Scottish Cup Betting Preview

Football

ByTheMinSPFL

The league routine takes a break in the land of Scottish football this weekend, with the Scottish Cup taking centre stage. If 16 teams slugging it out to reach the quarter-finals isn't excitement enough you'll maybe fancy making it more interesting by having a little flutter. But before you put that stubby pen in your hand here is our man Alistair Sargent to tell you where the value could lie in the weekend's action.

CELTIC (1/6) vs (16/1) PARTICK THISTLE Holders Celtic are very strong favourites to come out on top as the Glasgow derby kicks off the weekend's fixtures. They came from behind to win 2-1 at Thistle only a few short weeks ago. And at home The Hoops are formidable domestically. There is little hope in punting on the upset. The Bhoys went ahead of Brechin in Round Four before the visitors had even touched the ball and if you fancy a similarly fast start from Brendan Rodgers' men then backing Celtic half-time / full-time at 3/5 could be an earner. But Celtic are not at their free-flowing best just now, and with one eye on the Europa League we shouldn't expect a procession. Celtic to win and under 4.5 goals in the match at 8/13 represents terrific value on an investment.

HEARTS (5/6) vs (7/2) ST JOHNSTONE An all-Premiership cup clash at Tynecastle, seven days on from their league meeting at the same venue. Despite having twice as many shots-on-target as their hosts during that one, St Johnstone slipped to a 1-0 defeat. And scoring goals has been the concern for Tommy Wright's side this term: 13 times they've drawn a blank in competitive action this season, including all three fixtures against The Jambos (1-0 twice, and 0-0). The return of Craig Levein to the dugout has resulted in Hearts becoming tighter than a duck's backside. Only a 96th minute goal denied them a club record nine consecutive clean sheets recently. And after shipping three at Celtic Park they returned to their miserly best in shutting out the Saints last Saturday. Hearts to win to nil at 15/8 is a handsome offer.

MORTON (4/7) vs (19/4) DUMBARTON An all-Championship clash at Cappielow, pitting fourth against ninth. Expect a tight match with both league meetings between the sides this season ending level (0-0 and 1-1). Neither side are big scorers. Dumbarton hit three against League Two Peterhead in Round Four but have found the net only once in their last seven games against Championship opposition. The hosts should be good enough to come through the tie but backing Morton to win and under 3.5 goals in the game at 11/8 could make you the big winner in this one.

DUNDEE (9/5) vs (31/20) MOTHERWELL Premiership rivals clash at Dens and, as the odds suggest, just like a Michael McIntyre gig, little is expected to split the sides. Well won their league meeting at Dens by a single goal in October, while the reverse fixture at Fir Park was drawn. Dundee blow hot and cold but on their day are capable of playing some neat stuff. They were well beaten by Ross County last time out and the fans will demand a reaction in this cup tie. Motherwell's form took a dive following the League Cup final in November but they've recovered their level in recent weeks. Curtis Main has helped Well pick up vital points of late and he is a tempting 17/10 to score at any time. As for the result, a score draw looks likely. Both teams to score and the match to end in a draw at 18/5 is worth a punt.

COVE (4/1) vs (3/5) FALKIRK The Bairns have not had their troubles to seek at times throughout their Championship season, and would perhaps have preferred to avoid a potential banana skin against unbeaten Highland League leaders Cove Rangers. But Paul Hartley's side have begun to find their groove, winning five of their last seven. And with three leagues between the sides in the Scottish pyramid system the 3/5 price on Falkirk to win in 90 minutes represents good value in itself. Falkirk to score in both halves is a tempting 23/20.

Advert

KILMARNOCK (2/13) vs (14/1) BRORA Brora's reward for eliminating League One opposition in Rounds Three and Four is a trip to Steve Clarke's on form Premiership side. With the gulf between the two sides there is little value in simply picking the winner. The job that Clarke has done at Kilmarnock has seen him linked with the Scotland manager's role. But it has been based on making the Rugby Park side well drilled and hard to beat. Short of a thrashing of Partick Thistle, goals haven't been in abundant supply. So suddenly having to go on the offensive against a team who will put it all on the line could prove tricky. The home side should win with comfort but backing them to triumph with under 3.5 goals in the game at 23/20 could provide value from a seemingly one sided affair.

AYR UNITED (8/1) vs (2/7) RANGERS League One Ayr have a proud cup record at Somerset Park through the years, with a number of top-flight clubs coming a cropper. But don't rush off to stake your hard earned on the upset just yet. Consistency has been the problem for Graeme Murty's Rangers this season but achieving anything towards their upper gears should be more than enough to see them home. However, The Honest Men can provide value in this tie. Ian McCall's side are closing in on 100 goals already this season, with them shared around the squad. And with strikers Lawrence Shankland and Craig Moore among the country's leading marksmen they'll fancy their chances of troubling the scorers, regardless of the opposition. Rangers to win and both teams to score is well priced at 29/20. But while Ayr score with considerable regularity they've also conceded 45 goals this term, including five against Premiership side Hibs. We can expect Ayr to score but we can't expect them to be watertight. This should be a high scoring encounter and Rangers to win plus over 3.5 goals (11/8) or over 4.5 (5/2) are also worth your consideration.

ABERDEEN (2/5) vs (13/2) DUNDEE UNITED The Dons route to Round Five should provide us with some context for this Premiership vs Championship tie at Pittodrie. Derek McInnes' men smashed St Mirren 4-1 in the last round, and the Buddies currently hold a 14 point lead over the Tannadice club at the top of the Championship, albeit The Tangerines do have two games in hand. Other than in games against Rangers or Celtic, Aberdeen are a reliable side. They've won their last three and should have too much for United in this one. Aberdeen to win both halves, as they did against St Mirren, at 19/10 looks a good shout. Away from the result, Niall McGinn has carried on exactly where he left off at Aberdeen, scoring in each of his last two home games. At 7/4 to score anytime he represents a good chance to almost double your investment.

Remember folks, having a flutter is supposed to be fun so you should only stake what you can afford to lose. Gamble responsibly. For more information or support visit https://www.begambleaware.org/ Good luck, and if you do win big then please remember your friends who helped you along the way. I'm just saying...