Serie A is returning after a disastrous international break for all of Italy. Keep reading for our top Serie A Matchday 31 picks.
We’re officially entering the stretch run of the title race in Serie A, with most teams having just eight games remaining. AC Milan still controls their own destiny, as they’re three points clear of second-place Napoli with the tiebreaker in hand. The big match this week is undoubtedly the Derby d’Italia. The derby between Inter Milan and Juventus is one of European football’s classic and most hotly contested rivalries. With just a point separating the two teams, an outright victory could springboard the winning team right back into contention.
For this week’s Serie A picks, we’ll dive into that match, one in the capital that promises to have plenty of fireworks, and a team that has been top of the table in recent weeks.
Top Serie A Matchday 31 Picks
- Lazio-Sassuolo Over 3.5 (+125) ★★★★★
- Juventus to win (+185) ★★★★
- Roma to win and Tammy Abraham to score (+226) ★★★
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Serie A Matchday 31 Predictions
Lazio-Sassuolo Over 3.5 (+125 via DraftKings)
There are plenty of reasons to back goals in this game on Saturday.
Lazio's matches in Serie A this season have featured a total of 3.43 goals per game. The only team that has featured more goals per game? Their opponents in Sassuolo. Lazio's 58 goals scored on the season are good for second in the league. They will also be a desperate side looking to avenge what was an embarrassing 3-0 loss to bitter rivals Roma in the derby last matchday.
For Sassuolo, we've pointed out their goal-scoring record away from Mapei Stadium plenty of times in this column throughout the season. Only AC Milan have scored more goals away from home than Sassuolo, and their 26.40 xGF on the road puts them third in Serie A. They also have a great record against the traditional big sides, winning away at Inter, Milan, and Juventus already this season. They also held Napoli to a draw at home. They are not a team that will sit back against the prestigious sides unlike others in the league.
Sassuolo forward Domenico Berardi will be well-rested after being released from international duty early, and striker Giacomo Raspadori scored in Italy's consolation friendly against Turkey. So sit back, relax and see if Lazio striker Ciro Immobile will get jeered for his international performance as the goals fly in.
Juventus (+185 via DraftKings)
Juventus-Inter has always been a premier fixture of the Italian football calendar. This rivalry has increased tenfold since the Calciopoli scandal of the mid-2000s which saw Inter claim the 2005-06 Scudetto off of Juve and saw them relegated to Serie B. While Inter are the betting favorites across the sportsbooks, it is the Old Lady that provides better value.
While Inter are still a point ahead of Juve in the table with a game in hand, their lead has shrunk significantly thanks to their terrible run of form. Inter have won just once and drawn four over their past six games, with their only win coming at home against a Salernitana side that has already been effectively relegated. While they're favored in this one likely because of their league-leading xGF over that same time, they are going up against the best defensive side at home by goals against in Juve who are also undefeated during that time frame. Away at Allianz Stadium is not a good match to try and reverse some poor xG luck.
Juve could also have Denis Zakaria back from injury, a midfielder who looked promising after signing in January only to suffer a thigh injury. We'll take the value play and see Massimiliano Allegri's side grind out a win.
Roma to win and Abraham to score (+226 via FanDuel)
Don't look now, but Jose Mourinho's Roma have been arguably the most complete team in the league over the past five games.
Only Juve and Sassuolo have more wins over the past five than Roma, but the Giallorossi's xPTS of 9.98 puts them first in Serie A over that stretch. Roma are third in xGF and second in xGA over that time frame and have generated the second most xG away from home this season.
They are taking on a Sampdoria side that has generated just 4.49 xGF over its past five matches to rank 19th in Serie A. While they have won two games in that stretch, they were battered by Atalanta 4-0 and 3-1 by Juventus, showing that when they take a step up in competition they struggle mightily.
We'll add Tammy Abraham to score to give this a major boost. He is coming off two goals against Lazio in the derby. Those broke club legend Gabriel Batistuta's record for most in a debut season at the club. He should be well-rested after not featuring for England in the international break.
Serie A Matchday 31 Quick Picks
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