Will Roma's magical season continue, when they play host to Parma this weekend? The soccer odds are in the home team's favor, but what's our favorite play?
Firmly favored at -230, Roma's chances of grabbing all three points look good. If you believe Parma will make a match of it, you may want to take a chance on the visitors at a large dog price of +800. A draw can be found in the soccer odds range of +350 to +400.
Roma's recent 3-1 away win over Hellas Verona made it five consecutive victories across all competitions.
Adem Ljajic, Gervinho and Francesco Totti (from the penalty spot), all got their names on the score-sheet. It was a thoroughly deserved win, with the Yellow-Reds dominating possession and out-shooting their opponents almost three-to-one.
The win moved Roma to within six points of Juventus in the standings. This weekend, they hope to maintain their unbeaten record of nine wins and two draws inside Stadio Olimpico.
It's not as if Roma only has one or two players doing all of the heavy lifting in terms of scoring goals. This team's balance has been outstanding, with six different players (Ljajic, Gervinho, Totti, Alessandro Florenzi, Kevin Strootman and Mehdi Benatia), all having scored five league goals.
That makes it a daunting task for Parma, especially since the Yellow-Reds have been so darn tough to break down on the other end of the pitch. Roma's allowed only 11 goals in 21 Serie A matches.
The Crusaders have been reasonably successful in Serie A this season. They're in seventh place right now, ahead of the likes of AC Milan and Lazio, which is an improvement over their 10th-place finish from 2012/13.
An impressive 10-match undefeated run has been the catalyst for this surge. During that span, they've overcome Napoli (1-0 away), while drawing Inter (3-3 away), and Lazio (1-1 at home), so it's not as if they've benefited from an easy schedule.
Parma's away form hasn't been too bad either. They have three wins, four draws and three losses, while scoring 15 total goals and allowing in 14. However, they'll have to play at their absolute maximum level to even get a point out of this trip to Rome.
Individually speaking, the one man to watch for the Crusaders is Antonio Cassano, the Italian international, who's scored seven league goals with five assists (both team-highs) so far in the 2013/14 campaign.
We also like very much what we've seen out of 29-year old midfielder Marco Parolo. He's tallied six goals and three assists in 20 Serie A appearances this term. Parolo has quickly become one of Parma's most reliable players under boss Roberto Donadoni.
Serie A Pick
A lot of love out there for the Yellow-Reds, and rightly so, but will they get the best of a Parma side that's looked much better recently? Many sportsbooks are betting on it.
Roma has been magnificent defensively and that's been the core of their success throughout the season. They've allowed only two goals in 11 home matches in Serie A play so far - a simply stunning achievement.
When it comes down to making our final soccer picks, we have to take that level of domination at home into consideration. Back the Yellow-Reds to come through and win yet again.
Pick: AS Roma 2 Parma 0