When it comes to football betting, there are a multitude of markets and some of the most popular ones relate to cards.
The first betting market you’ll generally see is “Number of Cards in Match” which is a straight choice between Over / Under a certain number of cards.
For a standard game, you might expect the line to be 2.5 cards, although it could be a good deal higher for a match such as a derby or one involving teams with poor disciplinary records.
You can also bet on a particular player to be booked!
This is a really fun market where you’re literally picking out someone who is going to have a card brandished in his direction during the course of the game.
You might see the favourite trading at around 3/1 although several players generally trade at the 9/2 mark which can represent a decent return.
We then have something called Card Handicap where you can bet on which team will get the most cards and there are also markets such as Asian Total Cards, First Card Received, Time of First Card, Team Cards, First 10 Minutes and Red Card in the Match.
You might not have a strong opinion on which team wins a particular football match. However, this might be different when you look at the cards betting markets and spot some value propositions.
A cards bet can also provide a rollercoaster experience, whether you have placed a pre-match wager or gone for something In-Play.
If you need the referee to issue four yellow cards and you’re up to three bookings with twenty minutes left, then you are watching every tackle or foul in the hope that there’s at least one more name in the notebook.
In-Play betting on cards can be a rewarding experience, especially if something happens during the early exchanges to make the game an ill-tempered affair.
Conversely, you might watch the first twenty minutes and see the referee allowing a lot of fouls to occur and sometimes the arbiter wants to resist issuing that first yellow card and making life hard for himself.
It’s commonly known that different referees have different benchmarks when it comes to booking players.
Some have a reputation for being harsh and will give a yellow card more frequently than referees who give players the benefit of the doubt, especially during the early exchanges of a match.
It’s worth studying the stats which are freely available and indicate the average number of cards shown by respective referees in a particular division. You will see the disparity between the arbiters and be able to bet in a more informed fashion.
There is also the disciplinary record of each team. If you’re betting on Crystal Palace v Arsenal midway through the season, have a look to see what has happened in their past few matches? Were there a lot of cards? Were there just a handful?
It’s also worth studying the head-to-head record that exists between two teams to see if there has been any bad blood in the past.
While Premier League matches between Manchester United and Liverpool always have the propensity to be bad-tempered, there might be other match-ups with similar potential.
Another question to ask is how competitive a particular match will be. If Manchester City are likely to wipe the floor with Southampton, then the latter might be accepting of their fate and not dive into any rash challenges, preferring to save themselves for more even match-ups.
As mentioned, In-Play betting on cards markets in a football match can be hugely rewarding and waiting for the match to kick-off gives you a feel for the flow of a game.
It might be that the big-priced away team takes the lead in a football match and that could lead to the prospect of there being more cards, with an outsider determined to keep their advantage at all costs.
Last-ditch tackles and time-wasting can often see yellow cards be brandished and you should also take a long-term view and understand that more bookings are made during the second half of games when players get more tired and are likely to make more mistakes.