MARK O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) takes a look at the betting ahead of Wednesday afternoon’s Serie A offering from Turin.
Torino v Empoli | Wednesday 14.00 | BT Sport 1
Torino remain heavily involved in the race for European qualification and will be buoyed by weekend results in Serie A that saw Inter, Genoa and Sampdoria all dropping points. A win for the Granata would lift Giampiero Ventura’s men back to within touching distance of the top-five but it’s no guarantee.
Toro arrive on the back of a six-game unbeaten streak (W3-D3-L0) and since December they’ve returned hugely impressive W9-D9-L2 figures from 20 league outings. But despite a jubilant win over arch-enemies and Scudetto champions Juventus last time out on home soil, their record at Turin’s Stadio Olimpico isn’t strong enough to get involved with the hosts at odds-on quotes against Empoli.
Ventura’s men have W6-D7-L3 in front of their home supporters and peculiarly taking 16 of their 25 points from the Olimpico against top-half teams. Cagliari, Palermo, Sassuolo, Verona and Atalanta have all left with at least a point and draw specialists Empoli are primed and able to follow suit.
The Tuscans’ unexpected 4-2 win against Napoli last time out has all but secured their Serie A safety, allowing Maurizio Sarri’s men to play without pressure for the remainder of the campaign. But the Azzurri players will be looking to shine in order to impress bigger clubs ahead of next season so motivation shouldn’t be an issue.
On the road, Empoli have picked up just a solitary victory but their W1-D10-L5 return away shows they’re certainly no mugs on their travels. Only Juventus, Lazio and Sampdoria have beaten Sarri’s troops on home soil since October and so avoiding defeat at a Torino side with six wins from 16 at the Olimpico is well within their capabilities.
Two angles and two bets stick out, in value terms. Firstly, the Both Teams To Score market holds appeal with betway dangling 17/20 in our direction. It’s a proven a winner in exactly half of Toro’s home fixtures this season as well as 10/16 (63) of Empoli’s away days. With a 56% success rate across both teams’ previous home/away matches, the 17/20 offers a slice of value, which I’m happy to take.
Meanwhile, the Under 2.5 Goals market should also be considered with William Hill making a low-scoring game a 10/11 play. Torino have failed to break the two-goal barrier in 12/16 (75%) of their Olimpico outings whilst Empoli have followed the same trend in 11/16 (69%) of their road games. Again, the Under 2.5 Goals market offers punters big value on Wednesday afternoon.
But I’m going to go a step further and as well as backing Both Teams To Score, I’ll ignore the Under 2.5 Goals bet, combine the two and instead take a punt on the 1-1 correct score at 13/2 with William Hill. It’s proven a winner in 10/26 (31%) of Toro’s home and Empoli’s away games this term and makes sense when considering both clubs have been racking up draws, low-scoring fixtures and plenty of BTTS winners this season.
Torino v Empoli – Both Teams To Score (17/20 betway)
Torino v Empoli – 1-1 correct score (13/2 William Hill)
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