Saturday January 9 15:00 kick-offs
FA Cup Third Round
Northampton 2.89/5 v MK Dons 2.727/4; the draw 3.55/2
Chris Wilder says his Northampton players must believe they can cause an upset against MK Dons. There is every reason to think they can. Even the odds suggest that they are at least level pegging with the visitors.
Alfie Potter - who once scythed through Liverpool's defence for Havant & Waterlooville in the FA Cup - could return after injury, while the Cobblers have plenty of other factors in their favour. Marc Richards has three goals in four games and Ricky Holmes has been nurtured to find his place in the football league, having not quite fitted in at Portsmouth.
The visitors are struggling in the Championship and haven't won away since the season's opening day, whereas Northampton have lost just once in four months at Sixfields.
Karl Robinson's side have built a reputation of taking cup scalps such as beating Manchester United in the League Cup last season, something Wilder has noted when he says "we'd like to do that to them". Wilder might consider this game a "free hit" - no pressure on his men to win against a team two divisions higher. He might also be thinking ahead to Tuesday's top of the League Two table clash with Plymouth. But if you were one of his players you would not only be thinking there is an opportunity to progress but slightly aggrieved that the 'cup gods' have not bestowed a third round glamour tie against a Premier League club. For many players, the FA Cup presents that one chance to step out onto a famous stage.
The layers are on to this one, given that the two division gap does not merit a bigger price on the hosts but, like when Barnet played League One strugglers Blackpool in the first round, it could well be a justified short price.
Back Northampton @ 2.89/5
Accrington Stanley 1.910/11 v Notts County 4.57/2; the draw 4.03/1
John Sheridan continues to deny he has no interest in the Notts County manager's job - and why should he when he has only just taken on the Newport one? Perhaps County seem a better long-term proposition to those talking up the link.
At present, the Magpies make little appeal on or off the field. They have won win in five matches and Ricardo Moniz was ushered out because the team seems to be going backwards, having started the season as one of the favourites in League Two - a surprise to me.
Accrington, however, continue to go from strength to strength and even seem to be evolving as a club in a hugely positive fashion. Matt Crooks and Josh Windass have both signed pre-contract agreements to join Glasgow Rangers in the summer. Stanley are not a club known for developing players for such a jump, which shows they have progressed from a club which offers one-year deals because they couldn't promise stability further than that term.
Stanley boss John Coleman has been, gone and returned and now is eyeing a promotion push, plus knows that next season he will be expected to have invested the owner's cash injection announced in the autumn plus whatever financial rewards Stanley receive from Crooks and Windass' exits.
Far from allowing those two to take their feet off the pedals and relax having secured such arrangements, Coleman will make them work hard for their remaining months. Unlike County - nine points off the play-off positions - Accrington have been hovering in them for a while and with games in hand look like they can hang on to one.
Back Accrington @ 1.910/11
Mansfield 1.9620/21 v Stevenage 4.216/5; the draw 3.8514/5
On FA Cup weekends it is always worth looking for the "shocks" in league football, too. One of the bigger priced wins this weekend could come at the One Call Stadium.
Since rumours surfaced that Adam Murray, the Mansfield manager, might be on Walsall's wanted list, the Stags have not won in four matches.
The hosts are not often beaten at home, it must be said, with three wins and six draws. Matt Green has drawn rave reviews with eight goals, too.
But I have a feeling that Stevenage should not be written off, despite winning just twice on their travels. Their last four games have not been that impressive, either, gaining only two points. But those two away wins have come in their last three away games and, all told, Teddy Sheringham's men have scored 13 goals in their last seven matches - netting in each game.
They seem to have what horse racing punters call "bits and pieces of form". Could they be about to have one of those periods now? Striker Armand Gnanduillet, on loan from Chesterfield, scored twice in the 2-2 draw with Leyton Orient last weekend and has five goals for the club.
Back Stevenage @ 4.216/5
Sunday January 10, 14:00 kick-off, FA Cup Third Round
Carlisle 2.0421/20 v Yeovil 3.9; the draw 3.711/4
Yeovil's injury list might be shortening, but only Wes Fogden could return against Carlisle in the FA Cup on Sunday. It will take a little longer for Harry Cornick, Kevin Dawson and Simon Gillett to make a return although they are close, says boss Darren Way.
Everton youngster Liam Walsh, who joined on loan this week, will surely bolster the midfield, but even though the Glovers have begun to turn results around a victory in this match is still a tall order.
Way has overseen just one league defeat in his seven matches in charge, but only two victories. They have not conceded in two games, both at home, but while there might be a sense of injustice about the last time they played away to Carlisle they might struggle to hold the hosts' attack.
Carlisle were 2-0 down within eight minutes but came back to win 3-2 in October. They continue to score heavily, that game having started a run of 23 goals in 10 games. They might have drawn a blank against Plymouth, but that might in part have been down to the absence of Jabo Ibehre, whose baby daughter had to be taken to hospital. He might return for this game and boss Keith Curle also hopes to secure the extended services of defender Mark Ellis, who has been influential on loan from Shrewsbury.
Having to play their home games away because of flooding to Brunton Park will be costing Carlisle, who therefore have extra incentive to try to add the £67,000 for a win in this round to the £45,000 already collected.
Back Carlisle @ 2.0421/20
*You can read more League Two tips as well as Alan Dudman's thoughts on the week's League One action by visiting our dedicated English Football League section here on Betting.Betfair.