The odds of Chelsea and Manchester City going out to lower division opposition in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday was 285-1 but one punter foresaw one of the most astounding days in the competition’s long history.
The biggest shock was third tier Bradford City coming back from 2-0 down to beat Premier League leaders Chelsea 4-2 at Stamford Bridge while Championship Middlesbrough outplayed champions Manchester City in a 2-0 win at The Etihad.
The odds on that double were 285-1, according to British bookmakers William Hill.
“Over Christmas, the punters got more than one over on us, but today has seen some of the most unlikely results in the history of the FA Cup,” said William Hill spokesman Joe Crilly. “It is absolutely astonishing.”
Another bookmakers, Ireland-based BoyleSports, said one Dublin punter walked away with 25,740 euros ($28,847) from a 15 euro treble on Bradford, Middlesbrough and Leicester City, who beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1.
Manchester United, held 0-0 by fourth tier Cambridge United on Friday in what now looks like a good result, are suddenly favourites for a 12th FA Cup.
A few other clubs, including Crystal Palace, might fancy their chances too.
Palace were given a 0.02 percent chance of winning the FA Cup by one Saturday newspaper column before the bizarre upsets blasted open the draw.
Palace beat Premier League high-flyers Southampton 3-2 away but that result, while a surprise, paled into insignificance in light of the scorelines elsewhere.
“I did have a chuckle this morning when I saw the ‘think-tank’ in the (Times) paper when it said we had 0.02 percent chance to win the FA Cup – that’s probably gone up a bit,” Palace manager Alan Pardew told the BBC.
FA Cup odds
Manchester United 5-2
West Ham United 10-1
Stoke City 16-1
West Bromwich Albion 16-1
Crystal Palace 20-1
Aston Villa 25-1
Leicester City 25-1
Bradford City 150-1
Source: William Hill
($1 = 0.8923 euros)