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Football: Time to feed on second helpings at Selhurst Park.

Byline: KEVIN PULLEIN

SELL the time of the second goal in today's Premiership game between Crystal Palace and Blackburn at 63 minutes with Sporting.

It may be an opportunity to profit from what seems to be a curious aspect of their pricing policy this weekend.

The times at which goals are scored, to repeat a mantra that will be familiar to regular readers, are related to the total number of goals that are scored.

In Premiership, Championship and League One games in which Sporting ask you to pay 2.6 to buy total goals, they will allow you to sell the time of the second goal for as much as 63, which is equivalent to being able to buy total goals for as little as 2.4.

Yet in League Two when they ask you to pay 2.6 for total goals, they will not allow you to sell the time of the second goal for any more than 61, which is closer to being the proper price.

In fact, in League Two they will not allow you to sell the time of the second goal for as much as 63, even when they will permit you to buy total goals for as little as 2.5.

Perhaps there are different market-makers at work here.

In Premiership games played so far this season there have been an average of 2.6 goals, in Crystal Palace games 2.6 goals and in Blackburn games 2.9 goals (still as many as 2.8 even if you include only games since Mark Hughes became manager of the Lancashire club).

You could sell the time of the second Selhurst Park goal today at 63 minutes and the match could finish with fewer than two goals - for in any match anything can happen - leaving you with a loss of 27 times your stake.

But whatever the outcome it is difficult to believe that you have got a trade that represents anything other than value for money.

Being able to buy the Portsmouth 25:10:0 index at six with Sporting is comparable to being able to back them to beat Newcastle at 6-1 on the fixed-odds with Bet Direct.

On the 25:10:0 indices, 25 points are awarded for a victory, ten for a draw and none for a defeat.

Both prices seem a little bit too respectful of Graeme Souness's side and a little bit too disrespectful of Portsmouth.

Recommendations

Sell time of second Crystal Palace v Blackburn goal

0.5pt at 63 (Sporting)

Buy Portsmouth 25:10:0 index

2pts at 6 (Sporting)
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Dec 11, 2004
Words:432
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