SPFL Weekend Betting Preview

Football

ByTheMinSPFL

Alistair Sargent casts an eye over Scottish Premiership match day 27 and suggests where you might win some cash. There is also a wider look at the other SPFL fixtures as well as five home and five away teams you might look to include on your weekend accumulator.

ROSS COUNTY (2/1) vs (13/10) HEARTS Last time out County finally claimed their first Premiership victory since the first weekend in November with an impressive 4-1 away win over Dundee. But Hearts are an altogether different proposition to Neil McCann's struggling Dee. Craig Levein's Jambos revival has been based on a solid foundation, with the Tynecastle men conceding only 16 goals in the former Scotland manager's 24 games. In the nine away game they've contested under Levein's guidance they've shipped nine goals. Hearts to win to nil is a tempting 29/10. Those nine away fixtures under Levein have yielded a total of 19 goals so under 2.5 goals in 90 minutes at 3/4 could be profitable. If County are to have a chance then they'll likely rely on Alex Schalk to be on top form. The Dutchman has scored twice in each of The Staggies past two games. Backing him to make it a trio of braces is 16/1.

HIBERNIAN (6/4) vs (7/4) ABERDEEN Things could be tighter than a Tory chancellor's wallet at Easter Road. But despite being slight underdogs I fancy The Dons here. They're unbeaten in 11 matches against non-Old Firm opposition and have had The Hibees number this season. They won the previous fixture at Easter Road 1-0 before a convincing 4-1 rout at Pittodrie in December. Hibs will be buoyed by their win at Ibrox last time out. Neil Lennon's men are usually a good bet to find the net at Easter Road as well, although The Dons are the only side to have stopped them scoring at home in the Premiership this season. Aberdeen to win and both teams to score is a handsome 5/1.

MOTHERWELL (11/8) vs (15/8) KILMARNOCK The Steelmen went seven games without a win following their League Cup final appearance in November but have only been beaten once in 2018, a 2-1 loss at Easter Road at the end of January. They come in to this home game on the back of two successive 2-0 victories. But they face a Kilmarnock side absolutely brimming with confidence. Steve Clarke's men bested Well 1-0 at Rugby Park in December and at 15/8 they are an appealing bet to repeat the feat. They certainly represent a good price to boost the return on an accumulator. And with draw no bet also available on Kilmarnock at 11/8 you have a safety net that still brings good returns. Kris Boyd has six goals from seven games and is 19/10 to keep up his goal scoring form at anytime. Curtis Main has been on similarly hot form for Well, despite (eventually) having a goal taken away from him in last week's cup tie at Dundee. He is 9/5 to add to his four Motherwell goals during the 90 minutes.

PARTICK (13/10) vs (2/1) DUNDEE 10th plays 9th as two of the five sides who are doing very little to suggest they are too keen to hang around in the Premiership go head-to-head at Firhill. 2018 has not started particularly well for Neil McCann's Dundee and they are coming off the back of three defeats, the latest coming despite leading against 10-man Kilmarnock. The Jags have been beaten by Rangers and Celtic in their last two outings. Dundee made headlines by adding England cap Steven Caulker to their squad and the former Spurs defender didn't take long to make his mark, bulleting in a header on his debut. A tall, powerful defender, Caulker is a real threat at set pieces. He is 11/1 to add to that debut goal during the game. But Caulker failed to make the impact Dundee needed at the other end and they look as likely to hold water as a pensioner devoid of Tena. A score draw at 15/4 seems more tempting than trying to pick a winner in this one.

HAMILTON (6/1) vs (2/5) RANGERS The temptation here could be to look at Rangers knocking in six last week in the Scottish Cup and have a flutter in the handicap markets. That scoreline, against an Ayr United side who tired terribly and lost heart by the end of the game, should not encourage you down that road. A more realistic bet - given the comedic way in which Rangers conceded, and then gifted further chances, at Somerset Park last Sunday - would be Rangers to win and both teams to score at 23/10. Graeme Murty's side have come unstuck on a few occasions this season but should have enough to see off Hamilton. But Accies won't make it easy and it might take The Gers a while to eventually break them down. Draw HT and Rangers FT is available at 10/3 if you fancy this outcome. If we follow on from both teams scoring and Rangers eventually going on to win after a close opening, backing Rangers to win and over 3.5 goals in the game at 5/2 could be lucrative. The match will also see Rangers' Greg Docherty return to the SuperSeal Stadium for the first time since leaving Accies for the Ibrox club during the January window. If you think Docherty will become the latest in a long-line of players to come back to haunt their former club then you can back him to score at anytime at 11/2.

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CELTIC (1/6) vs (14/1) ST JOHNSTONE Poor St Johnstone. The last thing they need right now while they endure a terrible run of form and a barren spell in front of goal is a trip to the runaway league leaders and treble holders. Last weekend's blank at Tynecastle in the Scottish Cup was the 14th time this season Tommy Wright's team have failed to find the net during a game. 4/5 for Celtic to win to nil seems a very reasonable offer. One saving grace for the Saints could be Brendan Rodgers shuffling his pack after a Europa League clash with Zenit on Thursday. But this can present you with a good opportunity to make some money. With Leigh Griffiths on the sidelines the chances are Rodgers won't risk Moussa Dembele for a second game in a matter of days. That could mean a start for Odsonne Edouard and the young Frenchman has taken his opportunities this season. He is available at 3/1 to open the scoring.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS? There is plenty of action away from the Premiership this week, and a few tempting bets to be made. * Brechin City are still without a victory in the Championship this season. They host an in-form Falkirk on Saturday. Paul Hartley's side delivered on my tip to score in both halves during last week's Scottish Cup tie at Cove and there is good value in them to do likewise at Glebe Park on Saturday, with the bet available at 21/20 * Ayr United are the UK's leading scorers this term but have lost their last two league fixtures at Somerset Park. A thrashing by Rangers in the cup last week might tempt you to look elsewhere but with players returning from injury and unavailability The Honest Men's mini-slump at home should come to an end on Saturday. Ayr to beat East Fife and both teams to score is well priced at 9/5 * The pace setters in the Championship and League Two both face tricky away fixtures this weekend: St Mirren travel to Livingston while Montrose head north to play Elgin. But both sides just seem to keep on rolling. Jack Ross' Saints have won their last four league fixtures, and 10 of the last 12. Montrose, meanwhile, have won nine from 13 - including on the road to their nearest challengers Peterhead a fortnight ago. St Mirren to beat Livingston is 7/5, while Montrose are available at 8/5 to win at Elgin.

If you're looking for an accumulator here are my five home, and five away, picks to back in Scottish football this weekend. FIVE HOMES - Celtic, Ayr United, Clyde, Peterhead, Stenhousemuir FIVE AWAYS - Rangers, Falkirk, St Mirren, Raith Rovers, Montrose

Just time for your friendly reminder that placing a bet is meant to be fun. Everything in moderation people! If you think you need help or advice about gambling then visit www.begambleaware.org/ for further information. Good luck. If you'd followed our advice last week you would have enjoyed some success. I hope this week is just as profitable for you.