Betting on the English FA Cup is very popular in the United Kingdom and the rest of the world including Asia betting. It is possible to bet on a range of markets for each match and the outright winner of the competition. English journalist Kevin Pullen identified some key trends in a recent article in the Racing Post.
The Racing Post is the trade newspaper for the betting industry and daily reading for punters who bet on sports in Britain. The growth in sports betting is reflected in several pages of coverage at the back of the newspaper. Horse racing accounts for most pages of content, with form for all the meetings in Britain and Ireland.
All the major UK based online bookmakers advertise in the Racing Post, which is available online at racingpost dot com. Coverage of racing and the other betting sports includes form analysis, odds comparison and picks across the main competitions. There is increased coverage for any sporting event shown live on television or streamed on a bookmaker website.
Kevin Pullen has been writing for the Racing Post for more than 20 years. He takes a statistical stance on English soccer and his research is extensive and reliable. Mr Pullen unearths some trends by analysing results for more than 10 years and his theories are well described and backed up with graphs and relevant data.
One of the most popular betting markets in soccer involves the number of red cards and yellow cards in a match. For the purpose of betting a red card is worth 25 points and a yellow card is worth 10 points. So, if there is a red card and three yellow cards in a match the total bookings points is 55. Customers can bet on over or under a quoted number for total discipline points.
Pullen has come to the conclusion that there are more bookings and dismissals in later rounds of the FA Cup. This theory is based on the fact that ties are more evenly matched later in the competition so matches are more competitive and more likely to see ill-discipline.
As the FA Cup moves towards the final the difference in ability between the teams is smaller, there are fewer goals and cards become more plentiful. From the third round to the semi-finals the average number of bookings increases. The dip in total make-up for the final can be explained by referees paying respect to the occasion and issuing warnings rather than showing a card.
Kevin Pullen has also discredited a theory that crowd advantage gives the home team an edge in FA Cup matches. The away team can take more supporters to Cup matches on the road than league matches away from home. However, despite having a larger share of the crowd visiting teams in the FA Cup do not fare better than away teams in the league.
For FA Cup ties the number of away fans can increase by at least half compared to league games. However, this does not make much if any difference to the outcome of league and cup matches. Away teams were beaten no more or less frequently in cup competitions which suggest having more numerical support in the FA Cup does not lead to better results.