Which Manchester Team is the Favorite to Bring Home the F.A. Cup Title?
For people starved of high-level betting action during the day, and for fans around Louisiana (and all over the country), this past week was one to remember.
The Premier League has triumphantly returned to action with matches almost every day, and in multiple time slots. While there is usually some soccer action during the week in the final couple months, including UEFA Champions League and Europa League, this unprecedented period after the COVID-19 break has allowed fans and bettors to have multiple windows almost every day of the week, much like during World Cup or European Championship (which was in fact scheduled to be going on now before it was pushed back to 2021).
England was one of the last countries to restart its leagues, with many around the world either playing through the pandemic (Belarus, Nicaragua, Taiwan) or starting up in May (Germany) and June (Spain). The Premier League title has long since been decided, with Liverpool 20 points ahead of Manchester City with just 24 points left for which to play. But in Spain, the two teams at the top of the table, Barcelona and Real Madrid, came into Tuesday even with nine matches left.
But just because the league title is done, does not mean there is nothing left to bet in England. Of course, there are games every afternoon: over the coming month, there are games on all but four days.
There is, though, the F.A. Cup title to be decided, with eight teams still left in the tournament. Amazingly, in a cup which is renowned for its upsets, five of the Premier League’s top seven teams are still alive, and all eight squads are from the top flight.
All four quarter final matches are this weekend, starting with Norwich City vs. Manchester United on Saturday (12:30 p.m. EDT ESPN+). The three other games are on Sunday: Sheffield United vs. Arsenal (8 a.m. EDT ESPN+), Leicester City vs. Chelsea (11 a.m. EDT ESPN+), and Newcastle United vs. Manchester City (1:30 p.m. EDT ESPN+). With the sports bars of Lafayette back open (albeit at a reduced capacity), there is the opportunity to catch a match during the day, and get some of the world-famous food around town.
The US sports betting apps everywhere have defending champion Manchester City (-125 or so) as the overwhelming favorite to lift the F.A. Cup heading into the round, but the loss of leading goal-scorer Sergio Agüero to a knee injury could prove to be costly. While the Cityzens have the deepest squad in the tournament, the absence of Agüero coud open the door to one of the other teams in the cup.
Since City is minus money to win it all, every other team has very decent odds. Manchester United, which has three wins this season over City, is the second favorite at +750, and is the pick of Louisiana native, and Manchester United superfan, Kishore Gunturu.
Chelsea is the third favorite (+800), though will come in after a tough Premier League match Thursday with Manchester City, and has the toughest game of the quarterfinals against Leicester City (+1000).
Somehow, Arsenal is the fourth favorite (+900), but will have a tough time getting past Sheffield United, which at +2200 could be worth a play. Norwich City (+3300) and Newcastle United (+4000) are very much long shots to lift the cup, but have made it through three rounds to get to this point.
Those betting odds, of course, will drop after the weekend, that is why some bookies offer extra value in the form of free bets (example - BetMGM bonus offers).
Note, that Louisiana is one of the states where bills to legalize single-game sports betting have been pre-filed/introduced in the state legislature. Online betting is not introduced yet. If you want to bet Manchester City and one other team as an underdog, I would go with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tricky Red Devils (+750). You can bet in neighboring Arkansas or at Beau Rivage Resort & Casino, MS.
In more local futures, the University of Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns have one of the highest over/under win totals for the 2020 College Football season.
They opened anywhere from 9.5 to 10 (a big half a win), and after an 11-3 campaign in 2019, have a lot of buzz around them coming into this year.
Can the Ragin' Cajuns break into the top 25?
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