Scottish Premiership Ante Post Betting Preview 2016/2017
Aberdeen look considerably stronger this season. Their major area of concern was goalkeeper but Joe Lewis has looked steady and secure there during the European games. Callum Morris, Anthony O Connor, Myles Storey, Wes Burns and Jayden Stockley have all strengthened Derek Mc Innes’ hand. Their aim will be to secure their second place spot and another shot at Europe next season. Whether they qualify for the Europa League group stages this season could have a major bearing on that. No group stage and I would fancy them to make it tough for any pretenders who think they have them matched.
Prediction – 2nd
Best Bet – W/O Celtic @ 4.5 with Skybet
The Rodgers Revolution has been a slow burner with only two players of note signed so far. Toure brings great experience to a porous backline but Dembele needs to step up if he is to make the mark. What they have to hand should be enough to see them retain their title for the sixth time in a row. Leigh Griffiths looks likely to continue his excellent scoring form and Patrick Roberts is emerging as a genuine mercurial talent. The title is theirs to throw away.
Best Bet: Leigh Griffiths Top Goalscorer at 3/1 with bet365
Dundee’s pre season is most notable for the players that have left. Kane Hemmings, Gary Harkins and Paul McGinn will all start the season elsewhere. Greg Stewart is just as likely to be playing in pastures new by the time the transfer window closes. Faissal El Bakhtaoui has joined and he brings plenty of potential. He scored bags of goals in League One last season but this is a step up. Whether he can do it from the off remains to be seen. It could be a long and difficult season for The Dee if the new blood doesn’t quite step up to the mark. But they should have enough quality and experience to stay clear of the threat of relegation.
Best Bet: Bottom Six Finish @ 1.62 with Skybet
Massimo Donati was the key signing for Hamilton Accies. He brings quality and experience with the potential to score a few goals from midfield. But one comprehensive victory over St Mirren doesn’t convince me that they have what it takes to avoid the bottom two this season. There are major defensive concerns with Ziggy Gordon and Michael McGovern very difficult to replace. And goals could be another problem for them with their forward line looking thin on genuine quality. They will have to rely heavily on Crawford and Imrie while hoping Longridge and D’Akol can step up to the mark.
Best Bet: To Finish Bottom @ 4.33 with Skybet
Hearts are the team most in danger of performing worse than last season. Emulating last season’s third place will be a tough ask. Celtic, Aberdeen and Rangers all look to have progressed from last season. Hearts, at best, look to have stood still. Conor Sammon and Tony Watt will battle Juanma for a place up front. If any of them can emulate the departed Osman Sow they may push for a European place. But there are too many questions to have any faith in it.
Best Bet: Tony Watt Top Goalscorer @ 40/1 with Paddy Power
Caley Thistle surprised me in their League Cup campaign. A slow start was more than made up for with two comprehensive wins. They may have unearthed another goalscoring diamond in Scott Boden. The English man scored four times including a hattrick against Arbroath. That feat was matched by Iain Vigurs who scored a hattrick at Dunfermline and once against Arbroath. If he can fulfill his potential he could propel ICT towards the top six places.
Best Bet: Scott Boden Top Goalscore @ 70/1 with 10Bet
Predicting Kilmarnock’s future is a difficult task. With a huge turnover in players over the close season I doubt Lee Clarke yet knows his best team. By the time he does they could find themselves languishing close to the relegation places. Whether his best team then turns out to be good enough to escape is anyone’s guess. There appears to be some green shoots of promise but their League Cup campaign leaves a lot to be desired.
Best Bet: To Finish Bottom @ 4.5 with Skybet
If Mark McGhee can deliver some consistency with Motherwell they could threaten the top six places. But there are concerns about the strength of their midfield. Furthermore they have built a reputation for being profligate in front of goal. An early injury to Louis Moult doesn’t help in that regard. With Marvin Johnson and Lionel Ainsworth on the wings they will always be dangerous. And they have done well to hold on to Scott McDonald for the foreseeable future.
