The FA Cup is the oldest cup competition in soccer and has been played for over 100 years. The record holders are Manchester United and Arsenal, each of whom have 12 FA Cup trophies, with Manchester United triumphing in 2016 over Crystal Palace. In recent seasons, the FA Cup usde to be the competition managers, teams and players coveted the most. That, however, has changed in recent years, as some of the top teams rest players in the early rounds. The Premier League, Champions League and Europa League now take precedence.
The huge amounts of money on offer for the aforementioned competitions is the main reason for the FA Cup's diminished status.
The FA Cup, though, is steeped in history and offers smaller teams an opportunity for glory. Which, in turn, offers bettors a unique opportuity to make some great returns, especially if you know how to pick an underdog at the opportune moment.
Premier League teams often rest their best players until the latter stages of the tournament. You can find incredible value betting against the bigger teams, especially those who have other priorities on their mind. Some historical examples of underdog victories include Chelsea's loss to Bradford, Arsenal's home defeat to Watford and Manchester United's home loss to Leeds United. And that's just a sample of what the bookies would consider to be surprising results.
But were they all that surprising? From afar, yes. But not if take into account important factors, including recent form and what the likely starting 11 for each team is going to be. All of the higher seeds in the examples mentioned above were still playing in European competitions, which resulted in their respective managers fielding a weakened squad. This happens more often then you'd think and it should be the most crucial element in your FA Cup betting strategy.
Best FA Cup Betting Lines
The very latest F.A. Cup odds can be found right here, with ties usually attracting the world's attention from the Third Round proper, which is when Premier League teams enter the fray.
The value in picking winners in the F.A. Cup often lies in knowing the team selections and watching form and in-form players closely. Players who might not be on a great run in their respective leagues may be on fire in the cup.
FA Cup Predictions Today
There are opportunities to bet on the FA Cup for most of the season, though some sportsbooks don't get involved until the 3rd round.
The 2015/2016 campaign was a great indicator of where to place your faith (and money) but it also featured one of the most enjoyable finals in recent history, as United came from behind to triumph over the same team they beat to the trophy in 1990, Crystal Palace:
Each season sees clubs from the lower leagues, those with nothing to lose, gain momentum and play their best soccer in the FA Cup. Predicting which ties will go the way of the underdog relies on spotting an in-form lower league team. Also, middle-of-the-pack Premier League teams can offer excellent betting opportunities.
These type of teams - West Ham, Bournemouth, Everton, Stoke - usually don't have any other commitments and are in a safe position in the Premier League standings. That often translates to a winning FA Cup formula, as they can play relaxed soccer with their top players.
You should consider those sides, especially the ones that are out of the running in other competitions. If you back them from the start, your odds - and potential returns - will be higher. Back one of those teams if they're not in the Champions League from the onset.
When you're ready to employ your FA Cup betting strategy, pick the best online sportsbook from the list below and get cracking.