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Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Hamilton could put Dundee in the corner

Wise words from the Soccer Boffin

Corners could bring a nice profit
1 of 1

Back Hamilton at 8-5 with William Hill on a corners handicap of –1 in their Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership game at home to Dundee.

They should have a fair amount of the play, and one consequence might be a bigger share of the corners than those odds anticipate.

Hills quote 11 corners handicaps for Hamilton. The best value, I think, may be -1. For the bet to win, Hamilton must take at least two corners more than Dundee.

And what is the chance of that happening?

Hamilton took a comparatively small share of the corners in their Premiership games during the last three seasons: 46 per cent. But Dundee’s share over the same period was even lower: 45 per cent.

Perhaps there is more reason to expect a change for Dundee than Hamilton. Dundee have a new manager, Neil McCann. He has been in the dugout for only six Premiership games, starting with five at the end of last season. Martin Canning, by contrast, has been Hamilton’s boss for two-and-a-half seasons.

But over time all unusual stats for things that happen during football matches tend to become less unusual - though, of course, no one knows when that process will start or how long it will take.

Even during the last two-and-half seasons, however, Hamilton’s record in corners handicaps was not as bad as you might have begun to fear.

Odds of 8-5 imply a 38 per cent chance of something happening. Ignore Hamilton’s home games against Celtic, who are a class apart. In 18 of their 44 Premiership home games against other opponents, Hamilton beat a corners handicap of -1 – that is, in 41 per cent of them.

And, as I say, there is reason to hope that sooner or later that percentage will rise.

All oddsmakers are good. Hills’s oddsmakers for corners and cards markets, in my opinion, are above a high average. So I do not suggest taking them on lightly. But it does seem possible that the chance of Hamilton flighting at least two corners more than Dundee may be better than envisaged by odds of 8-5.

Recommendation
Hamilton –1 on corners handicap
1pt 8-5 Hills

Thought for the day

Watching Aston Villa on television last Saturday I found myself thinking of Jack Grealish, who is injured. Three seasons ago when Grealish broke through I hoped he would develop into the best English midfielder since Paul Gascoigne.

I loved how he moved into space, and how he chose a pass before he got the ball. Since then he seems to have lost his way.

Previously I had entertained the same hope of another Jack. At one time I thought Jack Wilshere could become the best English midfielder since Gascoigne. He has been unlucky with injuries and when he gets on a pitch he is still a good player, but he has not maximised his potential.

But then, few do. For every player there is a range of possibilities. Rarely do they become as good as they could have been.

That is why at the start of a season I try not to get too carried away by a team’s arrivals or departures. Changing players must have an impact, but how strong it will be, or even in what direction, is harder to anticipate than most people admit.

Many players acclaimed as great signings do not excel. Often players who turn out to have been superb buys were recruited without any fanfare.

Danny Rose has apologised for saying, among other things, that Tottenham players are relatively underpaid. It was a fair point, though, even if he probably should not have made it in public.

Tottenham’s payroll is about half the size of the payrolls of Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool.

In each of the last two seasons they finished above four of that five.
Tottenham are a well-run club who pay what they can afford, which will rise if results remain good.

But at the moment Tottenham’s players are underpaid relative to others whose performances they have matched or surpassed.

In 18 of their 44 Premiership home games against other opponents, Hamilton beat a corners handicap of -1
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