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Wednesday, 23 January, 2019

Clattenburg may keep cards in his pocket at Goodison

The Soccer Boffin delivers his best bet of the weekend

Referee Mark Clattenburg speaks to Theo Walcott
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It is possible that Hills have underestimated the chance of a low number of cards in the Premier League game between Everton and Burnley.

So back under 35 bookings points in the Goodison Park clash at 11-10.

Each yellow will count as ten and each red as 25. So the bet will win if there are no reds and no more than three yellows, or alternatively if there is one red and no yellows.

The number of cards shown in a match is influenced primarily by the difference in ability between the teams. The chance of a low card-count is at its minimum when teams appear to be perfectly balanced.
Everton are playing at home and are better than Burnley.

As they should be – they are an established Premier League teams, with 63 consecutive seasons in the top flight, and a bigger budget. The score-related markets imply roughly a 70 per cent chance of Everton scoring each goal that is scored.

There is no obvious reason to think that is wrong by much, if at all.
In other Premier League games with similar expectations the chance of under 35 bookings points would be about 50 per cent.

Odds of 11-10 imply that the chance of a bet being successful is less than 48 per cent. That is not much smaller, but it is smaller.

And there is no clear reason to think that the chance of a low card count at Goodison today is different than in other games with similar characteristics.

Burnley have received no more cards than we should have expected from their results. Everton at home have received one or two more, but that will probably prove to be no more than a meaningless, short-lived fluctuation. It did not happen in previous seasons with Everton or other teams managed by Ronald Koeman.

The referee at Goodison will be Mark Clattenburg, the best of recent times.

Last season Clattenburg refereed the European Championship, Champions League and FA Cup finals.

After this season he will work full-time for the football association of Saudi Arabia. Appreciate him while you can.

One of the reasons he is so good is that he shows a card when it is necessary and required by the laws, but not otherwise.

Every makeup is possible in every market on every event.

The chance of under 35 bookings points between Everton and Burnley may not be much better than suggested by odds of 11-10, but it might be better.

Under 35 booking points in Everton v Burnley
0.5pt 11-10 Hills

Thought for the day

Sherlock Holmes is worth listening to, whoever puts the words in his mouth. In a film called Mr Holmes the famous detective is 93 years old and retired to the country. His housekeeper has a young son called Roger.

Roger has been reading about one of Holmes’s cases. “A man comes to Baker Street. You say: ‘You’ve come about your wife.’ How could you tell?”

Holmes says there were clues in the sentence: “One day into the room came a young man in newly pressed albeit inexpensive clothes.”

Roger wrinkles his brow. “The clothes are freshly pressed. He’s a young man, though. Not expensive clothes.” Roger’s eyes light up.

“Then his wife must press them. Men don’t have the talent and he can’t afford a servant to do so.”

“Very good”, says Holmes.

“That’s how you knew it was about the wife,” says Roger.

“Well, no,” says Holmes. He bends down closer to Roger and smiles.

“When you’re a detective and a man comes to visit you it’s usually about his wife.”

When trying to deduce what has happened, or what will happen, attach great importance to what usually happens.

Note other things, but in the knowledge that they are more likely to mislead you than enlighten you.

I like to imagine Holmes’s consulting room on another morning.

Holmes is reading a newspaper. A headline says: “Lion escapes from circus.” Underneath the headline is a picture of the failed lion tamer.

There is a knock at the door and Holmes says: “Enter.” Holmes folds his paper and puts it down. A man walks in. His clothes are torn. From his hand droops a broken whip. He looks like the man in the paper.

Holmes could say: “How can I help you find your lost lion?” But instead he says: “You’ve come about your wife.”

The bet will win if there are no reds and no more than three yellows, or alternatively if there is one red and no yellows
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