Coppa Italia Semi-final Soccer Picks: Roma vs. Napoli

Nila Amerova

Tuesday, February 4, 2014 1:56 PM GMT

Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014 1:56 PM GMT

Roma and Napoli set up a highly anticipated semi-final clash in Coppa Italia as soccer betting goes midweek on us. Join us as we analyse this matchup and serve up our soccer free picks.

Roma favourites across the board

Roma, co-favourites with Fiorentina to win the title, enter the first leg of their semi-final clash with Napoli as the hot -120 favourites to win outright at Bet365. On the other side of the coin, Napoli are listed at +333 soccer picks to mastermind the upset in the nation’s capital while the draw is listed at +250 at Bet365.

Despite this rather lopsided soccer betting market, many pundits and fans alike are of the opinion that this tilt will be closer than the odds would suggest, particularly given the fact that Napoli are listed at only +225 to win the competition outright, a price that trails just a smidgen behind Roma and Fiorentina’s odds, currently trading at +200 at Bet365.

Roma are through to the semi-finals after stunning Juventus 1-0 in the quarterfinals and beating Sampdoria 1-0 in the R16. Napoli meanwhile reached this stage with victories over Lazio (quarters) and Atlanta (R16).

Roma are currently second in Serie A with a 15-5-1 mark and 50 points through 21 laps, but with a game in hand – not that it will help them much though when they are nine-points adrift of top of the table Juventus, a seemingly impossible gap to close given the verve and swagger with which the prohibitive favourites Juventus are marching through Italy’s top flight. 

A bright start to the season all of a sudden stuttered on a spate of draws, which incidentally coincided with an injury to Totti that forced him onto the sidelines for a considerable length of time and proved costly. It’s a fine margin is five draws to two by Juventus that has opened up such a gap and put the Scudetto title without reach. It only means that Coppa Italia is their best shot – if only perceivable shot – at silverware this season.

Much of the same could be said about Napoli who are third in Serie A but a considerable distance off the top tandem of Juventus and Roma.

What began with a promising outlook in soccer betting markets for Rafa Benitez’s inaugural season at the helm of Napoli has whittled down to a chance at winning Coppa Italia and, arguably, Europa League. Although in Europe’s second flight competition, familiar foes Juventus lead the charge at +333 soccer odds to win outright, followed by Tottenham at +700. Napoli are deemed third in the pecking order for Europe’s second most coveted title at +900. Technically, their best shot at silverware is on domestic soil in the form of Coppa Italia where they are (yet again) third favourites but given the fact that we are but a mere handful of matches away from crowning the champions they strike a more threatening pose as third favourites at +225 soccer odds.

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Roma vs. Napoli match betting tips and picks:

Going into the first leg of this tie Roma has all the advantages and that makes them the smart choice for your soccer picks to win outright at -120. That sportsbooks corner this match in their camp as well is an added bonus.

Roma’s match against Parma at the weekend was suspended, which means they’ll be well rested for this important semi-final clash. Better rested than Rafa Benitez’ side that travelled to Bergamo at the weekend to take on Atalanta and lost 3-0.  That is a definite edge that underscores Roma’s tempting -120 odds to win the first leg, over and above their home advantage for the game. 

What’s more, Roma has had only Coppa Italia to contend with all season long outside of their Serie A campaign, and they have been very serious about their intentions in this competition. Napoli by contrast have competed in several competitions, the strain of which together with the burden of expectations showing considerably – so much so they are in danger of having naught to show for their efforts.

Finally, head-to-head, Roma have won the last two fixtures – 2-1 at the end of last season and 2-0 in October of this season – both of which were at Stadio Olimpico. That should send them into this clash with confidence, optimistic about achieving a similar result.

Of course, Napoli can’t be underestimated – they are capable of the upset at +333 or even the draw at +250, make no mistake. If you want to tickle their odds, by all means do so. Sports bettors could do no worse than back a quality side like Napoli. But in the current mood, with everything Roma have going for them at the moment, they are our recommended soccer pick.

Soccer Free Picks: Roma to win outright -120
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