With 2020 behind us, multiple teams need the start of 2021 to provide a spark to save them from relegation to the Championship division. One such club is West Bromwich Albion, who host Arsenal this weekend with hopes of moving up from their second-to-last position on the table. But in order to do so, they'll need to overcome a stern test.
Each week I'll break down the Premier League action from a betting perspective, digging through information pertinent to bettors and offering my take on particular matchups. I'll tread lightly in the first column of the new year, focusing on the fixture at the Hawthorns with all odds via PointsBet Sportsbook:
Arsenal at West Bromwich (Saturday, 3 p.m. ET)
Line: Arsenal -1 (+105), West Bromwich +1 (-130)
Mikel Arteta and Arsenal head to West Brom to build on their two-match winning streak. Arsenal have been a mark of inconsistency this season, but when things have been clicking they've shown flashes of brilliance. There have been whispers this season that Arteta might be on the hot seat, but he continues to find the right moments to impress. Included in that is the 3-1 Boxing Day victory over Chelsea, which just might have saved his job.
To be fair, Arsenal have been battling injuries for the better part of a month. They'll still be without winger Willian and defender David Luiz, but it is evident that the club have benefited a great deal by adding Aubameyang back into the starting lineup.
Luckily for the Gunners, this weekend's fixture is against a West Brom team who have looked outclassed in their recent results. West Brom sit in the midst of a six-match winless streak, and enter this contest off an embarrassing 5-0 home loss to Leeds.
The problem with West Brom is their lack of offensive production. Opposing teams dictate the pace of the game and play whoever they desire, knowing that they can possess or press without any real threat of conceding. West Brom have only scored four goals in their last five fixtures, all while conceding 17.
It's safe to assume Arsenal will come away from this fixture with a victory, but given the heavy juice on the moneyline (-167) I turn my attention to the spread. Seven of West Brom's last 10 losses have been by two goals or more, meaning there's some value on Arsenal at plus-money to win by a similar margin. I'll be on Arsenal -1 (+105).
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