Italian soccer is widely regarded as having some of the toughest leagues in the world. There are a lot of reasons why that is the case and they can make it difficult for gamblers to predict betting patterns. We’re going to take a look at arguably the hardest league of them all, the second division of Italy, Serie B.
While it’s not as widely known as the second division of England soccer, the Championship, Serie B is more difficult for a number of reasons. In fact, it’s not just gamblers that struggle with the division; the teams competing in it do too. It’s a hard league to get out of, especially for teams with smaller budgets. Keep reading to learn everything that you need to know about this division and Italian Serie B betting.
What makes Serie B Hard to Predict?
One of the main factors that makes Italian Serie B betting such a challenge is that there is not much coverage of the teams outside Italy. Because the clubs within Serie B are an unknown quantity to most gamblers, the Serie B standings can look totally different every single year. A lot of this is due to high player turnover each season. Transfers take place at a fast rate within soccer, so the makeup of a team can change significantly within just 12 months. This ensures that teams that have spent one season struggling near the bottom can be challenging for promotion the next season thanks to some sensible transfer business. On top of this the players in the division aren’t very well known. So, unless you have an encyclopedic knowledge of soccer, you’re unlikely to be aware of many of the players within Italy Serie B. With players from the division above and below being added to the league every season it means there is a lot of room for surprise packages. This impacts not just on outright bets, but on single match bets too. Especially during the first few weeks of the season when a lot of surprises tend to take place.
Known for Sturdy Defenses
Italian soccer is recognized as a place where sturdy defending rules and that affects the kind of bets that sensible bettors can place. It also means that choosing a winner is a lot more difficult, because even the top performing teams in the division can easily be held by a team at the lower end of the table. The robust defenses combined with desperation for points means that high scoring games tend to be a rarity. This ensures that placing over/under bets on the number of goals to be scored requires a lot of time and research to get right.
Information isn’t as Easy to Find
This is a big reason for the struggles that gamblers have with Italy Serie B predictions. Making successful predictions is all about analyzing the data and, because Serie B isn’t one of the world’s top leagues, the data that’s available isn’t as detailed. This means the predictions that gamblers make don’t have as much info backing them up and as such can sometimes be less accurate. When making a Serie B prediction you will have to rely on other data forms than just standard statistics. A lot of this comes from knowledge of the league, which we will cover in a little more detail later on.
The Season is Long
The Serie B season is 38 games long and the teams will also have cup games to play over the course of it. Then there are potentially playoff matches to be played to decide the final places for promotion and relegation. It means that the season is long and hard, which leads to more freak results near the end when the players are fatigued or teams don’t have anything to play for, reducing performance levels. This can lead to teams that wouldn’t be expected to win producing surprising high quality performances.
These are just some of the most common reasons why Serie B is difficult to bet on. Of course, the fact that soccer is an unpredictable game also adds to this list.
Ways to Improve your Betting Strike Rate
While Serie B Italy is undoubtedly difficult to place wagers on, there are ways that gamblers can improve their strike rate. We’ve covered some of the top ways for you to achieve success and increase the number of winners coming your way.
Look for Teams that are out of Place
It doesn’t happen often, but occasionally a genuinely huge team will be relegated to Serie B. The last time this happened Juventus were demoted due to being found guilty of large scale cheating. During that season it was clear that Juventus were the best side in the league and they won 28 of their 42 games, so placing a wager on Juventus to win would have been a relatively safe bet. Napoli were also in the league that year, and – while they are not as successful as Juventus – they are still a big club.
If in the future the unlikely happened and AC Milan were relegated to Serie B then you could safely assume that a wager on AC Milan to win would be a sensible choice. Furthermore, due to the relative strength of the team, you could potentially pick up a good value wager on AC Milan to beat teams from Serie A if they met them in the cup. It’s likely that a Serie B team would have positive odds in this situation, which means that the potential payout for a Coppa Italia game would be higher than any Serie B odds that were offered on an AC Milan match.
While this is hypothetical, it’s always important to look over the teams that are in the league and look for any that appear to be out of place.
