English Premier League Picks: West Bromwich Albion vs. Newcastle United
by Nicholas Tolomeo with Raphael Esparza - 12/30/2013
During this soccer season, Doc’s Sports Service has teamed up with Strike Point Sports and Raphael Esparza (Vegas Sports Informer), two of the top soccer handicappers, to provide weekly free soccer picks for English Premier League, MLS and Champions League matches. Check back each week for a new free pick. This week, Vegas Sports Informer has a free play on the West Bromwich Albion vs. Newcastle United match.
It is time to ring in the New Year as the Premier League ends its busy holiday fixture list on Wednesday, which will have seen all squads play four league matches in 11 days. Newcastle will enter 2014 with their Champions League hopes alive as they travel to The Hawthorns on New Year’s Day to face West Bromwich Albion.
West Brom vs. Newcastle Betting Story Lines
The visiting side will enter the match sitting just four points behind fourth-place Everton and will be looking to end the festive season on a high note following a difficult 0-1 weekend home defeat against league-leading Arsenal. However, that defeat was only Newcastle’s second in their last 10 matches, and Alan Padrew will have a fully-fit squad to choose from as they look to avoid a slip up against West Brom.
After a strong opening early in the campaign, West Brom has seen their Champions League hopes dashed and are now trying to stay above the dreaded bottom three. Keith Downing’s men will be entering Thursday’s match following a resilient draw at Boleyn Ground against West Ham. The game was an unexpected high-scoring affair which saw West Brom come from behind to secure a point. The Baggies’ strikers Shane Long and Victor Anichebe are doubted to be available for this mid-week meeting.
West Brom vs. New Castle Betting Odds and Trends
Newcastle find themselves underdogs as they travel to The Hawthorns, priced at +115 as a pick, with West Brom priced at -130 for a pick. In three-way wagering, West Brom (+152) is the favorite ahead of Newcastle (+202) and the draw option (+246). The total of 2.5 has the “over” priced at -106 and the “under” at -109.
Newcastle are unbeaten in their last four meetings with West Brom and defeated them 2-1 in their most recent match at St. James’ Park last month. In their last six, Newcastle is 3-2-1, with a home defeat to Arsenal and away loss to Swansea. New Castle are 5-4 in away matches this year.
The Baggies are 0-3-3 in their last six and have not had a win since defeating Crystal Palace 2-0 at home. Palace is currently just above the relegation zone on goal differential. At home, West Brom is 2-4-3 this year, losing two of their last three home meetings.
In their last 10 meetings, Newcastle United have went 6-2-2, winning two of their last four meetings at the Hawthorns. Also, in all previous encounters average goals per match have totaled 3.67, with Newcastle netting 13 while West Brom had nine.
Take Newcastle (‘Pk’ +115) over West Brom (10 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 1)
Newcastle comes to this New Year’s Day game winning two out of their last three games. Castle fought Arsenal tough in their 0-1 loss on Sunday at home, and Newcastle had plenty of chances to even up the score but couldn't put the ball in the net. If Newcastle plays like they did against Stoke City on Boxing Day (winning 5-1), I see Castle erasing the bad home loss.
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