Odds shown as:

Card-happy referees to look out for this season

Card-happy ref's: Mike Dean has already shown the most cards in the Premier League this season
Card-happy ref's: Mike Dean has already shown the most cards in the Premier League this season

The Premier League is back with a bang, and though the action remains behind-closed-doors due to the Covid crisis, a lack of atmosphere inside the stadiums is clearly not affecting the quality on the pitch with this weekend’s round of fixtures yielding a huge 44 goals!

The new season beginning brings with it an array of betting opportunities for us punters, with a number of you already landing ginormous bets - including this sensational 3975/1 Bet Builder double, won by a ballsy bet365 customer on Sunday.

If, like me, you’re still searching for your first win of the new campaign, it’s worth really doing your research before placing your upcoming wagers on the weekend’s Premier League action. BettingOdds.com’s sole purpose is to serve you with well-researched analysis on a wide range of different markets, and here I’m taking a deeper look into the world of cards. 

Below, I’ve looked at the pool of referees in the top-flight and analysed their card stats from last season - and the start of this one - to determine which men in the middle are the most trigger-happy when it comes to whipping out the notepad. 

The aim is to give us all a better understanding as to which ref’s are best to look out for when placing your Same Game Multis/Bet Builders, or simply when to back over or under a certain number of cards as a single in a particular match.

Football Odds

Last season’s most card-happy referee was Anthony Taylor, with the Manchester-born official brandishing a huge 122 yellows and 5 red cards in 32 appearances. Alongside Michael Oliver and Martin Atkinson, Taylor took charge of the most games in 2019-20, so naturally his figures were always going to be a little higher than the others. 

However, compared to Oliver - who showed 105 yellows but interestingly not one red card during the whole campaign - and Atkinson, who did show five reds but just 94 yellows, it’s clear that Taylor possesses a lot less leniency when taking charge of games.

The people’s champion, Mike Dean, finished last season having shown the second-most yellows (112) alongside four red cards, though the fact that he officiated five fewer games than Taylor (27) is probably the only reason why he didn’t top the pile, no doubt much to his dismay. 

Ref Graphic

Dean has hit the ground running this season, though, already showing four yellows and one red card in his two appearances - Wolves’ 2-0 win over Sheffield United and Everton’s 5-2 win over West Brom - where he rightfully dismissed Kieran Gibbs after the full-back pushed James Rodriguez in the face during a bizarre act of stupidity at Goodison Park.  

The Liverpudlian finds himself third in the standings for this season so far, however, behind David Coote, who has only taken charge of one match but showed a whopping seven yellow cards and awarded a penalty in it as tempers flared between Southampton and Tottenham on Sunday (four for Saints, three for Spurs).

Coote won’t be refereeing this weekend but is the man in charge of VAR for Leicester’s trip to Man City on Sunday, which could prove to be an interesting one. 

Last season’s top card-distributor Anthony Taylor has so far shown five yellows in two appearances, but has interestingly already awarded four (!) penalties in those two games - two for Leicester against West Brom last weekend and one for each of Leeds and Fulham on Saturday. 

Taylor will be swapping the whistle for the substitutes board this weekend, as he’ll be the fourth official when Liverpool and Arsenal lock horns in Monday evening’s standout tie at Anfield, but keep an eye out for him when he is next in action as it appears that he is once again displaying no signs of leniency on the pitch, just like last season. Backing over’s in the cards market seems the play when Taylor is involved.

Today football tips

Martin Atkinson is also worth keeping an eye on this weekend. The 49-year-old is fairly lenient when it comes to bookings, brandishing 94 yellow cards in 32 outings last season (avg. 2.93 per game), though was one of the highest ref’s when it came to sending players off in 2019-20 which is slightly peculiar. 

Atkinson takes charge of West Ham v Wolves this weekend which, judging from the last two outings from both sides, should see very few cards. Wolves didn’t have a single player booked against City on Monday evening, with only Marcal making his way into the notepad in their season-opener against Sheffield United last week.

West Ham have only had one player booked in each of their first two Premier League games this term, with right-back Ryan Fredericks seeing yellow on both occasions, but aside from that have been one of the division’s most well behaved sides so far, so I would be inclined to back under 2.5 cards here - especially given the fact that Atkinson is in charge. 

Live scores

By contrast, Newcastle’s game against Tottenham should be packed full of cards if the first two weeks are anything to go off. Alongside Southampton, Newcastle are the Premier League’s highest offenders when it comes to bookings, picking up five in their opening two fixtures - three of which came in Saturday’s 3-0 defeat to Brighton. 

Spurs also picked up three yellow cards in their feisty 5-2 win over Southampton on Sunday despite only receiving one caution during their season-opener against Everton last week, making the north Londoners one of the division’s most ill-disciplined sides early on. 

