The Stupid Punt section of the Blog is all about highlighting some of those loopy-looking bets at monster odds. All that’s required to make them click is a little bit of brains, a little bit of balls and a massive dollop of luck. If you never have a dream, how will you ever have a dream come true? And here on the Paddy Power Blog we’re all dreamers.
There’s a place in the Punting Hall of Fame at stake if you can pull it off. You are the people who make the crazy look inspired and while you have the bravery to toe the line between ridiculous and optimistic, we can only stand back and applaud.
Here are three of the most outrageous bets we’ve dug out of Paddy’s FA Cup book this week and a few stats to try to back them up.
Hat-trick hero: Emile Heskey to score a hat-trick for Bolton against Liverpool
One punter is on at 150/1
- Emile Heskey’s only career hat-trick was all the way back in October 2000 for Liverpool. Derby County were the side to lose 4-0 that day in the Premier League as Emile bagged the match ball
- The Bolton striker has returned to Anfield on six separate occasions since leaving in 2004, but hasn’t found the net on any of those visits
- This season he has played 247 minutes in the Championship for Bolton, mustering three shots, two of which were on target, and scoring the equaliser in the comeback against Blackburn on Boxing Day
The romance of the FA Cup is in full force again as Emile Heskey returns to play at Anfield, just a few months after he was working for Liverpool’s TV channel. Unfortunately for the ex-England international he has never been the most prolific in front of goal, and while expecting him to score a hat-trick when he was in his prime 14 years ago was a little optimistic, expecting the 37-year-old to score three now is plain crazy.
Scorecast: Ryan Bird to score first and Cambridge Utd to beat Manchester Utd 2-0
One punter has £10 on at 550/1
- Cambridge have hosted Manchester United once before in a 1991 League Cup game. Brian McClair scored for United and the game ended 1-1. Back at Old Trafford the home side won the replay 3-0 courtesy of goals from Steve Bruce, Brian McClair and Ryan Giggs
- Manchester United have lost just one of their last 40 FA Cup matches against lower league opponents (winning 33 and drawing six)
- Ryan Bird has four goals in 15 League 2 games for Cambridge this season, but does have some sweet FA Cup form – scoring four goals in three cup matches for Burnham in 2010/11 while also working as an electrician.
Manchester Utd’s Gaal-acticos haven’t hit too many stumbling blocks recently against lower league opposition in the FA Cup, and at odds of 2/9 are expected to pick up the win on Friday night. One punter is feeling very optimistic however that the underdogs can get a result, and is putting his faith firmly in Ryan Bird’s camp. The magic of the FA Cup or just pure madness?
Scorecast: Theo Walcott to score first, but Brighton to beat Arsenal 4-2
One punter is on at 750/1
- In 14 meetings Brighton have beaten Arsenal just twice. Both victories came at home in 1982 as they beat the Gunners 2-1 at the end of the 81/82 season and then 1-0 at the start of the 82/83 campaign
- When these sides met at the AMEX Stadium in the FA Cup in 2013, Arsenal won 3-2 and it was Theo Walcott who got the winner five minutes from time. Olivier Giroud had earlier bagged a brace, while Ashley Barnes and Leonardo Ulloa were on the scoresheet fro Brighton
- The last time Brighton won a home game 4-2 was in 2008. That was a League One game and Gillingham were the side on the receiving end. The visitors took the lead within four minutes, but Brighton replied with four of their own, before a late consolation.
Arsenal travel to Brighton after beating the reigning Premier League champions on their own patch, so confidence is understandably high as the Gunners aim for back-to-back FA Cups. But one punter is expecting all of that confidence to come crashing down, as Brighton fight a spirited comeback following Theo Walcott’s opener. Crazy? Just a bit…
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- Kick-start the weekend in style with our outrageous 400/1 FA Cup wacky accumulator
- Liverpool v Bolton: Heskey returns – although there’s a better value 16/1 shot to find the net
- Punting Hall of Fame: A weekend of coupon chaos results in one punter winning more than £13k off a £2 accumulator
- Cambridge United v Manchester United: Five value punts to get the pints in on Friday night