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Weekend Preview - FA Cup picks at 66/1...

Friday 27th November 2020

In Across the Leagues today:

  • FA Cup 2nd Round…
  • Win & Both Teams to Score contenders…
  • Leicester v Fulham…

Weekend Preview – FA Cup picks at 66/1…

Rangers and Benfica provided plenty of goals last night. After a 3-3 draw in Portugal in the reverse fixture, this time it ended 2-2 in Glasgow…

Marauding right-back James Tavernier came very close to opening the scoring within the first 10 minutes. Tavernier’s close-range header came back off the bar, and teammate Scott Arfield gleefully rammed the rebound into the net.

Tavernier was also credited with an Own Goal later in the game (they don’t count for Scorer bets). But our Benfica man made it alright on the night, with Luis Pizzi coming off the bench to score a fine equaliser.

After all my talk of those two men as penalty takers, both of them were actually involved in plenty of good things in open play – including, of course, Pizzi’s goal.

Across the Leagues member Ian C writes in with a very useful note about that winning 3/1 bet on Pizzi:

“Beware that Betway and possibly others are initially settling the Pizzi bet as a loser as they eejits dont recognise that his real name is Afonso Fernandes who did score
You may want to alert subscribers”

Thanks for pointing that out, Ian. Indeed, the BBC Sport website calls the Benfica midfielder Afonso Fernandes. I watched the match last night. He wears ‘Pizzi’ on the back of his shirt. If your bookie didn’t pay out, make sure you ask them to sharpish.

It’s not uncommon for players from Portugal, Spain, and Brazil (to name just three) to have longer names than the one that goes on their kit. Here’s a pub quiz answer for you. Cristiano Ronaldo’s full name is, according to the internet, Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro. But I’ve never seen that on a bookie website…

As I said when highlighting Tavernier and Pizzi yesterday, it’s all about price. The Benfica man was an appealing 16/5 (4.2) and 3/1 (4.0) shot in last night’s game. In comparison, he’s 15/8 (2.88) at best to score in his next game in the Portuguese league on Monday night.

On to the business at hand now, and this weekend’s football…

In the notebook…

Before I get down to my featured games and markets, I’ll share a couple of other pointers from my notebook:

  • Andreas Gruber – the LASK Linz attacking midfielder is 5 games without a goal. He hasn’t gone that long without scoring since 2018, when he was at his old club Mattersburg. Gruber is priced around Evens (2.0) to score Anytime against Altach in the Austrian Bundesliga this weekend 
  • Andrej Kramaric – now back after a coronavirus-related layoff, the Hoffenheim striker came off the bench to score a penalty in the Europa League on Thursday. Kramaric is another Even-money shot to score Anytime this weekend, with Hoffenheim going to Mainz in the German Bundesliga
  • As outlined in last week’s analysis, we’re still waiting for a first Half Time/ Full Time turnaround of the season in the Premier League. Whereas the Championship, League One & League Two are all on or above last season’s 4% average, the English top-flight has yet to produce a match in 2020/21 where the team losing at half time ends up winning at full time

As well as my take on events, remember your members-only website is packed with stats for teams across 17 leagues. Including at-a-glance info on Form, Goals, Corners, Cards, Scorers, and Referees…

Log-in at: www.AcrossTheLeagues.co.uk

Win & Both Teams to Score contenders…

Earlier this week I set out the stall for targeting a few Win & Both Teams to Score (Win & BTTS) trebles, as we head into the busiest stage of the season. This is a market that’s been getting a few requests and comments in the inbox, too.

I’ve been doing my Goals and Match Result research, and three games tick the box for me in this weekend’s FA Cup 2nd Round ties. With everything decided on the day and no replays, this looks a good hunting ground for some exciting matches and score-lines.

My three Win & BTTS contenders:

  • Bradford v Oldham – Oldham to Win & Both Teams to Score

These League Two sides met in the Football League Trophy just the other week, with Oldham winning 3-1 at Bradford. After a 4-3 win at Barrow in midweek, the Latics have now won 6 away games in all comps this season – and all 6 of them have paid out on Win & BTTS. That option is an appealing 4/1 (5.0) here.

  • Harrogate v Blackpool – Blackpool to Win & Both Teams to Score 

League One Blackpool are a team I like this season, even though they are yet to fire on all cylinders on a regular basis. A trip to League Two newcomers Harrogate presents a decent opportunity for the Tangerines to progress to the 3rd Round, but it won’t be easy, with Harrogate sitting a respectable midtable.

Two of Blackpool’s last 3 away wins have paid out on Win & BTTS, at that option stands out for me here at 10/3 (4.33). The straight-up away win is half those odds, at around Evens (2.0).

