BOOKINGS boff Gavin Murphy (@GamePlanGavin) is 2/2 in 2016/17. He’s found a gem in League Two on Saturday.
Blackpool v Exeter | Saturday 15.00
Blackpool and Exeter lock horns on Saturday afternoon at Bloomfield Road for the first time since 2001 as Football League action returns.
The hosts of course were relegated from League One last term and now find themselves operating in the bottom tier.
Despite their relegation, Blackpool only collected 1.70 cards-per-game in their doomed 2015/16 campaign.
Exeter were the lowest card collectors in League Two, averaging just 1.15 cards-per-game.
Those stats suggest that 2.80 cards might be expected in this fixture. Of course both teams have made personnel changes over the summer but this does give us a flavour of what to expect.
The average number of cards shown in League Two last season was 3.20 cards-per-game – this match therefore looks like being below average.
The star of the show, as always, will be the referee. This week we have a new official to league football, John Brooks.
He is best known for being an assistant referee. He ran the line in the FA Cup final between Crystal Palace and Manchester United and typically assists Mike Dean and Jon Moss in the Premier League.
What interests me here though is his step up to being a referee in his own right. At non-league level in 2014/15 he averaged 4.56 cards-per-game. However, last season, this dropped dramatically to 2.21 cards-per-game.
He started off last term giving zero cards in the 0-0 draw between Braintree and Tranmere. A repeat of no cards in this fixture is 11/1 with William Hill.
Looking at these odds, William Hill appear to be pricing in extra cards following recent rule changes about harassing officials. Of course, the impact of these changes is unknown at this point.
Brooks gave three or less cards in 15/19 league matches in 2015/16 – that is a success rate of 79%.
Both sides last season were poor for cards and this referee appears to be lenient. Therefore, I’ll be backing Under 35 Bookings Points at 13/10 (William Hill).
Blackpool v Exeter – Under 35 Bookings Points (13/10 William Hill)