It wasn't a particularly entertaining spectacle but Newcastle at least stopped the rot by picking up a point in the 0-0 draw at Norwich last weekend.
The Magpies are odds-on at 5/6 with Ladbrokes to build on that result by getting the better of Reading at St James' Park.
The struggling Royals are bet365's 7/2 outsiders while BetVictor post 14/5 against a stalemate and it's 14/1 courtesy of Skybet for Alan Pardew's charges to play out another goalless encounter - but the visitors have an appalling away record, having won none and lost nine of their 11 matches on the road.
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Bet365 make Newcastle 11/4 to shade it by a one-goal margin, it's 15/2 via Stan James for the Magpies to bag the only goal and for punters expecting the contest to produce three or more goals (8/11, bet365), BetVictor make Pardew's men 17/2 to finish on the right side of a 2-1 scoreline.
Some United fans will note that their side's last couple of victories have both been combined with clean sheets and it's 21/10 courtesy of William Hill for Newcastle to pick up another victory to nil.
Stan James also cater for home supporters, chalking the Magpies up at 4/1 to come out on top after a level period and the same bookie quotes a safe-looking 8/15 for Pardew's troops break the deadlock.
That first goal is 5/1 (Paddy Power) to be struck by Papiss Cisse, however as United might be slightly low on confidence at present, they won't necessarily fly out of the blocks so BetVictor's 6/5 for the opener to arrive after the 28th minute catches the eye.
Sunderland's frustrating lack of consistency was perfectly illustrated this week as Martin O'Neill's troops followed up the impressive 3-0 victory over West Ham with a disappointing FA Cup defeat at the hands of Bolton.
However, as attention turns back to the more pressing Premier League matters, the Black Cats might fancy their chances, despite being BetVictor's 11/4 underdogs, of picking up another three points at Wigan.
The hosts are 11/10 courtesy of Stan James to emerge triumphant, Skybet post 12/5 against a stalemate and the latter could prove popular, alongside BetVictor's 13/2 for to finish 1-1, given that the Latics have drawn two of their last three in identical fashion. However, Sunderland have beaten Wigan once already this season, so a double isn't out of the question.
Nevertheless, travelling supporters can guard against it finishing all square by backing the Black Cats at 13/8 in bet365's Draw No Bet market, although for confident fans, Ladbrokes' 9/2 about O'Neill's charges shading it by a one-goal margin will be more eye catching.
There's also Stan James' 11/1 for a 2-1 Sunderland success to lure the Wearside faithful, who can back their side at either 5/1 via Paddy Power to lead at the end of each half or 7/1 (bet365) to come out on top following a level opening 45 minutes.
Where goals are concerned, William Hill chalk the game up at 21/20 to produce three or more and punters fancying something speculative can tackle bet365's 16/1 for James McLean to bag the first after he found the target against the Hammers a week ago.
Odds supplied by www.betrescue.com
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