Choose the Right Markets
Picking the right markets is always important when betting, but especially in Serie B soccer. Because the defending tends to be pretty solid in that league, it’s often difficult to predict how frequently goals will be scored. That makes it better to stay away from markets that focus on how goals will be scored and stick to others. Over/under markets on bookings is currently the best market to find added value.
How does Promotion and Relegation Work?
It’s mostly easy to understand how promotion and relegation works in Serie B, but there are some complications with the playoffs. In order to cover all of the information we’ve explained both in simple terms to help bettors.
Each season three teams are promoted from Italian Serie B into Serie A. The top two teams are always automatically promoted, but the final place is a little more complex. If the third team is 10 points or more in front of fourth, then they will take the final place. However, if the gap is less than 10 points then a playoff tournament takes place that includes up to six teams that are within 14 points of third. There are three stages and if the final round ends as a tie whichever team finished highest in the league will be promoted.
There are four teams relegated from Serie B every season. The bottom three teams are all automatically relegated, so 18th, 19th and 20th go down right away. If the team in 16th is 5 or more points ahead of 17th then 17th will go down. If the gap is less than 5 points then the two teams will have a playoff over two games. Whichever team wins will stay in the league. However, if there is a draw then the team with the most points stays in the league. If both teams had the same number of points then a penalty shoot out takes place to decide the winner.
Serie B in 2021
It’s difficult to quantify how the Italian Serie B is going so far this year. Although the season is just over half way through, there’s still a lot to play for. The surprise team of the season is Monza, although there are reasons for their successful run. We’re going to go over who we tip for promotion, relegation and any potential upsets left in the season.
As already mentioned, Monza have been the surprise package this season. After being taken over by former Italian Prime Minister and ex-owner of AC Milan Silvio Berlusconi, Monza have undergone a squad overhaul this season. With the marquee signing Mario Balotelli leading their offense, it’s no shock to many that Monza are managing to challenge near the top of the division. However, despite this they still haven’t quite managed to grab a place at the very top of the table.
Empoli currently occupy first place, 6 points clear of Monza. It looks likely that this will remain the case, especially with the form that Empoli are in at the moment. However, the other two positions are harder to call.
Because there are just 6 points between Monza and Venezia, who are sitting in 9th place, the remaining two positions could go to anyone. However, it’s likely that Monza will be able to maintain their form over the rest of the season due to the increased quality they have managed to bring in. So we feel that Monza will take second place.
The final position is a tougher one to call, however there are some recent trends that indicate what could happen. Chievo and Pordenone are both teams on good runs of form and with just 6 points between them it’s possible that these two teams will make up the playoffs at the end of the season. While it’s difficult to choose a winner, it’s most likely that Chievo will prevail and take the final promotion spot.
At the moment Pescara are at the bottom of the Serie B table. Despite this they are only 4 points from safety, showing just how tight Serie B is as a league. One place above them are Virtus Entella. However, this is a situation that has changed over the last 5 games. Virtus Entella have won 3 of their last 5 games giving them 9 points from 15. With a total for the season of 17 points it means that Virtus Entella have picked up 9 points from their last 5 games and just 8 points from their previous 15. This suggests that they are likely to pull away from the relegation scrap and drag someone else in. Looking at current form and the standings, we feel it’s most likely that Ascoli and Reggiana will join Pescara as the teams to be relegated this season. There is almost half a season left, so many surprises could take place between now and the end, but these three teams are in a very bad position.
Italian Serie B betting is always a little bit of a gamble, and in fact there are potentially a lot of surprises that could take place between now and May. However, there’s one that could be a big shock to many. Brescia have only spent 4 years of their existence outside of the top two divisions in Italy. The last time this took place it was the 1980s. Brescia are currently on the worst run of form in the entire division with just 3 points from their last 5 games. With only 4 points between them and the relegation zone, Brescia going down could be the biggest upset that takes place this season.
Will they be relegated outside of the top two divisions for the first time since the 1980s? If you’re able to get good Serie B odds on Brescia to be relegated then this could be a wager worth placing. Especially with the January window over and no reinforcements able to come in. It is certainly a hard league to forecast, but with our guide you should be able to give yourself a better chance of making strong Serie B predictions.
Happy (and profitable) Italian Serie B betting!