I PUT my antepost tips earlier in the week and have confidently gone for Celtic and Hibs and less confidently for Alloa and Clyde.
The fourfold pays a best 43-1 at 188BET and the one I have biggest concerns about is Clyde who flopped as favourites last season and who could be pushed all the way by Dick Campbell’s Arbroath who have made some good signings.
Rangers kick off the season today at home to Hamilton at 12.30pm and there will be a huge fanfare at Ibrox to celebrate their return to the Premiership after an absence of four years.
In that time Celtic have cantered to the title and are again odds on to make it six in a row. They should be pushed harder by their great rivals and a best price of 1-3 at bet365 isn’t that attractive.
It’s bigger than what’s been for years and my advice if you fancy Celtic would be to hang on a couple of weeks because their odds could rise if Mark Warburton makes a good start to life in the Premiership and also they don’t play next week so could be a few points off the pace early on with Euro games to contend with too.
Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers has some work to do in the transfer market, especially in defence, but while Warburton’s put together a decent squad with Joey Barton and Niko Kranjcar adding experience and the likes of Jordan Rossiter and Josh Windass bringing youthful energy it could be at least another year before they push Celtic all the way. And he also needs defenders as Clint Hill and Danny Wilson will give away goals.
So I’m on 1. Celtic, 2. Rangers and 3. Aberdeen. Hearts look weaker than last season but should finish fourth with St Johnstone in behind. Sixth place could be a fight between Inverness and Ross County with Motherwell or possibly Partick Thistle making a run at it.
Dundee have been weakened by the sale of Kane Hemmings – with Greg Stewart likely to follow – while Hamilton have strengthened enough to stay out of a drop battle.
Accies are 3-1 favourites at Skybet to finish bottom but I fear for Lee Clark’s Kilmarnock (7-2, Skybet) who had a shocking Betfred Cup campaign. Clark has signed a team full of lower-league English players and having struggled against the likes of Morton, Berwick and Albion Rovers they have some work to do to survive.
Leigh Griffiths is 3-1 at William Hill to be top scorer for the second successive season with Rangers’ Martyn Waghorn 6-1 at bet365 and William Hill. Aberdeen’s Adam Rooney is worth an eachway punt at 10-1 with betfair (three places) and for an outsided look at Inverness striker Lee Boden who top-scored for Newport last season.
We’ll get an early pointer about how much Killie will struggle as they tackle a Motherwell side who are 13-8 with McBookie and Ladbrokes. Killie have narrowed the pitch and while that could hamper Well it’s a sign of negativity.
Hearts are still reeling after their Europa League exit to Birkirkara and while Celtic need to focus on their Champions League play-off they look in better nick. Knocking out Astana will have boosted confidence and they can be backed at 8-11 with MarathonBet on Sunday.
In the Championship it looks a straight fight between Hibs and Dundee United. Hibs have impressed under Neil Lennon and I like their chances at 5-4 with Stan James.
There’s a cracking opener today between thord favourites Falkirk and the Hibees and I’m on Lennon’s men at 20-23 with McBookie.
Ray McKinnon has also started well at Tannadice and his men are 11-4 with Paddy Power and bet365. Falkirk are third favourites at McBookie and Ladbrokes. United face a decent test today against a Queen of the South outfit boosted by the return of Stephen Dobbie but I’m on the home win at 1-2 with Ladbrokes.
Alloa are 11-4 jollies at bet365 to take League One and I’ll be on the Wasps after beating Ross County and Raith to win their Betfred Cup group. Peterhead will be their cloest challengers and are 5-1 at Paddy Power.
Peterhead have managed to persuade striker Rory McAllister to stay despite interest from Dundee and that’s a massive boost. However, Alloa should take the points when the sides meet and are 11-8 at Ladbrokes.
Barry Ferguson’s Clyde are again League 2 favourites at 10-3 with McBookie and this is the toughest to call with Forfar 5-1 and Arbroath 6-1.
Antepost Yankee (11 bets)
(Fourfold pays 42-1, 188BET)
Leigh Griffiths (Celtic)
(3-1, William Hill)
To Finish Bottom