Mark O'Haire: Goals Bets In Serie A & Belgium For The Weekend Ahead

10 min

13 winners from his last 14 bets on his column, Mark O’Haire is on a roll right now – 33% ROI for the season! Two more selections from the European Tipping King this weekend with Serie A and Belgium on the agenda.


MD16 in Serie A was another cracker with seven of 10 fixtures featuring Over 2.5 Goals and seven matches also banking in the Both Teams To Score column. Six contests broke the Over 3.5 Goals barrier as a chunky 38 goals were scored overall – five away teams even managed to get on the scoresheet three times or more. Terrific entertainment.

The league is running off a 3.09 goals-per-game average with Over 2.5 Goals copping in 62% of all encounters, Over 3.5 paying-out in 40% of match-ups, and 59% of games seeing both sides score.

And I remain convinced that, if these fixtures were taking place in the Bundesliga, the goal expectancy, lines and prices would be drastically different.

So we’ll continue to try and ride the goals train on Sunday where Sassuolo welcome Lazio to town. The Neroverdi have taken their time to find their feet following the departure of head coach Roberto De Zerbi last summer, but recent performances suggest the Emilia-Romagna outfit are heading in the right direction under Alessio Dionisi’s tutorship.

Sassuolo have suffered only two defeats since the start of October, and are scoring freely.

During that sequence, the hosts have held high-flying Napoli, turned over table-toppers Milan at the San Siro, and beaten Juventus in their own backyard. The Neroverdi also gave in-form Inter an excellent examination at their Mapei Stadium base too.

Dionisi’s troops have scored in each of their last 12 league outings, bagging two goals or more in eight of their most recent nine. But in true Serie A style, Sassuolo have recorded just two clean sheets, naturally leading us towards numerous high-scoring shootouts, including 10 successive BTTS winners.

serie a bets

Sarri Ball is in full force at Lazio with goals pouring in at both ends of the pitch.

Lazio have been a prominent feature of this column of late and the capital club have tended to produce when called upon in the goals markets. Maurizio Sarri’s side have also kept only two Serie A shutouts this term, conceding multiple goals in nine of their 16 contests.

The Biancocelesti have also proven particularly vulnerable after Europa League duty with the visitors shipping two goals or more in four of their five league fixtures immediately after continental action. Sarri’s squad is also likely to be without Ciro Immobile, yet there’s enough quality in the ranks to at least make their mark on Sunday.

So Over 2.75 Goals at 1.76 stands out.

Collectively, the two teams have scored in 26 (81%) of 32 Serie A assignments in 2021/22, returning four shutouts. Both sides have scored on 23 (72%) occasions, with Over 2.5 Goals landing in a remarkable 29 (91%) of those 32 encounters. Meanwhile, Over 3.5 Goals has delivered in 18 (56%) of their combined dates.

So this week’s Serie A bet is Over 2.75 goals around the 1.76 mark.

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Belgium has been one of Europe’s more underrated leagues for goals-based bets. The Pro League is returning a 3.06 goals-per-game average through 17 rounds with 59% of fixtures featuring Over 2.5 Goals and 61% of encounters rewarding Both Teams To Score hunters.

If we crudely turned that 61% hit-rate into implied odds, we’d expect to see an average price of 1.64 for BTTS, and so the 1.85 available on both sides obliging in Saturday’s showdown between mid-table Sint-Truiden and second-from-bottom Cercle Brugge deserves further inspection.

Cercle traditionally toil towards the bottom end of Belgium’s top-flight and so their league position is no surprise. However, delve a little deeper and we can see the Groen en Zwart are one of the division’s biggest underachievers this term. In terms of Expected Goals (xG) supremacy, the visitors have been performing like a top-six team.

The Brugge boys have also produced their best work on the road. Cercle have collected 11 of their 17 points in games as guests, scoring in all eight away days, whilst their recent displays over both four and eight-game splits have De Vereniging producing a series of dominant attacking efforts.

Indeed, Cercle have posted xG outputs of 2.46, 1.72, 3.40 and 3.24 in their last four fixtures.

So they’ll fancy their chances of hurting a Sint-Truiden team that’s been beaten in five of nine as host, have failed to keep their sheets clean on home soil, conceding 1.78 goals on average. But Cercle’s own defensive deficiencies should ensure goals at both ends.

serie a

Thomas Didillon and Cercle Brugge will struggle to stop leaking more goals this weekend.

The away side have silenced just two opposition outfits this term, whilst Sint-Truiden have scored in all bar three of their own league fixtures.

Both Teams To Score has been the right selection in 65% of Sint’s showdowns, as well as 71% of matches involving Cercle, with both teams percentages taking a hike when drilling into the respective home and away records.

This bet has paid out in eight of Sint-Tuiden’s nine outings at their Stayen base, with six of Cercle’s eight road trips rewarding BTTS backers.

Overall, the pair have scored in 28 (82%) of 34 Pro League fixtures, yet the odds imply only a 54% chance of both teams getting on the scoresheet.

Recommended Bets

  • Over 2.5/3.0 Goals in Sassuolo vs Lazio 2 units @ 1.76
  • Both Teams To Score in Sint-Truiden vs Cercle Brugge – 2 units @ 1.85

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