Premier League Odds, Picks and Predictions: Watford vs. Newcastle (Saturday, July 11)
Matt Dunham/Pool via Getty Images. Pictured: Danny Welbeck
Newcastle at Watford Odds, Pick
|Newcastle odds||+360 [BET NOW]|
|Watford odds||-115 [BET NOW]|
|Draw||+250 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||2.5 (+104/-128) [BET NOW]|
|Time||Saturday, 7:30 a.m. ET|
|TV||NBC Sports Gold|
Watford are fighting for their Premier League lives as Newcastle visits Vicarage Road on Saturday. With just four matches remaining in the PL season, Watford sit on 31 points, three ahead of Bournemouth and the relegation zone.
The Hornets nabbed a crucial 2-1 victory over Norwich in the midweek and now are one win away from likely securing their place in next year’s Premier League.
Watford still have Manchester City and Arsenal in their final two games, so this matchup is a must-win and a motivational mismatch. Newcastle is already safe, somehow, because they’ve overperformed their underlying metrics the entire season.
In their last four matches, Newcastle have allowed plenty of good scoring chances. Historically, when a team is safely in the mid table, the defense tends to drop off first.
Newcastle was never a good defensive team by any stretch, but in their last four games they have allowed 7.48 xG to Bournemouth, West Ham, Aston Villa and Manchester City.
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.
Newcastle isn’t playing for anything here, and away from home, they’ve been the worst team in the PL based on underlying metrics. The Magpies are 20th in xGD away from home this season, with only two teams allowing more expected goals away from home. Meanwhile, Watford has been a respectable side at home this year.
Watford’s attack couldn’t be in much worse form than it is currently, having generated just 3.67 xG in five matches since the restart. But the Leicester, Burnley, Chelsea and Southampton defenses are all significantly better than the one Watford will line up against on Saturday.
The Hornets boast the league’s eighth-best expected points at home since Nigel Pearson took over as manager, averaging 1.6 xG in home games since his start.
While Newcastle has been porous defensively all year, their offensive output has improved of late with the in-form Miguel Almiron and Joelinton up front.
Newcastle generated 2.03 xG against West Ham, 2.23 in a rout of Bournemouth, and 2.15 vs. Sheffield United in three of their last four matches. Watford hasn’t been good defensively, so the Magpies should look to play open football and will score at least one goal.
The Watford price here is short to me because they’re the better team with everything to play for and are at home, and for that reason I’ll take the Hornets to grab all three points and all but secure their spot in the 2020-21 Premier League.