Soccer Picks: Manchester City vs. Wigan

Nila Amerova

Thursday, March 6, 2014 8:38 PM GMT

Man City host holders Wigan in the FA Cup quarterfinals at the weekend with the hosts favoured across the board to both beat Wigan as well as win the competition proper. Will the Citizens come through on this market confidence or will there be a repeat of the 2013 FA Cup final?

Man City hot favourites

Once the quarterfinal draw was released Manchester City emerged as the outright favourites to lift the coveted FA Cup trophy by competition end at -110 future odds at Bet365. Rivals Arsenal are a distance away at +275 to win outright while Everton are listed at +700. The long shots of the competition include (surprise, surprise) the visitors, who are listed at a whopping +8000 to defend their title, a price tag equalled by Sheffield, and Charlton listed at +6600. Meanwhile, Hull City and Sunderland are listed at +1200 and +1400s soccer odds, respectively.

The FA Cup quarterfinal draw delivers Man City an opportunity to avenge their 2013 FA Cup final defeat by Wigan Athletic, a shocking 1-0 upset that rocked sports betting markets last year but was, at the same time, arguably, a touching footnote to Wigan’s failed season in England’s top flight. A final hurrah as they prepared for the ignominy of Championship football.

This year there will be no repeat of the 2013 FA Cup final, at least so say pundits and experts alike in no uncertain terms. A confidence echoed by odds makers across sportsbook platforms that install Man City as the whopping -700 favourites to win outright.  

Underscoring this notion is Manchester City’s recent 3-1 victory in the Capital One Cup final at Wembley on Sunday; a comeback from behind win no less over Sunderland that delivered Man City’s first silverware on the season.

The Sky Blues went down 1-0 in the 10 th minute when Fabio Borini scored for the Black Cats, a lead they would hold until half time. The second half was all Man City however as Touré equalised in the 55 th minute and barely a minute later Nasri scored the winning goal. Jesus Navaro added a third for good measure later to wrap up the night on a successful note for Man City.

As far as Premier League action goes, Manchester City are fourth in the table on the back of an 18-3-5 mark and 57 points but with two games in hand. Home form is an nigh flawless 12-0-1 and recent home form stands at 3-0-2 which includes a 1-0 defeat to Chelsea (their first league defeat) and 2-0 defeat to Barcelona in Champions League.

Wigan priced out of the market

FA Cup is Wigan’s only chance for noteworthy glory this season aside from earning promotion. And with Wigan enjoying some of their best form to date they have reason to be optimistic about their chances in both instances.  

Wigan Athletic are currently sixth in the Championship table with a 15-7-10 mark and 52 points with a game in hand, 22 points shy of league leading Leicester City but still in play for promotion to top flight, a happenstance that is priced at +400 futures odds in Championship betting markets at Bet365. 

Where FA Cup is concerned however sportsbooks aren’t looking upon Wigan so favourably. Quite the opposite, in fact. They are listed at the drastic disadvantage at +1600 to win outright.

Recent form is promising as Wigan look to defend their title at the expense of their formidable hosts at the Etihad. They’ve won their last five matches in a row, including a 2-1 victory over Cardiff City in FA Cup fifth round action. Two matches were clean sheets – 3-0 over Sheffield and 2-0 over Barnsley – while their most recent victory was a convincing 4-1 victory over Nottingham Forrest.

Granted good form in Championship football is one thing. Beating the likes of Man City, a Premier League darling, is another. Thus, Wigan’s form has to be taken in some reservation as indicated by odds makers who have installed Wigan on excessive +1600 soccer odds to win outright at Bet365. But that was the case last season when they went into the final.

Wigan insist on defying the odds. Case and point their victories over Premier League sides Cardiff City and Crystal Palace in the competition. So should they be written off simply because of their second-tier digs?  Isn’t that being rather rash?

Soccer Betting Verdict: Manchester City are the popular soccer pick across the board and, by all accounts, they should win this match. Last year, they were guilty of underestimating a relegation-bound Wigan. They won’t make the same mistake again, one would think.

That said those soccer bettors that fancy Wigan have another shock up their sleeves must consider backing Wigan on their exotic +1600 soccer odds. Price alone is too tempting to ignore. What’s more, underscoring this notion is an intangible fact: Wigan will be motivated to defend their title, a victory that marked one of the greatest days of their football club’s history. Nobody believes in them but they believe they won’t be pushovers and will try to give Man City a run for their money.

Soccer Free Picks: Man City to win outright; Over 2.5 at -225