The odds are, quite literally, stacked against Inverness recording a famous Cup victory over SPL leaders Celtic tomorrow lunchtime. Blue Square offer them at 7/1 to resurrect another ‘Super Caley…’ headline, whereas the Glaswegian giants are priced at 5/11 (Partybets) to win and Betfred post 10/3 against the draw.
Yet punters will recall that Inverness took a 1-0 lead against Celtic in the Cup last season only to concede just before half time and eventually lose 2-1. Bet365 posts 16/1 against it being again level at the break, only this time for Inverness to emerge victorious at 90 minutes. Less ambitious punters may fancy the look of BetVictor’s 11/2 for it to finish as a score draw.
Not surprisingly, Aberdeen go into their tie with Queen of the South as Boylesports’ overwhelming 4/11 favourites. Indeed, such is the extent of their favouritism that even when kicking off with a one goal deficit, Paddy Power still price them at odds-on (10/11) to win. In the same market, William Hill offer the Dons at 21/10 to win when starting two goals down.
In other markets, Stan James’s 11/10 for the second period to be the game’s highest-scoring half has obvious appeal, while BetVictor’s enormous 18/1 for Scott Vernon to score first in a 2-0 Aberdeen triumph catches the eye.
Few punters expect fireworks at Easter Road where Hibs, who have scored fewer home gaols than any other SPL side, host Kilmarnock, the team with the fewest away goals. Stan James’s 10/11 for the tie to yield fewer than 2.5 goals cannot be discounted – nor can Boylesports’ massive 11/1 for it to finish goalless.
First Division leaders Ross County look a little over-priced (29/10, William Hill) to score a Cup win at St Mirren (evens, Betfred), especially as they’ve lost only once on the road this season and conceded just eight goals in the process. A 1-0 away win is priced at 10/1 by Paddy Power.
On Sunday, St Johnstone travel to Tynecastle level on points with Hearts in the SPL table and mindful that they’ve already beaten the Jambos twice in the league this season. Yet despite an excellent recent record against their hosts, including a 1-0 Cup win in Edinburgh last season, they still line up in the capital as Ladbrokes’ attractively-priced 11/4 underdogs.
Backers who expect a drawn first period to set the tone for the rest of the match may fancy the look of Skybet’s 4/1 odds marked against both halves finishing on level terms. However, some may prefer Ladbrokes’ engaging 7/1 for St Johnstone to secure a passage to the next round following a drawn opening half.
Meanwhile Rangers, undefeated at Ibrox, start as understandably short 2/5 jollies (Partybets) to overcome Dundee United challenge. United, offered at 8/1 to win by Stan James, have conceded 25 away goals in the SPL, more than any other side – no wonder bet365 post 6/1 in favour of a 2-0 Rangers success.