The one racing certainty in last weekend’s SPL programme was that bookies were laughing all the way to bank as both Old Firm sides only managed draws. Chances are nobody took a punt on that outcome a week ago and anyone that fancied a flutter on Rangers and Celtic sharing the spoils in their respective matches this afternoon would bash to the tune of odds of 22/1 if the pair only land a point apiece.
A stalemate certainly isn’t out of the question at Tynecastle, where buoyant Hearts have a tremendous record this season. The Jambos, Paddy Power’s 9/2 outsiders to beat the ‘Gers, have won four out five on their own patch including Celtic amongst their scalps and Paulo Sergio’s have conceded just once to boot.
Ally McCoist’s troops, odds-on favourites at 3/4 with Boylesports, have their work cut out then to collect a maximum haul and the hosts’ capacity for keeping things tight could see them hold the league leaders to a draw, a result Stan James rate at 14/5.
Rangers have a hundred percent record on the road, where they have yet to ship a single goal and that combined with Hearts’ stout rearguard points to this being the third Jambos league clash in a row to generate fewer than three goals (5/6, Totesport). It’s therefore worth considering a couple of quid on a 1-1 scoreline at 6/1 via Partybets and with goals set to be a premium, Paddy Power offer 10/11 for the first goal to arrive after the 25-minute mark.
Nikica Jelavic meanwhile, looks decent value at 4/1 with Ladbrokes to grab that opener. The Serb has broken the deadlock in two of his last three outings and Betfred make him 11/10 to grab his eighth of the campaign at any stage.
Set to scupper any draw doubles are Celtic, who are a banker at 1.29 (2/7) with Betdaq to bounce back from their recent sticky patch by seeing off Aberdeen at Parkhead. On current form, teams shouldn’t fear a trip to face the off-colour Hoops but the Dons are dreadful on the road where they haven’t even managed to score this term and punters can boost their home win profits by backing Neil Lennon’s charges at 11/10 (Skybet) to prevail ‘to nil’.