In football, there is one person who does not belong to any team but has a great influence on the outcome of the match: the referee. So, how important is the referee to football betting? Why should bettors refer to referee statistics before betting?

The most likely direct effect of a referee is a penalty on a twelve-yard shot, which has a 78.3% chance of being scored. A referee’s decision to send a player off the field can also have a significant impact on the outcome of the game, as can the failure to make a call when a 12-yarder and a penalty should have been called.

One of the joys of watching a football game is discussing whether or not the referees made the right call. Whether they make the wrong call or not, the decision can have a significant impact on betting. Luckily for bettors, statistics on each referee are readily available online and the referees for each match are announced in advance of the upcoming week, so there is plenty of time to research before betting.

The circumstances under which yellow and red cards are issued vary from one European league to another. Knowing this, bettors can guess that the player receiving the yellow card may also receive a red card, and place their bets based on that guess. Of course, this doesn’t happen in every game, but this example shows that a little knowledge of the referee can be an advantage.

Does the timing of the season make a difference?

Research shows that the time of the season also has an effect on the number of yellow cards. In the 2017/18 season, the Premier League is currently using 16 different referees. The average number of referees per season over the last eight seasons has been 18.7, so there may be a few more referees in the Premier League, and there will always be a few referees for just one or two games. But in general, we know who the referees are this season, and we can study them to our advantage.

If you analyze their data over the last eight full seasons, you will find that the sample size varies greatly, which is not ideal.


Previous twelve-yarders to start. Over the past eight full seasons, on average, a twelve-yard kick has been called once every four games. However, the frequency of penalty kicks does vary from referee to referee. We can also factor in teams and look at their twelve yard records. If you are betting on twelve-yarders, it is helpful to understand the importance of twelve-yarders in football betting.

Home Field Advantage

There is also data on the percentage of wins, draws, and losses for home teams in games officiated by a particular referee – another factor to consider when looking at home advantage in football.

Overall, the percentage of home teams winning is 46%, but as with other data, it varies from referee to referee. As with other systems used to aid betting, the research on referee data is still a long way from perfect. Regardless of whether a referee is inclined to issue or award a 12-yard penalty, it is the player’s behavior on the field that is the fundamental factor in the referee’s decision.

Which games a referee is assigned to play can also have a significant impact. Depending on the game, the home team’s chances of winning are likely to be well above or well below the 46% average win rate. But a little study of the referees can certainly help in predicting the likelihood of a game.