The biggest and oldest cup competition in the world, the FA Cup is a non-seeded, straight knockout tournament open to all English and Welsh football teams. To learn all about FA Cup betting and how you can get involved, read our guide to below for the latest odds and betting tips, as well as what the most popular betting markets are!

Mon, Feb 26, 2024
Coventry City
19:45
(GMT)
vs
Maidstone United
The Coventry Building Society Arena
Odds type:
FractionalDecimalAmerican
Tue, Feb 27, 2024
AFC Bournemouth
19:30
(GMT)
vs
Leicester City
Vitality Stadium
Odds type:
FractionalDecimalAmerican
Tue, Feb 27, 2024
Blackburn Rovers
19:45
(GMT)
vs
Newcastle United
Ewood Park (Blackburn, Lancashire)
Odds type:
FractionalDecimalAmerican
Tue, Feb 27, 2024
Luton Town
20:00
(GMT)
vs
Manchester City
Kenilworth Road Stadium
Odds type:
FractionalDecimalAmerican
Wed, Feb 28, 2024
Chelsea
19:30
(GMT)
vs
Leeds United
Stamford Bridge
Odds type:
FractionalDecimalAmerican
Wed, Feb 28, 2024
Nottingham Forest
19:45
(GMT)
vs
Manchester United
The City Ground
Odds type:
FractionalDecimalAmerican
Wed, Feb 28, 2024
Wolverhampton Wanderers
19:45
(GMT)
vs
Brighton & Hove Albion
Molineux Stadium
Odds type:
FractionalDecimalAmerican
Wed, Feb 28, 2024
Liverpool
20:00
(GMT)
vs
Southampton
Anfield
Odds type:
FractionalDecimalAmerican
Stage: 3rd Round Replays 26 Feb - 28 Feb
Monday, 26/02/2024
Home
Draw
Away
19:45
Coventry City
vs
Maidstone United
Tuesday, 27/02/2024
Home
Draw
Away
19:30
AFC Bournemouth
vs
Leicester City
19:45
Blackburn Rovers
vs
Newcastle United
20:00
Luton Town
vs
Manchester City
Wednesday, 28/02/2024
Home
Draw
Away
19:30
Chelsea
vs
Leeds United
19:45
Nottingham Forest
vs
Manchester United
19:45
Wolverhampton Wanderers
vs
Brighton & Hove Albion
20:00
Liverpool
vs
Southampton

The historic FA Cup is the largest straight knockout tournament in the world, and involves a total of 723 clubs. This is an unbelievable number, unmatched by any other nation’s cup competition.

The FA Cup is open to all eligible clubs down to Level 10 of the English football league pyramid. This includes all 92 professional clubs in the Premier League and the English Football League, including some teams from Wales and non-League teams.

The competition consists of 12 randomly drawn rounds, followed by the Semi-Finals and the Final. Entrants are not seeded, although a system of byes based on league level ensures higher-ranked teams enter in later rounds.

With so many rounds it may be hard to wrap your head around which teams enter at which point of the competition. To help you out, here's a quick break down of what happens in each.

Qualifying Competition

The qualifying competition consists of six rounds featuring teams from the lower leagues in the football pyramid. Firstly, the ‘Extra Preliminary Round’ consists of 416 teams and is played in August. This round includes the worst 96 teams in level eight, all level nine teams, and a handful of the best level ten teams.

Each qualifying round incorporates a new level from the football league system. The rest of the level eight teams enter in the preliminary qualification round, while level seven teams enter the first round and level six teams enter the second round.

No team enters the third round, and the level five teams enter the final qualifying round. 32 teams will advance from this round into the competition proper, meaning that 640 teams are whittled down extensively throughout August to October 2022.

Competition Proper

This is where the actions begins. Although the qualifying rounds do offer up some great an exciting football, the competition proper is where the big boys get involved and where the punters can really get stuck into some betting.

The teams from League Two (level four) and League One (level three) enter the first round alongside the 32 teams. The competition gets much tougher here, and you can start to see some real upsets as lower league teams climb to glory. No one new enters the second round.

These rounds occurred last November and December.

Round three is one of the most important rounds. Premier League and Championship teams enter at this point, with the eventual winners almost certainly coming from this crop.

