West Ham United vs. Newcastle Betting Odds, Picks, Predictions (Saturday, Sept. 12)
Stu Forster/Getty Images. Pictured: Allan Saint-Maximin
- West Ham is favored over Newcastle on Saturday, but Michael Leboff thinks the betting market is a little too high on the Hammers.
- Get his full breakdown for Newcastle vs. West Ham below.
Premier League: Newcastle at West Ham United
|Newcastle odds||+265 [BET NOW]|
|West Ham odds||+104 [BET NOW]|
|Draw||+250 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-105/-120) [BET NOW]|
|Time||Saturday, 3 p.m. ET|
There’s some weird stuff going down at West Ham United. A week out from their season opener the Hammers sold one of their promising young players, Grady Diangana, to newly-promoted West Bromwich Albion. It was a questionable decision, one that was made to help balance the budget rather than help the Hammers win soccer matches, and was slammed by the club’s captain Mark “Mr. West Ham” Noble.
Things are rarely steady at West Ham in the best of times and this kind of turbulence can’t be good for David Moyes. The Hammers are +400 (20% implied probability) to be relegated from the Premier League this season.
Off-field issues aside, I’m not too keen about West Ham’s chances on Saturday.
According to the odds, Newcastle are expected to be in a relegation scrap in 2020-21. The Magpies are +225 to go down, tying them with Crystal Palace for the fourth-shortest odds in the market. I am a bit higher on Newcastle, though that’s got more to do with their offseason additions rather than how they fared in 2019-20.
Newcastle finished with the second-worst expected goal differential in the Premier League in 2019-20 and were the worst team in the Premier League, according to Understat’s expected points model. Despite some horrific underlying numbers and a -20 goal differential, the Magpies finished in a comfortable 13th place with 44 points.
Expected goals (also known as xG) is an advanced statistic that gives an indication of whether results are based on sustainable factors like a steady creation of scoring chances, or whether it is down to aspects such as luck or outstanding goalkeeping.
That may not sound like a ringing endorsement for Newcastle, and I don’t think they’re particularly good, but I do think they have a chance at decent odds on Saturday.
Newcastle was pretty busy in the transfer window, bringing in striker Callum Wilson, left back Jamal Lewis, take-no-prisoners midfielder Jeff Hendrick and the buzzy Ryan Fraser. I expect Wilson and Lewis to make the start, but would be surprised if Hendrick and Fraser are in the XI.
Newcastle already had some intriguing talents like Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron, so adding some proven players around them is a step in the right direction for a club that has a habit for roller-coastering through seasons.
The Magpies present an interesting predicament. Do you back them to regress after overachieving in 2019-20? Or do you believe their improved roster should soften that blow?
That conundrum would probably keep me off this match against most teams, but I’m happy to believe the hype against West Ham.
The Hammers actually finished the 2019-20 season on a high note, going 3-3-3 with a +2 goal differential and a +3.08 xG differential. According to Understat, West Ham were the eighth-best team by expected points during Project Restart.
That run to safety was not that long ago and Moyes deserves some credit for getting the Hammers in check to survive another season, but I have my doubts that West Ham will replicate that modest success in the new campaign.
West Ham did very little to improve a squad that needed a decent finish during the post-pandemic sprint to claw to a 16th-place finish. The underlying metrics suggest that West Ham finished exactly where they deserved. The Hammers ended the campaign with 39 points and 38.75 expected points.
Moyes is known for his pragmatic, safety-first style, so perhaps West Ham can improve a defense that surrendered the third-most expected goals in 2019-20, but I’m not sure how easy that task will be considering the Hammers didn’t upgrade anywhere during the transfer window.
Season openers are tough games to handicap in any sport and the short offseason makes these ones even more difficult. That said, I think Newcastle are worth a bet against a team in disarray.
When you convert the listed odds to implied win probability you get:
- West Ham: 46.8%
- Newcastle: 26%
- Draw: 27.2%
Even though West Ham put together a stronger statistical profile than Newcastle in 2019-20, I think the Magpies are the better team heading into the new campaign and the market hasn’t properly adjusted.