FOOTBALL BETTING: Live on Skysports 4: Sat 12.15: Inverness and Celtic kick the SPL season off live on Sky on Saturday while Motherwell and Hibernian are the live Sunday game.
Following a succession of quiet Saturday afternoons, the SPL is finally back.
At Ibrox, champions Rangers are 1/5 (bet365) to take maximum points against Kilmarnock (14/1, Stan James), where the draw is 5/1 (Betdaq). The ‘Gers have been in great pre-season form, seeing off Blackburn and Newcastle and Walter Smith’s final season should be another cracker. Jaxx.com still have them as 6/5 second favourites to claim the title though.
Newly promoted Inverness (7/1, Paddy Power) take on Celtic (40/85, Betdaq) in the SPL’s lunchtime kick off. Inverness will be missing a few defenders, but they have only lost to Celtic three times in eight matches since 1995 and drew 0-0 when the sides met last year. The draw appeals at 17/5 with Ladbrokes, while Partybets chalk 14/1 against another goalless outcome.
An intriguing clash takes place at Tynecastle where Hearts (4/5, 888Sport) entertain St Johnstone (7/2, Paddy Power). The draw is 9/4 (Victor Chandler), but there is value in the Saints as they have won three of their last four matches at Hearts. St Johnstone signed Sam Parkin and Scott Dobie to score goals, and it’s amazing how many times debutants score. The former is 15/2 with William Hill to net first on Saturday, while Dobie is 8/1 with the same firm.
Last season’s third-placed side, Dundee United, (6/5, Partybets) kick off away at St Mirren (15/8, Totesport), and look well priced to get off to a winning start. They have not lost at Love Street in their last seven visits – winning five. United are 13/8 with Ladbrokes to ‘win’ the SPL without the Old Firm, a market in which Hibs are 3/1 (Betfred).
However, Hibs (2/1, Victor Chandler) face a tricky opener at Motherwell (6/4, Betfred), a fixture which traditionally produces plenty of goals. 888sport offer 11/10 about it yielding more than two on Sunday – bet365 post 40/1 against a 3-2 win for the Edinburgh side.
Aberdeen (evens, Stan James) kick-off at home against Hamilton (14/5, Totesport) and look a decent bet to win. Nigerian international Sone Aluko looked sharp in The Dons’ final warm-up, and is 12/1 with bet365 to score first.