Betting: Norwich City should have a bit too much for Luton Town
Bradford City and Swansea have this week reminded punters of the enormous appeal of knockout football and the occasional opportunities it creates to secure longer odds than usual.
Norwich City, for example, are 50/1 (Paddy Power) to win the FA Cup as they prepare for their fourth round home duel with Luton Town tomorrow, a tie they're 1/3 odds-on (BetVictor.com) to win inside 90 minutes. The Hatters, by contrast, are William Hill's 10/1 outsiders.
Luton, well-placed in the Conference to secure at least a play-off berth, will offer sterner opposition than many may expect, particularly as they've lost only twice since November. Nevertheless, assuming Norwich can assert their authority, the 10/11 odds posted by bet365 for City to win when kicking off with a one-goal deficit catches the eye.
Indeed, backers who suspect the Canaries will control the match from the start can get 5/6 (Stan James) against them being in front at half-time and a hefty 5/1 (Skybet) for them to lead 2-0 at the break.
Of course, Luton will not be arriving in the city merely to make up the numbers and, as we have seen this week, given knockout football's often unpredictable nature, Ladbrokes' 9/2 for it to finish all square has proved attractive enough for some punters to justify backing such an outcome.
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Yet Norwich should have too much for opponents likely to be more concerned about regaining their league status than embarking on a giant-killing FA Cup run. Those who concur can get 3/1 (Ladbrokes) against City winning by two goals, while Paddy Power chalk 6/5 against Chris Hughton's men enjoying a two-goal margin of victory.
Elsewhere, bet 365's 5/6 odds for the tie's total goal minutes to exceed 145 appeals, as does Stan James' 6/1 for City to win 2-0.
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Punters hunting for much lengthier prices can get a chunky 11/1 (BetVictor.com) against Norwich registering a 3-1 victory, so providing a comfortable passage into the fifth round.