Soccer Picks: Udinese vs Roma

Nila Amerova

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 2:08 PM GMT

Week 9 of Serie A brings us a much-anticipated clash between Udinese and Roma. Can Udinese thwart the Roma juggernaut or will Roma record a ninth straight win on the season? Join us as we breakdown this match complete with soccer odds and picks.

AS Roma perfect so far

Last week, top of the league AS Roma faced a first litmus test to their campaign in second place Napoli. And didn’t they come up trumps with a 2-0 victory, albeit over a 10-man Napoli, to maintain their 100% start to the season.

To dismiss a Champions League team in such a way was truly impressive and just underscores Roma’s gauntlet throwing start to the season with undisputed clout. The victory marked their eighth straight victory in domestic action and fifth straight clean sheet, seventh overall. It wasn’t all good news for Roma however as Totti went down with a hamstring injury

To say Roma have been impressive thus far seems to be an understatement. They’ve been out-of-this-world impressive. Not only are the Giallorossi winning games but they are also doing so very convincingly. Granted one can make an argument for a favourable schedule that included mostly middleweight or lightweight opposition to start the term – save for the clash with Inter Milan. But form isn’t misleading here; it’s significantly improved since last year on the heels of a new coach and some desperately needed wholesale changes. They are playing compelling football that flows naturally and effortlessly up and down the field; a style and unison that can’t be faked or credited to weaker opposition and which, as the season continues and other title threats appear, will pay dividends, surely.

The victory sees Roma stretch the lead to five points ahead of Napoli and Juventus in the table and the soccers odds on Roma to win the Serie A title shaved down to +200 at Bet365, putting them into second place (where AC Milan was tipped ahead of the start of the season), behind Juventus at +100 and just ahead of Napoli at +400.

Next up for Roma is a trip to Udinese, eleventh in the table on the back of a defeat to Milan last week – an extension of what has been a so-so season thus far. Then again Udinese are known for slow starts only to stage a late push into the upper echelons of the table for a Europe spot.

In any event, form hasn’t been convincing. Scoring has been a problem and confidence as a result seems to be dwindling – not a good sign ahead of a clash against Roma. So what can Udinese expect to accomplish against high-flying Roma when they clearly weren’t able to muster much in a 1-0 defeat to a hapless AC Milan that was Balotelli~less at the weekend?

If the soccer odds were any indication, they aren’t expected to do much really. Udinese are installed as the hefty underdogs at +240 at Bet365 for the home win and the draw is listed on par. Beating Roma is going to be a tough ask even if they are without Totti according to sportsbooks.

That said Roma – though favoured – are listed just long of even money at +110. Given their form and season thus far one would have thought they would be firmly installed on the short side of even money. While it’s not for us to presume what the bookies were thinking here, what we can say is that backing Roma to the victory is a value pick as well as a smart soccer pick.

As far as the total markets go and picking the score two things leap off the page where Roma is concerned. That is they have been scoring with abandon and defending strongly. To be more specific they have scored 22 goals and conceded just one in eight games. Compare that to Udinese that boast nine goals scored and nine conceded. Given Roma’s stats and Udinese’s porous backline, betting on the Over 2.5 seems to be the smart pick at -111.

Soccer Free Picks: Roma to win outright at +110 and Over 2.5 at -111.

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