Final's draw card brings extra value
Monday 06 May 1996
For those not blinded by their loyalties, there can be but one option. Over the last 15 years, 10 FA Cup finals have finished level at 90 minutes, and not one of those was as close on paper as Saturday's match between Manchester United and Liverpool.
A draw is, statistically at least, an odds-on chance, rather than the outsider of three which the bookies suggest, yet some independents will lay 9-4 against - Bowmans, who take Switch and Delta bets on 01702 612 218, for instance. The reason, of course, is that punters are creatures of habit, and prefer to back and cheer for one side or the other. As a result, the draw often represents serious value in big matches, and even at 15-8 this is a chance not to be missed.
Only Ladbrokes have so far compiled their first-scorer odds, with the most interesting point being the absence of one A Cole. The firm base their prices on expected starting line-ups, and anticipate that Cole's initial role will be as pounds 7m-worth of bench insulation.
First-scorer betting is where the bookies make up for the narrow margins on match odds, and is not something which value-seekers take seriously. On a strictly minimum-stake basis, however, Denis Irwin, who often supports the attack and can strike a mean free-kick, is the suggestion at 40-1.
FA CUP FINAL: Hills/Coral: 13-8 Liverpool, 13-8 Man Utd, 15-8 draw. Outright: all major firms 5-6 each of two. First scorer (Ladbrokes): 9-2 Fowler, 5-1 Cantona, 6-1 Collymore, 8-1 Scholes, 10-1 Giggs, 12-1 McManaman, 16-1 Beckham, Keane, 20-1 Redknapp, 25-1 Barnes, 28-1 Butt, 40-1 Bruce, Irwin, McAteer, 50-1 Jones, Pallister, Scales, Wright, 100-1 Babb, P Neville.
Look beyond the usual shows for the best festive telly
Geoffrey Macnab does not like the comedian's big screen debut
The battle for control of Stieg Larsson's £30m legacy
Latest in Sport
Tim Sherwood challenges Daniel Levy to set out vision for Tottenham Hotspur’s future
The worst owner in football? Vincent Tan faces fan backlash as Malky Mackay clings to Cardiff job
Bonuses for goals and top four finish as Luiz Suarez joins Premier League's top three earners
Luis Suarez: Liverpool striker ends exit speculation by signing 'long-term' contract
Transfer news: Tottenham Hotspur - January transfer targets
- 1 Tim Sherwood challenges Daniel Levy to set out vision for Tottenham Hotspur’s future
- 2 French pub fined €9,000 after customers returned empties to bar - because it's 'undeclared labour'
- 3 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 4 #Teamnigella: It’s the only side to be on
- 5 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber is 'retiring from music'
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
Tom Daley ‘is gay because his father died’ says UK evangelist
Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
David Cameron takes his biggest gamble yet as he gets tough on Europe over immigration
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
Negotiable: Capita Education Resourcing Permanent Team: Teacher of English - S...
£59999 - £80001 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: A Top 10 firm in ...
£50000 - £75000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Harrington Starr: Project Manage...
Negotiable: Capita Education Resourcing Permanent Team: Year 5 Teacher - Gilli...