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Forget the magic of the cup, here are the stats that could pocket you some winners

The media might love the underdog story but if you're backing the favourites it is the last thing you need. Here are the key numbers to try to help you pocket some pennies on the FA Cup

by Josh Powell | January 2, 2014

Lower league sides triumphing against Premier League giants. A man who works five days a week on a building site bagging the winner at Stamford Bridge from five yards off his shin. These are great stories for TV but they aren’t welcome on our FA Cup accumulator.

Stuff the ‘magic of the cup’. The only thing more annoying than having an odds-on favourite turned over to bust your acca is when said acca-busting goal is followed by Adrian Chiles spouting a load of cliches about how good it is.

There are a couple of speed bumps with FA Cup betting.

  • Certain teams like to rest players as they prioritise survival in the league over a day out to get spanked at Wembley.
  • Some of the Premier League giants will rotate against the smaller sides, confident they can still win, although not by the four-goal margin you had been tempted to back.
  • And finally, very few punters will have an in-depth understanding of  Grimsby’s form.

To try to combat these issues the Paddy Power Blog has crunched the numbers from the last five years of Third Round games (that’s 160 matches in all) to see where the trends are and how we can take advantage.

Chelsea FA Cup

Most people would assume that when a Premier League team faces opposition in League One or lower, that is the most likely game to see over 2.5 goals. However, in the last five years it is all-Premier League ties which have a better strike rate of producing over 2.5 goals.

Over 2.5 goals strike rate
(All third round games since 08/09)

  • Premier League v Premier League: 77%
  • Premier League v League One and lower: 62%
  • Premier League v Championship: 57%
  • League One and lower v League One and lower: 50%
  • Championship v League One and lower: 47%
  • Championship v Championship: 33%

There have been 13 all-Premier League games in the Third Round of the FA Cup since 2008/09 and 10 of these games have had over 2.5 goals. In stark comparison there have been 21 all-Championship fixtures with 67% of them featuring less than 2.5 goals.

Everton FA Cup penalty

Going on the trends, it would make sense to back over 2.5 goals in each of the five all-Premier League ties, and the accumulator pays out a tempting 15/1. We’ve even loaded the selections into a betslip for you so you don’t have to waste precious time that you could be using to stalk people on Facebook.
Bet here: Desktop

Ties that feature two Championship teams are the games you want to focus on if you’re backing under 2.5 goals based on the stats. There are two of them this year (Bolton v Blackpool and Brighton v Reading) and the double is a 15/8 shot.
Bet here: Desktop

There is a saying somewhere about the dangers of putting all your eggs in one basket, however if you feel confident enough in the trends to brashly wave the basked full of eggs over your head without dropping any, the sevenfold is 45/1.
Bet here: Desktop

Liverpool FA Cup

Both teams to score strike rate
(All third round games since 08/09)

  • Premier League v Premier League: 85%
  • Premier League v League One and lower: 59%
  • Championship v Championship: 52%
  • Premier League v Championship: 46%
  • League One and lower v League One and lower: 43%
  • Championship v League One and lower: 42%

It is a similar story if you would rather back the both teams to score market, in that the strongest trends are in all-Premier League ties. Most surprising is the 59 per cent strike rate of top flight teams v third tier opposition or lower. Despite having the biggest gulf in class on paper they have the second strongest strike rate for both teams finding the onion bag.

The strongest trend in the last five years is that both teams tend to find the net in all-Premier League ties. It is a 13/1 shot with Paddy Power for all ten top flight sides to find the net in the five all-Premier League clashes.
Bet here: Desktop

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