Football Tips: The 3 best bets as Wolves face Southampton on Thursday

Wolves v Southampton at 5.30pm on a Thursday. Who says the magic of the cup is dead?


*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

Maybe it’s because we’re ignorant or maybe it’s because this Premier League season feels like it’s lasted for three years at this point, but when I think of Wolves and Southampton, I don’t think of either having a bad campaign. And yet…

Southampton have lost each of their last five games, Wolves have lost seven of their last 12 in the league and the Saints not only lost 9-0 a fortnight ago – they also shipped three to Newcastle in their last game in the league.

Thursday 5.30pm: Wolves v Southampton
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It was the first time the Geordies had scored three times from open play in a game this season. Nothing quite like an under-the-radar crisis, is there? Of course, the problem for both these sides is comfort, really. If you think of two of the safest managers in the league, you think of Ralph Hassenhuttl and of Nuno Espirito Santo. I suppose it begs the question – why?

Now, of course neither are horrendously underachieving and I’m all for time to lay plans, but there’s probably nothing positive that can come from their seasons now – and nothing overly negative as both are double-digit points clear of the bottom three. Is the FA Cup actually a welcome distraction for these two? Is the old English adage of cup magic about to ring true? Probably not, but here’s a betting preview anyway.

Short-price punt: Both Teams to Score

Both Teams To Score is not a safe bet because I’m backing their attacking their prowess in the final third – it’s just more that I can’t see reinforced efforts from either side to actually try and stop the other and the Cup allows you to be slightly looser. Wolves held Leicester scoreless last week which is some form of divine inspiration.

Their only other clean sheet between that and last October was a 0-0 draw with Chelsea. As for Southampton, they lost on the opening day to Palace and scored in thirteen straight games in the competition before failing to breach Manchester City.

Since then they’ve failed to score in five of their eight fixtures in the competition – but netting twice for the first time since early December indicates to me that they’re functional at least. Which is more than can be said for some of the teams around them. See? Every cloud.

Value Bet: The Draw

You get the impression they’d both settle for it, don’t you? The failsafe of the Cup is that you don’t need to win a game to progress and let me tell you – the desire both of these have to do the bare minimum is evident.

I know Wolves have taken four points from their last two which is stark contrast to the form prior to this, but at the same time, losing on penalties after a draw seems an excellent way to suffer defeat without having to actually deal with it in reality.

The market is saying that this is the ultimate ‘anything can happen’ game and usually when they’re built up like that, very little actually happens and both sides settle for extras with about ten minutes to go.

Long Shot: James Ward-Prowse to Score First

You know the saying – when in doubt: James Ward-Prowse. They don’t actually say that but it’s really catchy and you can consider this my official copyright claim. Thanks in advance.

He’s on free-kicks against a side who give up as many niggly fouls on the edge of the box as anyone in the league and he’s clearly in form after stunning Newcastle last week. For a decent price on James Ward-Prose to Score First, at least you’ll have an element of excitement every time there’s a free-kick? It’s about as much excitement as I’ve had early on a Thursday evening since I was a teenager.

Tips for Wolves v Southampton

Short-price punt: Both Teams to Score
Value Play: The Draw
Long Shot: James Ward-Prose to Score First

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

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