Serie A Week 26 Fiorentina vs Lazio

  • Friday, March 6th, 2015

    By  Ej Garr


    Soccer Betting: There has still been no resolution to the Parma situation in Serie A, and the longer it drags on, the worse it is making Italian football look. The club is stating they will be ready to play, and the players actually traveled to Genoa last weekend despite knowing the match would, most likely, not take place.

    The club is scheduled to take on Atalanta this weekend, who made their own coaching news this week. Atalanta released Stefano Colantuono as coach, and has been replaced by Edoardo Reja.

    Reja has been a manager around Europe for 22 different clubs since 1979, making Atalanta his 23rd stop in his storied career. Parma is not the only club in financial trouble. Actually, the entire league is struggling to survive.

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    Naturally the financial situation it Italy plays a part, but there was a recent ESPN report that stated that the league is facing up to €1.7 billion in debt. We could write numerous lengthy articles about who is facing what, and what clubs have monetary issues, but this is not our job here.

    Injuries are also mounting up all over Serie A. Over 120 players are on the injured/suspended list for not just this weekend, but for a duration of time. This obviously has managers scrambling for healthy players to put on the pitch down the stretch, with only 13 matches left in the campaign.

    Let's get to the pitch, and see if anyone we know is playing this weekend around Serie A, because we will see makeshift lineups all around the league this weekend.

    Saturday, March 7 - 2 Matches

    Cagliari vs Sampdoria

    3-Way: 1: Cagliari +370 Away ; X: +255 Draw ; 2: Sampdoria -120 Home

    Spread: Cagliari +0.5 +100 ; Sampdoria -0.5 -120

    Total 2.5: Over +110 ; Under -130

    Analysis and Prediction:

    Cagliari continues to come up with poor results, but as you look at the statistics from last weekend’s match with Hellas Verona, it makes you wonder how it took 90 minutes to find their only goal in a 2 - 1 loss.

    On paper, this might have been the most lopsided loss of the year, with Cagliari controlling 64 percent of the possession, and only facing 3 shots on goal. Obviously, two of those found the back of the net for Verona, and Cagliari is yet again on the losing side of the match, proving you can hold the ball as long as you like, but if you can't find the net, it means nothing.

    Sampdoria is certainly not the same club we saw early in the campaign, when they were among the top clubs in Serie A. They now find themselves on the outside of European contention, but still only 3 points out of the Europa League qualification spot. Despite all of that, they are still one of the three clubs who have not suffered a loss at home this campaign.

    Obviously there is no room for a play on Cagliari of any nature, because when you are dealing with a club that can only find ways to lose, we can only expect more of the same until they prove otherwise. Sampdoria at home with the -120 line will have to do here.

    Hellas Verona vs AC Milan

    3-Way: 1: Verona +450 Away ; X: +295 Draw ; 2: Milan-155 Home

    Spread: Verona +1 -135 ; Milan -1 +115

    Total 2.5: Over -120 ; Under +100

    Analysis and Prediction:

    Nigel De Jong and Riccardo Montolivo join an already beaten up MASH unit for Milan on the bench this weekend. That may be the only thing saving Filippo Inzaghi's job, with the organization being fair to him that he hasn't had a full squad for months. Excuses as they are, it is still something everyone in the league is dealing with, and we all know there is no crying in football!

    Verona has actually gotten back-to-back results for the first time since the second half of the campaign started in January. They got outplayed by Cagliari over the weekend pretty badly, but yet still came out of Sardinia with 3 points.

    The suggestion here is the Under 2.5 at even money. Milan looked like an entire fish tank out of water last weekend vs Chievo, and that disgusting performance leads us to the Under once again.

    Sunday, March 8 - 5 Matches

    Palermo vs Cesena

    3-Way: 1: Palermo+130 Away ; X: +230 Draw ; 2: Cesena +230 Home

    Spread: Palermo -0.5 +130 ; Cesena +0.5 -150

    Total 2.5: Over +115 ; Under -135

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    Analysis and Prediction:

    This was a spot where a play on the Over could not go in quickly enough, although it was not on the straight Over 2.5. The handicap line of 2 and 2.5 looks like a pretty fair offer at -115, since we did see them both struggle finding the net last weekend. Recalling the first time these two met in October, we saw a 2 - 1 match with Palermo taking all 3 points at home.

    Now we switch venues, and Cesena has played 13 home matches to this point. They have scored in 11 of them and, away from home, Palermo has only kept one clean sheet against AC Milan and that was back in November. In the 7 away matches since, they have given up 16 goals.

    We see 1 - 1 by halftime, which is why the Over 2 and 2.5 handicap goes on the board, just in case they struggle in the second half. We do expect that third goal to come somehow, but we have no issue with suggesting the safety net with the handicap.

    AS Roma vs Chievo Verona

    3-Way: 1: Roma -120 Away ; X: +250 Draw ; 2: Chievo +380 Home

    Spread: Roma -0.5 -120 ; Chievo +0.5 +100

    Total 2: Over -140 ; Under +120

    Analysis and Prediction:

    Oh, how the Roma situation just gets worse week after week. Okay, yes, they drew with mighty Juve by some miracle last weekend, but that does not take away from the fact that Roma continues to struggle in first halves. At least it was impressive that Roma came back from a 1 - 0 deficit and a man down, to salvage the point with a draw.

