Usually I avoid the FA Cup as a competition when it comes to betting. I’ve been burned by this unpredictable monster too many times and if I was in profit or probably anywhere near even I’d look at Europe and just sit back and watch the madness of the competition as a spectator, drinking it all in safe in the knowledge the biggest disappointment would be the injury time giant-killing scupperer, because everyone loves an upset.
Such is my desperation (and need for a bit of content to keep the search gods aware of my existence) this round I’m getting into the thick of it and becoming financially invested as I try and claw a bit of my money back.
This has gone from ‘tips’ to ‘ideas’ to wherever the hell we are now. I’m on a shocking streak in terms of this diary, elsewhere I’ve had a few bets come in – but for all intents and purposes this should be taken as incoherent ramblings rather than sound advice.
Aston Villa v Manchester City
That aside, why are Man City as short as 3/4 in some places? Granted the hosts are unbeaten in five but statistics don’t necessarily tell the whole story… one of those five games included a draw with Wycombe. You can talk yourself out of it by thinking ‘oh City had a match in midweek’ but they should have the quality to outclass a very poor Villa side whatever team they put out. Away win all the way, maybe even to nil at 2/1 but I’ll stick on the straightforward match result.
Oxford United v Blackburn Rovers
I looked at the fixtures and thought this would be a decent price but the home win is a seemingly paltry 6/4, probably as the League Two side dumped Swansea out in the last round. Normally I’d leave it alone but I’m going to follow my gut feeling. Oxford are a hard nut to crack at home with just two defeats in the league, and they’re in good form with four wins in their last five. Blackburn, meanwhile, are winless in six Championship games after the initial new boss burst and now look like a side low on confidence – and this kind of test away from home is probably exactly what they don’t need at this point.
Crystal Palace v Stoke City
Palace have dipped a bit of late in terms of form but unlike Blackburn a bit of cup respite is probably what they do need in these circumstances. That’s because Stoke head into the game on the back of what must have been a demoralising League Cup exit at the hands of Liverpool, with an extra 30 minutes played and then the agony of penalties. Conventional wisdom says boss Mark Hughes is going to have to make some changes after their midweek exertions so I’m expecting Palace to have the stronger side out. Maybe they’ll bounce back, but I’m thinking they won’t and at 23/20 the hosts are a good price for the win.
As a treble this pays out at 8.65, fictionally anyway as the top prices aren’t all with the same bookmakers. That’s all well and good but not enough to really eat into my losses so I’m making this a fourfold with a Championship bet.
Rotherham v Charlton
The Addicks look doomed and their away form has played a big part in that, with Charlton managing just one win and three draws in 14. The Millers have only one win in their last five but at home they’ve won four in six – including victories in similar scenarios against fellow relegation candidates Bristol City and Bolton. At 10/11 they make this a 16.4 shot, or just above 15/1 if you prefer, and as such I’m sticking them on.
As always I’ve used Oddschecker for the prices.