Sports Betting: Bank on extra time in Cup

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The Independent Online
FA CUP ties are often tight and FA Cup replays are often tighter and, while Bolton, Everton, Plymouth and Gillingham are fancied to make short work of Cardiff, Exeter, Reading and Walsall tonight, the other four ties could go into extra time.

First Division Fulham, Nottingham Forest, Queen's Park Rangers and Sheffield United could make Second Division Luton and Oxford United, Third Division Torquay and Rushden & Diamonds of the Conference respectively go all the way.

Tomorrow, while Blackburn and Leicester are expected to take care of West Bromwich and Hereford, Newcastle, beaten at Bradford on Saturday, may also be forced into extra time by Tottenham.

Chelsea - having been 4-1 at the start of the season - are 33-1 with the Tote to win the Premiership after contriving to get beaten at home by Leeds, a top-priced 4-1 with Stanley. Manchester United are the odds- on favourites.

Kevin Phillips, who made it a phenomenal 19 goals from 18 games with two against Southampton on Saturday, is a top-priced 1-2 favourite with the Tote to be leading Premiership goalscorer. Andy Cole (12) is 6-1 with William Hill, who offer 7-1 Alan Shearer (12). Dwight Yorke (10) is 8- 1 with the Tote, while Michael Bridges (10) is 18-1 with William hill.

Sorry, but Watford, Sheffield Wednesday and Bradford all look doomed. The terrible trio are all long odds-on to be relegated and the bookmakers are seldom mistaken in this department.

Blackburn Rovers, who started the season the 2-1 favourites to win the First Division, are now out to 14-1. The layers now reckon the Division is effectively a four-club race between Charlton, Manchester City, Huddersfield and Ipswich, the selection in this neck of the woods at 14-1 at the start of term.

The Second Division could be developing into a match between Wigan and Preston - tipped here at 10-1 - but the Third Division is another open affair. Big spenders Darlington remain the favourites, but Rotherham, Barnet, Northampton and Swansea, the pre-season selection, are all looking threatening.

Rangers, hardly surprisingly, are the long odds-on to win the Scottish Premier League, with Celtic the only conceivable dangers in the betting.

The bookmakers expect West Ham to beat Aston Villa again in their Worthington Cup quarter-final replay. The Hammers are a top-priced 7-2 to lift the trophy with Ladbrokes whereas Villa are 6-1 with William Hill.

n Suggested bet: Ten 50 pence trebles with the Tote: Luton to draw with Fulham (11-5); Oxford United to draw with Nottingham Forest (9-4); Torquay to draw with Queen's Park Rangers (9-4); Rushden to draw with Sheffield United (9-4) and Newcastle to draw with Tottenham (9-4).

(pounds 5 staked).