FA Cup Betting: Which Non-Premier League Team Will Go Furthest?


To celebrate FA Cup third round day this year, the odds compilers here at Unibet have designed a very special market that might just tickle your fancy.

The world's oldest knockout competition is traditionally renowned for its underdogs, many of whom have encapsulated the magic of the FA Cup over the years - take a bow Ronnie Radford, Matthew Hanlon and Roy Essandoh (pictured above) - and we're expecting the 2013 edition to throw up many more again.

As such, Unibet are now taking bets on which non Premier League team will go the furthest in this year's Cup. So, here's our lowdown on five key contenders...

Brighton at 25.00

Gus Poyet has moulded an exciting young team down beside the Sussex seaside, and thanks to their neat passing ethos and a collection of fine technical ball players, the Seagulls will be fearless in the face of stronger opposition.

Albion have been dealt a tough draw in the third round: they'll host Newcastle at the spanking new AMEX Community Stadium on Saturday lunchtime.

But they do have form here - Brighton knocked Alan Pardew's men out at the fourth round stage 11 months ago, eventually losing to Liverpool in the fifth round. If they can repeat the trick this weekend, the 1983 finalists will be in prime position to outlast their non-Premier League contemporaries in the latter stages.  

Millwall at 20.00

Millwall are enjoying a rich vein of form of late under Kenny Jacket. Having lost just three of their last 20 games, they've risen to the brink of the play-off places in The Championship and will be a match for anyone on their day, not least League One Preston, who they face in the third round this weekend.

The Lions went all the way to the FA Cup final under then player-manager Dennis Wise in 2004, losing out to a Ronaldo-inspired Manchester United at the Milennium Stadium in Cardiff.

Nine years on, and with the likes of Darius Henderson and Andy Keogh leading the line, there's nothing to suggest they can't go ahead and upset the odds again.

Leeds United at 15.00

Leeds boss Neil Warnock has a history of upsetting the big boys, while the Whites can count Manchester United among their Cup scalps in recent years. This adds weight to the argument that the 1972 winners are very smart value at 15.00 in this market.

Especially if you fancy the Elland Road side to overcome fellow Championship team Birmingham City at home this weekend.

Cardiff City at 8.00

After years of being the nearly men in English football's second tier, it seems the red-shirted Bluebirds are finally set to join their close rivals Swansea in the big league next term.

Malky Mackay's side are already seven points clear at the top of The Championship and with a dangerous attacking core of Peter Whittingham, Heidar Helgusson and the two Craigs - Bellamy and Noone (pictured) - they have enough firepower to take out anyone in the FA Cup, a competition they reached the final of as recently as 2008.

What's more, the existing cast of players came within a couple of shanked penalties of winning last season's Carling Cup. Their cup pedigree is unquestioned. But will the priority of league promotion divert their attentions? We'll get a key indicator this weeeknd as they travel to Macclesfield.

Middlesbrough at 5.50

Boro are both resilient in defence and devastating in attack under Tony Mowbray right now, and there's little doubt they'll make light work of third round opponents Hastings United, of the Ryman League, this weekend.

The Riverside club are poised in the play-off places in the second tier and are a good bet to make a return to the Premier League in May. But for now, we're concentrating on the FA Cup, and Boro are favourites in this non-Premier League market for good reason.

If they can repeat the form of the mid-late Noughties, when they reached a semi-final, a quarter final and two sixth rounds, then 5.50 will not seem a bad price at all. The only reservation here is whether, like Cardiff, league ambitions could take over as the campaign progresses. 

Click here to check out our full range of FA Cup odds markets.