Bookies rate Newcastle having more chance of winning FA Cup than finishing top 10 in Premier League
What are the chances of Newcastle United winning the FA Cup?
Well for most fans I would guess the simple answer is still not much chance BUT slightly more likely after beating West Brom.
The Newcastle supporters knowing that the only thing that matters is getting through each round, though at same time acknowledging we have had a lucky run of cup draws against two League One clubs and a Championship one who put out a reserve team last night.
The sixth round draw almost sure to be a lot tougher, whilst as for beyond that…
As it stands, Arsenal Chelsea and Sheffield United are already now through, along with Newcastle United.
Tonight we have Sheff Wed v Man City (after which the sixth round draw will be made – scheduled for around 9.50pm on BBC1, assuming no extra-time etc), Leicester v Birmingham, Tottenham v Norwich. Then Derby v Man Utd on Thursday night.
Tonight’s draw numbers are:
1 Sheffield Wednesday/Manchester City
2 Sheffield United
4 Newcastle United
5 Leicester City/Birmingham City
6 Derby County/Manchester United
7 Spurs/Norwich City
So with 12 possible winners now, how would you rate their chances?
Odds on Newcastle United winning the FA Cup (after Tuesday night’s fifth round matches) from Betfair:
1/1 Man City
7/1 Man Utd
20/1 Sheff Utd
33/1 Newcastle United
150/1 Sheff Wed
So at 33/1 (this was the best price for NUFC at any bookies) Newcastle are made eighth favourite ahead of the sixth round draw.
Interestingly, Betfair also have the best price of all bookies on Newcastle United finishing top half of the Premier League.
Odds on finishing in the Premier League top 10 (prices as of today – Wednesday 4 March 2020)
1/10 Sheff Utd
9/2 Crystal Palace
45/1 Newcastle United
75/1 West Ham
So Newcastle United, according to the bookies, have more chance of winning the FA Cup (33/1), than climbing four or more places and finishing in top 10 of the Premier League (45/1).
No doubt for many Newcastle fans this will sound quite mind blowing, NUFC actually winning a trophy…more chance of that than just finishing better than bottom half of the league???
Here is how the Premier League table currently looks:
As you can see, Newcastle currently only four places and five points off top half, surely not insurmountable…or at the very least surely easier than winning the FA Cup…
The bookies aren’t biased in any way of course, apart from the bias of making as much money as possible, so they just look at things very simply, what is most likely to happen and set the odds accordingly .
The fact that seven of the current PL top ten are also still in the FA Cup also should weigh against Newcastle when it comes to the chances of winning the competition, only Liverpool, Wolves and Burnley not still in it.
Conversely, in the Premier League, Newcastle have Southampton, Bournemouth, Aston Villa, West Ham,Watford and Brighton still to play in the league, all bottom half clubs. The only games against top half clubs that are left are Liverpool, Man City, Sheff Utd and Spurs. So the fixtures also look in our favour in terms of PL chances, rather than FA Cup, so why do the bookies head in the other direction?
In the FA Cup, luck can play a massive part, as Newcastle have already found when drawing Rochdale, Oxford and a distracted West Brom. So just maybe Newcastle could get lucky with a home draw against say Birmingham who cause a shock tonight. Maybe another fluke in the Semis, after all Newcastle only played one PL team when getting to the FA Cup final in 1998 under Dalglish, playing second tier Sheff Utd in the semi, whilst Steve Bruce reached his only FA Cup final as a manager by also beating only one PL team (Sunderland!) in 2014 and played a then third tier Sheff Utd in the semi-finals when at Hull City.
We also of course have the fact that at even quarter-final stage, you can draw a ‘big’ club and they will play a significantly weakened team because of key Premier League and/or Champions League matches before and/or after any FA Cup match. Another factor that pushes the bookies to lower Newcastle’s FA Cup price.
However, on the other hand all these factors turn around and work the opposite way in the Premier League.
Looking at the Premier League as it stands now, I would guess only maybe Man City of the 10 games might not see a PL match against Newcastle as a game to throw everything at. They can’t win the league but have pretty much already qualified for next season’s Champions League, whereas you have those at the bottom fighting relegation and the like of Sheff Utd and Spurs fighting to be as high as possible, potentially qualifying for Europe. As for Liverpool, they are the best team around and very likely will still be trying to set new records om the final day of the season.
The bookies more than anything look at form and they will recognise how lucky Newcastle have been on numerous times earlier this season when playing rival PL teams, plus of course the fact that Newcastle have the very worst form over the last 10 PL matches (see below), winning one and only picking up seven points.
With no goals at all in the last four PL matches and scoring only seven in the last twelve, for the bookies Newcastle are very much a team fighting relegation rather than even looking for a top 10 finish, even though there is the same five points gap to both relegation and top half.
So given a free bet, what would you put it on – Newcastle United winning the FA Cup or finishing top half of the Premier League?
One thing is for sure, to do either thing Steve Bruce will need to rediscover that extreme luck he carried in so many games earlier in the season.
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