Our props column heads to Azerbaijan on Wednesday for a 15/8 shot in a Champions League qualifier. Andy Schooler explains why the price is too big.
"Ref Dumitru Muntean has pointed to the spot in five of his last 10 domestic games but particularly encouraging is the fact he's awarded a penalty in six of his last 12 matches involving teams from two different countries."
Neftchi Baku v Dinamo Tbilisi
Wednesday 14 July, 18:00
This column is focused on stats and there's a data-based play for be had on this Champions League qualifier.
It hones in on a penalty being awarded which is a 15/8 shot. That looks too big and here's why.
First up, we have a referee with a strong record for awarding spot kicks.
Moldovan Dumitru Muntean has pointed to the spot in five of his last 10 domestic games but particularly encouraging is the fact he's awarded a penalty in six of his last 12 matches involving teams from two different countries, a run which goes back over a couple of years.
Here we have teams from neighbouring countries - Neftchi are the champions of Azerbaijan, Tbilisi from Georgia - and national rivalry has spilt onto the pitch before.
Both sides also have a strong recent penalty record in their games.
Neftchi are yet to begin their domestic campaign but they ended last season with a run of six of 11 games featuring a spot kick.
Tbilisi have seen a penalty in four of their last seven matches - and that includes last week's first leg which Neftchi won 2-1.
The Azeris are clearly in the box seat in the tie but it remains very much alive so a drab game should not be expected.
The pure stats suggest this should be closer to even money than it is and with that in mind, backing a penalty to be awarded at 15/8 looks to make good sense.
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