Premier League Odds, Picks, Prediction: Newcastle United vs. Brighton & Hove Albion EPL Betting Preview (March 5)
James Gill – Danehouse/Getty Images. Pictured: Brighton & Hove Albion goalkeeper Robert Sánchez.
Newcastle vs. Brighton Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (+115 / -145)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 10 a.m. ET|
|How To Watch||Peacock Premium|
|Odds updated via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.|
Brighton & Hove Albion and Newcastle United are trending in opposite directions in the last month, with the Seagulls falling in three consecutive matches and Newcastle winning four of five games to vault themselves out of the drop zone.
Newcastle is four points clear of the bottom three and can all but end its relegation fears with a win against Brighton on Saturday at St. James’ Park.
The Seagulls suffered a 2-0 loss at Manchester United after a red card ended their chances, but the last two losses to Burnley and Aston Villa by a combined 5-0 scoreline was concerning. Brighton hasn’t been good in any of those games, but the zero goals for and seven goals against is a bit unlucky given the quality of chances created and conceded.
Newcastle recently defeated Brentford in a dominant 2-0 victory, but an early 12th-minute red card made it pretty easy for the winner to control the entire match. That victory followed three wins in a row against Villa, Leeds United and Everton, along with a 1-1 draw with West Ham United.
Only Liverpool has tallied more points in the last five matches than Newcastle, and now is the time to sell the club has climbed up the table.
Newcastle Results Not Telling Full Tale
In its recent five-game stretch of excellent form, Newcastle has only played one team that would be described as a high-pressing side. In that game against Leeds, the Peacocks played them even in shots, chances and expected goals, but Newcastle took one of its chance in a 1-0 victory.
The rest of Newcastle’s clubs in this streak — Everton, Villa, West Ham and Brentford — wouldn’t be considered teams with a high-pressing intensity.
The Magpies have struggled all year with teams who press effectively and high up the pitch, and the Seagulls are one of them. They are third in passes per defensive action and second in pressure success rate. Compare this to Newcastle, which is last in the league in opposition passes per defensive action and 18th in pressure success rate allowed.
Newcastle’s main improvements have come on defense. The Magpies did create 2.6 xG against Brentford, but I throw out most of the data from that match because of the 78-minute man advantage. Newcastle still failed to create more than one xG in the win against Villa, the draw with West Ham and the victory against Leeds.
The defense has improved and it’s conceding fewer high-quality chances, but the attack is going to have problems creating chances against one of the EPL’s better defenses. The Magpies are just 16th in NPxG per 90 minutes and 16th in big scoring chances created. The ball progression numbers aren’t good either, so they’ll need to rely on direct counterattacks to generate chances.
Brighton Hoping to Regain Winning Form
Brighton had just four losses in the EPL prior to three weeks ago, but has now lost three on the bounce. The Seagulls sturdy defense has conceded seven goals from less than four xG and a lot came down a man at Manchester United. Burnley and Villa scored five goals from just two xG and it was more a matter of teams being clinical than the Seagulls defense allowing clear chances.
The bigger concern is the issue with Brighton creating chances. Zero goals and just 1.8 xG produced in the last three matches against three average-at-best defenses is a cause for concern, but you’d expect the Seagulls to bounce back facing one of the worst defenses in this match.
The ball-progression numbers remain impressive for Brighton, as it has been all season. The club has more crosses into the penalty area than all but two teams and ranks seventh in box entries via passes or carries. That hasn’t produced a lot of shots because the Seagulls lack the talent going forward, but they’re not as bad as they’ve seemed of late.
It’s a good bet to expect them to bounce back, as they do have some positive regression coming in front of goal. The Seagulls have just 25 goals from 29 xG this season.
Betting Analysis & Pick
The lookahead prior to Brighton’s home defeat to Aston Villa and Newcastle’s win against Brentford was Brighton at -135 odds on the Draw No Bet line.
So, what has really changed in the last week? Newcastle had a nice road win, aided by red card. Brighton was flat offensively, but that’s nothing new for a team that has been inconsistent going forward for large parts of the season.
Now, the market has gotten too high on Newcastle and too low on Brighton, so I’m happy to buy the dip on the latter, even on the road. My projection puts Brighton at -130 odds on the Draw No Bet wager and I’d play anything at -120 or better in that market.
Since Dec. 30, where Newcastle has played its best soccer of the season and Brighton has struggled in the mid-table, the Seagulls still have a better xG difference per 90 minutes. There’s no way these teams are even in the market and Brighton is considerably better, as it has been all season.
Pick: Brighton — Draw No Bet (-110)