The new Scottish Premiership season has got off to a staggered start, with dark financial clouds hovering too close for comfort, the league champions missing last weekend to play in a friendly in Ireland and a rare international match against England thrown in for good measure.
Continuity has been conspicuous by its absence, but most punters expect Celtic to continue their impressive run against Aberdeen on Saturday lunchtime. The champions have won nine and drawn one of their last 10 league meetings with the Dons, yet they’re even money (bet365) to make it 10 from 11.
Aberdeen have made a flawless start and are priced at 3/1 (Stan James) to claim maximum points, though they haven’t beaten Celtic since January 2009. Backers who consider the Dons capable of ending that miserable run can get a massive 12/1 (BetVictor.com) against them winning 1-0.
Dundee United have lost only one of their last eight matches against Hibs and are attractively priced (13/8, Skybet) to claim all three points at Easter Road this weekend. Hibs, pointless after two matches, kick off as Betway’s 9/5 outsiders after losing each of their opening games 1-0. A third consecutive 1-0 defeat is priced at 15/2 by Ladbrokes.
Four league fixtures involving Inverness and Motherwell last term yielded 21 goals and Betfred’s 10/11 for Saturday’s duel to produce more than 2.5 looks decent value. However, home advantage should ensure that Thistle (6/4, Paddy Power) maintain their 100% start to the campaign – they’re 9/1 at BetVictor.com to win 2-1.
St Johnstone kick off tomorrow priced as William Hill’s even money favourites to extend their solid start, whereas Ross County, struggling with two defeats in their opening matches, are priced as Stan James’s 10/3 underdogs.
Two of the duo’s league meetings finished all square last term (both of which were contested at McDiarmid Park), while the other two fixtures were settled by a single goal. Winner.com quotes 23/10 about another stalemate and bet365 consider the chances of both halves ending on level terms as a 4/1 shot.
Finally, St Mirren’s match against Kilmarnock looks a tough one to call – hence punters have been inclined to support the stalemate (12/5, Stan James). Two of the pair’s last three meetings finished level and a 1-1 outcome is offered at 6/1 by Skybet.
Double on Dundee United and Inverness – 11/2 (BetVictor)