West Brom vs. West Ham Soccer Pick: Predictable FA CUP 5th Round Clash

Nikki Adams

Thursday, February 12, 2015 3:27 PM UTC

Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015 3:27 PM UTC

FA Cup is slated to get underway this weekend, and on the books is the highly anticipated West Brom vs. West Ham clash. Find out what soccer odds are currently trading and what our prize picks are.

The FA Cup Betting Landscape 
What happens when top of the class clubs exit the tournament prematurely? Simple answer, other clubs get bumped up in the pecking order of favourites. On the heels of Cheslea, Man City, Southampton and Tottenham (essentially the four of the current Top Six in Barclay's Premier League) exiting, West Ham United, West Bromwich Albion, Stoke City, Crystal Palace, amongst several others benefited from a market re-evaluation. A typical occurrence when the load eases in an event.

West Ham United strike an interesting figure on the FA Cup odds board as the +1000 pick. One aspect that makes them a choice soccer pick to go the distance in this competition is their ability to focus on this competition fully, something mainly Arsenal and Man United (mainly) and Liverpool (to a lesser extent) can't afford to do. All three are in the hunt for a Top 4 finish in Premier League, while Arsenal and Liverpool have the added burden of competing in UEFA Champions League and Europa League, respectively.

West Ham United, by contrast, are firmly installed in the middle of the table on 38 points. With a 16-point cushion between them and the drop, relegation isn't a concern. For further evidence of that one need look at the futures odds currently trading on the relegation battle to find West Ham United priced safely out of reach, at +50000 for such an improbable occurrence. Now, they may only be five points behind Tottenham Hotspur in sixth place  (marking the first of possible spots in Europe next season), but the level of competition for those sought after positions in the upper echelons of the table is extremely high. It's not entirely impossible, but rather unlikely especially when comparing recent form of those in the race (Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham, Southampton, Man United) to West Ham United you get a sense of how improbable it really is. For instance, they are a whopping +8000 to finish in the Top 4.

Table 1: FA Cup Futures Odds Going Into Fifth Round

Arsenal +250

Man U +275

Liverpool +500

West Ham +1000

Stoke +1400

West Brom +2000

Crystal Palace +2200

Aston Villa +2500

Sunderland +2500

Derby +3300

Leicester +4000

Blackburn +6600

Middlesbrough +6600

Reading +10000

Preston +15000

Bradford +15000

* FA Cup odds courtesy of Bet365

West Ham United Odds
Although West Ham United are matched at +1000 in futures odds to land the FA Cup title, effectively making them the fourth favourites overall with four rounds to go in the competition, they enter their upcoming FA Cup tie with West Bromwich Albion at the disadvantage. It's a slight contradiction to the overarching FA Cup outlook obviously, but understandable seeing as they begin the tie on the road at the Hawthorne Park. Odds makers price the Hammers at +188 to win outright.

The Hammers have good form (not great) going for them ahead of this clash, which includes a 1-3-1 mark in their last five top flight fixtures. Most recently (midweek Premier League betting), they are after a scoreless draw to overachievers Southampton (fourth in the table), all while reduced to ten men.

In the last six meetings between West Ham and West Brom, the Hammers have the slight edge with a 2-4-1 mark, which includes a 1-1 draw at home. The draw can be backed at +240.

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West Bromwich Albion Finding Form
Rightly or wrongly, West Bromwich Albion's main focus has to be Premier League survival. When it comes down to survival or silverware, there's no choice to be made. The answer is obvious. SURVIVAL. This doesn't mean West Bromwich will toss the FA Cup match with West Ham at the weekend.  On the contrary, there's something to be said for playing spoilers. What's more, they have home advantage and are riding decent momentum into the weekend. But if we can all agree clubs prioritise their commitments accordingly, then it follows they won't risk too much in the pursuit of silverware if it threatens their Premier League survival.

The Baggies are 14th in the table behind a 6-8-11 mark and 26 points. Only four points separate them from the drop, the dreaded relegation battle, which is too close for comfort. Midweek Premier League action saw the baggies boost their survival bid with a 2-0 win over Swansea City, jumping up one spot in the table. The win follows a come-from-behind 2-2 draw at Burnley the week prior, extend their positive run of form (2-2-1) to two straight games, four of their last five. (The only hiccup was a 3-0 loss to Tottenham). This run of form should give them confidence and momentum going into the weekend's FA Cup clash with West Ham, and underscores their favourable +138 soccer odds to win outright.


Soccer Betting Verdict: West Ham To Make A Splash In FA Cup
This fifth round tie could go either way, obviously. Both teams come into this game behind positive results in Premier League action and that points to momentum and confidence. Still, we can't help feel West Ham United have the psychological edge over West Brom. Knowing they are well and truly safe in England's top flight means the Hammers can play freely. What's more, West Ham United have a realistic shot at glory and silverware now that the competition is lighter on its load. It's a brilliant opportunity that Sam Allardyce and his lads will not want to let slip through their fingers. That's why we're backing the Hammers to win this fixture at +188 soccer odds.

Soccer Picks: West Ham United +188

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