  • Shrewsbury v Oxford City – Shrewsbury to Win & Both Teams to Score

I’m going for the higher-ranked team to prevail here, too. After beating League One Northampton 2-1 in the 1st Round, non-league Oxford City may well have a few underdog backers this weekend, at 8/1 for the 90-minutes upset. However, the Cobblers were awful that night in Oxford, and Shrewsbury will smell a first home victory of the season here…

Outside of their cup exploits, Oxford City sit an unspectacular 13th in the National League South, and haven’t won in 4 games since that 1st Round triumph. All 4 games had goals at both ends, as have all 3 of Oxford City’s FA Cup outings so far. For their part, Shrewsbury are on a 4-game Both Teams to Score run of their own, and that bet has also paid out in 4 of the Shrews’ last 5 home games. Win & BTTS is 21/10 (3.1).

Take your pick…

On Tuesday we got two out three Win & BTTS picks (with 87/1 for the treble). All three teams won, and just Peterborough failed to deliver on the goals-at-both-ends part. That’s a decent start, and we’ll be going again on a regular basis over the autumn & winter…

As ever, you may fancy taking these selections in Singles, Doubles, a Trixie, whatever feels good for you and your stakes. I’m going to live by the sword and die by the sword, with the Treble at 66/1 for some weekend FA Cup excitement.

Match Handicaps…

Elsewhere in the weekend markets, I’m keen on targeting the Match Handicaps for two sides strongly-fancied for home wins…

  • Leicester v Fulham – Leicester -1 Match Handicap 

Fulham have lost 7 out of 9 since returning to the Premier League, and there’s a growing consensus that Scott Parker’s team are out of their depth. The Cottagers’ only point on the road came at Sheffield United, who are rock bottom of the table.

In stark contrast, Leicester are just 2 points off the top spot, and have scored 3+ Goals For in 3 of their last 5 games in all comps. Fulham could find that firepower hard to live with on Monday evening.

Since Brendan Rodgers arrived at Leicester in February 2019, 15 of their 20 home victories in all competitions have been by a margin of 2+ goals, landing the -1 Match Handicap

When the Foxes win, they tend to win well. See a 5-2 triumph at Man City earlier in the current campaign. Or already this month, a 4-1 at Leeds, and a 4-0 at home v Braga in the Europa League.

This match could also be a chance for our 18/1 Premier League 2020/21 Top Goalscorer pick Jamie Vardy to make hay and run the Fulham back line ragged. With 5 goals in his last 6 games, Vardy is on a great run. He’s odds-on to score in this one, priced as the 4/6 (1.67) favourite in the Anytime Scorer betting.

Leicester are 8/15 (1.53) to win. With odds of 6/4 (2.5) on offer for the -1 Handicap, that’s the option for me.

  • Peterborough v Chorley – Peterborough -2 Match Handicap

Back to the FA Cup now, and talking of teams that tend to win well when they win, Peterborough provided a 4-0 Correct Score payout for us earlier this year…

The current 2nd place side in League One have won 6 out of 10 home games in all comps this season, with score-lines including: 4-2, 3-1, and 5-1.

At this stage of the FA Cup last season, Darren Ferguson’s side produced a 3-0 home win against National League opponents, Dover Athletic. This weekend’s 2nd Round visitors come from one rung further down the non-league ladder than Dover, with Chorley currently placed one point off the bottom in the National League North, with just one win from 7 games.

The home win is very short odds-on at just 1/7 (1.14). Peterborough can record another 3+ goals winning margin here, with the -2 Match Handicap very backable at 6/5 (2.2).

Today’s picks

From the analysis above, here are my picks for the weekend…

FA Cup

  • TREBLE. Win & Both Teams to Score: Oldham, Blackpool & Shrewsbury @ 66/1 with Bet365, 60/1+ Paddy Power, Betfair Sportsbook, BetVictor, Skybet, Betfred, Betway

Peterborough v Chorley
Saturday 5.30pm – BT Sport

  • Peterborough -2 Match Handicap @ 6/5 (2.2) with Bet365, Paddy Power, Betfair Sportsbook, BetVictor, Ladbrokes, Coral

Premier League

Leicester v Fulham
Monday 5.30pm – Sky Sports

  • Leicester -1 Match Handicap @ 6/4 (2.5) with Boylesports, Betfred, Paddy Power, Betfair Sportsbook, 11/8 (2.38) in general

I’ll be back next week. The Champions League continues on Tuesday, and there’s an entertaining fixture list in store.

Enjoy the football…

Best wishes,

Oliver Upstone

Oliver Upstone

Across the Leagues