A big match in Serie A after the International Break means opportunities

Serie A returns from the international break with one of the biggest matches in Europe this weekend, as league leaders Milan (21 points) host third place Juventus (17 points). Both teams enter this high profile affair at the San Siro having lost just once apiece–legitimizing their title aspirations. With that being said, three points in either direction could have a big say in the title race as we enter the second quarter of the season. A win for Milan will have many feeling that the Rossoneri are in a two horse race with city rivals Inter for the Scudetto, whereas a road win for Juve would signal to the league that the Bianconeri are back among Italy’s best. Which way should you bet this one? We give our take below.

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Serie A Betting concepts for Juventus

Another day, another Juve scandal. Last week, the latest scandal broke out in Italy as at least three players are under investigation for illegal gambling. One of the three (and the first to be named) is Juve midfielder Nicoló Fagioli. Fagioli isn’t of the same profile as the other two players confirmed to be involved (Sandro Tonali of Newcastle and Nicoló Zaniolo of Aston Villa) and likely wouldn’t even have started this match, but it’s just another distraction for Max Allegri’s side after Paul Pogba’s doping suspension earlier this season.

Aside from the Fagioli controversy, Juve is sweating out a couple of key injuries in the attack. Dusan Vlahovic wasn’t called up for Serbia and Federico Chiesa left Italy camp early to return to Turin. Those two have combined for 8 of the squad’s 14 goals scored so far this season. If they can’t go, you wonder where the goals will come from for an otherwise unimpressive Bianconeri attack.

Juve was always likely to play this one tight, but may have to rely even more heavily on a defense that has already posted five clean sheets in eight matches. And it’s that classic Allegri approach that could see us heading for our fifth straight under 2.5 in league matches featuring these two going head-to-head. Nevertheless, it’s important to note that Milan has breached the Juve defense in three of those four. If this match is going to go Juve’s way, it may have to be a 1-0 type of match.

Considerations for Serie A Betting this week: AC Milan

Milan have been off to a high flying start – they’ve won 7 out of 8 games in the league, and have scored in every single match so far. The Rossoneri’s only loss came in the Derby della Madonnina against city rivals Inter 5-1 after the last international break. So, they’ll be keen not to let the extended break disrupt their run of six unbeaten in all competitions; including four straight wins in the league.

Just because Milan enters this one on a great run doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its own personnel issues. Goalkeeper Mike Maignan and star defender Theo Hernandez both picked up red card suspensions in their last match. In addition, the status of midfielders Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Rade Krunic are unknown after they’ve missed recent matches through injury.

Unlike Juve that’s relied on Vlahovic and Chiesa, Milan’s offense has been spread out, led by star players Olivier Giroud on 4 goals, and Rafa Leao on 3. Meanwhile, newcomers Christian Pulisic and Noah Okafor have chipped in 4 and 2 respectively. Any worries that it would take time for this new-look Milan to gel have been long erased.

Milan vs Juve Serie A Betting Pick & Prediction

Current odds as of this writing: AC Milan (+115) / Juventus (+225) / Draw (+220)

Let’s break down what this means, and why this is. Milan are the favorites here, and for good reason. They are at home – and home field advantage is huge in soccer. They are the league leaders – we’ve broken down their form above. Juventus are missing key players. Milan are unbeaten in their last 5 Serie A matchups v Juve, winning 3 and drawing 2.

Other betting trends to look at – the under 2.5 goals has hit in 4/5 (under 2.5 is -150), Under 10 corners has hit in 5/6 (under 9.5 corners is -140) and over 4.5 cards has hit in 5/6 (card props not published at the time of this writing).

Our Pick: Milan ML (+115)

Given the form that Milan enters on and the potential absences coupled with the Fagioli situation ruling the headlines in Turin, we like the Rossoneri to get the job done at home.

Good luck to all who are placing a bet. Follow the guys here on the Happy Hour Sports Network, Twitter, YouTube, (@KicksPicksPod), and wherever you get your podcasts!

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