Since its introduction to the Premier League at the start of last season, VAR has remained a topic of debate for all who love the game. While some will try to convince you how it has helped eradicate the mistakes made by referees, just as many feel it has destroyed the rhythm of the game, with long breaks in play. The lack of consistency in the decisions being made is certainly the most frustrating factor though.
But do the statistics suggest we should allow VAR to effect how we approach betting?
Initially, you may think more penalties will be awarded and therefore more goals are likely to be scored with VAR in use. At this moment in time, 22 penalties have been awarded. More surprisingly though, 19 penalties have been overturned. This would mean that VAR has intervened on a penalty that has been awarded – but later deemed an incorrect decision and overturned.
Unquestionably, the biggest impact of VAR is the goals that would have been and are no longer. Very few non-goals in the past would have been determined goals now, other than Lampard’s against Germany perhaps. VAR has made 29 decisions that have led to disallowed goals. This is two more than the 27 decisions that have led to goals. Tipster sites like EPL Tips frequently offer betting tips that involve goals scored so there is definitely reason to consider VAR impact.
With 14 red cards being awarded through a VAR decision and only 2 overturned, perhaps a bet on a red card being awarded is a smart approach? In fact, the number of red cards has not increased. Dropping from 47 in the 2018-2019 season to 46 last season. This year, it will again be around that number.
Overall, the statistics prove that VAR hasn’t affected the game as much as we may think. Even if the average goals per game have dropped from 2.82 two years ago to 2.72 last season and 2.60 this year. Perhaps this is due to a much more congested fixture list and the impact of no crowds. As already mentioned, total red cards and penalties again remain very consistent with the records before VAR was introduced.