My first bet for the weekend is to back Callum McGregor to score each-way against Inverness Caledonian Thistle in Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off. Kris Commons was the standout bet of this kind last season but hasn’t shown the same instincts so far this time around and was benched for Celtic’s recent clash in Slovenia. His odds of 15/4 offer little value.
McGregor’s accurate striking ability, coupled with a shoot-on-sight policy, has seen him net four times in seven matches, with two of those breaking the deadlock. His loan spell at Notts County saw him score nine of his twelve goals before the turn of the year, so I’ll be backing him more often than not until he shows signs of slowing.
The obvious argument against this bet is that Inverness currently sit unbeaten at the top of the table unbeaten and are yet to concede a goal. However, Celtic have had little trouble finding the net domestically this season, scoring nine times in their two league matches, and have scored eleven goals in two previous encounters with John Hughes’s side this calendar year. And we remember what happened last week when a team sitting top of the table, yet to concede a goal, faced Celtic.
I took this bet both last week and in midweek, made a tidy profit and came very close to making more when the 21-year-old struck the post in the first few minutes versus Dundee United. Back Callum McGregor to Score First (E/W) @ 6/1.
Two of the Championship’s part-time clubs face off at Central Park on Saturday with both teams having failed to win either of their opening league matches. In fact, the only wins for both clubs have come in the early rounds of the cup competitions. Alloa Athletic have fared slightly better, winning three cup ties from three, with Cowdenbeath defeating Clyde and only managing a draw over ninety minutes with Brechin City, a tie they lost in extra-time.
Add to this that the Wasps are unbeaten at Central Park in nine attempts, that seven of those have ended in draws and that the home side have lost their goalscoring duo from last season and it would appear that betting against the Blue Brazil is the smart way to go. I’m going to back Alloa or the Draw @ 7/10 but if you’re feeling brave you could back the draw at 5/2.
Elsewhere in the Championship, including last season’s results, Rangers have been involved in matches with more than 2.5 goals in eight of their last nine (or eleven of their last thirteen). Dumbarton managed a clean sheet in a victory over Brechin City the other week but have conceded a total of ten goals in their other three outings so far this season.
Kris Boyd broke his scoring duct with a hat-trick in an 8-1 victory over Clyde on Monday night and he will be widely expected to continue this form into Saturday’s match. It is possible that this, along with the margin of victory, will have allowed Ally McCoist’s men to shrug off their sluggish start to the campaign and begin to dominate the opposition the way their vastly superior budget and playing staff suggests they should.
Even though not many recent Rangers matches have seen more than 3.5 goals, three out of Dumbarton’s four matches have and since the Over 2.5 Goals market offers little value @ 48/85, I’ll be backing Over 3.5 Goals @ 6/5.
Finally, League Two has seen two-thirds of its matches end with both teams scoring and, furthermore, all of those matches have broken the 2.5 goals barrier. The standout fixture for these selections is undoubtedly Berwick Rangers v East Stirlingshire. Backing both teams to score would have returned a profit in all five of Berwick’s matches this season, while four of those five have resulted in more than 2.5 goals. This includes a 5-2 extra-time defeat at the hands of Greenock Morton in midweek.
East Stirlingshire’s record makes for similar reading – more than 2.5 goals in all four of their fixtures so far, three of those have seen both teams score. Both Teams to Score and Over 2.5 Goals can be backed separately @ 1/2.
All odds are taken from McBookie at the time of writing.