Why bookmakers still favour fourth-place Juventus

Date: 3rd February 2021 at 1:56am
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Toppling Juventus from their eight-time title streak in the Serie A has become a serious possibility for Inter and AC Milan this season. The Old Lady currently sit in fourth place with a lackluster 36 points, just ahead of Atalanta with the same point score.

Despite this, the bookmaker odds do not reflect the standings. In terms of Serie A betting predictions, those in the know seem to still favour Ronaldo and the squad from Turin.

Even though AC Milan sits a comfortable distance ahead of Juventus with 43 points, major bookmakers like Bet365 and Unibet assign them odds of 4.50. Juve is given odds of 3.25 by the same sportsbooks, while third ranked AS Roma is given odds of 29, far longer than Napoli and Atalanta. The favourite of the moment is Inter, coming in at odds of 2.5, and as low as 1.83 at SkyBet.

Bookmakers dedicate enormous power to calculating with precision, so their assessments at this stage of the season could be enlightening. Because sportsbooks manipulate their odds both due to competition standings and consumer betting trends, bookmaker odds can often reflect betting psychology and the pattern competitions may follow.

In the case of Juventus, people tend to bet on proven success. Italy hasn’t seen new champions in quite some time, and the Juve squad sports the most recognized footballer in the world. The public’s faith in Juventus is then reflected in the odds, because even though they are behind now it may not be wise to offer high odds. If they soar back into the title in the coming months, bookmakers will be on the hook for all those high odds bets.

A similar tactic might be at play with Roma’s odds. Despite their being currently ahead of Juventus, betting on them has huge profit potential. It could be that bookmakers expect Roma to flare out in a few weeks, and are enticing punters to take exceedingly high odds on a longshot outcome.

Viewed from this vantage point, there are more to bookmaker favourites than just prediction. It could be that mountains of statistical data conclude that even if the usual frontrunner falls behind, mature and time-tested clubs tend to win the stamina game for the top spots. It could also be that bookmakers understand the power of consecutive titles and the psychological impact that has on those placing bets. Season-long odds patterns reveal an entirely different layer to Serie A betting predictions.


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