Serie A Matchday 18 Odds & Picks: Lazio vs Roma, Inter vs Juventus & Cagliari vs AC Milan

Serie A Matchday 18 features Lazio's Ciro Immobile

Lazio’s Ciro Immobile, second left, celebrates with teammate Luis Alberto after scoring his side’s second goal during the Serie A soccer match between Lazio and Fiorentina at the Olympic Stadium in Rome, Italy, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
  • Serie A Matchday 18 kicks off this weekend from January 15-18, 2021
  • Cagliari has defeated AC Milan just one time since 1998
  • Read on for the odds and our best bets from Serie A Matchday 18 here

Another weekend of Serie A action is upon us for Serie A Matchday 18 kicking off on Friday. The round begins with a top-eight showdown between Lazio and Roma in the Rome Derby. It also includes a huge top-four matchup between Inter Milan and Juventus on Saturday.

The top of the table is now separated by just six points between the top three sides. On the other end, if you’ve been fading teams like Bologna, Cagliari and Parma, they’re all in the midst of lengthy winless streaks.

Let’s look ahead to the odds and best bets from the Serie A Matchday 18 schedule below.

Serie A Matchday 18 Odds

Matchup Home Draw Away
Lazio vs Roma +187 +270 +130
Bologna vs Verona +137 +230 +200
Torino vs Spezia +100 +240 +300
Sampdoria vs Udinese +175 +230 +160
Napoli vs Fiorentina -182 +320 +500
Crotone vs Benevento +175 +250 +140
Sassuolo vs Parma -150 +330 +350
Atalanta vs Genoa -400 +500 +1100
Inter Milan vs Juventus +137 +250 +190
Cagliari vs AC Milan +475 +375 -200

All odds taken Jan 14 at Bet365

Lazio vs Roma

The Derby della Capitale (Rome Derby) kicks off Serie A Matchday 18 at 2:45 pm EST Friday afternoon in a match between third-place AS Roma and eighth-place Lazio.

Both teams are in strong form right now. Roma are undefeated in four after last weekend’s 2-2 draw with Inter. Lazio are undefeated in three and riding a two-match win streak after a 2-1 win over Fiorentina and 2-0 win over Parma last weekend,

For Roma, they can score goals with the best of them. Their 37 goals are only behind Inter’s 43 and Atalanta’s 40. But with 26 conceded, they struggle to keep things tight at the back. Against some of the top sides in the league, they have especially struggled. Against teams like Juventus, Milan, Napoli, Atalanta and Inter they have allowed two, three, four, four and two goals respectively. Now they’ve also scored eight goals in those five matches, good for an average of 4.6 goals per game in those matches combined.

In the Lazio camp, a bet on Ciro Immobile as an anytime scorer at -110 odds has to be considered. He leads the team with 11 goals on the year, scoring 11 goals in the 15 matches he’s played. While he was held off the scoresheet last week against Parma, he had previously scored in five-straight.

This was a low-scoring matchup last season as both meetings ended 1-1. In the season prior, both teams won on their home grounds, Roma 3-1 and Lazio 3-0. So recent matchups offer few trends to try and follow in this one.

Lazio’s matches are not quite as wide-open as Roma’s. Lazio is just 9-8 to OVER 2.5 totals, while Roma is 13-4 to the OVER.

It’s hard to see either team being held off the scoresheet though in this one and I think someone will at least score one more in this derby match.

Pick: Both Teams to Score & Over 2.5 Goals (-125), Ciro Immobile Anytime Scorer (-110)

Inter Milan vs Juventus

The clash of the weekend pits second-place Inter Milan against fourth-place Juventus at 2:45 pm EST Sunday afternoon. The two are separated by just four points in the table and will be crucial for each as they try to cut their deficit behind leaders AC Milan.

After a surprise loss to Fiorentina, Juventus have now won three-straight with wins over Udinese, AC Milan and Sassuolo last weekend. In midweek action Juve was in play in the Coppa Italia against Genoa where they won 3-2 in extra-time with a 104′ minute goal.

For Inter, a long winning streak had them at one point just a point behind AC Milan in the table but after a loss and a draw in their most recent matches, they find themselves still three points back. It was a 2-2 draw with fellow contenders AS Roma last weekend. The match saw them fall behind early, score two early second-half goals to take the lead, then concede late-on to end in a draw.

In Coppa Italia play, Inter were 2-1 winners over Fiorentina on Tuesday.

Last season Juventus emerged victorious in both meetings, 2-1 and 2-0. It was a continuation of Juve’s recent dominance over Inter as they are now 5-2-0 (WDL) against Inter in the past seven Serie A meetings. Go back further and you’ll see Inter has won just once in their past 16 head-to-head meetings with Juve in either the league or Coppa Italia competition.

I’m not sure I fully trust either of these sides right now. There’s plenty of offense on both sides, yet both have proved very capable of giving up goals to anyone in the league.

Inter have conceded in five-straight and seven of eight and that includes to the likes of Bologna, Cagliari, Spezia, Verona, Crotone and Sampdoria. They’ve conceded twice in each of their past three.

But Juve has also conceded in four-straight and surprisingly in 13 of their 16 matches.

This is another one where goals look likely given each team’s recent track record. If you’re looking for the best value on which team could score twice, I’d go with Juve at +120, compared to Inter who are priced at -110 in that market.

Pick: Both Teams to Score & Over 2.5 Goals (-120), Juventus to Score Over 1.5 Goals (+120)

2021 Serie A Odds Tracker

Cagliari vs AC Milan

Serie A Matchday 18 wraps up Monday afternoon with Cagliari hosting AC Milan at 2:45 pm EST.

After last weekend’s 1-0 defeat to Fiorentina, Eusebio Di Francesco’s Cagliari have now lost four straight and sit 16th-place, just two points above the relegation zone. On Thursday, Cagliari was also away to Atalanta for the Coppa Italia round of 16.

Leaders AC Milan, rebounded last weekend with a 2-0 home win over Torino after losing to Juventus in their prior match.

Milan played in the Coppa Italia competition two days sooner on Monday and played against Torino once again, advancing past the Toros on penalties to reach the quarterfinals.

We now have 17 rounds of action in the books and it’s hard to find a reason to back Cagliari in this one. They have just three wins in those 17 rounds. But to make matters worse, none of those have come in the past ten rounds. In their past ten, they are 0-4-6 (WDL) and have the worst form in the league during that stretch.

In those ten matches, they’ve conceded multiple goals six times. On the season, Cagliari hasn’t come close to competing with some of the top sides.

Past results against contending teams such as AC Milan have read: loss (5-2 Atalanta), loss (2-0 Juventus), loss (3-1 Inter Milan) and loss (4-1 Napoli). Cagliari’s defense has been bad—they’ve conceded the third-most goals at 34. But, the advanced metrics show they could be conceding even more goals with a league-worst expected goal against (xGA) of 36.6 at FBRef.

There’s plenty of reaches to expect Cagliari to be under siege in their half of the field for most of the match. They’re 17th in average possession at 44.1-percent and also 17th in middle third touches. They also do a poor job of tackling dribblers, ranking 18th. Whereas Milan is fourth in successful dribbling percentage.

Last season Milan was 3-0 and 2-0 winners in this matchup. Milan has also dominated this opponent historically as Cagliari has just one win over Milan since 1998.

Milan on the spread at -1.5 offers good value at +125, but you should also be good with a Milan win where they also score at least two goals.

Pick: AC Milan Win & Milan to Score Over 1.5 Goals (-138)

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