Premier League Odds, Picks, Prediction: Arsenal vs. Newcastle United Betting Preview (Nov. 27)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images. Pictured: Newcastle United standout Callum Wilson.
- Arsenal welcomes Newcastle United to Emirates Stadium for Saturday's Premier League match.
- Eddie Howe makes his managerial debut for Magpies, who are looking to spring the road upset.
- Anthony Dabbundo breaks down the contest below and explains why he's backing Newcastle to keep this game close.
Arsenal vs. Newcastle Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (-160 / +135)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 7:30 a.m. ET|
|How To Watch||NBCSN | fuboTV|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.|
Arsenal’s eight-match unbeaten run ended last Saturday at Liverpool when the Reds earned a 4-0 shutout win and showed the Gunners aren’t particularly close to the level of the top three in the Premier League right now.
A home game against Newcastle United presents a great opportunity for the Arsenal to bounce back Saturday, as the Magpies sit at the bottom of the table through 12 games. Manager Eddie Howe makes his touchline debut for Newcastle this week after being cleared from COVID-19 protocols.
The Gunners have now lost four games this season, falling to Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Brentford. When Arsenal has played lower level teams in the EPL, though, they’ve typically managed to avoid letdowns. However, the underlying performances against those clubs haven’t been particularly encouraging, even if the results have. It’s difficult for them to get consistent margin as a big favorite given those issues.
Arsenal Seeking Consistency Against All Foes
Expected goals over a large enough (10-plus game sample) almost never lie about a team’s true quality. And when both xG and goal difference agree on a team, that’s an even bigger red flag that the position in the standings is in fact the misleading statistic about them.
The Gunners rank 16th in xG difference per 90 minutes, as well as 14th in actual goal difference. They’ve won a bunch of competitive games against bad to mediocre opponents and haven’t produced great attacking numbers in those games. Arsenal has created more than 1.5 non-penalty expected goals in three of its 13 league matches this season against the likes of Norwich City, Crystal Palace and Aston Villa.
Two of those teams have fired already their managers. The Gunners haven’t blown out anyone on xG except Villa and Norwich. The result is that Arsenal has grinned out a bunch of results despite not playing all that well and continues to be overvalued in the market.
Bukayo Saka hasn’t really taken a step forward in production, and while Emile Smith-Rowe has seen a bump in his numbers, the striker pair of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette appears to be in decline.
Arsenal’s defense also has some negative regression coming, because goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale is playing way above his level and saved more goals than anyone else in the league besides Chelsea’s Edouard Mendy. Ramsdale is unlikely to continue at that ridiculous pace going forward.
Manager Howe Finally Making Debut for Newcastle
Howe didn’t get a true introduction to Newcastle because of his positive COVID-19 diagnosis. He missed the first home match of his tenure, a thrilling 3-3 draw with Brentford. It was an encouraging performance from the Magpies, who won the xG battle and looked dangerous for large stretches of the match.
Now, Howe will be on the sideline and has a difficult test on the road at Arsenal. The Magpies really struggle against teams who press them high, as they get forced into mistakes and struggle to defend man-to-man. However, Arsenal really isn’t a team that’s going to press high up the pitch.
The Gunners are just 17th in total pressures and 19th in pressing success rate, so Newcastle’s possession and passing from the back approach under Howe should be able to hold up in this game.
Newcastle relies heavily on crosses from wide to generate shots and that’s another area where the Gunners defense hans’t been particularly good.
A fresh voice in the locker room, some new tactics and an all-in effort for the new manager is to be expected from Newcastle. So, while I have doubts about them long term under Howe given personnel constraints, this is as good of a spot as you’ll find to back them.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Except for a long term injury to Granit Xhaka for Arsenal, both teams are as healthy as they’ve been all season. Arsenal should control the game and the possession for large stretches, but don’t underestimate Newcastle’s ability to pass through Arsenal in transition given how poorly and infrequently it presses.
Forwards Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin can hurt the Gunners in transition enough times to get at least a goal here, but Arsenal’s attack hasn’t been firing nearly well enough for them to get the required margin as a big home favorite of more than a goal.
There’s not enough shots in this Arsenal team with its aging strikers in decline and its young attackers still developing. In an all-in spot for the Magpies, they should keep this game close.
Pick: Newcastle +1.25 (-110)