Best Bet: Bottom Six Finish @ 1.57 with bet365
The Jags could have one of the most exciting forward lines in the country. Alan Archibald has made some excellent recruitments over the past two seasons. Ade Azeez could compliment Doolan, Amoo, Osman and Erskine going forward. The capture of Ziggy Gordon over a host of admirers could be the signing of the season. Furthermore their League Cup form suggests they are about to have a great season ahead. They were one of only three sides to win all four games. Chris Erskine in particular is off to a flyer. If they can maintain their defensive solidity from last season their added options up front could set them up for an excellent season.
Best Bet: Top Six Finish @ 4/1 with Paddy Power
Everybody is keen to see how Rangers deal with life in the Scottish Premiership. They have made some high calibre and marquee signings in Joey Barton and Niko Kranjcar. Rangers fans will be eyeing up a title challenge. If they can get off to a good start while Aberdeen and Celtic are in European competition they can keep in touch with their main challengers. But as it stands the squad is still thin on the ground particularly in defence. Two or three injuries to key defensive positions could leave them in real trouble. Furthermore their current defensive incumbents leave a lot to be desired. They may yet strengthen in that area but for the time being even the most optimistic Gers fan should accept a top three finish for this season.
Best Bet: Martyn Waghorn Top Goalscorer @ 6/1 with bet365
Life in the Scottish Premiership for The Staggies has gone from strength to strength. But emulating last season is a next to impossible task. A top six place is possible but they have already surrendered their League Cup title. An early exit in that competition will hit their budget and was a huge disappointment for the decision makers in Dingwall. That is not to suggest that Jim McIntyre’s position is under threat. And they were emphatic in their last cup outing by beating Cove Ranger by a 7-0 scoreline. They still have one of the best forward lines in the league so they will score goals. But losing Jackson Irvine is a big blow to their midfield and there are still question marks over their defence.
Best Bet: Alex Schalk Top Goalscorer @ 80/1 with bet365
Tommy Wright should be regarded as one of Scotland’s finest talents. He has led The Perth Saints to two fourth place finishes in a row. And his most noteworthy achievement was winning the Scottish Cup in 2014. He hasn’t added extensively to his squad but Blair Alston and Paul Paton will bring a lot to their midfield. And that is a midfield unit that was already strong. St Johnstone’s forward players had an excellent League Cup campaign with Danny Swanson in particularly scintillating form. The Steven Maclean and Graeme Cummins partnership looks to have developed, too. They will be targeting a European place again this season and a top six place looks well within their reach.
Best Bet: Top Six Finish @ 2.25 with Skybet
Scottish Premiership Ante Post Betting Preview
Aberdeen to win the league without Celtic could be one of the best bets this season. They have been priced at 4.5 (7/2) with Skybet to finish ahead of the rest and that is tempting.
Many will look to Rangers but they have plenty to prove. The Dons will look to better their points tally over the last two seasons and they can. They have strengthened significantly and have a big squad to call on. The only danger may be European football if they can grab a place in the Europa League group stages.
It may be best to wait and see how they fare against Maribor on Thursday before taking the plunge.
Dundee to finish in the bottom six is short at 1.62 (8/13) with Skybet. But with a weakened side from last season it looks like it could be worthy of a decent stake if you have the nerve.
Scottish Premiership Ante Post Betting Preview Best Bets
Aberdeen to win the league without Celtic @ 4.5
Partick Thistle to finish in the top six @ 4/1
St Johnstone to finish in the top six @ 2.25
Dundee to finish in the bottom six @ 1.62
Scottish Premiership Ante Post Betting Preview Top Goalscorer Tips
Leigh Griffiths @ 3/1
Martyn Waghorn @ 6/1
Scott Boden @ 70/1
Graham Cummins @ 80/1
Ade Azeez @ 100/1