FA Cup Third round preview: Friday & Saturday's best bets.
The FA Cup third round takes centre stage this weekend, meaning there's no let up in the relentless onslaught of televised football for punters to sink their teeth into. This renewal features fewer stand out ties or obvious opportunities for 'the magic of the cup' to prevail, however that hasn't stopped our ODDSbible football tipsters from casting their eye over the fixture list in search of a few winners. Read on for our best bets for Friday & Saturday's ties.
Liverpool - Everton
A Liverpool side without Salah and Coutinho are favourites for this game at around 4/9 with bookmakers affording Everton (Bet Stars 13/2) more respect in the market after their league draw at Anfield at the start of December, of which a repeat is priced at 4/1. Despite this game being billed as one of the ties of the round we anticipate another low-scoring affair with under 2.5 goals at 11/10 rating as Friday night's NAP selection. Have a small bet on under 1.5 goals at 10/3 with both Ladbrokes and William Hill as well and cheer Big Sam firmly parking his blue bus for the second time in a month.
Fleetwood Town - Leicester
Bookmakers will be hoping for plenty of accumulator-busting 'cupsets' this weekend and in sponsoring Fleetwood Town for their clash with Leicester City (broadcast at 12.45 live on BBC One) Ladbrokes have literally nailed their colours to the mast of The Cod Army, available at 5/1 with their big match partners. Uwe Rosler's men currently occupy a mid table berth in League One, winning 2 of their last 3 while Leicester look primed for a cup run without the threat of Premier League relegation breathing down their necks. Jamie Vardy, who scored 34 goals for Fleetwood before making a £1m move to their opponents is desperate to face his former club but rated no better than 50/50 to play by Foxes boss Claude Puel - should he start, the 10/3 offered on him to break the deadlock (William Hill, Boyles) will surely be popular. The game has a tiny sniff of a cup upset for us, but not enough to recommend backing the underdogs at 5/1 so we like the look of 'draw/Leicester' in the HT/FT market at 7/2 with Unibet and both teams scoring at 10/11 with Betfair sportsbook.
Saturday 3.00 FA Cup accumulator
Aston Villa to beat Peterborough
Cardiff to beat Mansfield
Bournemouth to beat Wigan
3 home wins pays just above 5/1 with Bet 365.
Nowich - Chelsea
A rotated Chelsea side should have enough for Norwich at Carrow Road on Saturday evening, especially taking the Canaries' recent home form into account which has seen them win just 2 of the last 10 in front of their own fans. For those eying up a chunky single Chelsea are no bigger than 11/20 but a better value approach may be to back the Blues to win giving up a goal on the handicap at around 5/4. Looking at goalscorer markets, Betfred's 5/4 offered about Batshuayi 'anytime' looks very generous given he's generally odds-on in the same market with other bookmakers, whilst the same firm also offer 18/1 about the Belgian striker landing a hat-trick which has to be worth a small bet. Finally, for those eyeing up a longer-term bet, Betway's stand out 13/2 about Chelsea lifting the trophy in May looks very fair for an each way punt, which will pay out at half the odds should they make the final for the second season running.