Tynecastle hosts the first of Saturday’s two Cup ties where Hearts open as Stan James’s 4/5 favourites to progress at St Mirren’s expense. This is hardly surprising as the Jambos have won six of their last eight league matches against the Saints (the other two were drawn).
Despite St Mirren’s attractive 4/1 starting price (Blue Square), William Hill’s 6/1 chalked against a 1-0 home win has proved understandably popular. Paddy Power marks 6/1 against it finishing 1-1 and Betfred chalk 5/2 about the draw, but Hearts should justify their status as Skybet’s 11/2 second favourites to win the trophy by overhauling their visitors tomorrow.
At Somerset Park, the ‘other’ Edinburgh side, Hibs, renew acquaintances with Ayr United, the team who beat them 1-0 after a goalless draw at Easter Road in last season’s competition.
On this occasion, however, Ayr kick off as BetVictor’s 10/3 outsiders, while Hibs head west as Stan James’s strong 10/11 favourites. The draw is offered at 5/2 by Skybet. Can lightning strike twice for Ayr? Punters who believe it can may fancy Ladbrokes’ 11/1 for it to finish goalless, or perhaps Partybets’ 9/2 marked in favour of both halves finishing all square. Backers anticipating another minor shock can get an enormous 11/1 (bet365) against Ayr winning 1-0.
On Sunday, Cup favourites Celtic (5/6, BetVictor.com) travel to Dundee where United are priced as Ladbrokes’ 5/1 outsiders and Boylesports mark Celtic as their 4/6 favourites to win the tie at the first attempt.
The SPL league leaders have won eight of their last nine league encounters with Dundee United, hence William Hill’s 7/1 for them to win 2-0 has attracted steady support. Celtic have scored eight times against United already this term and Paddy Power chalk 4/5 about Sunday’s tie producing more than 2.5 goals while BetVictor.com offers 7/5 against the total goal minutes exceeding 155.
Finally, Motherwell (6/5, Betfred), host Aberdeen (3/1, William Hill) on Sunday in a tie they’re widely expected to win. Indeed, the Dons have not beaten ‘well since 2008, although only one of Motherwell’s five subsequent victories were by more than one goal.
Skybet post 11/4 against the home side winning by a single goal and Partybets chalk 8/1 about a 2-1 Motherwell success. Elsewhere, Boylesports rate the likelihood of it finishing as a score draw at 4/1 and Blue Square price the draw at 12/5, but Motherwell should justify their 6/1 odds (bet365) to win the cup by securing a narrow victory.