January may be a depressing time for any number of reasons, with post-Christmas blues, miserable weather and the need to cut back after festive excesses all offering varying degrees of doom and gloom. Thank goodness for football then!
After all, the first month of the year is always a special one, bringing with it the eternal magic of the FA Cup as teams from the Premier League down to non-league level competie in the third round of the oldest cup competition in the world.
This naturally offers a great oppportunity for football betting fans to win big on an accumulator, so we’ve selected five teams who look certain to get the job done.
And what’s more, backing our picks with the free £25 bet available to anyone joining bwin.com could potentially return a cool £281.49 at odds in excess of 10/1.
Saturday January 7th
Doncaster Rovers v Notts County (3.00pm)
Home win: 19/20 Draw: 47/20 Away win: 57/20
Doncaster may sit in a lowly position in the Championship, but the arrival of big-name stars like El-Hadji Diouf under new manager Dean Saunders has seen the club enjoy a recovery of sorts in recent weeks.
This is most evident in their home form, with Doncaster coming into this game on the back of three straight wins at the Keepmoat Stadium against Southampton, Leicester and Barnsley.
Notts County, meanwhile, are enduring a difficult time under Martin Allen and are without a win in six games, losing their last three away from home.
Betting tip: Doncaster to win @19/20
Fleetwood Town v Blackpool (3.00pm)
Home win: 31/10 Draw: 5/2 Away win: 17/20
Fleetwood Town fans will undoubtedly be baying for blood here after Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston dismissed the game as “not the big event people are billing it as”.
However, the Tangerines chairman has plenty of reasons to be confident, given the gulf in stature between the two clubs, with Blackpool only recently relegated from the Premier League and Fleetwood currently residing in the Conference.
Fleetwood also come into the game having failed to win their last two at home, while Blackpool are in high spirits following a 3-0 demolition of a much-fancied Middleborough side. The visitors’ price to win this local derby looks too good to miss.
Betting tip: Blackpool to win @ 17/20
Macclesfield Town v Bolton Wanderers (3.00pm)
Home win: 4/1 Draw: 13/5 Away win: 7/10
While not being the first name on everyone’s accumulators this season, Bolton fans will undoubtedly be hopeful heading into a game against League Two strugglers Macclesfield.
With boss Owen Coyle under increasing pressure to deliver results, Bolton will be expected to win here, with defeat potentially delivering a fatal blow to the Scot’s prospects of holding on to his job.
But for all their problems, the Trotters pulled off an impressive win at Everton in midweek and look long at 7/10. Macclesfield are currently enjoying less-than-stellar form with one win in their last four games and just two victories in their last six at home.
Given the quality of Bolton’s squad, any team Coyle sends out are unlikely to need to work up much of a sweat in dispatching the Silkmen.
Betting tip: Bolton to win @ 7/10
Reading v Stevenage (3.00pm)
Home win: 53/100 Draw: 29/10 Away win: 21/4
Reading will undoubtedly be relishing the visit of Stevenage to the Madejski Stadium this weekend given their current record at home.
The Royals have won four straight games in front of their own fans in the Championship, including comprehensive 3-0 successes over West Ham and Brighton & Hove Albion. Reading have scored ten goals in their last four matches and will be confident of adding to that total against Stevenage.
The visitors come into the game lacking some confidence too after a 1-0 defeat at home to lowly Leyton Orient brought a previously fine run of form to an end. But with Reading enjoying some decent cup runs in recent years too, the hosts should have more than enough in reserve to get the job done.
Betting tip: Reading to win @ 53/100
Sheffield United v Salisbury City (3.00pm)
Home win: 1/5 Draw: 5/1 Away win: 13/1
Sheffield United are tearing up League One at the moment, even if last week’s 3-2 defeat to Carlisle was something of a setback. A return to Bramall Lane against non-league Salisbury is the perfect chance to rectify the situation.
The Blades are in fine form in the Steel City too, with six consecutive wins at home making them dead favourites against a Salisbury side that have lost two of their last three games at non-league level.
With James Beattie and Ched Evans firing on all cylinders up front for the Blades, odds of 1/5 make this the perfect game to top up an accumulator’s value.
Betting tip: Sheffield United to win @ 1/5
New customers can register here to claim a free £25 bet or click here to see all our FA Cup odds.
Follow us on Twitter @bwinbetting