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Football: Rookie ref set for a quiet game; FIXED-ODDS FANCY.

Byline: KEVIN PULLEIN

A SPECULATIVE punt on no cards in the televised Premiership game between Watford and Everton could pay off. You can get 12-1 with Skybet.

In a typical Premiership fixture, the correct price for no cards would be 14-1 - but this is not a typical Premiership fixture.

In a standard top-flight game, the spread bookings index midpoint would be 36.

I estimate that the bookings index expectation would have to be 35 for the correct price about no cards to be 12-1.

And at Vicarage Road this afternoon, arguably, the bookings index expectation should be even lower. None of the spread firms has a bookings index midpoint higher than 34, and it is possible that even this figure is one or two points too high.

Referee Lee Mason will be officiating at only his tenth Premiership game, but so far he has been very cautious abou producing his cards - his bookings index average has been just 24, much lower than that of other Premiership officials.

In the Football League, where he is seen rather more often, he is also among the slower cardissuers. Although Watford are struggling against relegation, their desperation has not often degenerated into indiscipline. In fact, they have accumulated fewer yellow and red cards than most other Premiership clubs.

Everton are slightly more troublesome than most Premiership outfits, but not by a margin that is big enough for many people to have noticed.

It is possible that no cards at all at Vicarage Road this afternoon should really be a 10-1 shot.

Recommendation

No cards in Watford v Everton

0.5pt 12-1 Skybet
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Feb 24, 2007
Words:268
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