Tottenham vs Newcastle Odds
The top four in England have started to separate themselves from the pack as the Premier League reaches the heart of the festive fixtures. Newcastle and Tottenham both suffered setbacks in the league on Thursday, with the Magpies conceding four xG in a 3-0 loss at Everton, and Spurs blowing a 1-0 lead in a 2-1 home defeat to West Ham.
Spurs sit fifth entering Sunday, one point ahead of Newcastle, but have dropped a handful of points from winning positions in the past month. The injuries have been a real issue, and the defense has seen some significant regression in the past month.
The reality of the Spurs season under Ange Postecoglou is that they weren’t nearly as good as they seemed after the first nine matchweeks and things aren’t nearly as bad as the past month has made it appear. The truth is always somewhere in the middle.
With that being said, Tottenham has a league average expected goal differential. They’ve improved their pressing, their possession ability, and their field tilt is amongst the best in the entire Premier League. They’re still a league average defense by expected goals allowed, and this matchup with Newcastle presents some potential matchup concerns as the Magpies will be happy to sit off the ball.
The final box score in their loss to West Ham was also extremely misleading. The Hammers scored twice in the second half on fluke deflections and that accounted for nearly all of Spurs’ xGA in the match. However, the Hammers kept the game at 1-0 for a while and never really looked threatened.
Spurs don’t really have a true winger with pace to break down defenses and now they don’t have James Maddison to play the critical through ball. Newcastle is sure to sit off and invite Spurs to attack, waiting for their moments in transition.
Newcastle has become significantly less consistent this season, and it’s not entirely clear what the cause of the inconsistency is. You can blame fixture pileup, or injuries or all of the extra travel from playing in Europe, but Newcastle has conceded at least two expected goals in four away matches this season.
Now, playing without top goalkeeper Nick Pope, the goal prevention unit has been downgraded off of its perch as a top-two defense.
The Magpies still rank outside the top eight in possession percentage, and this could be an ideal matchup for them to exploit Spurs possession structure. If you think about the teams that have given Newcastle trouble, all of them had pacey wide forwards to get to the byline and stretch the defense. Kieran Trippier’s miscues led to most of the big chances and eventual goals for Everton.
The market is suggesting that these teams are about even in relative strength. That might be true when both teams are at full health, but the absences of Micky van de Ven, Rodrigo Bentancur and Maddison downgrade Spurs enough that they shouldn’t be a significant favorite. Newcastle’s underlying numbers are more than a half goal better per 90 than Spurs.
I’d bet Newcastle to get at least a point at -150 or better. The market overreacted to their poor showing on Thursday.
Pick: Newcastle +0.5 (-150 or Better)
How would you rate this article?
This site contains commercial content. We may be compensated for the links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Action Network makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given or the outcome of any game or event.