AFC Bournemouth vs. Newcastle United
|Newcastle United odds||+220|
|Time||1 p.m. ET|
Odds as of Tuesday night and via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.
There are few opportunities left in the season for AFC Bournemouth to right its sinking ship. On Wednesday, the club gets its first shot at escaping the dreaded relegation zone when it hosts Newcastle United in Premier League action.
Bournemouth enters the huge match sitting in 18th place on 27 points and would be relegated to the Championship if the season ended prior to kickoff. The Cherries are tied on points with West Ham (17th place) and Aston Villa (19th place), but the Hammers hold the tiebreaker over both clubs.
On the other side, Newcastle is pretty much clear and safe of any relegation possibility in 14th place on 39 points. Essentially, the Magpies are simply looking to finish on strong in advance of the next season.
Newcastle was sluggish and looked unmotivated in Wednesday’s 1-1 draw against Aston Villa, but did enough to pick up a point. That mediocre effort is kind of what I expect the rest of the way from the Magpies, largely due to the fact the club is really in no man’s land in the standings.
Offensively, these are two of the worst attacking clubs in the Premier League. Newcastle is last in the league in expected goals (28.73) and Bournemouth isn’t that far ahead of its foe, sitting in 17th place out of 20 teams with 34.66 expected goals.
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.
The Cherries have been miserable on offense during their recent slide, losing five of their past six league contests, including their last two since returning from the hiatus. Making matters worse going into this match is the fact striker Callum Wilson will miss the start after receiving a two-game suspension due to accumulation of bookings.
Defensively, both sides are ranked near the bottom in the league statistical categories. Bournemouth maintains a slight edge in expected goals against (51.47), which is good enough for 16th in the league. Newcastle is spot behind in 17th place with 54.13 expected goals against in league action.
Bottom line, this is a must-win match for Bournemouth. Not only do the Cherries need all three points, but the schedule does not get any easier down the line. Still waiting in the wings are Manchester City, Leicester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, all of whom sit inside the Top 7 on the league table.
However, as much as Bournemouth must get a positive result, I just don’t see it happening due to the club’s recent form and inability to find the back fo the net. Throw in the fact the stands will basically be empty and the Cherries essentially have no real edge in terms of home-field advantage.
With all that in mind, I am backing the total staying under the number and putting a little on the draw at a nice number north of +200 on the line. This match has a low-scoring tie written all over it.
Pick: Under 2.5 Goals (-200) | Draw (+215)
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