    We know we are getting about an hour from Totti, because that is all he can offer anymore. At this point, he is worthless for the most part when it comes to production, unless a Roma player gets tackled in the box and he gets a PK chance.

    Once again, a play on the Under 2 goes on the board, after seeing Chievo accomplish nothing but a 0 - 0 draw last weekend, and most likely looking for a similar result here.

    Genoa vs Empoli

    3-Way: 1: Genoa +265 Away ; X: +240 Draw ; 2: Empoli +110 Home

    Spread: Genoa +0.5 -130 ; Empoli -0.5 +110

    Total 2.5: Over +120 ; Under -140

    Analysis and Prediction:

    The line setters are almost telling us they predict a low-scoring, draw-type of match here. There is room to argue, however, even though we have mentioned the talents of Mattia Perin in net for Genoa plenty of times, that their defense is still suspect.

    We are going against the grain here, and expecting moderate success from each of them to find the net. Empoli cannot afford to keep settling for draws, as it is going to end up keeping them in the bottom half of the table. With only 8 points to play with above the relegation zone, the time is now to break out.

    Genoa also has plenty to play for, chasing Europe and only 6 points away from the 6th spot needed. Let's shoot for a 2 - 2 match, and chase that Over 2.5 at plus money with +120 as the offer.

    Inter Milan vs Napoli

    3-Way: 1: Inter +320 Away ; X: +255 Draw ; 2: Napoli -110 Home

    Spread: Inter +0.5 -110 ; Napoli -0.5 -110

    Total 2.5: Over -110 ; Under -110

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    Analysis and Prediction:

    With Juventus and Roma both struggling lately for wins, Napoli has let their opportunities to catch the first two spots in the table go by the wayside. They have lost two of their last three, after going on a prolific run to get them where they currently sit in the table. They are certainly seeing Roma as a club they can catch, but also have to stave off Lazio, Fiorentina, Sampdoria, and even Genoa and Torino, who are only 9 points in their rear view mirror.

    Inter Milan's Lukas Podolski has taken a lot of unnecessary heat about his lack of contribution to the scoring sheet since coming over in the transfer window. Many media outlets are saying he is arguably the worst move that was made in Serie A this season, and he really has no one to answer to except himself. He knows what he was brought over to do, and he also knows he has underachieved so far, so throwing it in his face is just pointless, but that is what the media does as we know.

    Inter Milan has played well enough to continue on in Europa League, and will have a home and home series with Wolfsburg in the round of 16. The suggestion for this match comes in the form of the Under 2.5 at a moderate -110.

    Torino vs Udinese

    3-Way: 1: Torino +180 Away ; X: +215 Draw ; 2: Udinese +170 Home

    Spread: Torino Pk -105 ; Udinese Pk -115

    Total 2: Over -125 ; Under +105

    Analysis and Prediction:

    There is hot, and then there is Torino! When you have only lost one match since November 30, you can claim that you are among the hottest clubs in any league in Europe. Imagine if they didn't get off to the rough start they did, because they still only have a 9 - 9 - 7 record. Doesn't sound right when you speak of hot teams right? However, they have certainly turned it around to say the least.

    Udinese, however, has been inconsistent the entire campaign, and has now lost three in a row heading into the weekend. If Udinese can't even come close to finding the net against Cesena, how the hell are they going to crack the Torino back line? They have been defensively sound all year, it was their scoring issues early that caused the predicament they are in.

    We will gladly suggest the Torino Pk Draw no Bet handicap line at -105 in this spot, because we play hot teams until they cool off.

    Monday, March 9 - 2 Matches

    Featured Match Fiorentina vs Lazio

    3-Way 1x2 Lines:

    Fiorentina +280

    Lazio +105

    Draw +245


    Fiorentina +0.5 -125

    Lazio -0.5 +105

    Total 2.5:

    Over -105

    Under -115

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    Analysis and Prediction:

    The Viola come into the weekend light in the roster as well. Nenad Tomovic was taken to hospital after the Inter match last weekend with concussion symptoms, with Khouma Babacar and Stefan Savic also likely to be out this with muscular issues. That takes out three more regulars and adds to an already long list of players likely to miss more time on the pitch.

    Amazingly enough, we are talking about a beat up Fiorentina club that took out Juventus in the Coppa Italia on Thursday... at Juventus! As hot as we mentioned Torino has been, the only club in Serie A with a 3-match winning streak in place is Lazio. The question is, how much confidence did that win over Juventus give the Viola to back up the Coppa win and follow it up with some type of result in Rome?

    This Under has plenty of reasoning behind it, despite the 2 goals Fiorentina found against Juve. We know that Lazio at home is pretty stingy in allowing goals. The -115 tag on the Under 2.5 finds our board in this spot.

    Sassuolo vs Juventus

    3-Way: 1: Sassuolo +1300 Away ; X: +590 Draw ; 2: Juventus -470 Home

    Spread: Sassuolo +2 -120 ; Juventus -2 +100

    Total 3: Over -110 ; Under -110

    Analysis and Prediction:

    Juventus is most likely still going to be without Pirlo, and trusting Llorente to score is like pulling teeth. Vidal can certainly provide a spark up front, and Tevez should be able to find a way through a Sassuolo back line that can't stop anyone at all from finding the net.

    You don't see Juventus totals at 3 too often, so hopefully the line setters are tipping their hand, letting us know what to expect. The Over 3 will have to do, especially with a pissed off Juventus club who just got knocked out of the Cup.

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