With all the teams introduced, the competition follows a straight knockout with the 4th, 5th and 6th rounds. The semi-finals and finals are all played at Wembley Stadium, with the winners claiming one of history’s most important trophies.

FA Cup Replays

The cup replay is classic part of English cup football. Matches that end in a draw in the earlier rounds do not go to extra time, but are instead played again at another venue. This adds an extra layer of excitement and drama, as smaller teams could hold onto a draw, giving them another chance to play.Since 2021-2022, the Replays were scrapped to minimise fixture congestion during the pandemic. The FA are planning on reimplementing them for the 3rd and 4th round – however, the Premier League are currently discussing ways to avoid this, especially in the long run.

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TeamOddsBookmaker
Man City7/2bet365
Liverpool9/1Unibet
Arsenal9/1BetUK
Tottenham Hotspur10/1Betway
Chelsea14/1Sporting Index
Manchester United14/1bet365
Newcastle United14/1BetVictor
Aston Villa28/1Unibet
Brighton & Hove Albion33/1Paddy Power
Leicester City33/1Parimatch
West Ham United33/1bet365
Crystal Palace50/1BetVictor
Everton66/1Unibet
Leeds United80/1Paddy Power
Brentford80/1Coral

With so much still to play out, it may seem hard to keep track of it all. Here are all the start dates for the upcoming rounds to make sure you remain up to date on all things FA Cup related.

RoundDate
Third RoundSaturday 7th January 2023
Fourth RoundSaturday 28th January 2023
Fifth RoundWednesday 3rd March 2023
Quarter finalSaturday 18th March 2023
Semi-FinalSaturday 22nd April 2023
FinalSaturday 3rd June 2023

With the competition being in such an early stage, it may be difficult to make any exact predictions. The third-round fixtures have been drawn, though, so we can start to make some interesting observations.

With every round until the semi-final being random, predictions may be somewhat difficult as two favourites may face each other in earlier rounds.

The standout favourites for the competition include all the usual suspects, with Man City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea and Man United all making up the odds table in that order.

Other notable teams include Newcastle United, who are on astounding form, and Aston Villa with Unai Emery as their new boss. These could be two great dark horses.

The major matches in this round include Manchester United vs Everton. United should run away with this one, but Everton will be looking for a good run as well, so don’t count them out just yet.

Liverpool also face Premier League opposition in the form of Wolverhampton. This should be a win for The Reds, but Wolves are not to be taken lightly either.

By far the biggest match of the round is Manchester City vs Chelsea. A match that wouldn’t look out of place in the final, City look like the better team on paper and on form. City are set at 4/9 odds, while Chelsea’s odds are 27/5.

The difference between the FA Cup betting predictions and our strategic FA Cup betting tips?

It’s simple.

While our predictions are specific things that we think are likely to come true, this is more general strategy for the tournament that you can utilise regardless of who you think is likely to win. Or, indeed, whatever markets you deem wise to back and offering solid, competitive FA Cup betting odds. You can enjoy better betting strategy in a snap simply by following our five simple pieces of advice below.

  1. Back your overall winner early: Now, we are not suggesting that you back a winner just for the sake of it. If you have not a clue, or you do not think any of the markets offered represent good FA Cup final betting odds, then by all means, hold back on FA Cup outright betting. However, if you do think you know who is going to win, then you have been presented with a rare FA Cup betting tips opportunity. Backing an overall winner earlier on will almost certainly bag you better odds and bigger payouts should that bet be successful. Consider the 5000/1 odds offered for Leicester City winning in the 2015/16 Premier League season as one awesome example.
  2. Don’t be afraid of left-field markets: Of course, if no FA Cup outright betting market seems to provide decent value or anything that particular interests you, remember that there are plenty of other markets available. We are not just talking about winners of individual matches either – you could bet on anything from booking points to the numbers of corners taken if you think those markets could net you a winner. When you open your mind to the immense variety of football markets that are available, there are plenty more betting opportunities to be enjoyed.
  3. Shop around for the best FA Cup betting odds: FA Cup final betting is big business. This means that bookmakers are going to be extremely competitive, which can mean very generous odds. Remember, too, that you can open as many accounts as you like, often in mere minutes, allowing you to access the absolute finest odds that the world of football, and FA Cup betting, has to offer.
  4. Watch as much as you can from other leagues: Many of the teams left in the tournament not only have quite the history, but are also currently battling it out in the likes of the Premier League. A wealth of knowledge can be gained from researching past head-to-head contests, from watching as much of the tournament as you can manage, and from checking out performances elsewhere. Knowledge is power in FA Cup betting, and there is nothing quite like the insight you get from watching the teams perform first-hand.
  5. Look out for the best FA Cup betting offers: It is not just great FA Cup betting odds that can be enjoyed as the fruits of operator competitiveness. They will also often offer great promotions for those betting on the FA Cup, especially as we make our way to the later rounds and FA Cup final betting. Check out our look at the best football betting sites, as well as the best UK betting sites in general, for the perfect place to begin your search for all the hidden value found in those promotional page. You will also find plenty relevant for a broad variety of markets, not just the more heavily advertised FA Cup outright betting promotions.
Source: William Hill