Annoyingly for us, Mike Dean is only the fourth official for this clash and not the main referee, or else the cards really would have been raining down in N17. 

Instead, Peter Bankes will take charge of proceedings which is still good news for the card punters out there, considering the first match the Merseyside native reffed he showed a straight red in - dismissing Wycombe’s Darius Charles against Blackburn Rovers on Saturday afternoon. 

With Tottenham and Newcastle’s early disciplinary record considered, alongside the man in charge and the eagle-eyed Mike Dean watching closely from the sideline, I can sense plenty of cards in this Sunday’s showdown. Backing over 2.5 match cards seems a safe shout on the face of it, though the price may be too slim (odds not yet available) so including over 3.5 cards into your Same Game Multi this weekend would be my play for this one. 

BettingOdds.com's tips:

  • Under 2.5 match cards in Wolves v West Ham
  • Over 3.5 match cards in Tottenham v Newcastle
Free bets
Advert Disclaimer
Bettingodds.com is a free online resource which endeavour to provide helpful and useful content and odds comparison to its visitors. Please be advised that Bettingodds.com accepts affiliate commission from the companies appearing on the site, and agreed commission levels impact the location and order in which the companies (and/or their products) are presented on the website. Any ratings that appear on this site is determined by our subjective opinion of the brand but also based on market share and reputation, each brand's conversion rates, commission paid to us and general consumer interest. Company listings on this page don't imply our endorsement. We do not feature all providers on the market. Except as expressly set forth in our terms and conditions, all statements and warranties regarding the information presented on this page are disclaimed. The information, including odds, which appear on this site is subject to change at any time.
Bet £20 & Get It Back As Cash If It Loses
#AD 18+ New Customer Offer. Place your FIRST bet at odds of min 2.0 (EVS) and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using debit cards will qualify for this promotion (Apple Pay deposits excluded). T&C's apply, BeGambleAware.Org
Bet £10 Get £20 In Free Bets + £10 Casino Bonus
#AD New UK customers (Excluding NI) mobile only. £30 in FREE Bets (FB) as £20 in sports bets & a £10 casino bonus (CB). Min stake £10. Min odds Evs. FB applied on 1st settlement of any qualifying bet. FB 7 day expiry. 1 FB offer per customer, household & IP address only. Payment restrictions. 14 days to accept £10 CB, then active for 3 days. CB 5x wagering & max redeemable £100. Game restrictions apply. Cashed out/Free Bets won’t apply. 30 days to qualify. 18+. T&C's Apply. **18+. Prices subject to fluctuation and availability.  T&Cs apply
Welcome Offer
#AD Bet £10 & Get £30 in Free Bets for new customers at bet365. Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.
Bet £10 & Get £30 In Free Bets
#AD 18+ New Customers Only - Place a £10 Sportsbook bet on at min. odds 1.5 (1/2) — get £30 in free bets. Only deposits via cards will qualify, Apple pay not valid on this promotion. T&Cs apply, BeGambleaware.org
Money Back As A Bonus Up To £40 If Your First Bet Loses + £10 casino
#AD 18+ begambleaware.org. New customers only. Min deposit £10. Money back as bonus if first sports bet loses. Wagering requirements: sportsbook 3x at min. odds of 1.40 (2/5), casino 50x. Unless forfeited the sportsbook bonus must be wagered before using the casino bonus. Bonus expires 7 days after opt-in. Visit Unibet.co.uk for full T&C's.
Bet £10 Get £30 In Free Bets
#AD 18+. Play Safe. New customers using Promo code R30 only, Min £10/€10 stake,  min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 3 x £10/€10, free bets credited after settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after the qualifying bet is placed, payment method/player/country restrictions apply.
Bet £10 Get £30 In Free Bets + 100 Free Spins
#AD 18+ New customers only. Opt in, bet £10 at odds 2.00+ within 7 days, no cashout. Get 3x £10 Free Bets, set events at odds 2.00+. Plus 100 Free Spins on Big Bass Bonanza, no wagering. Free Bets and Spins expire in 7 days. Card payments only. T&Cs apply. Please gamble responsibly.
Double the odds, any sport, any bet, any odds!
#AD 18+ begambleaware.org Only valid for new registrations to Grosvenor Existing members do not qualify, Bet must be placed using real money in combination with the Odds Boost Token, Offer applies to Sport bets only. Max stake is £10. Each way bets are a maximum of £5 each way (£10 total). Customers have 60 days after registration to use the Odds Boost token. T&Cs apply.
