THE only online bookie that lists SPFL and Scottish Cup first-scorer prices for every game are McBookie.
McBookie‘s Damian Walker is returned last week with his first-scorer tips and did well. He’s also challenging punters to pick their own. Every week one punter with a correct prediction will be chosen at random to win a £10 bet. Last week there were no winners emailed to me.
You can comment with your pick here and give any reasoning but to enter the contest you have to email [email protected] Bonus excluders don’t qualify for the prize.
Quote player’s club and first-scorer price with McBookie – Scottish games only – for a chance to win.
Here is Damian with this weekend’s selections.
He says: It was great start to the season last weekend with Brechin, Raith and Elgin all winning and headline tip, Brechin’s Alan Trouten, scoring the opening goal at 11-2 against Stenhousemuir.
We are going to start in the basement for this weekend’s first selection. Regular followers of this column will know I like to price up all the games myself before then looking at the actual odds we the bookies have put out.
The biggest discrepancy this week was when I was priced up the Elgin v Edinburgh City clash. I expected the newly-promoted side to be somewhere around 5-2 for their visit Borough Briggs yet the Citizens are available at a massive 5-1 with McBookie.
True, they have lost all six this season, but realistically how many of their first four were they expected to win against Livingston, Ayr, Hamilton and St Mirren?
They then lost narrowly away to Motherwell’s development squad and suffered a 3-2 home defeat to McBookie’s 7-2 second favourites for the League Two title Forfar.
Edinburgh City performed well last season against League Two opposition – losing out on penalties to subsequently promoted Queen’s Park in the Challenge Cup and obviously beating East Stirling in the play-offs to claim their league place.
Since then Gary Jardine has done some good business in the summer with Neil Matyniuk joining from Hibs and signing former Scotland, Celtic and Hearts striker Craig Beattie.
Now I am not suggesting Edinburgh City should be favourites to beat Elgin, who I tipped last weekend and have also improved their squad, but I can’t see how the Black and Whites should be as short as 1-2.
The value call is Edinburgh City and Beattie has already opened his league account for the season with a goal last weekend and can be backed at 8-1 with McBookie to score first on Saturday.
Staying in League Two and the second set of match odds that had me rubbing my eyes was the 2-1 on offer about Arbroath to win at Montrose.
I really thought they might be around 6-5 for this and together with Forfar, Arbroath are my ante-post selections for the League Two title.
Arbroath boss Dick Campbell has done some terrific business in the summer and maybe bookies priced the Smokies up on their second from bottom finish last season and not their squad?
If they have then they are making a big mistake as this Arbroath team bears little resemblance to the one that struggled last season.
In have come Steven Doris, Bryan Prunty, Ryan McCord, etc, etc. In fact seven of the starting 11 last weekend were new signings – many from higher leagues. Montrose on the other hand have added three non-league players and one from Clyde.
I expect the Gable Endies to struggle this season and they are McBookie‘s 11-8 favourites to finish bottom and can be backed at a generous 5-2 with some other firms.
The final selection is in the Championship where Queen of the South have made a terrific start to the season rounded off by their 3-1 League Cup defeat of Hibs in midweek.
The Doonhamers face a much easier task on Saturday when they entertain Ayr who lost at home to Raith last weekend.
As I said last weekend Ayr are my fancies for the automatic drop but on Friday the Honest Men brought in Gary Harkins from Dundee to bolster a weak-looking squad in terms of the Championship. I still think Queen of the South will run out comfortable winners even with the Harkins signing.
The returning Stephen Dobbie will get a fantastic reception from the home crowd in his first game at Palmerston in a Queens’ shirt for seven years.
Dobbie had an amazing scoring record in his first stint scoring 47 goals from 74 appearances and came off the bench to score at Easter Road in midweek. He is 5-1 with McBookie to mark an emotional home return with the game’s opening goal.
Can you find a winner this weekend? Email your entry to [email protected]
Craig Beattie (Edinburgh City) 8-1
Stephen Dobbie (Queen of the South) 5-1