Italian Serie A kicks off this weekend and on the soccer betting card is the clash between Sampdoria and defending champions Juventus.
Juventus strong favourites
Juventus lapped the field last season with a 27-6-5 record and 87 points, nine points clear of runners-up Napoli. It marked their second domestic title in as many years. Naturally, expectations are high as the club attempts to defend its title for a third season in a row.
That expectation is immediately reflected in the soccer odds on their season opener where predictably Juventus enters its opening match as the strong favourite at -200 at both William Hill and Bet365 against Sampdoria, who are tipped as the whopping +600 underdogs in both books. The draw is similarly unreachable at +300.
Last season, the Turin titans were unstoppable as Coach Antonio Conte carried them to a second straight scudetto. During the summer, the Bianconeri didn’t sit idle, reinforcing their squad instead with the acquisition of Carlos Tevez from Manchester City and Fernando Llorente. However, the loss of Edinson Cavani to Paris St. Germain, whose league-leading 29 goals played a large part in their success, will surely be felt.
At the weekend, the Bianconeri threw down the gauntlet with a 4-0 routing of Lazio in the Italian Super Cup and new signing Carlos Tevez made his presence felt with a second-half goal. The winning performance put to bed any questions that might have been raised following their rather lackluster preseason warm-up at the International Champions Cup, which was a disappointment for Juventus as they lost all three matches – a defeat to Everton and Internazzionale on penalties and a 3-1 defeat to LA Galaxy.
Can Sampdoria mastermind the upset?
Sampdoria beat Juventus 3-2 to close out the last season. It marked their second straight win over the titleholders on the season as they won the first fixture in Turin 2-1 – what was a huge shocker.
In fact, Sampdoria has a positive record over Juventus in the last few seasons in Serie A having won three and drawn 2 of their last five meetings. Their last defeat to Juventus came in the 2009 season when they lost 5-1 in Turin.
Given their overall positive record against Juventus, Sampdoria might fancy its chances against the massive favourites. Certainly, having an undefeated record should send them into this match with measured optimism, despite the hefty odds against them.
Indeed, Sampdoria poses a tough test for Juventus, so much so that the hefty odds at most sportsbooks don’t appear to be warranted. Juventus lost only five games last year but when two of those losses came against one side, the side that they so happen to be facing on Saturday, one would assume a more competitive market would have been issued. Go figure.
Soccer Betting Verdict: Although Juventus is correctly favoured to win this game, at -200 they don’t present a whole lot of value for soccer fans in terms of return. So if you are looking to back Juventus, you’ll find better odds in prop markets such as a draw-Juventus result (half and fulltime betting) at +275. For our part though, we’re plumping down to a draw here at +300. True, Juventus will be looking to lay down and early marker and they have the confidence from Super Cup to take into this match but Sampdoria historically plays Juventus well and that tips the scale in our opinion towards a stalemate.
Soccer Free Picks: Draw at +300