We have almost reached the halfway point of the Serie A season and Juventus are threatening to run away with it again. The teams are currently on a winter break but before they broke Juventus.
<p>We have almost reached the halfway point of the Serie A season and Juventus are threatening to run away with it again. The teams are currently on a winter break, but before they broke Juventus struck a psychological blow with a 1-0 with over second-placed Roma, and their formidable defence looks set to carry them to a remarkable sixth consecutive title. But there is plenty of value to be found in a range of markets across the league.</p><p>https://youtu.be/Dp4nhxO4maw</p><p><strong>Winner</strong></p><p>Nobody has properly challenged Juventus’ dominance in Serie A for years. Napoli has come the closest of late, but the summer transfer of Napoli’s record-smashing goal scorer Gonzalo Higuain to Juventus widened the gap between those two sides. This season Napoli have struggled after an injury to Higuain’s replacement Arkadiusz Milik, and free-scoring Roma have looked the most likely to give Juventus a run for their money. But that 1-0 victory for Juve, courtesy of a superb first half strike from the irrepressible Higuain, really puts the Old Lady in the driving seat. Many bookmakers have Juventus at 1/12 or 1/10 to win it, while Bwin has the best price of 2/13 and that looks a banker.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Without Juventus</strong></p><p>This is a more interesting market and despite the 1-0 defeat last time out, Roma look the most likely to grab second place. They finished third last season but have improved, while Napoli have seemingly gone backward. Roma’s defence has let them down from time to time, but 39 goals in 18 games has left them second, winning two-thirds of their games, including victories over key rivals. They have a three-point lead over Napoli and are looking good to maintain that lead over the second half of the season. Having said that, Napoli is improving and are unbeaten in 10 in all competitions, and have really found their shooting boots of late. They have netted 13 times in their last three games and overtaken Roma as the league’s highest scoring side, despite the prolonged absence of Milik. They will give Roma a fight, but Roma looks good at 11/10 to finish second with Bwin, an excellent price when all other bookmakers have them odds-on.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Top Three</strong></p><p>Juventus are nailed on to finish in the top three (they are just 1/250 with <a href="http://www.sportsbookreview.com/Sportsbook/?v=4810&book=Bet365">Bet365</a>), and then it looks like Roma, Napoli, AC Milan and Lazio will fight it out for the other two spots. Just five points separate Roma in second from Milan in fifth and it should be a good battle. Milan have faltered of late but they are an excellent young side, as they proved by beating Juventus 1-0 earlier this season, and they have a great chance of rediscovering the good form and breaking into the top three at the expense of Napoli, so the 7/2 Bet365 is offering on them doing so looks interesting.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Relegation</strong></p><p>It’s not looking good for the bottom three teams – Pescara, Crotone, and Palermo – who are looking adrift in the drop zone. Pescara and Crotone are on nine points apiece, with just three wins between them all season, and Palermo have 10 points, with Empoli four points ahead on 14. Empoli are in poor form but beat Pescara four nil not long ago and should be able to beat the teams around them to survive. The likes of Sassuolo and Bologna look too good to be sucked into it, and Pescara, Crotone, and Palermo look doomed. The best odds are on Pescara, who are 1/4 on Betfair, and that looks a banker.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Top scorer</strong></p><p>This is an interesting market as Inter Milan’s Mauro Icardi leads the goal scoring charts on 14, ahead of Andrea Bellotti of Torino and Roma’s Edin Dzeko on 13 each and Dries Mertens of Napoli on 11. But you cannot ignore the looming presence of Higuain on 10 goals. He has topped the league’s goal scoring charts for several years leading the line for Napoli, and with even better service at Juventus, he really should kick on in the second half of the season and overtake the lot. Four goals is not a huge difference to makeup and he should manage it, so the 23/10 Bwin is offering on Higuain looks a great bet.</p>