It’s very rare for odds makers to get a price wrong in the English Premier League on match price markets. There is so much information available and the odds compilers so familiar with the teams in the division that it’s nigh on impossible for bettor’s to obtain an edge over the bookmakers .
I therefore tend to concentrate on subsidiary markets in the League such as bookings and corners. As most punters like to bet on things happening to add to the excitement of a bet rather than events not to happen, this week I am looking at the ref’s who are handy with their notepad.
Before I do, statistically in the 380 Premier League matches played last season, on average there was between three and four yellow cards per game and one red card shown every 5.6 matches played.
The bookmakers generally count a yellow as 10 points and a red as 25 points. A yellow card followed by a red for a player in match makes up at a total of 35. The average bookings count last season was 37.2 per match.
Let’s look at the ref’s with card history.
Mike Dean:- I took my hat off to this man in black when he was struck by a coin in a match last season between Cardiff and Swansea when refusing to roll around like some of the histrionics we witness by Premier League players.
That said Dean does like to take names and is one of the most card-happy ref’s in the League. In each of his last four seasons his average bookings index count has been on the high side, between 44 and 47. 75% of his matches over the last four seasons have contained three bookings plus. Find a potentially volatile match with him in charge and you can make hay.
Howard Webb:- This man in black was at the top end of the betting market to issue most cards in the 2010-2011 season and it’s not difficult to fathom why. His card counts have risen throughout his career as he has gained confidence and become more authoritative, almost at times making controversial decisions to stamp that authority – witness last seasons Champions League final and this year’s World Cup for some debatable decisions.
Look out for Webb in the Champions League as only 6 of his 15 matches refereed in this tournament ended up in under 40 bookings points. In his Premier League history, 37% of his matches resulted in 45 and over bookings points.
Andre Marriner:- Average bookings index last season of 42.7 and if officiating a fairly combustible looking game he is hastier than most with his pen and paper. He issued nine red cards last season which is shockingly high and that figure has somewhat distorted his overall bookings count for 09-10 which was 42.7. When this ref’s in charge of a derby match the players could be seeing red putting punters in the black.
Martin Atkinson:- The general trend with Atkinson seems to be his card count is on the rise with the last couple of seasons being his highest in his five year League tenure with bookings averages of 40 and 45 which is over the norm. He’s a man to follow for a high card count and with the slow ascent of card’s shown the odds may still be favourable.
Lee Probert:- Looks to be finding his feet in the Premier League when it comes to giving out cards. His average was low 20s in his first 3 seasons yet shot up last season to an average 40.9. As with Atkinson his rise in the cards table last season makes him a major player and this may not yet be reflected in the layers odds.
Watch these ref’s and the matches they are involved in closely, put your money on a high bookings count and yell at the ref to get his cards out every time there is a crunching tackle or a petulant overpaid player’s back-chat. Even where there’s a goal we can sometimes celebrate.
Oh yes Didier, get the top off….
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