Both St Johnstone and Partick, who meet at Firhill on Saturday, are in need of points, though for different reasons, and their duel promises to be much closer than many pundits predict.
Home advantage ensures that Partick kick off as Stan James’s 17/11 favourites despite winning just four of their 14 home fixtures to date. The Saints open as William Hill’s 9/5 underdogs, not least because they’ve managed only 11 goals away from home, while BetVictor.com chalk 13/5 against it ending with honours even.
Could bookies’ pricing of an away win and the draw be a little too generous?
Given that three of the pair’s last five meetings have ended level and St Johnstone won the other two, it’s a reasonable conclusion to make.
Hamilton have defeated Ross twice this season (without conceding a goal), yet they open as Ladbrokes’ surprisingly long even money favourites to complete a league treble over County at New Douglas Park. No side has won fewer away matches (2) than the Staggies, a record reflected in Skybet’s 3/1 odds for them to secure three points.
Three players have been dismissed in the last three meetings of Kilmarnock and St Mirren, a record which suggests it could get a little feisty at Rugby Park on Saturday.
Kilmarnock have twice beaten the Saints 2-1 already this term and they kick off as bet365’s understandable even money jollies. Yet only one team in the Premiership’s bottom half has won more away matches than St Mirren, which suggests their 7/2 starting price (Winner.com) is a little frothy.
Note too that late goals have been a feature of this fixture in recent contests, adding appeal to Paddy Power’s 10/11 for the game’s final goal to arrive after the 72nd minute.
Celtic might be 8/15 (Betway) to win Sunday’s League Cup final, but it’s worth recalling that their opponents, Dundee United, defeated the champions 2-1 in December and held on with nine men last Sunday to draw 1-1 with the Hoops in a Scottish Cup match – the pair meet again next Wednesday.
United have been far from overawed when facing Celtic this term, which suggests that at a massive 6/1 (bet365), they’re worthy of further consideration, even though the most heavily-backed outcome is a 2-0 win for the Glaswegian giants, priced at 7/1 by Stan James.