On the face of it Inverness look like bankers to ease into the Communities League Cup final at the expense of rock bottom Hearts as the pair face-off in the last four and that’s certainly how the bookies see it, bet365 installing Caley Thistle as odds-on favourites at 8/11 to reach Hampden Park in normal time. However, an upset could be on the cards at Easter Road and the prices are such that there could be decent gains from small stakes.
The Jambos, Skybet’s 9/2 outsiders, looked a sorry bunch three weeks ago as they suffered yet another defeat. However, a dramatic comeback to nick a point at St Johnstone seemingly gave Gary Locke’s boys a new lease of life and they followed it with back-to-back victories so they come into this one in a much more confident mood.
Moreover, Inverness have managed just one victory in the seven matches since they defeated Hearts in mid-December and with the Jambos seeing this as a chance to salvage something from a horrible season, they can potentially sneak through.
A case can be made for it requiring extra time, at 11/4 with Stan James and with a close encounter likely a trio of bets relating to Locke’s charges catch the eye. Firstly, to guard against it finishing all square after 90 minutes, punters can either back Hearts to simply qualify for the final at 2/1 (bet365), there’s also BetVictor’s 3/1 marked against the Jambos in the ‘Draw No Bet’ market and the underdogs are 11/10 in Paddy Power’s handicaps, when kicking off a goal in arrears.
Meanwhile, in terms of the opening goal, it’s not surprising to see one of the Premiership’s top marksmen heading the betting at 10/3 with bet365. However, Hearts’ attacker Callum Paterson has contributed to his team’s revival by striking in his last two and he’s decent value at 9/1 courtesy of Skybet to break the deadlock.
Hearts to beat Inverness ‘Draw No Bet’ – 3/1 (BetVictor)