The Card Shark had a favourable weekend on our return to the fray last time out, with two of our three selections landing to give us a profitable week on the Premier League markets.
More of the same would do nicely this week, and with two odds-against shots and a solid looking odds-on poke, we are confident of another winning column.
Get on these three beauties….
Under 2.5 bookings in Liverpool v Norwich City @ 87/100
Two sides with good disciplinary records go head-to-head at Anfield when Liverpool host Norwich City and there is every chance that it is a match that will see very few yellow cards produced.
As regular readers of this column will know, the Canaries are one of the Premier League’s cleanest sides, and have been booked just 21 times this season: only Southampton and Arsenal have been shown yellow less.
Quirkily, Chris Hughton’s side have been booked more at Carrow Road than they have on their travels, as Norwich have been given just eight yellow cards in their 11 away games, three of which came in one game at Everton.
Liverpool have been booked 31 times this season, but only eight of those have been at Anfield in their 11 home fixtures and with these two sides on just 16 combined bookings in 22 games, you have to fancy there being under 2.5 yellow cards produced, especially when referee Michael Oliver averages just 2.4 bookings a match.
Newcastle United to receive more yellow cards than Reading @ 2/1
A relegation battle takes place at St James’ Park on Saturday and as far as I am concerned, the 2/1 about Newcastle United receiving more yellow cards than visitors Reading looks ridiculously overpriced.
Even a quick look at the Fair Play table would suggest as much: the Magpies have seen yellow on 43 occasions so far in 2012/13, with only usual suspects Stoke and West Ham receiving more bookings. Reading, on the other hand, have only been booked 26 times in 26 games.
But there is also a big disparity between their home and away records when it comes to yellow cards that makes Newcastle’s price a big one. Whereas the Royals have only been booked 11 times on the road, and have actually received one or fewer bookings in eight of those matches (five of which they weren’t even booked once in), the Toon have been a dirty side on their own patch.
Alan Pardew’s mob have been booked 23 times at St James’ Park, at least one every match, and there have been five occasions when Newcastle have been booked at least three times. So I see no reason why you can get 2/1 about the Toon, and it should be snapped up.
Under 3.5 yellow cards in West Ham United v Queens Park Rangers @ 6/5
The under/over threshold has been put up a notch and priced up at odds against for the London derby between West ham United and Queens Park Rangers, but that could be a bit of a mistake on the part of the bookies and the 6/5 about the under 3.5 yellow cards is of interest.
It is understandable why this has been done – only Stoke have been booked more often than West Ham, and in the reverse fixture in September there were 11 yellow cards shown, a Premier League record eight of them for the Hammers.
But look beyond that and there could be some value in the 6/5. Yes, West Ham can be as dirty as you would expect of a Big Sam side, but most of their bookings are picked up away from home. At Upton Park, the Irons have been booked just 12 times in 11 games, and only one of their matches has seen more than three yellow cards given.
In fact, five of them have seen one card or fewer and with QPR in town, whose away matches are averaging exactly three yellow cards a game, it may not be the card-fest everybody expects. With Howard Webb in charge (average bookings of 3.5 a match), I think the 6/5 is worth a play.