The two league derbies between Hibs and Hearts this term have both ended all square and although Pat Fenlon’s men edged it when the pair faced off in the cup in December, punters are expected to pile into the draw at 12/5 via Coral at Easter Road this afternoon.
Similarly, Stan James’ 11/2 posted against a 1-1 scoreline will attract cash but the smart money today will be on the hosts, BetVictor’s 31/20 favourites, who have gone four league and cup matches unbeaten.
Admittedly, the Jambos picked up a much-needed victory in midweek, notching twice without reply against St Johnstone, but that result came on the back of five straight defeats and it’s no guarantee that they’ve turned the corner.
Gary Locke’s side also possesses the SPL’s second worst away record, behind rock bottom Dundee so they’re pretty easy to oppose according to the formbook; nevertheless, this is a derby so it will inevitably be competitive, fiery even, and that should ensure that it’s also close.
Ladbrokes’ 7/2 for the Hibees to sneak it by a one-goal margin is worth considering then and for punters wanting to specify an exact score, it’s a generous 15/2 with Stan James for Fenlon’s boys to grab the only goal, just as they did in December’s cup clash.
In that one, the winner arrived in the 84th minute and indeed late strikes have been a theme in recent meetings with eight of the last dozen renewals having produced a goal in the last 15 minutes. Ladbrokes offer 21/20 about either team finding the net in the final quarter of an hour today and staying with goals, it’s hard to resist risking a few quid on Hibs front man Leigh Griffiths.
The in-form striker helped himself to a hat trick in the cup tie at Kilmarnock a week ago to take his tally to seven in the last five games and at 4/1 courtesy of bet365 he has to be the pick in the first scorer market.