Catania
In the Sicilian derby and it's hard to look past the hosts. Palermo are off to a good start this year, with two wins in the Italian league (coming off an away victory over Lazio) and an away win over West Ham in the UEFA Cup. The last time these teams met in Serie A was a 1-1 draw in 1962. There were several encounters between the two Sicilian sides over the years in Serie B and Serie C1/A. Palermo won 3, Catania won 1 and 4 were drawn. The home side are favoured by -1 goal on the handicap market, or a best priced 1.60 fixed odds to win this match. Palermo were an overish team last season and this game could easily go over the 2.5 goal total. Both teams are certainly capable of scoring, but Catania could take to the pitch with negative tactics in mind. This being a derby, a draw would satisfy them, especially since their local rivals are in such good form.