FA Cup Fifth Round Preview: Odds Moving Toward Chelsea Against Manchester United
Catherine Ivill/Getty Images. Pictured: Chelsea and Manchester United players
- The FA Cup Fifth Round starts Friday and is headlined by a marquee matchup between Chelsea and Manchester United (Monday, 2:30 p.m. ET on ESPN+).
- There has been a huge swing in the odds toward Chelsea (+110) but the value may now be on Manchester United (+250) or the draw (+270).
The FA Cup continues this weekend with Premier League teams in action Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Only 7 of the 16 remaining clubs are from the EPL, but they each have odds of 20-1 or better to win the Cup.
One critical change in this season’s fifth round is the abolishment of replays. Instead, extra-time and penalty kicks will settle any match that needs them this weekend.
Aside from Newport-Manchester City, each match is expected to be competitive based on the odds. Here’s a look at the latest lines for each, based on 90 minutes of regulation only.
FA Cup Fifth Round Odds
In Friday’s opening FA Cup fifth-round match, line movement toward Watford suggests they’ll come away with a win at QPR. Watford currently sit eighth in the Premier League while QPR sit in 18th place in the Championship, a league below the Premier League.
Three games will be played on Saturday and Manchester City are one of the biggest road favorites you’ll ever see, listed with -1665 odds at Newport.
The pitch conditions will be a bit different than what you’re used to seeing in the Premier League, something that could potentially favor the home side. A $10 bet on Newport to pull off the upset would pay $265, but it’s more likely you’ll see a blowout victory from Man City, who coincidentally lost as huge favorites to Wigan Athletic in this competition almost a year ago to the day.
The lowest ranking side in the entire field, Newport are currently 500-1 to win the FA Cup title while Man City are the favorites at +125.
Two of Sunday’s matches feature an EPL team as the road favorite: Wolves (-115 at Bristol City) and Crystal Palace (-165 at Doncaster). Palace will be without star Wilfried Zaha, who just lost his suspension appeal, which means newcomer Michy Batshuayi could get the start up front.
I’m most interested in the non-EPL game on Sunday between Swansea and Brentford. Both clubs are middle-of-the-pack in the Championship, but odds have swung heavily in Brentford’s favor from +215 to +165. Swansea’s moneyline has soared from +120 to +165, nearly an 8% change in implied probability to win.
Chelsea vs. Manchester United (Monday, 3 p.m. ET on ESPN+)
All the momentum that Manchester United had been riding under new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seemed to hit a wall in the Champions League Round of 16 against PSG.
A 2-0 home loss in the first leg was made worse by injury news for Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard, who will both miss up to three weeks of action. It’s never an ideal time to lose key players, but over the next month Manchester United will face Chelsea, Liverpool, PSG, Arsenal and Manchester City.
Chelsea were hammered by Man City, 6-0, in their last EPL outing but managed to regroup for a 2-1 win at Malmo in the Europa League. It’s been an odd season for manager Maurizio Sarri and the Blues, but another FA Cup title could salvage it.
For Monday’s battle, Manchester United opened +220 but have drifted all the way up to +270 at some sportsbooks. Chelsea look like they could close as odds-on favorites after being as high as +130 early in the week.
This will be the 14th FA Cup meeting between the two sides and a rematch of last year’s final where Chelsea prevailed, 1-0. The Blues have edged the Red Devils in their last four head-to-head Cup ties, and could make history if they make it five.
Odds to win the FA Cup
- Manchester City certainly have the upper hand and are down to +125 to hoist the trophy.
- One of the next two betting favorites, Chelsea or Manchester United, will be eliminated since they play one another, giving Manchester City another advantage.
- Crystal Palace saw the biggest drop in odds following their fourth round upset win against Tottenham, moving from 40-1 to 10-1.