There’s no doubt that as teams eye glory or survival with similar levels of intensity, so contests become cagier and the likelihood of sides cancelling each other out increases. It’s against such a backdrop that the weekend’s Premiership matches feature four of the bottom five, each desperate for points.
Despite enjoying home advantage, Motherwell kick off as bet365’s 9/5 underdogs to overhaul Kilmarnock (6/4, BetVictor.com); Stan James post 13/5 against the draw, although only one of their last eight meetings has finished in stalemate.
Kilmarnock beat ten-man Motherwell 2-0 when they met in August, though against a full compliment of eleven players, it promises to be less comfortable. Indeed, this looks destined to end level and Paddy Power’s 10/3 chalked against it finishing as a score draw catches the eye.
The last half dozen contests involving Ross and Partick have yielded 25 goals and Skybet rates the chances of Saturday’s reunion producing more than 2.5 successful strikes at 10/11.
Each side has already enjoyed a comprehensive win over the other this term and Ross’s marginal favouritism (they’re 7/5 with Betway) is attributable to the fact that this fixture is being contested at Victoria Park, where they’re 7/1 (Winner.com) to register a 1-0 win.
In the Scottish Cup, there could be great merit in combining Inverness’s 2/5 price (Ladbrokes) to overhaul Raith on Saturday with Hibs’ 1/4 (also Ladbrokes) to trump Berwick on Sunday in a win double. A £10 stake would, if successful return £17.50 in winnings.
Finally, Dundee United’s cup duel against in-form Celtic looks, on paper at least, to be a foregone conclusion. The Hoops are Paddy Power’s 6/11 jollies, whereas United open priced as BetVictor’s lengthy-looking 9/2 underdogs.
However, it’s worth recalling that Dundee United comfortably turned Celtic over when the sides met just before Christmas and bet365’s 6/4 for the teams to disappear for their half time cuppa with the scores level has found favour. The likelihood of the first half finishing goalless, rated a 5/2 shot by Winner.com, has also proved popular.
Stan James consider the likelihood of United causing a shock and emerging victorious following a drawn first half at 12/1, while Betway post 18/1 against a 1-0 home win. More likely is a Celtic victory – they’re 7/1 at William Hill to register a 2-1 victory en route to what appears to be another league and cup double.