Spread Betting (part 4) – Cyril’s betting advice (part 18)

Football Betting

Spread Betting Markets. (Cont’d).
Yet another popular market with the punters.
Most firms allot 10 points for a Yellow card and 25 points for a Red card. Anyone getting two yellow cards 
in the game, thus earning a Red card will count as 35pts. 
The "normal" spread for a match is usually set between three and four Yellows. Say 35 – 38. Some games will be set higher. A "local derby" would be such a game.  Setting at around 55 – 59. Expecting, or a least allowing for, one Red card.
Many games have the SPREAD set according to past performances. Arsenal and Man. Utd have been known to have the odd set to on-field and this will be taken into account when the Spread is set. Can you imagine what some of the old, Old Firm derbies must have made up at. The influx of foreign players to both teams has somewhat dampened down the fiery exchanges. Now a Sell of, say, 76 would be considered rather high.  
A very important factor is the Referee. Some as we know are card happy. Why does Mike Riley‘s name spring to mind? As early as 2001/2 season he was averaging 55pts per game. Although he does appear to have "quietened down" recently. Last season his average was 40pts per game. This season, so far it’s 42pts per game. Compare him with Mark Halsey. 2001/2 his average was 36pts and his average this season is a little in excess of 17pts per game. Perhaps experience  brings forth a mellowing in the referee’s attitude to the players. Or it could be that the players are not as bad as they are made out to be. This may be born-out by the figures so far this season. The average make-up being just below 30pts per game. So it does pay to "know your referee". Always have a look at the referee’s current "booking form". Especially if he’s refereed the two sides before. Lightening can strike twice is these cases.

In the early years of this market., the spread was often set too high. Mainly because, human nature being what it is, we all like to see a bit of rough and tumble on the pitch. As you will imagine, the Professional Punters were in their element and Sold at every opportunity. Obviously the market spreads were adjusted downwards. There are still many occasions when the Buy is set a bit on the high side. This can happen when the two sides are middle of the table, not much to play for, on a nice spring afternoon being policed by a known "lenient" referee.  
In general just under half of all games see no more than three Yellows. If you can Sell under 40pts you will be on the right side of the fence more often than not.
However do bear in mind that this season average points per game are slightly down.
Foreign leagues tend to have a higher average per game than the Premiership.