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FA Cup Odds & Picks: How to Bet Weekend’s Soccer Matches

FA Cup Odds & Picks: How to Bet Weekend’s Soccer Matches article feature image
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NurPhoto/Getty. Pictured: Andy Rinomhota.

The Premier League is off this weekend to make way for England’s version of March Madness, the FA Cup.

This tournament always provides so much drama and upsets, as teams from the lower divisions in the English football pyramid take their shot at one of the big boys.

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To see all of my soccer picks follow them in the Action Network App. Let’s dive into my best FA Cup picks ahead of the weekend.

Hull City vs. Fulham 

Hull City Odds +475
Fulham Odds -175
Draw +300
Over/Under 2.5 (-138 / +110)
Day | Time Saturday | 10 a.m. ET
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Odds via Bet365. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

This is a great spot to bet on some Fulham regression. 

The Cottagers have been drastically over-performing in the Premier League as of late, particularly defensively. In their last seven matches they have conceded seven goals, but they’ve allowed 11.5 expected goals (xG).

They are also second to last in the Premier League in non-penalty xG allowed, and Fulham have conceded 32 big scoring chances in 18 matches, which is the most in the Premier League. 

Hull City are just an average English Championship team that is due for some positive regression. They currently have a -10 goal differential, but only a -5.5 xGD. Hull actually do a pretty good job controlling possession and tempo in matches. They are holding on 51% possession in the Championship and are top 10 in 10-plus pass sequences and build up attacks. 

They’ve been on fire coming out of the World Cup break, going unbeaten in their last five matches and putting up a +3.3 xGD total in the process. 

It’s hard to imagine Fulham are going to play a full strength squad, as they have two crucial Premier League matches against Chelsea and Newcastle United in a four day time span next week. 

Pick: Hull City +1 (-110) 

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Cardiff City vs. Leeds United

Cardiff City Odds +475
Leeds Odds -175
Draw +300
Over/Under 2.5 (-138 / +110)
Day | Time Saturday | 10 a.m. ET
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Odds via Bet365. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Cardiff are due for loads of positive regression. They have scored 20 goals in the Championship on 23.8 xG and have conceded 29 goals off of 25.6 xGA.

They are one of the best defensive teams in the Championship and have only improved since the appointment of Mark Hudson on September 19th. Cardiff are only allowing 1.04 xG per 90 minutes and they’ve been even better out of the World Cup break, only conceding only 3.5 xG in their last five matches. 

Stylistically, Cardiff are a slower-paced team that has a good balance of 33 build up attacks compared to 44 direct attack. Their ability to play direct will be big against Leeds, who will likely go with their usual frenetic high press.

Cardiff are a fairly passive team, having the third-highest PPDA in the Championship, and that will set them up well to sit deep and counter Leeds. 

They are also a team that plays much better at home than on the road, as they have a +3.8 xGD at home versus a -5.6 xGD on the road. 

Leeds are now dead last in the Premier League in non-penalty xG allowed at 1.62 per 90 minutes. They have conceded over 7.5 xG in their last three matches against Manchester City, Newcastle and West Ham. In their last six matches, they have conceded 12 big scoring chances. 

The Peacocks are also most likely going to be without two of their best attacking player in Luis Sinisterra and Patrick Bamford, along with the fact that they will most likely rotate some guys in their starting XI.

This is a good spot for Cardiff to pick them off, so I like the price on them against the spread.

Pick: Cardiff City +0.5 (+105) 

Norwich vs. Blackburn

Norwich Odds -134
Blackburn Odds +375
Draw +260
Over/Under 2.5 (-125 / +100)
Day | Time Sunday | 9 a.m. ET
How To Watch ESPN+
Odds via Bet365. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

This fixture features two Championship teams battling it out and if you haven’t seen what Blackburn has been doing in said Championship, you may want to take a seat. 

Blackburn are currently sitting in third place, right on the cusp of an automatic promotion spot, but they have the third-worst xG differential at -10.8.

The reason for that? They are finishing at a ridiculous rate. Blackburn have scored 30 goals off of 21.8 xG. That ridiculous finishing rate has all been happening in the last three months as well. Since October 18th, Blackburn have scored 12 goals off of 7.7 expected and created over 1 xG in just one match. 

Their goalkeeper, Thomas Kaminski, is running ridiculously well too, as he has a +5.6 post-shot xG +/-.

Norwich are sitting in the middle of the table and just sacked Dean Smith after a poor run of form. One of the matches that eventually got Dean Smith fired was a match against Blackburn on December 17th, where Norwich were beaten by Blackburn 2-0 at home, but completely dominated the match.

(image via fbref.com)

Norwich are also a much better team at Carrow Road than they are away from home, as they have a +4.9 xGD at home versus -1.4 on the road. Blackburn, on the other hand, have the second-worst xGD away from home in the Championship at -10.3 and have created just 8.7 xG in 13 away matches. 

I love the value on Norwich here to win at -134. 

Pick: Norwich ML (-134)

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