Serie A: Season 2013/14 Odds and Betting Preview

Winner

Juventus are clear odds on favourites to make it three scudettos in a row. Coral and William Hill offer an industry best price of 1.83 on Juventus winning the league - but I see very little value in backing the Old Lady.

Next in the market is AC Milan who are chalked up at 6.5 with BetVictor to win their first scudetto since 2010/11, when Zlatan Ibrahimovic was gracing the turf at the San Siro; however, despite the addition of Mario Balotelli, the Rossoneri still look like one or two top class players short of winning the league.

Napoli, in my eyes, look by far and away the best value. Coral make the Naples club a juicy 9.0 to win the league making it an outstanding each way bet. Punters may be wary of a team that has lost their talismanic striker over the summer but their transfer business has very smart.

Gonzalo Higuain was snapped up from under the noses of Arsenal to replace Cavani while José Callejón, Raul Albiol and Dries Mertens have joined what is already a very talented squad. If the new coach Rafa Benitez can hit the ground running and toughen up his side away from home then they have every chance of wresting the Scudetto from the grip of Juventus.

Top Three Finish

Juventus, AC Milan and Napoli are all odds on prices to finish in the coveted Champions League places and it's hard to argue a case for anyone gatecrashing the party.

Up next in the pecking order is Fiorentina who are 3.25 with Bet Fred, Inter Milan who are priced at 4.0 with BetVictor, Roma who are 4.5 with Paddy Power and Lazio who are available at a double figure price of 15.0 to snatch a top three finish.

Fiorentina may have sold their starlet Stevan Jovetić to Manchester City for 26m Euros but, like Napoli, have been very shrewd in the transfer market. Mario Gomez was La Violas' marquee signing - joining on a 15.5m Euro deal from Bayern Munich and they could prove to be the surprise package this season.

Nevertheless, I cannot see any value in this market although Lazio fans would be sure to tell me otherwise.

Top Goal Scorer

Mario Balotelli heads the top goal scorer market at odds of 5.0 with Ladbrokes. The former Manchester City striker scored 12 goals in just 13 appearances for the rossoneri last term and he will be a popular choice with the punters.

Napoli new boy Gonzalo Higuain will be hoping to emulate Edinson Cavani's prowess in front of goal and you can back the Argentine at 7.0 with Bwin. Higuain will be the key man for Napoli but I find the price of 7.0 a little too skinny.

Juventus' top scorer last term only managed 10 league goals - a staggering statistic given their domination in the league. Vidal, Vucinic, Quagliarella all notched 10 league goals but the champions' strength has been the collective rather than the individual.

However, if you expect that to change then new signings Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente represent decent value, they are both priced up at odds of 13.0 with William Hill for the top scorer crown.

Further down the market I like the odds of 19.0 with Bet365 on Miroslav Klose, the Lazio front man is a goal machine and if, and that's a big IF, he can stay injury free for the whole season it looks a great each-way bet. Klose scored 15 goals in 26 starts and a similar ratio this season will see him there or thereabouts.

Relegation

It's no surprise to see the three newly promoted teams at the head of the market for relegation. Livorno, Verona and Sassuolo are, it seems, up against it to maintain their Serie A status.

However, I like the look of the Verona squad and they should have more than enough to survive. Most notably Luca Toni signing on a free transfer from Fiorentina, the 36 year-old is something of a coup for Verona and their fans will be hoping for a comfortable season back among the elite.

Serie B champions Sassuolo are relatively unheard of outside of Italy and I would be surprised if they managed to avoid relegation. While Livorno are my banker tip for the drop, their squad has very little or no experience of Serie A football and they look a steal at 2.10 with BetVictor for a swift return to the second tier.

Meanwhile, at bigger prices, Genoa are 8.50 with Unibet for relegation. They have finished in 17 position in the last two seasons, just six points from relegation and despite their overhaul of the current squad and coaching staff it will be a long old season for them.

Mark Smith's bets on the Serie A 2013/14 season.

  • 4 pts on Livorno to be relegated at 2.10 with BetVictor
  • 2 pts each way on Napoli to win Serie A at 9.0 with Coral
  • 1 pt each way on Miroslav Klose to be top goal scorer at 19.0 with Bet365
  • 1 pt on Genoa to be relegated at 8.50 with Unibet

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