Serie A Free Soccer Pick: Lazio Looking to Keep Streak Alive when Facing Juventus on Saturday

Nikki Adams

Thursday, April 16, 2015 2:37 PM GMT

Thursday, Apr. 16, 2015 2:37 PM GMT

High-flying Lazio take on Juventus in Turin on Saturday. Can Lazio defy the soccer odds and take all three points? Find out as we breakdown this matchup and serve up our soccer free picks.

Lazio Hot On The Trot
I Biancocelesti are emerging as the surprise package of Italy's top flight, particularly down the stretch as the season winds down. They are the form side of Serie A, riding high behind a ten-game undefeated streak (9-1-0) in all competitions, which includes six straight wins.

In Serie A betting alone, they are riding an eight-game winning streak since a 1-0 loss to Genoa at home on February 9. A win this weekend would mark their ninth-straight Serie A win, but it couldn't come against a tougher opponent than league-leading Juventus. Indeed the soccer odds are stacked against them.

Something is going to have to give when these two sides collide. By the soccer odds, Lazio are the significant underdogs at +320 soccer odds. Juventus, meanwhile, are the firm favourites at -105 soccer odds, a market stance that is underscored by their overall form this season and their firm grip on the Scudetto. That said, Juventus have the second leg of their Champions League tie with Monaco on Wednesday, so this game might not be as straightforward as the odds makers would have it on the Serie A odds board.

 

Juventus The Class Of Italian Football
Four years running, the Bianconeri are the class of Italy's top flight. The champions three years running are well on course to a fourth straight title behind a 21-7-2 record and 70 points. They are 12 points clear of second-placed Lazio and 13-points clear of third-placed Roma. Suffice it to say, nobody is catching up to them with eight games left on the season. Unless, a spectacular meltdown occurs and they lose the next eight games in a row (or something to that effect), which is as fanciful a thought if ever there was one. As it is, Juve are matched as the prohibitive -100000 favourites to win the Scudetto. Exclamation point.

The good news for Juventus: a lead such as theirs affords wiggle room; missteps don't come at high of a premium as they would in a heated title race. That's something the Old Lady may appreciate this weekend given that following high-flying Lazio's visit on Saturday they have the second leg of their Champions League quarterfinal tie with Monaco to contend with. A campaign that must be a priority over Serie A right now, surely, when they have the domestic title practically in the bag.

 

Champions League Top Priority For Juve?
Juventus did win the first leg in Turin on Tuesday, but only by the slimmest of margins, a goal. Although they denied Monaco the boost of an away goal in the 1-0 win, the tie is finely poised and could swing either way yet, despite Juve's solid -500 soccer odds to advance into the semi-finals on the Champions League betting odds board.

Manager Massimilliano Allegri must be only too aware of just how precarious his side's lead is and the need to be mindful of team selections for Lazio's clash. It would be madness to risk everything for what is essentially a meaningless domestic clash (for Juventus, obviously) at the expense of their bid for European grandeur.

Case-and-point, Allegri fielded a largely second-string side in last weekend's clash with Parma, marking round 30 of Serie A betting. Buffon, Tevez, Barzagli, Pirlo and Pogba, to name a few, were all enjoying the game from the sidelines either to nurse niggling injuries or rest up ahead of Monaco's visit on Tuesday. That said, even without his glittering stars, Allegri' side looked the better team and the likely winners, and few soccer bettors would have deigned to even consider Parma on their soccer picks, a side that props up Serie A and is mired in financial troubles (declared bankrupt recently).

Tale told, Juventus did lose 1-0 to the shock of all and sundry, including  Allegri, who was left fuming at his precious boys and their lackadaisical attitude. Clearly, it didn't matter to him that Juventus were the runaway Serie A leaders; he still expects a performance befitting of league champions.

 

Soccer Betting Verdict:
With the job yet to be finished in Champions League, Juventus are likely to conserve their resources for Wednesday's trip to Monaco rather than go for too much against Lazio at home.  As such, Allegri is more likely to rest some (or most) of his stars again. Of course, this doesn't mean Allegri is going to accept another poor effort by his boys. We have his reaction last week to go on. So, regardless of the starting XI he fields, he'll be expecting a better account than last weekend's loss to Parma.

The difference this time, however, is the quality of the opposition. Lazio are the league's second best team this season and the best team on the form table going into week 31 Serie A betting. Eight-straight Serie A wins is nothing to scoff at, and one has to consider that they could potentially secure a ninth straight win against whatever starting XI Allegri fields. That's what confidence does to a team, it begets a winning mentality.

That alone makes Lazio worth the tickle on your soccer picks, if not to win outright at +320 soccer odds then, at the very least, on the draw at +240 soccer odds. This is a team that has nothing to lose and everything to play for, mainly staying abreast of Roma in the table and locking down a Top 3 finish. It's worth noting, you can also combine either of these bets in double chance betting with Lazio to win or draw at -118 soccer odds.

Soccer Free Picks: Lazio to win or draw at -118

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