Bet £10, Get £20 in Free Bets
#AD 18+, New customers only. Opt in, bet £10 on any sports (odds 2.00+) in 7 days. No cash out. Get 4x£5 sports free bets for set markets (odds 2.00+), which expire in 7 days. Offer is valid from 10:00 UK time on 16/01/2023. Card payments only. T&Cs Apply. begambleaware.org | Please Gamble Responsibly
£30 Matched Free Bet if Your First Acca Loses + 50 Bonus Spins
#AD 18+ New UK customers only. Min Deposit: £5. Maximum Free Bet: £30. First bet on a Football or Horse Racing multiple with 3+ selections. Overall odds: 3.00 (2/1) or higher. Free Bets available upon settlement of the qualifying bet. This is offer is valid for 7 days from your new account being registered. 50 Bonus Spins credited on placement of qualifying Acca bet.50x bonus wagering applies as do weighting requirements, bonus Spins only available on selected games and expires 7 days after being awarded. Debit card deposits only (exclusions apply). 18+. BeGambleAware.org. Bet The Responsible Way. Full terms apply
Bet £25 get £50 In Bonuses
#AD Place a qualifying £25 fixed odds bet at odds of 1/2 or greater and get £50 in bonuses 5 x £5 free fixed odds bets, 4 x free £5 spread bets + 50 free spins on Starburst. Qualifying bet cannot be placed in-play or cashed out early. T&Cs Apply. 18+ begambleaware.org
Bet £10 Get £40 in Bonuses
New 18+ UK customers only. Register using the promo code WELCOME40, deposit and place first bet of £10+ on Sports (cumulative Evens+) within 7 days of registration. First bet must be on Sports. £30 in Free Bets and £10 in Free Spins (50x20p) credited within 10 hours of bet settlement. Free Bet stakes are not included in any returns. Bonuses have a 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS verification and/or Proof of I.D and address may be required. Full T&Cs apply.
Bet £10 get £30 in Free Bets
#AD New customers only - Significant terms: opt-in and deposit within 7 days, and settle a £10 minimum bet at odds of 1/2 (1.5) or greater, to be credited with 3x £10 free bets. Free bets must be used on 4 or more selections with odds of 3/10 (1.3) or greater, stake not returned. T&Cs apply, BeGambleAware.org
Bet £10 Get £10 In Free Bets (APP Only)
#AD New UK, IE & Malta customers only. Min £10/€10 first deposit using Debit Card. Place a bet of £10 at min odds of 1.5 and get a £10 free bet. Full T&Cs apply.18+. BeGambleAware.org.
100% Profit Boost up to £100 (Mobile Only)
#AD New UK customers only. Claim by placing a min deposit £10 via "My Offers" page within 30 days. Skrill/Neteller deposits excluded. 7 days to stake max £10 in-play. Max. extra winnings £100.T&C's apply, 18+ begambleaware.org
Bet £10 get £15
#AD New customers only. 18+ begambleaware.org 1st Deposit, Min Deposit: £10, max £15 bonus, valid for 14 days, bets must be placed at a min. odds of 1/1 (2.00) or greater and be settled within 14 days of placement.T&C's apply.
Bet £10 get £10
#AD 18+ begambleaware.org, Welcome Bonus: This offer is for new customers only and is available once per household. Max. FreeBet amount: £10 Minimum Deposit and wagering on sport to activate the Free Bet is: £10 void/cancelled or cashed out bets do not count towards wagering to activate the free bet. Offer valid only to customers making a first deposit of £10 or more. T&Cs apply.
Bet £10 get £20
#AD New customers only, welcome bonus: 1st deposit, min deposit: £10, max £20 free bet valid for 14 days, bets must be placed at odds of 1/1 or greater and be settled within 14 days of placement. system bets are not eligible. Neteller, Skrill, and PayPal are not eligible. , 18+ begambleaware.org
50% Up To £50 Welcome Bonus
#AD 18+ begambleaware.org; New bettors get 50% of deposit up to £50; Once per household; Min deposit £15 (no Skrill/Neteller); Wager a total of 8 times deposit + bonus, with max qualifying bet stake equal to your initial bonus amount; Bonus expires after 60 days; Min odds of 4/5 on singles, or 2/5 per leg for acca; Some bet types excluded; See full terms.
£35 Free Bet + 10 Free Spins
#AD If your account has Sportsbook losses at the end of your first day's betting, QuinnBet will refund 50% of your losses as a Free Bet up to £35 (min 3 bets) Plus 10 Free Spins. Even if your account is up, you're guaranteed a £5 Free Bet Plus 10 Free Spins provided you place at least 1 bet of £10 or greater at the minimum odds. T&Cs apply | 18+ New UK Customers Only | BeGambleAware.org