Diary of a Punter: Backing two FA Cup shocks this weekend

Simon has identified two double chance selections in Saturday's FA Cup ties where he believes there is value in opposing Premier League sides against lower league opposition
The New Year has not started particularly well with a couple of doubles just missing out, but confidence remains high that I am taking the correct route. This week, however, there is a depleted domestic league schedule due to FA Cup matches, so I am going to keep things low key.

The FA Cup is a fine competition but in round four, from a betting perspective at least, you find yourself in a bit of a minefield; lower division clubs raise their game to try to get lucrative replays, TV matches and headlines in the papers, whilst many of the Premier League clubs will rotate their squads in order to rest key players for the business end of the season.

Either way, these things cause plenty of problems when it comes to betting.

So this week, I am going to keep it simple and have a look to see if there is any value in a couple of shocks in the cup and first up is QPR vs MK Dons.

MK Dons & Draw (Double Chance) v QPR at 6/5 (2.20) with Paddy Power

It is by no means an easy task for Karl Robinson’s MK Dons side, heading to Loftus Road to play a Premier League side somewhat buoyed by Harry Redknapp’s arrival, but as facing top tier teams in the cup go, they could certainly have faced a much harder tie.

QPR’s first priority has to be retaining Premier League status and Redknapp is going about recruiting new players in his usual fashion, with Loic Remy the first addition in the January transfer window and you can be sure there will be plenty more to follow.

Although a good cup run can help to lift spirits, you have to question whether full focus will be given to this tie and MK Dons, who are right in the mix for the play-off positions in League One, will be ready to take advantage.

The Dons are a big price at 5/1 (6.0) to win outright but that really will be a tough ask, so the 6/5 (2.20) appeals more on the double chance market of an MK Dons win or draw.  

Likewise, in my second pick for the weekend as Bolton take on Everton.

Bolton & Draw (Double Chance) v Everton at 6/5 (2.20) with Paddy Power

The home side really have not kicked into gear in the Championship and find themselves in a lowly 16th place, whilst Everton, having done the unthinkable and actually started a season brightly, are currently in fifth place in the Premier League.

However, in the last round of the cup, Bolton took out Premier League side Sunderland in a replay, away from home, so the potential to cause a shock is most definitely there.

Everton are also struggling a little bit to find the net with two 0-0 draws in their last two matches, away to Southampton and at home to Swansea respectively. They have(along with Stoke) also drawn more league games than any other Premier League side with 11 draws to date.

So the bet for me is another potential upset with Bolton and the Draw double chance trading at 6/5 (2.20) with Paddy Power. I shall have £10 on each of the singles and a £5 double which pays out at 19/5 (3.84).

Diary of a Punter: Simon's Selections this week
Balance at the start of the week: £336.30
Profit for the season: -£164.70
MK Dons & Draw (Double Chance) v QPR: £10 at 6/5 (2.33) with Paddy Power
Bolton & Draw (Double Chance) v Everton: £10 at 6/5 (2.20) with Paddy Power
£5 on the double at 19/5 (4.84) with Paddy Power
Total staked this week: £25

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Simon Pilkington is a sports writer, an avid supporter of Liverpool and has been betting on sports for the past 13 years. Follow Simon on

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