Newcastle vs Arsenal Odds, Pick | Premier League Picks & Predictions
Julian Finney/Getty Images. Pictured: Mikel Arteta.
Newcastle vs Arsenal Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (-154 / +126)|
|Both Teams to Score (Yes/No)||(-192 / +150)|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get the latest soccer odds here.|
If Arsenal wants any chance of winning the Premier League at the end of the month and outlasting Manchester City, three points are needed on Sunday as Arsenal visits Newcastle in the biggest match of the weekend calendar. Mikel Arteta’s side finally ended its four-match winless run with a 3-1 drubbing of Chelsea on Tuesday, but the damage from those 10 points dropped to Liverpool, West Ham, Southampton and Manchester City has now put the Cityzens in a commanding position for the league title.
These two sides played out a compelling goalless draw at Arsenal in their first meeting, when Newcastle was in the midst of a real scoring drought. Now with Alexander Isak leading the attacking line, the goals have flowed for the Magpies. Newcastle put six past Spurs, four past Everton and three past Southampton in its last three PL matches. Arsenal’s defensive metrics have also really fallen off in the second half of the season, to the point where the Gunners shouldn’t be essentially a pick’em on the road against Eddie Howe’s surging Newcastle.
Newcastle was one of the most difficult teams in the entire league to power rate coming into the year, but they’ve outpaced any and all market expectations in the first full season under Eddie Howe. The Magpies offense went through a brief poor spell in January where they settled for a ton of draws, but they’ve been a clear top-four team all season. At times, Newcastle has struggled to generate separation in even game states because they don’t send a ton of numbers forward or take many chances in possession.
Once Newcastle gets ahead in the game, they’ve been the most dominant team in the league. There’s some noise in this statistic in a small sample, but Newcastle has a +1.27 expected goals (xG) difference per 90 minutes when leading this year, and a +1.61 actual goal difference per 90. Part of this comes because Newcastle prefers to play without the ball. The Magpies are just eighth in possession percentage, and a leading game state lets them attack in transition into space.
The arrival of Isak into the first team has given them a truly plus central striker for the solid midfield system to play around. He’s posted 0.61 xG and 0.17 expected assists per 90 in 12 90s this season. It raises the ceiling of this attack considerably and he’s a major reason why Newcastle is clearly third in xG difference per 90 since February began. Those numbers are better than Arsenal’s, and Howe now has 14 months of data that shows he’s transformed Newcastle into a true top-four-quality side.
It’s been a season of two seasons for Arteta’s team, as the defense has fallen off considerably in the second half of the year. The Gunners allowed just 0.85 xG per 90 in the pre-World Cup portion of the year. Since then, the number has risen to 1.3 xGA per match. Arsenal’s defensive issues didn’t show up in the final xGA tally against Chelsea, but the transition flaws remained for Arteta’s side in the home victory. The Blues had numerous situations where a more in-sync team would have created clear scoring opportunities.
Given that Arsenal didn’t make a ton of additions in the summer transfer window, it was fair to wonder if they’d regress back toward their 2022 numbers after a hot start. In 2021-22, Arsenal finished with a +0.4 expected goal difference per 90 minutes. After posting an excellent +1.25 xGD per match in the first half of the year, they’ve been just +0.7 in the second half. The injury to William Saliba has hurt defensively — and even though Gabriel Jesus is back healthy and the two young wingers have improved the attack — you see a lot more cracks now.
The Gunners went to Liverpool in April and really struggled to overcome the Reds’ high pressure and desire to win the ball off Arsenal high up the pitch. I expect Arsenal to have similar issues in this matchup on Sunday. By pure expected goal difference per match, Arsenal and Newcastle have been pretty comparable teams overall. The Gunners have more points because they’ve been more aggressive in even game states and have finished better in front of goal — thus they have more wins and fewer draws than Newcastle.
Pick: Newcastle — Tie No Bet (-120)
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Newcastle vs Arsenal Pick
Newcastle’s ability to strike quickly and create good scoring opportunities from high turnovers forced is as good as any team in the league. In some ways, this spot isn’t all that different from Arsenal’s May trip to Newcastle last year. Arsenal is in the ‘must win’ spot on the road once again and it showed last year when the Gunners lost 2-0 and cracked. The pressure can actually make a team play worse, especially a road favorite.
The Gunners are first in high turnovers forced, but I’d expect Howe to not really focus on any defensive possession in this matchup at all.
The Magpies are the slight favorite at home, but my projections make them a bigger favorite. Even with Arsenal rated marginally better, Newcastle’s home-field advantage makes them a solid home favorite. I’d bet Newcastle draw no bet at -120 or better on Sunday.
Pick: Newcastle — Draw No Bet (-120 or better)
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