You can’t beat the magic of the FA Cup.
The world’s oldest cup competition is about to crank up a notch as League One and League Two clubs make their bow at this stage of the tournament.
Fancy some major cupsets as the competition proper begins?
Read on for our giant-killing picks in our first FA Cup betting preview of the season…
FA Cup 1st Round Betting Predictions | Where Could The Shocks Come?
LINCOLN CITY VS BOWERS & PITSEA (Saturday, 15:00)
⚡️ Shock potential: 10/10
Could Bowers & Pitsea become the pride of Essex by snatching a shock win over the Lincolnshire border?
The Isthmian Premier League side have reached this round of the competition for the first time in their history, and Rob Small’s minnows might just fancy their chances of stealing the headlines at Sincil Bank given the Imps’ patchy form so far this season in League One.
Bowers have already pulled off one upset in this competition when dumping out Conference Premier outfit Aldershot in the previous round and they have form on the road this season, with three of their four qualifying wins to reach this stage coming away from home.
AFC SUDBURY VS COLCHESTER UTD (Friday, 19:55)
⚡️ Shock potential: 9/10
If you’re the rookie manager of a struggling League Two side, what could be more welcome than a sticky FA Cup opener in front of the TV cameras away at a non-league club just 30 minutes down the road?
You can forgive Hayden Mullins for having sleepless nights this week as his Colchester Utd side step into the media glare as they make the short hop into Suffolk for this Friday night tie.
Eighth-tier AFC Sudbury are the lowest ranked team left in the competition having navigated five rounds to reach this stage, and could make life more than difficult for a U’s side that have won just twice on the road so far this campaign.
BANBURY UTD VS BARROW (Saturday, 17:15)
⚡️ Shock potential: 8/10
After years being David at non-league level, it’s Barrow’s turn to play Goliath in this tussle as the League Two side look to avoid a humbling defeat away at Southern League Premier Division Central side Banbury Utd.
This has all the hallmarks of being the ultimate banana skin for the off-colour Cumbrians.
Mark Cooper’s side are without a win in six games in all competitions and will find themselves colliding with one of the most consistent clubs in the country at the 2,400 capacity Banbury Plant Hire Community Stadium.
The Puritans are on a remarkable 19-game unbeaten run and could make it a magnificent 20 with a win in arguably the biggest game in the club’s history this weekend.
CARLISLE UTD VS HORSHAM (Saturday, 15:00)
⚡️ Shock potential: 8/10
Can Horsham’s intrepid players shake off a horror coach trip to return home to Sussex as heroes on Saturday?
A near 700 mile round-trip awaits the Hornets as they make the long journey north to League Two strugglers Carlisle, but a massive upset at Brunton Park could be a major shot in the arm for a club also toiling at the wrong end of their own division, the Isthmian Premier.
This extended cup run has provided some much-needed respite for Horsham boss Dom Di Paola after claiming just one win in the league all season, but his underdogs could be pitching up in Cumbria at an opportune moment for a giant-killing.
New Utd boss Keith Millen may be in experimental mood as he takes charge of his side for just a second time.
WIGAN VS SOLIHULL MOORS (Saturday, 15:00)
⚡️ Shock potential: 7/10
Finally, could Solihull create a stir by knocking out one of the few former winners entering at this stage of the competition?
Moors might just have a chance given the cup is unlikely to be a major priority for promotion-chasing Wigan this season, while the 2013 FA Cup winners have also been an uncharacteristic soft touch at times of late at the DW Stadium, suffering three defeats in their last four home games.
The visitiors have also been a tough nut to crack since the summer appointment of Neal Ardley. The former Wimbledon man has steered them into play-off contention having lost just two of his 14 league games to date.
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