THERE’S been a decent bit of chat about the anteposts on the site but as yet I haven’t put up any tips.
It’s not a market I’m a great fan of – I prefer to place my bets and know if I’ve backed winners or losers hours later.
Handing bookies money to look after for nine months isn’t No.1 on my list of priorities but I’m aware loads of people love them and a low-stakes accumulator at big prices can provide a great deal of excitement.
The priceless Racing Post antepost pullout comes out on August 4 and apart from Scottish Premiership picks – with the top flight north of the border kicking off this weekend – I won’t be putting up others until I read their publication.
It will save me hours and hours of research as it will be packed full of stats and facts, transfer ins and outs and tips – although I’ll make my own mind about the tips.
Anyone who has any thoughts about any leagues at this stage should feel free to add their input and also keep tabs on the We Love Betting site where I hear their will be dozens of antepost previews starting from now.
As far as the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership goes we already know Celtic will be crowned champions in May. I’ve seen some suggestions that Aberdeen can push Ronny Deila’s side all the way but they won’t.
The Dons did well last season to keep the race alive for so long and while their squad looks slightly stronger I can’t see them getting much closer to a side on another level financial wise.
Aberdeen will be happy to have kept manager Derek McInnes and their top players and they’ve already won two Europa League ties – including a superb 3-0 win away to Croats Rijeka.
The signs up at Pittodrie are promising but it’s another second-place finish and I’m assuming they’ll be targeting a possible win in the League Cup or William Hill Scottish Cup. To win the league without Celtic the Dons are 8-11 at McBookie and Betfred.
Put Celtic in there and you can have 25-1 but that looks incredibly skinny. Last season the gap was 17 points with Celtic taking 12 out of 12 from their closest rivals and I’d be surprised if it was any fewer than 15 this time round.
Deila has lost Jason Denayer and could still see Virgil van Dijk go but has brought in Dedryck Boyata to replace Denayer and Nadir Ciftci has been added to strengthen the strikeforce. In Premiership terms the team looks as strong as last year and Aberdeen’s only chance of keeping it close going into spring will be if the Hoops reach the Champions League groups and the Dons don’t make it that far in the Europa League.
Celtic are a best 1-20 with William Hill while Hearts are predicted to be third at 66-1 with Ladbrokes. For me they’re top-six certs but are battling with Inverness and St Johnstone for third spot.
Dundee United continue to be a selling club (mainly to Celtic) and could struggle to make the top six. They’ve lost all six pre-season friendlies but against some decent opposition and boss Jackie McNamara says he isn’t concerned. We’ll get an early indication about United’s form when they face Aberdeen in Sunday’s live TV encounter.
The battle at the bottom promises to be just as exciting as last year with Hamilton justifiable favourites to finish last with 4-1 at Ladbrokes and others. Kilmarnock, who just survived last season, are 9-2 at Paddy Power and much will depend on how their Rangers recruits Kris Boyd, Lee McCulloch and Stevie Smith fare.
Motherwell are likely to be the other side battling to stay up. They survived by thrashing Rangers in the play-offs but have lost strikers Lee Erwin and John Sutton although Scott McDonald has re-signed. Well are 5-1 at bet365 to finish at the foot.
Talking of Rangers they’ve been cut to a best 8-13 with the likes of Betfred and no bigger than 1-2 at bet365 and William Hill after their stunning 6-2 win at Hibs in the Challenge Cup at the weekend.
New boss Mark Warburton played down the result but there’s no doubt he’s put together a decent side and knows what he’s doing. It’s tough to back against Rangers and they’re trying to hurt closest rivals Hibs by signing star man Scott Allan.
I tipped Hibs without Rangers at 4-5 with William Hill a couple of weeks ago and stand by that although best price is now 8-11 at Paddy Power.
As it stands I see Rangers first, Hibs second, St Mirren third and Falkirk fourth with the rest nowhere. That includes QoS who made last season’s play-offs but have lost their best players with boss James Fowler turning to youth in a bid to rebuild.
Hibs are 13-5 at Stan James with Hibs 9-1 at bet365 and Falkirk 33-1 at Ladbrokes, McBookie and William Hill.
Alloa are drop favourites but I’d prefer to back promoted Morton at 4-1 with Skybet.
I’ll put up my Scottish Premiership anteposts picks before the weekend with the rest of the UK predictions added next week. Remember the date for the free Racing Post pullout … August 4.
And don’t forget to check out We Love Betting for antepost tips galore. They’re backing Dunfermline for League One and Clyde for League Two and it’s difficult to argue against either pick.