Following Newcastle United’s 3-1 defeat by Manchester United on Sunday evening, some bookmakers have cut their odds to finish in the bottom three to 11/8.
At the turn of the year, Steve Bruce’s men were 9/2 to go down, but after eight defeats in 10 games, Newcastle find themselves in a battle to remain in the top flight.
The poor run of form has coincided with improved performances from some of the teams around them, and with Callum Wilson out until April because of a hamstring tear, the Toon Army have every right to be concerned.
How many points are needed?
Just 13 games remain this term, and as they sit on 25 points, five wins would take Newcastle to the magic 40 point-mark.
Of course, it is more than possible that they don’t even need to get to 40. In fact, the 17th-placed team in each of the last three seasons have finished with 35, 36, and 36 points respectively.
Even when Watford managed 40 points in 2016-17, they ended up six points clear of 18th-placed Hull City.
Realistically, it all depends on how Fulham finish their campaign. They are on 22 points but are trending upwards, and will likely dictate what is required by Newcastle.
Newcastle haven’t been blessed with much good news in recent weeks, but they can take some crumbs of comfort from the fact that they do play everyone else from 15th downwards in the next three months.
Trips to West Bromwich Albion and Brighton beckon in March, and the Magpies go to Turf Moor on the weekend of April 10th.
After the Burnley clash, a tough stretch of games follows, with West Ham United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Leicester City, and Manchester City all on the horizon.
The penultimate fixture of the campaign against the surely already relegated Sheffield United may well be a must-win encounter, and after that, it could all come down to the final day of the season against Fulham.
How the betting sites see it
As far as the bookies are concerned, Sheffield United and West Brom are as good as down. You can get 25/1 on the Blades to make a miraculous escape, and 22/1 on Sam Allardyce to dig his side out of a hole.
Having looked like relegation candidates earlier in the season, Brighton are now considered all but safe at 25/1 for the drop.
Burnley aren’t out of the woods yet at a best price of 9/1 to finish in the bottom three, while Crystal Palace could still be in trouble at 11/1.
But long shots aside, it’s a battle for survival between Fulham and Newcastle. Even though the London side are in better form, the three-point deficit makes them odds-on at 5/6 to drop back to the Championship just one year after coming up.
Relegation for the Magpies is 11/8 with some sportsbooks and 6/4 with others. If you claim betting offers that are offered by sportsbooks, you can make the most of free bets, enhanced odds, and other promotions that allow you to get extra value from your football bets.