Soccer Picks: AS Roma vs. Cagliari

Nila Amerova

Tuesday, November 19, 2013 8:28 PM GMT

Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013 8:28 PM GMT

Italy’s Serie A returns to the forefront of soccer betting with AS Roma hosting Cagliari. Here’s a primer on this tilt complete with soccer free picks for your consideration. 

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AS Roma hot favourites

Sportsbooks send AS Roma into the upcoming fixture against Cagliari as the hot favourites at -250 to win outright at Bet365. Both overall league form and home ground advantage factor heavily in this sports betting market: AS Roma are undefeated with a 10-2-0 mark in 12 laps around the league, and they are undefeated at home with a 5-1-0 mark, the lone draw at Stadio Olimpico came in the last round (almost a fortnight ago before the international break) and it was divinely unexpected given the visitors were relegation-threatened Sassuolo.

Sassuolo descended on the Eternal City to become the first side to snatch a point off the Giallorossi this season on their stomping ground. A last gasp effort by the Neroverdi, spearheaded by Domenico Berardi, ensured the visitors a share in the spoils in their first official date with AS Roma. Frankly it could very well have been full marks for Sassuolo and AS Roma can only thank their stars for a very lucky escape.

All in one Neroverdi defended very well against the attack, but Gianluca Pegolo was particularly impenetrable between the posts, frustrating the hosts to no end namely Ljajic who was causing all manner of havoc in the box.  And had it not been for an unwitting own goal by Alessandro Longhi at early doors, Berardi’s late goal might have been the game winner.

The draw to Sassuolo marked the second straight draw this season for AS Roma, a slightly worrying string of form that sees Juventus, enjoying a four-game winning streak, close the gap to within a point. While sportsbooks aren’t taking stock of this minor dip in form – installing AS Roma as the runaway favourites to win outright across the board – it doesn’t change the fact that AS Roma will go into their clash with Cagliari well aware of it being a must-win match if they hope to maintain the slim lead at the top of the table.  

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Cagliari are at the huge disadvantage

Cagliari scaled the Serie A table to 13th place following a 2-1 victory over Torino in the last lap, a result that snapped a three-game losing streak. Moving up the table points to positive progression in top-flight action but Cagliari are hardly safe. When the bottom-half of the table is becoming exceedingly crowded, and the difference between tenth place and the survival cut-off line amounts to only three points, there is a premium on points.

In the face of mounting pressure what can Cagliari hope to accomplish against league-leading AS Roma at the weekend, bearing in mind the Rossoblu have won only three matches to date? Mind they were one of the only two sides to take points off lofty Roma.

If the soccer betting markets were any indication, Cagliari, trading at +700 soccer odds on the win, are faced with a grim prospect as far as maximum points are concerned. At +350, the draw looks better but admittedly it’s still a long shot really. Inconsistency plagues the squad, as they are only 2-4-5 on the season, which includes a poor 0-2-4 mark on the road. Their main dilemma is a vulnerable defence that has allowed 20 goals in 12 games (an average of 1.6 goals against per game) and hasn’t produced a single clean sheet. 

Soccer Betting Verdict: Roma have leaked points in the last two games but that only suggests they are human, susceptible to a slowdown here and there. It was bound to happen. Keeping up perfect form throughout the season is nigh impossible even for greats like AS Roma; and it was bound to become a greater trial after losing their leader Francesco Totti to a hamstring injury against Napoli last month. So they haven’t been up to scratch of late but it’s no cause for concern, particularly not ahead of this next bout with Cagliari, a far inferior team that should give them very little trouble at Stadio Olimpico. Therefore, we’re plumping down to an AS Roma victory at -250 as the value soccer pick. To make this a profitable exercise were adding the Over 2.5 at -125 as well.

Soccer Free Picks: AS Roma to win outright at -250; Over 2.5 at -125

Bonus Soccer Picks: Roma to win both halves at +105
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