F.A. Cup 3rd Round picks: Fulham, Crystal Palace, Brighton, Everton, Southampton all favorites Saturday
Welcome to the third round of the 2021-22 F.A. Cup, which means welcome to chaos.
There will be 32 matches played, with 64 teams left in what started as a 750+ team tournament that began back on August 6 with the Extra Preliminary Round. Think about that: they don't even just have preliminary rounds, they have the EXTRA PRELIMINARY ROUND. There have already been eight rounds for us to get it down to these 64 teams.
The 44 teams in the Premier League and Championship enter at this stage, so just 20 other teams advanced from the 40 First Round winners.
If you have not watched this tournament before, please try to do so this weekend. For example, Friday's lone game sees League Two Swindon Town, who beat Crewe Alexandra and Walsall to get here, host Premier League champions Manchester City. Coming into the contest, there are 71 places between the two teams in the pyramid.
Swindon Town's ground holds just over 15,000 fans, so Manchester City will feel like it is playing at home (TWENTY THOUSAND EMPTY SEATS, ARE YOU ******* SURE), but the pitch is going to be a little (A LOT) different.
There are some changes as well, due to the COVID-19 situation. While Liverpool whined and got ANOTHER game postponed in the EFL Carabao Cup Thursday, that is not going to happen in the F.A. Cup: all teams must play their games, and use academy players if need be to do so. Also, there will be no replays, so all matches will be decided by extra time and penalties (if needed) for the rest of the tournament.
I could honestly pick more games here, but I think you have to try to find value where you can from the 32 games, and focus on those. But if you think another game is more worthy, then by all means, go ahead and bet it. There are going to be some upsets, as there always are: it is just a matter of either staying away if you like favorites, or getting them right if you bet underdogs, kind of like the first round of March Madness.
Check Paramount+, Peacock, and ESPN+ for TV schedules
ENGLAND F.A. CUP THIRD ROUND
(All games on ESPN+)
Bristol City (+400) v Fulham (-145), draw (+275), 7:30 a.m. EDT
Millwall (+260) v Crystal Palace (+110), draw (+230), 7:45 a.m. EDT
Newcastle United (-385) v Cambridge United (+1050), draw (+460), 10 a.m. EDT
QPR (+100) v Rotherham (+285), draw (+245), 10 a.m. EDT
Hull City (+320) v Everton (-105), draw (+245), 12:30 p.m. EDT
Swansea City (+290) v Southampton (+105), draw (+240), 12:30 p.m. EDT
Charlton Athletic (+285) v Norwich City (+105), draw (+225), 9 a.m. EDT
West Ham United (-120) v Leeds United (+360), draw (+265), 9 a.m. EDT
Nottingham Forest (+520) v Arsenal (-175), draw (+290), 12:10 p.m. EDT
Fulham -0.75 (-105)
Crystal Palace ML (+110)
Newcastle United -1.5 (-120)
Newcastle United over 2.5 goals (+135)
QPR ML (+100)
Everton ML (-105)
Southampton ML (+100)
Norwich City ML (+105)
West Ham ML (-120)
Arsenal -1 AH (+100)
Arsenal over 2.5 goals (+230)