Newcastle vs. Manchester United: Betting Odds, Pick, Preview (Saturday, Oct. 17)
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Manchester United travels to St. James’ Park on Saturday to take on Newcastle in what has been a tricky fixture for the club as of late.
Manchester United has has a rough start to the season, to say the least, and this could be a huge result if the Red Devils can pull off the full three points.
Newcastle are above their opponents in the table and have had a successful start to the season. It will be a struggle to break them down at home, but Newcastle will likely be happy with a point.
The Magpies have had a successful start to their campaign, pulling off two wins, one draw and one loss through their first four matches. However, I haven’t been overly impressed.
The win over West Ham was impressive, as Newcastle posted an xG differential of +0.80. After that, the Magpies have been mediocre. They lost 3-0 to Brighton and only generated 0.52 xG.
They then managed to get a point out of the match at Tottenham, where Tottenham had an xG differential of +2.25. Tottenham should have easily scored twice, and were handed a point due to a totally bogus handball as a lifeline.
Newcastle’s 3-1 win over Burnley was deserved, but Burnley are not themselves right now, and I am a tad concerned they might be in the relegation conversation this season.
Newcastle posted a -0.80 xG differential last season, generating just 0.96 xG/game. The Magpies finished mid-table, which is where I think they belong. 11th-15th is their range for me, and I will have to see more creativity in their style of play to change that. While they have seven points through four matches, the xG differential is once again negative at -0.32. I would not draw many conclusions as this is a tiny sample, but these figures are to be expected for a lower mid-table side. So all in all, I need to see more to buy into Newcastle. If anything, I would lean towards them going back towards the 12th-15th range of the table.Manchester United
What a start for Ole Gunnar Solskjær and the Devils. It’s left me kind of speechless, to be honest. Three points through three matches — none of which were against the traditional top-four opponents — is far under what was expected.
Losing to Crystal Palace was not a good start, and they were incredibly fortunate to pull out a win against Brighton. Brighton had an xG differential of +1.4 in that match and somehow lost, with the help of another penalty decision for Bruno Fernandes. Next came the Tottenham matchup. I did like Tottenham +0.5 at Old Trafford, but what unraveled was embarrassing, absolutely putrid defending and some boneheaded plays by the boys from Manchester.
The Red Devils posted a +0.74 xG differential last season, and really came on strong in the back half of the year. Most expected them to safely make the top four. The main question was how easily that would be, or if it would be another fight like last season. It is early, but generating xG of 1.2/game and conceding multiple goals per game is not going to cut it.
It looks like their new signing from Ajax, Donny van de Beek, will be in the XI tomorrow, but Manchester United will be without Anthony Martial. It will be fascinating to see what Ole puts out there and how it works tactically.Betting Analysis & Pick
St. James’ Park has been a tough place to play for Manchester United over the last few years. They typically will sit back, defend and make it difficult for you to break them down.
I’m backing the Red Devils to get back on track Saturday. Yes, it might be tight and yes, this has been a bad spot for them in recent history. However, they should be furious after that Spurs drubbing. I think they will come out hot and pick up the three points.
The Picks: Manchester United ML (-142); Over 2.75 (-114)
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