The weekend’s Serie A game comes on Sunday when seventh place visits Lazio to face fourth place Juventus.
Six points separate these two sides in the table, but in this case it is a lie the tables on the true difference in quality between these clubs. Lazio’s recent good but misleading form creates a betting value for the hosts to get all three points out of this game.
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Based on the expected goals, the shape of blacks and whites is actually better in 2020-21 than it has been in the last two seasons. The results just don’t follow that campaign. Inter Milan are likely to win the league title as they deliver both performances and results.
However, Juventus’ underlying numbers do not match the current portrayal of a team that for the first time since 2011 no longer holds the series title A will win.
Juventus’ 1.04 xGD per 90 is the second best in the league, a few ticks behind Inter. Andrea Pirlo’s team has improved dramatically on the defensive, as it is allowed in midfield, but to achieve the lowest xG per shot in the league.
Since they do not allow great scoring opportunities, the blacks and whites force their opponents to get a great finish to convert chances and score goals for them. Juventus’ opponents have the longest attempted distance in the league and also allow the fewest shots on goal in the division.
Add above average goalkeeping and Juventus was very hard to break. Given Lazio’s attack metrics, it will be very difficult for visitors to fall behind and create great opportunities.
My numbers and the market disagree on how good Lazio really is and that’s why I bet I always against the club.
The White and Sky Blues had won six league games in a row before a 3-1 setback against Inter Milan on Valentine’s Day. Lazio then lost to Bayern Munich in the Champions League and suffered a 2-0 defeat against Bologna last weekend. The White and Sky Blues six-game run has always been a bit happy due to the expected goals and it’s no surprise they go back.
Lazio’s attacking numbers are very mediocre and not for this Juventus team especially good. The shot distance and xG per shot are in the lower half of the league. In the second leg at the start of the season, Lazio were 75 minutes behind and only scored 0.9 xG before Felipe Caciedo equalized in the 95th minute.
Lazio were hot on penalties last season and had a poor title challenge against Juventus, but his xGD per 90 numbers this year is in seventh place at 0.14, a significant drop between the top six clubs in the league.
My number for this game is Juventus on the money line -175, and I put a lot of emphasis on the hosts in order to move up to third place with a win and to bring the title closer to Inter Milan.
While these teams are six points apart in the overall standings, the beats Understat table with the expected points suggests that they should be closer to 17 points apart.
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