Our free picks & predictions for the major European soccer leagues continues with a preview of current Futures Odds from Italy’s Serie A where the favorite will again be extremely tough to knock off.
Handful of Clubs Should Put Pressure on Juventus in Serie A
Whereas taking a shot with Chelsea as the English Premier League favorites at 2/1 or Real Madrid as the Spanish La Liga favorites at 5/6 both seemed to have one very close opponent which could rain on their individual parades (Manchester city, Barcelona), backing Italian Serie A favorites (8/11 at Bet365) and defending league champions Juventus seems like a very wise thing to do heading into the new season.
And it’s all because the distance between the Old Lady and second place—which was 17 points last season (102-85)—will probably be double-digits again this season, no matter who ends up in second place and improves in Serie A. With national and club legends Gianluigi Buffon in goal and captain Andrea Pirlo still doing his thing, and Carlos Tevez (17 goals), Fernando Llorente (16 goals) and Arturo Vidal (11 goals), Juventus could be loaded if they are all onboard again.
One budding superstar who may end up not being with Le Zebre this season is midfielder Paul Pogba (7 goals) who is rumored to be going a number of places, including Chelsea. But Juventus has been rumored to have already signed Blues legend and talisman Didier Drogba, so if it loses Pogba and gets Drogba, Juventus is going to win the league. And if somehow Pogba stays and Drogba comes to Turin, then this will be one of the most entertaining teams in Europe and could make a serious run in Champions League play.
Finishing in second place last season, and second in the oddsmakers number is AS Roma (5/1), which had an incredible start last season, which included a lengthy streak of holding its opponents scoreless. Mattia Destro (13 goals), Gervinho (9 goals) and Francesco Totti (8 goals) led the Roma attack but this team will probably need to do everything right just to try to hang with the machine-like Old Lady. And making that end even harder is the fact that Napoli (5/1), AC Milan (6/1), Inter Milan (12/1) and Fiorentina (14/1) will all be making their own runs at the championship in an effort to de-throne mighty Juventus, which allowed just a Serie A-low 23 goals because of Buffon and its lockdown defense.
All of these teams had their big scorers last season: Napoli with Gonzalo Higuain (17 goals), Milan with Mario Balotelli (14 goals), Inter’s Rodrigo Palacio (17 goals) and Fiorentina’s Giuseppe Rossi (16). La Viola will definitely be affected by the loss of Juan Cuadrado to Barcelona, but trying to get over the five teams the Bet360 oddsmakers have above them, and whom they play twice, will be just as big a detriment to trying to win the top flight of Italian soccer as the math is simply brutal. Lazio (200/1), Parma (250/1), Torino (400/1)—which lost the league’s leading score last season in Ciro Immobile (22 goals) to Borussia Dortmund this summer—Verona (500/1), Udinese (500/1), Sampdoria (750/1), Atalanta (750/1), Genoa (750/1), Cagliari (1000/1), Chievo (1500/1) and Sassuolo (1500/1) basically all have little chance but, in most European leagues, it’s a matter of who has the most money to spend and who has the bigger reputations and that is certainly the case here in Italy.
Serie A promotees Palermo (750/1), Empoli (1000/1) and Cesena (2000/1) replace the relegated Catania, Bologna and Livonia but, in the end, this will be a matter of seeing if mighty Juventus ends up beating themselves, and with Champions League part of the plan this year, Le Zebre will have to build a deep team to deal with Napoli and Inter and Milan as well as the heavies it will face when Europe’s biggest tournament gets underway. And it definitely won’t be easy, no matter how loaded their roster ends up being come September.
Last season, Juventus had a pretty nice run in the UEFA Europa League, but if young French midfielder Pogba ends up staying at Juventus Stadium and Drogba ends up coming to town (as some rumors suggest), this club could be one of the most dangerous and entertaining around in 2014-15.
The best idea here is to just make a healthy bet on Juventus to win $100, forget about it, and then collect it around next Mother’s Day.
Future odds previews & picks for the English Premier League and Spanish La Liga can also be found at www.sportsbookreview.com.
Free Soccer Pick: Juventus 8/11