Soccer: FA Cup and Premier League Best Bets
Tottenham, Manchester United and Chelsea have been unceremoniously dumped out of the Champions League in the past week, and all three must now turn to the FA Cup for salvation. Man City is running away with the Premiership title, so the Cup represents their only remaining chance of silverware.
Swansea vs. Tottenham
Spurs’ chances of winning the FA Cup took a massive knock with the news that star striker Harry Kane is out until April with an ankle injury. The impetus will now be on teammates Son Heung-Min, Dele Alli, Fernando Llorente and Christian Eriksen to fire them into the semifinals. Swansea has enjoyed a superb rejuvenation under Carlos Carvalhal, so they will represent stern opposition Saturday. The odds on the Swans are huge: 7/1 with most green-listed bookmakers, 15/2 with Unibet (green-listed bookmaker) and 83/10 with Marathonbet.com, so most of the action is going on them. But Spurs have the quality to get the job done here. Tottenham and "under" 4.5 goals looks good at 13/19 with 188Bet. Son is in great form in front of goal and he is well-priced at 6/4 with 888sport (green-listed bookmaker) and Betfair (green-listed bookmaker) to score at any time.
Manchester United vs. Brighton
The Red Devils must pick themselves up after a dismal Champions League defeat at the hands of Sevilla. They were woefully bereft of attacking thrust in that game, which is strange as they had been on fire domestically. They should recover Saturday to beat a dogged Brighton team, whose main priority will be Premiership survival. Man United beat Brighton 1-0 at Old Trafford earlier this season, and a win to nil for the home team is even money with Ladbrokes, Coral, Bet Victor (green-listed bookmakers) and Skybet. Or you could try Man United and "under" 3.5 goals at evens with Coral, Ladbrokes (green-listed bookmakers) and Betway.
Wigan vs. Southampton
The Saints are battling against relegation, so they may see this quarterfinal against League One leaders Wigan as an unwelcome distraction. On the flip side, Sunday's game represents a great chance to boost the squad’s confidence with a victory. Wigan is in dreamland after knocking Premiership giant Man City out in the last round, with Will Grigg scoring the fairy-tale goal to put them through. They have already knocked out three Premiership opponents, as they beat West Ham and Bournemouth in previous rounds, so they need not fear Southampton. They are a tempting 5/2 with green-listed bookmakers. This game is hard to call, so it might be better to go for a specials market. Marathonbet.com has 7/10 on "under" 2.5 goals, which looks great as Wigan has kept three clean sheets against Premiership opposition and has the best defensive record in League One at home, while Southampton’s games are typically low-scoring affairs.
Leicester vs. Chelsea
Antonio Conte’s men will be devastated after their crushing 3-0 defeat against Barcelona on Wednesday, and Leicester might capitalise on their dejection in Sunday's match. This Foxes team is bursting with pace and dynamism on the counter-attack and the likes of Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez, Marc Albrighton, Kelechi Iheanacho and Demarai Gray could hurt Chelsea’s shaky defence. At the other end, Eden Hazard and Willian will be a threat, so "both teams to score" looks good at odds of 10/13 with 10Bet (green-listed bookmaker). Leicester "draw no bet" is 6/4 with bookmakers William Hill (green-listed bookmaker) and Skybet, and that looks really tempting. Chelsea has lost three of their last four games and it is all falling apart for Conte, so many will fancy a straight Leicester win at 5/2.
Bournemouth vs. West Brom
West Brom is hurtling toward the championship as a run of six straight defeats has left them well adrift at the foot of the table. They have been sloppy at the back and bereft of confidence going forward, and Bournemouth should take them apart Saturday. The Cherries are still just six points above the drop zone and need results to steer clear of trouble, so they should be well up for this game. They were overwhelmed in the second half against Tottenham last time out, but started brightly, and if they play like that Saturday they will win. Bournemouth to take all three points is just shy of even money with green-listed bookmakers and that looks very attractive.
Huddersfield vs. Crystal Palace
A massive relegation six-pointer takes place Saturday in Yorkshire as 15th-place Huddersfield hosts 18th-place Crystal Palace. The Eagles have lost four in a row to slip back into the relegation zone, but it is worth noting that those games were against quality opposition in Chelsea, Man United, Tottenham and Everton. They were unlucky not to get a result against Man United and Chelsea, and they should improve now that Wilfried Zaha is back from injury. Huddersfield has a decent home record – five wins, five draws and five defeats – but Palace could nick a result here. They lost 3-0 to Huddersfield on the opening day, during Frank De Boer’s disastrous reign, and now would be a great time to gain revenge. Palace "draw no bet" is 89/100 with Marathonbet.com, and the straight win is 7/4 with Unibet (green-listed bookmaker), both of which look great.
Liverpool vs. Watford
Saturday should provide a great opportunity to see this impressive Liverpool attack in all its pomp. Watford is weak at the back and they do not park the bus, so Mohamed Salah and company should have plenty of opportunities in front of the goal. The Egyptian is 8/13 with Betfred to score at any time, and Roberto Firmino is 19/20 with Ladbrokes (green-listed bookmaker) to get on the scoresheet, both of which look attractive. Watford lost 3-0 at Arsenal last weekend, and Liverpool should do a similar job on them, so Liverpool -1.75 Asian handicap looks attractive at 5/7 with Bet Victor (green-listed bookmaker), as does Liverpool -2 at 10/11 with the same bookmaker.