Newcastle vs. West Brom Saturday Premier League Odds, Picks & Predictions (Dec. 12)
Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images. Pictured: Grady Diangana
- Newcastle United are slight favorites over West Bromwich Albion in Saturday morning's Premier League match at St. James' Park.
- Newcastle are dealing with personnel issues after a COVID-19 outbreak.
- But BJ Cunningham thinks they can get a result over the historically-bad Baggies, even if they are missing key players.
Newcastle vs. West Brom Odds
|West Brom odds||+188|
|Time||Saturday, 10 a.m. ET|
Saturday’s match between Newcastle and West Brom couldn’t be classified as a relegation six-pointer, but it definitely could end up having a big impact on the race to stay in the Premier League.
West Brom are currently in 19th-place on six points and a win could see them leap Burnley and Fulham to get out of the drop zone. Newcastle are eight points clear of the drop, but it would not be surprising to see the Magpies get dragged towards the bottom of the table as the season goes on.
Newcastle had their previous fixture with Aston Villa postponed, due to a COVID outbreak at the club. It is still unclear which players will be unavailable for Saturday’s match.
Even with the roster turmoil, this will be a crucial match for Newcastle as they have matches with Leeds, Liverpool, Man City and Leicester over the next three weeks.
Although West Brom isn’t last place, their offense is off to one of the worst starts in Premier League history.
Is the value on the Magpies overcoming adversity to take all three points at home? Or will West Brom pick off a short-handed squad on Saturday?
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.
Good fortune was the story of the Newcastle’s 2019-20 campaign. They finished in the 13th place, but the Magpies had the worst expected goal differential in the Premier League at -30.54. Their actual goal differential was -20, showing that they were one of the luckiest teams in the Premier League last season.
The good news is that Newcastle have improved defensively so far in 2020/21. Last season, the Magpies conceded a staggering 1.76 xG allowed per match. So far this season, they are allowing 1.39 xG per match.
Newcastle have seen some improvements at the other end of the pitch thanks to the arrival of striker Callum Wilson from Bournemouth. The talisman has already bagged seven goals in his first nine appearances and he’s generating 0.77 xG per 90 minutes. West Brom’s shaky defense will likely have issues shutting Wilson down if he’s on the pitch.
For the last decade, the Baggies have been known for their rigid defense. However, the reason they were promoted this time around was due to their offense. West Brom averaged 1.64 xG per match in the Championship last season, which was a drastic increase from the 1.31 xG/90 they posted in 2018/19.
The Baggies doubled down on that offensive outburst by adding three wingers for a combined $24 million during the transfer window, but those moves have not panned out as West Brom is averaging a historically low 0.61 xG per match through their first 11 contests. In fact, the Baggies have managed to create over 1.0 xG in just two of their first 11 matches this season.
If things weren’t bad enough on the offensive end, West Brom also boast the worst defense in the Premier League, allowing 2.09 xG per match. The last time they were on the pitch, they let Crystal Palace put the ball in the back of the net five times.
Projections and Pick
Take the projections above with a grain of salt, since Newcastle will be dealing with personnel issues. That said, I still like Newcastle’s chances to get a result over a potentially historically bad team.
I’ll take Newcastle at -122 on the Draw No Bet line and would play it up to -130.
Pick: Newcastle Draw No Bet (-122)