Who said the FA Cup had lost its magic?
A thrilling third-round of FA Cup action is almost complete, with comebacks, upsets, and VAR drama making it a weekend to remember for the world’s oldest national cup competition.
Eight Premier League teams have been eliminated, while Liverpool and Wolves are set for a replay, as are Leeds United with Cardiff City. Meanwhile, on Monday, with the U's eyeing up a massive FA Cup upset.
Saturday saw second-tier strugglers Blackpool record a breath-taking 4-1 win over Nottingham Forest, while Burnley, currently top of the Championship, returned from Bournemouth with an emphatic 4-2 victory.
Sheffield Wednesday, in front of millions live on BBC1, secured a famous 2-1 victory over high-flying Newcastle, leaving the Magpies to focus on their 2022/23 Premier League and EFL Cup campaigns. A Josh Windass double inflicted just a second defeat of the season on Eddie Howe’s side, in front of a raucous Hillsborough crowd.
Newcastle's shock defeat at Hillsborough was not the biggest shock of the weekend, however, as Aston Villa went down at home to fourth-tier Stevenage.
Away from the Premier League losers, non-league side Wrexham also made their claim for the biggest shock of the round.
The National League club, owned by Hollywood actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, saw-off Championship side Coventry 4-3, to reach the fourth round for the first time since 2000.
FA Cup Fourth Round Draw and Outright Prices
(150/1) Preston v Tottenham (7/1)
( 40/1) Southampton v Blackpool (150/1)
(750/1) Wrexham v Sheffield United (66/1
(250/1) Ipswich v Burnley (50/1)
(9/2) Manchester United v Reading (150/1)
(150/1) Luton Town/ (200/1) Wigan v Grimsby Town (1000/1)
(350/1) Derby County v West Ham (20/1)
(125/1) Stoke City v Stevenage (1000/1)
(100/1) Blackburn v Forest Green Rovers (1000/1) / Birmingham City (200/1)
(750/1) Walsall v Leicester City (25/1)
(350/1) Sheffield Wednesday v Fleetwood Town (1000/1)
(5/2) Manchester City v Oxford United (500/1) /Arsenal (10/1)
(200/1) Bristol City/ (150/1) Swansea v Chesterfield/West Brom (100/1)
(14/1) Brighton v Liverpool (9/1) / Wolves (80/1)
(33/1) Fulham v Sunderland (150/1)
Following the success of ‘4 Scores’ throughout the World Cup, bet365 were delighted to see it return for an FA Cup Third Round special.
The free-to-play game gives all New and Eligible customers the opportunity to win £250 in CASH by correctly predicting four correct scores from selected games on that particular day.
However, there were very few players celebrating, despite back-to-back rounds across the weekend.
Burnley’s shock 4-2 win at Bournemouth, coupled with Sheffield Wednesday’s triumph against Newcastle meant that no players won the jackpot, and only eight claimed the £10 bet credit consolation for three correct scores.
On a day of surprises, it’s no surprise that 94% of players ended the day without a single correct score!
92% of players couldn’t predict a single correct score, with only 187 claiming a consolation prize of any kind.
The Chiefs lead the outright betting for in this season’s NFL, defeating the Raiders 31-13 in Saturday’s regular season finale, to secure top seed in the American Football Conference and a first-round bye in the play-offs.
Chiefs quarterback and talisman Patrick Mahomes set a new NFL record during the game in Las Vegas. His total of 5,608 total yards for the season surpassed Drew Brees' 2011 mark of 5,562
The Bills, pre-season outright favourites, clinched the AFC’s second playoff seed following an emotionally charged victory against the Pats. The loss, coupled with a Miami’s victory over the Jets, meant another playoff absence for New England.
The Eagles, 22/1 outsiders back in the Autumn, are into 5/1 third favourites to lift the Vince Lombardi trophy on February 12th, after clinching home field advantage throughout the playoffs. A 22-16 triumph over the Giants finally secured the No1 seed in the NFC for Nick Sirianni’s Eagles.
As you can see from the table below, there has been plenty of changes in the betting throughout the season. With the season coming to a thrilling climax over the coming weeks, there’s sure to be thrills, spills and the high drama that only playoff football can deliver.
CURRENT PRICE (OUTRIGHT)
START OF SEASON PRICE (OUTRIGHT)
The first Grade 1 of the calendar year took place in Britain on Saturday and it was a case of 'picking up where he left off' for champion trainer Paul Nicholls as he collected another major prize.
It's fair to say that in recent times Paul Nicholls hasn't had the firepower of old when it comes to Cheltenham in March, but that might be starting to change.
King George winner Bravemansgame is 8/1 for Cheltenham Gold Cup glory after his festive success while the aforementioned Hermes Allen heads the betting at 3/1 for the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle following his Newbury romp in the Challow.
Following Saturday's Tolworth at Sandown, Britain's champion trainer has a proper contender for the curtain-raising Supreme Novices' Hurdle in the shape of 10/1 Tahmuras - that price might be much shorter were it not for the long shadow cast by 4/5 Facile Vega.
Half the Tolworth field arrived with unbeaten records over obstacles, but only Tahmuras was good enough to leave with one and given how well Harry Cobden's partner travelled, it was rarely in any doubt despite the winner idling a bit once he got to the front.
Harry Fry was another trainer beaming at Sandown on Saturday afternoon after watching Love Envoi trounce her rivals in the 2m4f Listed Mares' Hurdle.
The 140-rated Martello Sky had no answer as Johnny Burke's mount defied racing a bit keenly to cruise home and make it seven wins in eight starts over timber.
She won the Dawn Run Mares' Novices' Hurdle in the Cotswolds last season and Love Envoi is now 9/2 to make the graduation to bag the Close Brothers Mares' Hurdle on 14th March where she may face the likes of Marie's Rock and Brandy Love - the only horse to get the better of her so far over timber.