Luton Town vs. QPR Predictions: Cards on the menu at Kenilworth Road
Luton vs QPR Odds
Kenilworth Road plays host to The Championship's solitary game on Sunday, a fixture that could have its say on either side's punt at the playoffs. Speaking of punts, I've sounded out a couple of fancies as 6th welcomes 7th for the midday kick-off.
After a spirited start to the season, Queens Park Rangers arrive on Sunday with just five points from their last seven matches. Their recent slump has encouraged a slide down the table, one that now sees them reside just outside of the playoff spots for the first time in 2022.
After the Championship's midweek fixtures saw both Luton and Sheffield United pick up wins, Luton away on Sunday is now a must not lose for QPR. From fighting for automatic promotion to a potential season-decider at Kenilworth Road, it has been a nail-biting descent thus far.
Luton Town have been able to capitalise on QPR's run of form, wedging the playoff door open just enough to creep into 6th, one point ahead of their Sunday afternoon opponents. Only 32 miles and the one point separate the pair, but there will be a set of fans certainly more confident than the other this weekend.
The Hatters are unbeaten in seven at home, a stretch that includes holding a rampant Fulham to a 1-1 draw, a triumphant Bournemouth showing, and a 2-0 win over Steve Bruce's Baggies. Nathan Jones' Luton also had the chance to prove their credentials in the FA Cup at the start of March.
Chelsea, the European and World Champions, came out of the hat and made the short trip North away from central London. Engineering two first-half leads showed onlookers the type of ability Nathan Jones has saddled in his second stint at the club. Not many sides force Chelsea to chase a deficit for a combined 53-minutes.
Luton vs QPR Tips
Nonetheless, I'm expecting a hesitant match-up here, given the importance surrounding the upcoming fixture. Both teams' eagerness to avoid defeat should rear its head in either side's display, but I feel it's too close to call in terms of 1X2 or goal markets. Instead, the prices available in the hope the referee brings his cards along does appeal.
The man with the whistle, Josh Smith, isn't the Championship's most frivolous with his cards, but I expect the atmosphere to encourage his hand here. Smith has a 3.60 cards per90 average in the second tier this season from 20 appearances. In five of the official's last seven games, a second-half card has been brandished to both teams, attributing to his 2.55 second-half card average in 2020/21.
Therefore, the 1.83 at bet365 for a card to both Luton and QPR is a go'er for me at that price. Luton's 2.35 average per90 for receiving a card after the break is bettered by QPR's 2.75, suggesting we may be in good hands.
In the November head-to-head between the sides, six cards were brandished evenly, with five coming in the second half. In an attempt to stretch that 1.83 price of the main play into a longshot for those who fancy a dig at bigger odds, I've slightly altered the original bet builder.
The longshot not only landed in the previous fixture at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, but it also still doesn't surpass either side's second-half average for cards this campaign. Upping the stakes to both teams receiving over one second half card comes in at 6.50 with the same bookmaker, something potentially worth considering.
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