Without last season’s 25-point deduction, Dundee would technically have finished in second place, just a point behind Division One champions Dunfermline but in reality the imposition of the penalty probably denied the Dark Blues the title given that they had to trim their squad and attempt to maintain morale amongst squad members that knew they no longer had much to play for.
Subsequently, as they start the new campaign on a level playing field, Barry Smith’s troops have every right to feel confident about their chances of topping the pile and at 23/10 with Blue Square they look cracking value to forge a path to the SPL.
Relegated Hamilton are Dundee’s nearest rivals and Stan James’ 11/4 chances have to respected in what could ultimately prove to be a two-horse race – with Falkirk and Livingston well back in the betting at 6/1 (Skybet) and 7/1 (Paddy Power) respectively. However, with last term’s platform to build on the Dark Blues can pip the Accies to the championship and rejoin their neighbours in the top flight.
In Division Two, the picture isn’t quite as clear, with a quartet of teams perhaps possessing realistic title ambitions. Betdaq make Brechin favourites at 4.0 (3/1) but they will miss the goals of Rory McAllister, who has left the club so Betfred’s 5/1 shots East Fife get the nod, with Forfar (4/1, bet365) set to run them close.
Finally, in Division Three, the aforementioned McAllister’s switch to Peterhead could have a huge bearing in terms of the destination of the title. The prolific striker resisted the advances of several big clubs to opt for a part-time deal with the Blue Toon and his goals can fire 15/8 jollies to glory.
Dundee to win Division One – 23/10 (Blue Square)
Peterhead to win Division Three – 15/8 ()