Soccer Picks: Arsenal vs. Napoli Betting Preview

Nila Amerova

Monday, September 30, 2013 2:01 PM GMT

Monday, Sep. 30, 2013 2:01 PM GMT

The Champions League clash between Arsenal and Napoli is garnering a lot of attention in soccer betting circles. Find out what odds are available in the markets and where the value picks are to be had.

Check out our report on 2013-14 Champions League Betting Futures!

Rafael Benitez is hoping to make a triumphant return to England when he leads his Napoli side against Arsenal at the Emirates. It was only a few months ago that the former Liverpool manager delivered the Europa League title into Abramovich’s trophy cabinet while acting as the interim coach for Chelsea and he’ll be hoping to enjoy a modicum of that success with a crucial win over Arsenal.

Arsene Wenger meanwhile has navigated Arsenal to the top of the Premier League table this week and he’ll be hoping that that form transcends the Champions League. Group F is a tough group and both managers are aware of the importance of this clash towards deciding the winner of this group.

Betting on the winner  

Arsenal are installed as the favourites to win outright at +110, just shy of even money at Bet365.What is the best price so far compared to other sportsbooks which are offering Arsenal on even money. That they are quoted so is because they have home advantage and good form ahead of this clash. Not necessarily because they are better than Napoli per say. What this is in a nutshell is a reflection of soccer betting attitudes and trends – most bettors are more likely to back Arsenal than they are Napoli simply because Arsenal perennially qualifies into the knockout stages of Champions League and that speaks to a tradition of success that is hard to overlook.

Napoli, who are quoted as the significant underdogs at +275, are enjoying impressive form in Serie A under their new coach Rafa Benitez. They are undefeated in six domestic fixtures with a 5-1-0 record and currently hold second place behind Roma. One cannot therefore underestimate the Italian side nor can they ignore Benitez’s knowledge and experience in Premier League that will surely come in handy when he prepares his tactics and strategy against the Gunners.

Strictly speaking Arsenal should win this game based on the verve and swagger they are enjoying right now and therefore we are making them our value sports pick to do so at +110 at Bet365. While Napoli cannot be underestimated it still would be a shocking result if they managed a win at the Emirates. The draw, which is trading at +260 (just shy of a Napoli win) is another matter entirely and is something to consider shading if you are a neutral punter.

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Soccer Pick: Arsenal to win outright at +110 at Bet365

Betting on the Totals and Score

Odds makers are conspicuously favouring the Over 2.5 at -143, what makes sense given the quality and creative class on both sides of the coin. Arsenal and Napoli are delightfully offensive sides and should deliver on that quality. The score market the falls in line with this Over 2.5 bet best is the 2-1 score to Arsenal at +750 at Bet365.

Nonetheless, at odds with this stance, are some of the score markets that reflect lower scores. Once again, the lowest priced score is a 1-1 draw at +550 while a 1-0 win by Arsenal is listed at +800. Any score in favour of a Napoli win is in the four-digit range, the lowest being a 2-1 score to Napoli at +1100 whilst a 1-0 score is quoted just above at +1200.

Perhaps the most revealing market is the goal margin market where Arsenal to win by a goal and the Draw score are both tipped equally at +300. A Napoli win by a goal is listed at +450.

The takeaway from all these markets is twofold, soccer odds makers clearly believe a) that we will have goals from both sides but, at the same time, they believe that b) it will be a narrow result.

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Soccer Pick: Arsenal by a goal at +250 and the OVER 2.5 at -150, available at William Hill

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