We’ve discussed how there’s a whole heap of market variety when it comes to FA Cup betting, from the expected, to the strategic, to the weird and wonderful. With that in mind, we’ve chosen a magnificent seven selection of FA Cup betting markets to whet your appetite for the rest of the tournament. Here’s just a few fantastic FA Cup football betting options.

Outright FA Cup Betting: Winner

Quite simply, this is a bet on a team to win the FA Cup that season. If you so choose, you could of course make your bet each-way, allowing your team to lose in the final. But, for non each-way FA Cup Outright betting, your team will need to lift the trophy.

Over/Under Markets

There are several different types of over/under betting markets available on pretty much all football events covered, and you can expect them prominently available for the remaining FA Cup betting rounds.The most common examples are over/under markets on goals, where you predict whether the overall number of goals scored will be over or under a betting line set by the bookmaker. The same rules apply for many booking points and corner markets. Ideal if you do not want to back a team to win, but want to give that fixture some extra FA Cup betting intrigue. A simple, but fascinatingly strategic alternative to FA Cup outright betting.

To Make The Final

Not quite an each-way bet, but effectively a bet on a team to be among the last two teams in the tourney and make the final. Importantly, your pick does not need to win, and if they do, you will not win extra. An innovative kind of FA Cup final betting.

First To Score

One great thing about FA Cup betting markets is their ability to send a jolt of excitement through less interesting parts of the tournament and even individual parts of the game. Sometimes, football matches are less exciting in the beginning, and that’s where a market like First To Score comes in, when the very first goal can provide betting victory or defeat. It’s also a versatile market, as you can back both players and teams to be the first to score.

Winning Manager Nationality

A bet on the nationality of the winning manager. Stats-wise, a Frenchman, Arsène Wenger, has won the FA Cup more than any other coach, while Spaniards and Italians are also well-represented. In fact, the only nationality not to be represented are the English – last won by Harry Redknapp in 2008. Is this about to change? Bet wisely.

Winning Colour

Red, blue or something entirely different. Which colour of strip will the winning team wear when they win is the question of this unique example of FA Cup final betting. Bear in mind that, if you choose red, then you have a choice of Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United who could all win and credit your bet. Of course, Chelsea and Manchester City wear blue, as do half the league, but Away kits do count, and if City win and play in black, a bet on blue won't pay out.

To Go To Penalties

There are only a few scenarios as tense in FA Cup final betting, or indeed the world of football in general, than a major tournament final to go to penalties. This is exactly what this market allows you to back. That way, even if you must go through the ultimate football nerve-shredder, you can at least win some money out of it. This is a rare occurrence though, with the situation coming about only three times in 2004-05, 2005-06, and 2021-22. Arsenal won the first one, while Liverpool won the other two.

The Football Association (the FA) was formed in 1863 in order to set the Laws of the Game of Association Football, a sport slowly growing in popularity. Also often referred to as the working man’s game, football was still without a unified competition. By 1871, the FA Secretary C. W. Alcock floated the idea of a Challenge Cup for all clubs belonging to the Association to compete in.

In November that year, the inaugural FA Cup tournament took place. For the first two seasons, the Wanderers were the champions of the 13-match tourney, which grew in numbers each year before qualifying rounds were introduced around the turn of the century.

The 1923 FA Cup Final was the first final to be played in the newly opened Wembley Stadium, and became known as the White Horse Final. Four years later, a Cup Final tradition was established when the hymn Abide with Me was sung for the first time prior to kick off, which still happens today. The 2001 Cup Final was the first to be played outside of England when the Final was moved to the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales while Wembley was being redeveloped.

