With Celtic in FA Cup action at Dundee, second-placed Aberdeen have an excellent opportunity to draw level on points with the champions in the Premiership table when they host bottom club Ross County at Pittodrie on Saturday. Undefeated in the league since November, the Dons start as Stan James’s 2/5 favourites. They were 3-0 up inside 50 minutes when they last hosted Ross and another 3-0 victory is rated an 8/1 shot by BetVictor.com.
Hamilton, who brought a run of four consecutive defeats to a welcome end by drawing 1-1 with Dundee last week, welcome Kilmarnock to New Douglas Park for a contest the home side kick off as bet365’s 11/10 favourites. Only St Johnstone have scored fewer away goals than Killie this term, a statistic which accounts for their 11/4 odds (Skybet).
Two all-Premiership ties catch the attention in the Cup, with Celtic’s duel at Dundee likely to be much closer than many punters anticipate. The Hoops, installed as Betway’s 4/9 jollies, managed to scrape past Dundee when the pair met at Parkhead in November, winning 2-1, but the Dark Blues (6/1, Ladbrokes) held the lead for more than an hour when the sides drew 1-1 earlier in the season. A stalemate is offered at 10/3 by Winner.com, while Paddy Power price another 1-1 result at 13/2.
There appears little to choose between Partick (7/4, William Hill) and Inverness (6/4, bet365) who meet at Firhill, but as Partick have hammered the Jags twice already this term, the 10/1 posted by BetVictor.com for them to make it three in a row with a 2-1 victory cannot be discounted.
St Johnstone face Queen of the South at Palmerston Park in a tie they kick off priced as Stan James’s even money favourites to win.
The pair haven’t met since a League Cup encounter in 2010 (which the Saints won 3-0) and Ladbrokes chalk 3/1 against St Johnstone winning by one goal; South are 4/1 (Betway) in the same market, although William Hill’s 5/4 for the first half to end level is worth a look.
In the remaining ties, backers expect wins for Falkirk (2/5, Skybet) against Berwick; Hibs (3/10, Winner.com) against Arbroath and for Rangers who start as Paddy Power’s 1/3 favourites to overhaul Raith at Ibrox. If there’s to be a shock, it looks likely to come in the Spartans v Berwick tie where the home side are 11/4 (Stan James) to progress to the next round at the first time of asking.
Dundee and Celtic to draw – 10/3 (Winner.com)
Spartans to beat Berwick – 11/4 (Stan James)
Fourfold on Aberdeen, Falkirk, Hibs and Rangers – 12/5 (BetVictor)
Double on Partick and Hamilton – 19/4 (bet365)