A few years ago it would’ve been inconceivable that a showdown between Rangers and Hearts would be taking place outside of the top flight but they meet today as Championship teams both harbouring ambitions to return to the Premiership.
The ‘Gers cruised to the League One title last term but they won’t find life as easy in the second tier and the Jambos can give them a real taste of just how tough it’s going to be at Ibrox today. Nevertheless, home advantage gives Ally McCoist’s boys the edge according to punters, who have backed the hosts in to 17/20 at BetVictor.
Robbie Neilson’s charges, apparently playing 10 v 11 practice matches in training at Riccarton in case they have a man dismissed, are Stan James’s 3/1 outsiders and it’s 13/5 courtesy of bet365 to finish all square but all of the money so far has been for Rangers.
The flow of bets however, doesn’t reflect how tight a contest this is set to be and indeed punters getting stuck into the Light Blues might be better served backing them at 11/4 (Skybet) to shade it by a one-goal margin.
In a clash that looks a banker to see both teams get on the scoresheet, the ‘Gers are a generous 17/2 via Ladbrokes to register a 2-1 triumph or alternatively the same firm make them 5/2 to emerge victorious but also concede at least once.
In attack, McCoist has plenty of firepower at his disposal but it’s returning striker Kris Boyd that has been all the rage in the first scorer betting, where he’s 15/4 (bet365). Meanwhile, Neilson has suggested that the referee might be influenced by the huge, vociferous Ibrox crowd and those in agreement with the Hearts boss can back the hosts at 11/2 courtesy of Paddy Power to score from the spot
Rangers to score a penalty – 11/2 (Paddy Power)