The last Final to be played in Cardiff was in 2006 and was won by Liverpool, who had also won the first FA Cup final to be held in Cardiff too. Fittingly, the 2006 Cup Final featured what was voted the greatest ever Cup Final goal, which was scored by Steven Gerrard in a match that was later dubbed The Steven Gerrard Final. The following year, the final went back to its spiritual home of Wembley, where it continues to be held today.

Wembley must surely be considered the ideal place for the history that has already unfolded since that return, such as Arsenal’s record-breaking win in 2020, where they became the team with the most FA Cup wins and final appearances. Incredible to think they were knocked out of the 2022 edition in the third round, and proof that anything can happen in FA Cup betting.

We also experienced even more heartbreak for Watford and Crystal Palace, who both came so close but failed to win the big one, with losses in the 2016 finals for Crystal Palace and 2019 finals for Watford. More positively, history was made with Portsmouth’s 2008 win, providing the longest gap between FA Cup wins at 69 years, with their last victory coming in 1939. We even saw Manchester United and Everton draw for most defeats following a loss in 2009 for the latter, and in 2005 and 2007 for the former.

And the historic moments keep on coming.

In the 2021 FA Cup, Leicester were surprise winners – likely the biggest upset in the tournament since Wigan Athletic won back in 2015. It was also a historic season for more unfortunate reasons, with both rules and round changes adhering to government guidelines due to the pandemic which had impacted sports globally.

Last season, Liverpool made eight FA Cup titles in a cagey affair which led to penalties against Chelsea. Both were evenly matched, and a penalty save by Alisson allowed Konstantinos Tsimikas to slot home Liverpool’s 7th penalty to win the match and lift the Cup. Chelsea also set a record of three straight FA Cup final defeats.

If there’s one thing, we all love, it’s a good giant-killing.

The FA Cup is the home of giant-killings, with the competition being the one of the few places to offer up such massive mismatches in club size. Even the EFL Cup pales in comparison! Here are a few of our favourites.

Chelsea 2-4 Bradford City (2015)

Kicking us off with an absolute peach of an inclusion, no one gave Bradford a chance in 2015 against a strong Chelsea side. The situation got even more dire for the League One side when they ended the first half 2-1 down. What follows was a great display by the Bantams, who scored three late goals in the last 15 minutes to secure their spot into the 5th round.Bradford went on to make it to the quarter-finals only to lose in a cup replay against Reading.

Burnley 0-1 Lincoln City (2017)

Lincoln City were on a sensational run in the 2016/2017 campaign. The National League (fifth tier) side had beaten Brighten and Hove Albion in the fourth round and would face Premier League opposition in the form of Burnley.Burnley dominated the game from start to finish, with Lincoln only managing to get a single shot on target. That ‘shot’ came in the form of an 89th minute header by Sean Raggett to win the match, with Lincoln making history by being the first non-league side to feature in the quarter-finals in 103 years.

West Bromwich Albion 2-4 Woking (1991)

Statistically one of the greatest ‘cupsets’ of all time, the difference in the stature of these two clubs is staggering. Woking were playing their football in the Isthmian League, the 5th tier of English football, made up of mostly semi-professional teams. Meanwhile, West Brom were firmly in the Second Division and were heavy favourites heading into this match.Going into the second half 1-0 down, Woking star Tim Buzaglo scored an 11-minute hat-trick to etch the team into the FA Cup history books and performing one of the biggest upsets of all time.

Manchester City 0-1 Wigan Athletic (2013)

A must-have inclusion due to the size of the occasion for the upset. Even though both teams were in the Premier League at the time, they were having massively different seasons. Manchester City were fighting to win the league, while Wigan were fighting off relegation. Neither team managed these targets.Wigan faced relatively easy opposition, but it was still a huge shock for them to make it to the final. It looked as though they had finally met their match against a supremely talented Manchester City side, until Pablo Zambaleta got a second yellow in the 84th minute.In the 90th Shaun Maloney sent in a corner which was met by the head of substitute Ben Watson to score an unbelievable, late winner. Wigan lifted the FA Cup trophy and got relegated in the same season, the only team in history to do so. Truly sensational stuff!

