FOOTBALL LEAGUE analyst Mark O'Haire (@MarkOHaire) returns with a pair of bookings bets from Tuesday night's League Two contest featuring Mansfield and Crawley.
Mansfield v Crawley | Tuesday 15th January 2019, 19:45
Mansfield’s promotion challenge has stalled since New Year’s Day as the Stags have slipped to successive defeats. David Flitcroft’s troops remain only two points off the top-three ahead of this midweek’s match against Crawley and will be keen to bounce back in style.
The hosts are far too short to consider at pre-match quotes – especially so considering Crawley have stopped their own rot post-Boxing Day, before falling to defeat at Stevenage on Saturday. The Red Devils own a rotten road record, but it’s the bookings markets that hold most appeal at the prices here.
Tuesday night’s tussle features the two most carded teams in League Two. The pair are also amongst the top 10 for most fouls committed in the fourth-tier, defensive duels and challenge intensity (duels, tackles and interceptions per minute of opponent possession).
My first selection will be to recommend a punt at 3/1 on both sides receiving 20+ Bookings Points with SkyBet. If you’re new to Bookings Points, a yellow card is awarded 10 Bookings Points, with a red receiving 25 Bookings Points. Should a player pick up two bookings and a subsequent red, 35 Bookings Points are given.
Looking at raw cards, Mansfield average 2.15 per-game with their matches producing 4.15 cards on average. Meanwhile, Crawley are being brandished 2.22 cards per-game, with fixtures featuring a total of 3.96 cards on average. A strong start that’s given further encouragement via the appointment of referee Michael Salisbury.
Salisbury has overseen eight League Two contests in 2018/19, dishing out 28 yellows and two straight reds. That means the man in the middle averages 3.75 raw cards per-game, or more specifically, an average of 41.25 Bookings Points per-game at this level.
I’m also going to have a nibble on Mansfield to collect 20+ Bookings Points at 13/8 (SkyBet). The Stags average 22.30 Bookings Points across their season-long outings this term, and although that figure falls to 19.61 at Field Mill, there’s enough evidence to suggest the odds on offer should be shorter than even-money here.