Italian Serie A Week 27: Add Napoli Over Verona to your Sunday Soccer Picks

Kevin Stott

Thursday, March 12, 2015 2:15 PM GMT

Napoli and striker Gonzalo Higuaín head to Verona on Sunday to face Hellas Verona in this Week 27 Serie A fixture. With the Partenopei having won 4 straight against Verona, are they the pick here?

Odds Overview
Hellas Verona vs. Napoli vs. Juventus, Sunday 17:00 (FOX Play Latin America (COSTA), BT Sport Extra (UK); 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT): Fourth-place Napoli (13-7-6, 46 GF-33 GAA) travels to Verona and the Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi on Sunday to meet 14th-place Hellas Verona (7-8-11, 31 GF-46 GA) in this Serie A Week 27 match seemingly more important to the visitors who head in tied on points with 3rd-place Lazio on points (42), but chasing them on Goal Differential (+13 to +20) for that last precious UEFA Champions League spot in Italy’s top flight of football.

Soccer odds makers have installed visiting Napoli as -120 favorites in the Three-Way (Winner) odds marketplace (bet365) here with host Verona +350 underdogs and the Draw set at +240. The Total Goals odds are 2½ Over -125 (Under -110, Sky Bet), while the Both Teams To Score prop bet (Yes) is priced at -153 (No +125, BetVictor).

Some other various prop wagers: Correct Score: Napoli 3-1, +1400 (14/1; William Hill); and,  To Win To Nil: Napoli +190, Verona +700 (Ladbrokes). This sort of screams Over (2½) and maybe BTTS if you know how to read the numbers right.

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Napoli SSC
Napoli (5-4-4 Away, 20 GF-14 GA) and manager Rafael Benítez are plugging right along in both Serie A and UEFA Europa League play, where the Partenopei hosted Russian Premier League side Dynamo Moscow in Leg 1 of their Knockout Stage Round of 16 series in Italy on Thursday (Napoli -150, Dynamo Moscow +450, Draw +270, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook). Here, in Verona on Sunday against this club (Hellas Verona) founded in 1903 by a group of savvy High School students—obviously before the invention of the cell phone—Napoli, which usually employs a 4-2-3-1 tactical formation, will look to striker Gonzalo Higuaín (13 goals Serie A, +100 Anytime Goalscorer, bet365), José Callejón (9 goals, +150), striker Duran Zapata (5 goals, +150), Manolo Gabbiadini (3 goals, +130), Dries Mertens (2 goals, +175), Marek Hamšík (4 goals, +200), striker Lorenzo Insigne (+160, Paddy Power), Jonathan de Guzmán (3 goals, +300) and wing back Giandomenico Mesto (+500) for scoring at the Bentegodi. GK Mariano Andújar has done a decent job in goal with regular GK Rafael dealing with a knee injury and should be tested here, especially by Luca Toni.

 

Hellas Verona FC
Host Hellas Verona (4-3-5 Home, 15 GF-18 GA) sits 9 points clear of the Relegation Zone (22 points) with 29 points heading in here, so, a loss won’t be The End Of The World for the hosts Verona. Forward Luca Toni (11 goals, +200 Anytime Goalscorer, bet365) leads the Gialloblu (Yellow-Blues) in scoring, but Verona’s next two leading scorers—Nicolás López (+300)  and Panagiotis Tachtsidis (+600)—have scored just 5 and 3 goals respectively out of the club’s 4-3-3 formation, putting an awful lot of pressure on GK Francesco Benussi (regular GK Rafael is injured) and the team’s stretched backline 3 defenders.

In their last league game, Verona rallied for a 2-2 Draw at AC Milan as López  scored the late equalizer in Milan. This Verona side is very good at holding leads, and has claimed 10 points from a leading situation so far in league play. Verona will need players like forwards Juanito (Juan Ignacio Gomez Taleb, 2 goals, +300, Boyle Sports) and Lazaros Christodoulopoulos (+275) to help produce against the Partenopei and this is a game il Gialloblu can definitely win despite the literal soccer odds (+350). But with more losses (5) than wins (4) at Home as April nears, logic says take the better team with the better players fighting for a valuable Champions League spot next season.

 

Series Trends and Best Betting Approaches
In league play, Napoli is 24-12-11 (77 GF-38 GA) overall against Hellas Verona and 7-7-9 (24 GF-26 GA) here in Verona at the Bentegodi, but the Partenopei have W4 straight Serie A matches against Hellas Verona, (6-2, 5-1, 3-0, 2-0), outscoring il Gialloblu by a robusto 16-3, with 17 goals being scored in the L3 outings—16 of them by Napoli. Like pigs find truffles. The last time these two clubs met was in Week 8 this season when Napoli rolled to a 6-2 Home victory, and when these two teams met in this fixture here in Verona last year, the guests won 5-1. So will the Over and Napoli trend continue this Sunday? We’re betting on it, but remember that the Partenopei will be playing on just 2 full days rest (Friday, Saturday) after Thursday’s date with Dynamo Moscow, and will have to travel the 354 miles north from Napoli to Verona. It’s a good thing airplanes were invented.

 

Final Score Prediction: Verona 1 Napoli 3

Serie A Picks: Napoli -120, Over 2½ -125 at Bet365

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