There is arguably no better way of improving your betting strategy, whether we are talking about FA Cup betting or any other kind, than by researching as thoroughly as possible.

Luckily for football fans, there’s likely no sport as well-covered in terms of available information, with ThePuntersPage leading the charge. We have such a huge selection of statistical pages that we’ve had to create an entire football stats centre to showcase them all!

In addition, we also provide incredibly useful betting calculators to help you make the most out of the immense collection of information we provide.

YearChampionScoreRunner-Up
2022Liverpool0-0 (aet)
6-5 (Pen)
Chelsea
2021Leicester City1-0Chelsea
2020Arsenal2-1Chelsea
2019Manchester City6-0Watford
2018Chelsea1-0Manchester United
2017Arsenal2-1Chelsea
2016Manchester United 2-1 (aet)Crystal Palace
2015Arsenal4-0Aston Villa
2014Arsenal3-2 (aet)Hull City
2013Wigan Athletic1-0Manchester City
2012Chelsea2-1Liverpool
2011Manchester City 1-0Stoke City
2010Chelsea 1-0Portsmouth
2009Chelsea2-1Everton
2008Portsmouth 1-0Cardiff City
2007Chelsea1-0 (aet)Manchester United
2006Liverpool 3-3 (aet)
3-1 (Pen)
West Ham United
2005Arsenal0-0 (aet)
5-4 (Pen)
Manchester United
2004Manchester United 3-0Millwall
2003Arsenal1-0Southampton
2002Arsenal 2-0Chelsea
2001Liverpool2-1Arsenal
2000Chelsea1-0Aston Villa

To give you some examples of how interesting and important statistics can be, here’s a couple of key stats and facts to help with FA Cup betting.

  • 43 different teams have won the competition – six of these teams either no longer exist or play in leagues which are not FA-affiliated.
  • Ashley Cole has won a record seven FA Cup finals.
  • With 14 FA Cup wins, Arsenal are the most successful team in the history of the competition.
  • Ian Rush is the record goal-scorer in FA Cup final history, with five goals to his name.
  • Arsène Wenger is the most successful manager in FA Cup history, having won the cup seven times.
  • Didier Drogba has found the net in four separate cup finals, a competition record.
  • It is the world’s oldest football tournament, having begun in 1871
  • The longest tie took place between Oxford City and Alvechurch in the fourth qualifying round of 1971. It went over 660 minutes, with Alvechurch mercifully winning 1-0 in the sixth match
  • In 2021, the biggest gap in rank ever saw 8th tier Marine take on Tottenham.
  • Way back in 1887, the biggest ever FA Cup win took place when Preston North End beat Hyde 26-0.
  • In 2005, Tunbridge Wells vs Littlehampton Town saw 20 penalties each, the longest ever for this tournament.
  • In 2022, Chelsea became the first team to lose three consecutive finals in the competition. Newcastle United are closest, losing three in four between 1904 and 1908.

No, there is no seeding for the FA Cup. There are a series of byes aimed to allow bigger teams to enter into the latter stages of the competition.

The FA Cup final traditionally takes place at London’s Wembley Stadium. Along with the 2 semi-finals.

No – all matches are one leg, but may go to a replay in the event of a tie, which would then be decided by extra time and a penalty shoot-out.

Yes – FA Cup winners qualify for the following season's UEFA Europa League.

Absolutely. There are all kinds of bets that you can make on the tournament or the individual matches.

The most famous domestic football cup competition in the world, the FA Cup is a staple of the English football season. The FA Cup final, which takes place each May, traditionally brings the curtain down on the domestic season before all professional players take their summer break. This illustrious event dates back as far as the 1871/2 season, and has lost none of its shine to UK fans and those overseas.

Because of its huge popularity, there are many who like to place a bet on the FA Cup. The goal of this article is to assist you in finding the perfect operator to place those bets in the smartest, most strategically sound way possible. But most importantly of all, we hope that we’ve provided you with all the foundation you need to have the best time possible while FA Cup betting, whatever the result!

WRITTEN BY Jeremy Sant Fournier
View all posts by Jeremy Sant Fournier

If there’s one thing Jeremy loves, it’s sports. A football fanatic at heart, Jeremy can always been found watching, playing or talking about sports. It’s in his blood, and with a keen interest in sports betting, sports writing is a match made in heaven.

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