Bookies are not exactly renowned for their generosity, although Stan James’s 11/2 for Rangers to lift the play-off trophy and gain promotion to the Premiership by staging a comeback worthy of Lazarus at Fir Park on Sunday has attracted plenty of support.
Rangers’ record on Motherwell’s patch is impressive: they last lost a league game there on Boxing Day 2002, but they go into Sunday’s must-win encounter priced as BetVictor’s 15/8 underdogs to win inside 90 minutes, whereas the Steelmen kick off as Skybet’s 7/5 favourites.
Motherwell’s 3-1 victory at Ibrox on Thursday means that Rangers must win by two clear goals in normal time to force an extra 30 minutes’ play and Ladbrokes rate the chances of the Glasgow men enjoying a two-goal margin of victory at an eye-catching 8/1. Those anticipating goals may fancy the look of Betway’s 4/6 for both teams to score, or else William Hill’s 10/11 for the duel to produce more than 2.5 goals.
Punters should remember that away goals do not count double and note that most match bets cover 90 minutes’ play. Paddy Power’s colossal 45/1 for Rangers to win the contest in extra time looks worthy of a modest punt – the same firm offer a massive 100/1 against ‘Gers winning a penalty shoot-out.
Though Motherwell have been indifferent at home, winning only four of their last ten league matches at Fir Park, they’re installed as 1/10 favourites (Stan James) to capitalise on Thursday’s success and win the play-off final. Yet Rangers are expected to come out all guns blazing and Skybet’s 3/1 for the game’s first goal to arrive inside the opening ten minutes looks decent value. Elsewhere, bet365 chalk a generous-looking 11/4 against Rangers keeping a clean sheet – probably essential if they’re to force extra time.
Can Rangers do it? They’ve suffered only two league defeats away from home since before Christmas and are 7/2 with Winner.com to lead at the end of both halves, while bet365 chalk 12/1 against them winning 2-0 at 90 minutes and BetVictor.com post an enticing 28/1 about the men from Ibrox winning 3-0 inside normal time. Surely one for optimists only?