Betting column: Get behind Sheffield United underdogs

Sheffield United's Jay McEveley celebrates - wil he be doing it again?
Sheffield United's Jay McEveley celebrates - wil he be doing it again?
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According to one long-standing myth, the huge audiences once attracted by ITV to its Champions League coverage in the 1990s were dominated by folks hoping to see Manchester United lose.

Whether that’s correct or not is immaterial as the majority of viewers tuning in to Saturday’s third round FA Cup tie between the Red Devils and Sheffield United will almost certainly be supporting the Blades, ostensibly because they’re the underdogs. It is, after all, the British way. Punters similarly inclined could be in for a profitable day, considering that Billy Sharp, who has scored in his last four games, is 125/1 to score in a 1-0 Blades win (

Elsewhere, Paddy Power rate the Blades at an enormous 4/1 to open the scoring, while others have latched on to Skybet’s 25/1 posted against a 1-0 away win. Gary Hooper has scored twice in his last four outings and is 5/1 (Ladbrokes) to open the scoring when Sheffield Wednesday host Fulham. The Owls are 14/5 ( to enjoy a one-goal victory and can be backed at 12/5 (William Hill) to progress without conceding.

Though Stoke lost in the League Cup this week, they’re favourites to overhaul Doncaster. Nevertheless, Rovers are 8/15 (bet365) to score, odds that appeal as Rovers have failed to score only once in their last eight matches, during which they’ve found the net 19 times.

Punters might also be tempted by the eye-catching 5/1 (Paddy Power) for Doncaster to lead at the half-hour mark, or else by the frothy-looking 10/1 (Stan James) for them to win 1-0.

BetVictor’s 6/4 for the first half of the tie between Leeds and Rotherham to end goalless is appealing, as does Skybet’s 8/1 for it to end goalless at 90 minutes.

Goals are, however, expected at Barnsley where the Tykes are 11/1 ( to register a 2-0 victory, and at Rochdale, where Chesterfield are the visitors. Coral post 4/6 about both teams scoring at Spotlands, while a 1-1 outcome is priced at 13/2 by Skybet.

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