Soccer Picks: Newcastle United vs. Manchester City

Nila Amerova

Tuesday, January 7, 2014 3:39 PM GMT

Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014 3:39 PM GMT

Can Newcastle United continue Man City’s erratic road form this season? Find out what soccer odds bookies have gone to press with for this match and what value soccer picks we’ve sorted out for your consideration.

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Man City favoured in title race

The New Year upon us, Manchester City continue to answer the call as the favourites to win the Premier League title in sports betting markets, underscoring their attractive +100 soccer odds (or thereabouts depending on the sportsbook) with awe-inspiring attacking football and gauntlet throwing victories over title rivals.  

Sat in second place, just a point adrift of Arsenal at the top of the table, the Citizens boast a 14-2-4 record and 44 points, largely built off home form that is a stellar ten out of ten. Road form however continues to be frustratingly erratic, confounding sports betting fans to no end.

Just like the fictional character Incredible Hulk, the Citizens boast a split personality. The Etihad’s pastoral green, which continues to be an imposing fortress to all and sundry in the league, seemingly seeps into Citizens one and all, involuntarily transforming each player into the green humanoid with limitless powers and invulnerability. Away from their beloved cocoon and they are the alter ego Bruce Banner – reserved, often withdrawn and flat.

The relevance of this should be obvious: Man City are on the road to Newcastle this weekend [insert dramatic shiver] and it’s quite possible that their growing pains on the road would continue.

sportsbooks aren’t putting much stock into their 4-2-4 mark on the road given that they install Man City as the solid -163 favourites to win outright – a price that stands in stark contrast to said questionable road form.

They aren’t putting much stock into Newcastle United’s chances against this season’s Premier League darlings either for that matter as Magpies are listed as the disingenuous +450 underdogs. Perhaps the 4-0 thumping by Man City at the start of the season played a role in this market cast. But that disembowelling was at the Etihad where the Citizens are the Incredible Hulk personified. Besides, that’s incentive for the Magpies to exact revenge at St. James Park, no.

What’s more, it’s not as if Newcastle United (10-3-7) are pushovers this season. Both home and away form has been solid but, arguably, they are better at St James Park. 

They are 5-3-2 at home to date with defeats only to Hull City and Arsenal. They beat Chelsea and settled on a draw with Liverpool (just two of the season’s top title threats) at St. James Park, not to mention they beat both Man U and Tottenham on the road.  

Granted, Newcastle United are coming off three straight defeats; they lost their last two Premier League games (to Arsenal and West Brom) and bowed out of FA Cup with a 2-1 defeat to Cardiff City. But can there be any shame in defeat to league leading Arsenal, particularly when it was a respectable 1-0 defeat? As far as the 1-0 defeat to West Brom goes, clearly third round FA Cup action against Cardiff City was looming just a few days later so one has to consider Alan Pardew was being mindful of both campaigns at the same time.

So that leaves us with the obvious question that must be asked: do the bookies have it right or will Newcastle United turn the odds in their favour?

Newcastle United vs. Man City betting tips and picks:

Man City have recently picked up road form to go undefeated in their last four games with a 3-1-0 mark – a run of form that snapped a two-game losing streak which included a 2-1 defeat to Chelsea and a bewildering1-0 defeat to bottom stragglers Sunderland. That recent form is promising adds value to Man City’s fancied -163 soccer odds to win outright at Bet365.

But how can we be certain Man City won’t revert back to their previous form. To the side that lost 1-0 to Sunderland, for instance. Or the one that lost to both Cardiff City and Aston Villa 3-2?

Simply put we can’t. Not especially when this sudden promising form comes at the expense of wins against (for a lack of a better term) lightweight outfits in the league ranked no higher than 13th in the table.  And for that reason we hesitate to add Man City to our value soccer picks in week 21 EPL betting..

What’s more, Southampton, ranked as high as top four this season, managed to hold Man City to a 1-1 draw during December’s so-called positive form. Since very little separates Southampton and Newcastle United in terms of quality and depth, one could assume the Magpies would at least fancy their chances on the draw at +275 soccer odds.

Then again, with big wins this season over Chelsea and defending Premier League champions Man U, why should Alan Pardew’s side aim so low. Might not they be just bold enough to defy the sportsbooks after all?  Let’s not forget Newcastle United owe their fans a big response this week to atone for the recent dip in form. 

Put another way: considering Man City’s poor road form overall, nothing can be taken for granted even if sportsbooks are cornering the game in their camp. On paper, it’ll be a shock to some if Newcastle United do pull it off, make no mistake. But with Man City on the road, it’ll be par for the course. Heck, the more we think on it the more we feel it would be remiss of us not to consider the probability of the upset. And so, conservatively (read: don’t go betting the farm on it), we’re shading Newcastle United as our value soccer pick for the upset at +450 soccer odds at Bet365. 

Soccer Picks: Newcastle United to win outright at +450
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