Rangers have continued to lead the way in the Scottish Premiership, despite their change of manager, but Celtic are not far behind as the battle for the title hots up. Let's have a look at the current betting picks.
Who do Bettors Favour?
After sensationally winning back the title last season Rangers were short in the betting markets through most of the fall, but fans checking out the Scottish Premiership odds on the best sportsbook sites will see that things have tightened up a little. Rangers are still the clear favourites at 1.60, but Celtic are not far behind and can be backed up to 2.25. Third-placed Hearts head the rest of the field at 190.00.
|To win Scottish Premiership|
A Proper Old Firm Battle
After years of Celtic dominance, there is once again a two-way battle for the Scottish Premiership and while the rest of Scottish football may yearn for the day when the title is not decided exclusively in Glasgow, the added competition at the top of the table is welcome.
Last season ended with Rangers rampant, having won their first title since 2011, ending a run of nine straight Celtic victories. Meanwhile, their city rivals were in a rut and looking for a new manager. Pundits were predicting a lengthy spell of Rangers dominance.
Yet the departure of Steven Gerrard in November gave Rangers’s rivals hope, and while they have retained a useful lead at the top of the table under new manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Celtic have weathered a poor start to close the gap to just four points. Their boss Ange Postecoglu has turned things around impressively, putting together a 14-game unbeaten run, and with two Old Firm derbies yet to come, that gap can be overcome. At these odds, Celtic looks like the best option.
The Fight for the Top Four
Newly promoted Hearts have been thoroughly impressed so far this season and there is no danger of them dropping back down to the Championship again, at least not in 2022.
They managed to go undefeated until the end of October and though they have since lost four times in the Premiership, they continue to pick up enough victories to remain clear of the rest. The third-place looks to be theirs for the taking, though which team will clinch the other Champions League spot is not clear.
Aberdeen, Hibernian and Motherwell are separated by three points and of those, Hibernian could be the best bet. Jack Ross paid the price for a run of poor results in December and since his departure, the Edinburgh club has won three from five. Aberdeen have won four of their last six, but all four came against teams in the bottom five, while Motherwell have been inconsistent of late, so at this point Hibernian are the best bet if you can find a Top Four market with your favourite sportsbook.
Two Way Scrap at the Bottom
At the other end of the table, it looks like a straight scrap between St Johnstone and Dundee, with only the bottom team guaranteed to drop into the Championship.
St Johnstone had managed to pick up enough points to stay clear of trouble in the fall but their challenge went off the rails at the end of November, and they racked up an unwanted sequence of eight consecutive defeats which saw them sink to the bottom of the table.
Dundee have been more predictable and have spent most of their campaign in the bottom three. They have also strung together a series of defeats and although they are two points clear of St Johnstone, their goal difference is significantly poorer, which could prove significant. At this stage, they look the more likely candidate for the bottom spot at slightly bigger odds than their rivals.
Who Will Top Score in the Scottish Premiership?
Celtic’s Odsonne Edouard finished as top scorer for each of the last two seasons, but he is now at Crystal Palace in the English Premier League, and the main Celtic challenger for the top scorer title is Kyogo Furuhashi. The versatile Japanese forward has already racked up 14 goals in all competitions for Celtic and although only eight have come in the Premiership, that is a statistical anomaly that will right itself.
Furuhashi is level with the current favourite in the top scorer market, Alfredo Morelos the top scorer from three seasons ago. Morelos has taken his time to get going but half of his goals have come since December so he is coming into form and will have plenty of chances to increase his tally.
The current leader is Tony Watt, who started the season with Motherwell but is now with Dundee United, though he is only a goal ahead of four players, including Furuhashi and Morelos, and is unlikely to be able to match them for the rest of the season. At this stage, it is a hard race to call but Furuhashi has made a huge impact and defences are still working out how to handle him, so, at bigger odds, he gets the nod over Morelos.
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