Manchester United vs. Newcastle Betting Odds & Pick: Will Ronaldo Be Missing Piece for Red Devils?

Manchester United vs. Newcastle Betting Odds & Pick: Will Ronaldo Be Missing Piece for Red Devils? article feature image
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  • Manchester United hosts Newcastle in Cristiano Ronaldo's return to the English Premier League (10 a.m. ET, USA Network).
  • Ronaldo returns to Old Trafford as a Man U player for the first time in 12 years.
  • BJ Cunningham breaks down Man U-Newcastle below and why he likes the Magpies to keep it close.

Man United vs. Newcastle Odds

Man U Odds -525
Newcastle Odds +1300
Draw +700
Over/Under 3.5 (+115 / -135)
Day | Time Saturday | 10 a.m. ET
How To Watch USA Network | fuboTV
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here

Manchester United welcomes Cristiano Ronaldo back to Old Trafford on Saturday when they take on Newcastle United.

Ronaldo returns to his former club after leaving it for Real Madrid in 2009. He comes to a Manchester United squad that is off to a great start in the Premier League, picking up seven points in their first three matches. The effect of Ronaldo coming home has caused Manchester United to drop from +900 to +550 to win the Premier League at DraftKings.

Newcastle is off to a dreadful start to their season, picking up only a point in its first three matches. Manager Steve Bruce’s seat has gotten a little warmer now after down year in 2020-21. So, the question is whether or not Newcastle can spoil Ronaldo’s homecoming party?

Can Cristiano Ronaldo Put Manchester United on Top?

So how much does Ronaldo’s arrival impact Manchester United from an analytical perspective? The answer is substantial. For example, last season Manchester United’s top three strikers of Edinson Cavani, Marcus Rashford, and Anthony Martial had the following xG created in total and per 90 minutes

While those aren’t bad scoring rates, they are not at the elite level that Manchester United needs to compete for the Premier League title.

Cristiano Ronaldo last season in Serie A created a total of 29.84 expected goals and had a 0.96 xG per 90 minute scoring rate. So, he will be a massive improvement up for the Red Devils, who may be a touch overrated due to their hot start. Manchester United have only out-created Leeds, Southampton and Wolves by a combined 4.3-4.0 xG margin.

The match against Wolves right before the international break was very telling about how United will play against teams with dynamic playmakers going forward. Allan Saint-Maximin is one of the best creative attacking players in the league and will be able to give the Red Devils’ defense some problems.

Also, the Red Devils are dealing with some injuries and players having travel restrictions coming back from international break as Scott McTominay, Fred, and Marcus Rashford are in doubt to play on Saturday.

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Poor Results Don’t Tell Whole Story for Newcastle

While Newcastle didn’t look great through their first three matches, they haven’t been as bad as their results have shown. They have been out-created, 6.38-3.9 on non-penalty expected goals, but their offense has looked much improved from last season.

Newcastle’s offensive numbers weren’t that great a season ago, but they had to deal with a lot of injuries to their attack. Two of their best offensive players — Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson — were only on the field together in 17 of Newcastle’s 38 matches. When they played together, the Magpies averaged 1.30 xG per game. Without them, they averaged just 1.04 xG per match.

Newcastle’s style of play may benefit them against Manchester United, because the Red Devils aren’t very successful at breaking down low blocks. They love to play counter-pressing style of football which is uber successful against teams like Leeds and Liverpool, who employ a high press.

Newcastle usually sets up very defensive in either a 4-4-2 or 5-3-2. So, it’s going to be difficult for Manchester United to break them down.

Betting Analysis & Pick

Even though Ronaldo is back, I think Manchester United is overvalued in this spot. Some of their injuries in the midfield gives me pause, along with how defensively Newcastle figures to set up in this match.

I only have Manchester United’s spread projected at -1.39, so I think there’s value on Newcastle’s spread of +2 at -105 odds via DraftKings and would play it up to -125 odds.

Pick: Newcastle +2 (-105)

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