Punters have had difficulty recognising any patterns emerging from recent duels between Celtic and St Johnstone, who meet at Parkhead on Saturday. In May, the sides played out their first goalless draw in 15 years, a result which followed the Saints’ 1-0 victory in March and two earlier Celtic successes. Despite these fluctuating fortunes, bet365’s decision to install Celtic as their 1/5 favourites to collect maximum points has hardly been greeted with widespread shock.
None the less, as the pair’s four meetings last term yielded just seven goals, an average of slightly less than two per game, BetVictor’s 7/4 for Saturday’s contest to produce fewer than 2.5 goals has proved understandably popular. For those expecting another upset, there’s an attractive 40/1(Ladbrokes) chalked against a 1-0 away win.
Recent contests between Dundee and Inverness have proved particularly close: their last four duels have produced two draws and two matches settled by a single goal, results which explains the appeal of Stan James’s 11/5 for Saturday’s meeting to end all-square. Dundee kick off as Skybet’s 13/10 jollies and quoted at 10/3 (Winner.com) to enjoy a one-goal margin of victory; a 1-0 away win is priced at 8/1 by Paddy Power.
Who can stop the Jambos? Bookies do not expect the answer to be ‘Hamilton’, their opponents this Saturday, when the league leaders travel to New Douglas Park priced as William Hill’s 11/8 favourites. Hearts won all three matches against the Accies when the pair last met in 2010-11, scoring an aggregate of eight goals without reply. The Edinburgh side are a generous-looking 12/1 (BetVictor.com) to register a 2-0 victory and offered at 9/4 (bet365) to keep a clean sheet.
Motherwell twice got the better of Kilmarnock last term, though as the two have managed just one win between them in ten attempts this season, Ladbrokes’ 9/4 for Saturday’s duel to end with honours even has the look of a banker about it. In an adjacent market, Skybet chalk 11/2 against both halves ending in stalemate.
Boasting a 100% league record, Aberdeen’s odds to claim the Premiership title were cut to 20/1 by BetVictor.com this week (from 25/1) and they’re likely to extend their winning sequence when they play Partick on Saturday, a match they start as bet365’s 5/6 odds-on favourites. The Dons kept three clean sheets against Thistle last term and are 23/10 at Paddy Power to win without conceding.
Finally, the last nine duels between Ross County and Dundee United have produced only one draw, although six of the other eight were settled by just one goal. Stan James offer the Staggies at 3/1 to win by a single goal, while Winner.com chalk 13/2 against them winning 1-0.
Under 2.5 goals in Celtic v St Johnstone – 7/4 (BetVictor)
Ross County to beat Dundee United by one – 3/1 (Stan James)
Double on Hearts and Aberdeen – 10/3 (bet365)
Draw double on games at Dundee and Motherwell – 19/2 (Ladbrokes)