IT all kicks off in Scotland today and the advice is to play with low stakes until some form patterns emerge.
The Challenge Cup is now branded the Petrofac Training Cup but picking winners today will be no less of a challenge.
Dozens of new players will be making debuts for the 32 teams involved and for many of the clubs today is still about preparing for the league season in a fortnight.
There have been 14 different winners of the tournament since 1990 but Rangers aren’t one of them. They failed in their three attempts and while they kick off as 15-8 outright favourites with bet365 they’ve been handed the toughest possible tie away to Hibs.
Alan Stubbs’s Easter Road men are second favourites at 5-1 at bet365 but with one of the top two exiting today it might pay to back St Mirren (11-2, bet365) or Falkirk (12-1, McBookie) each way.
The Hibs-Rangers clash launches the season at 12.30pm and the Scott Allan transfer saga has created an interesting sub-plot. I don’t know if Stubbs will pitch the unsettled midfielder into the fray but it will add en edge if he does.
I can’t see how Hibs can sell their star man to their biggest rivals but it may be preferable to keeping a player who wants to leave.
Rangers beat Hibs in the end-of-season play-offs but this is a new team under Mark Warburton.
Signs of progress are promising though and I’m backing the Ibrox men draw no bet at 19-20 with Coral. To win Gers are a best 7-4 at Coral.
Martyn Waghorn is a good capture and the striker is being supported for Championship top scorer at 7-1 with McBookie.
He netted against Hibs at a pre-season training camp in Spain and is 7-1 to break the deadlock at Easter Road.
Jason Cummings is 5-1 favourite to take the Championship Golden Boot and is 6-1 with bet365 to net first today.
Hibs beat Gers three times in the league last season season and are 13-8 at Paddy Power to win again with the draw 5-2 at Stan James.
It could take some time to get going as both sides find their feet and an early goal would be a surprise. Take time of first goal after 26 minutes with Paddy Power.
Rangers draw no bet
1st goal time over 26 mins
(10-11, Paddy Power)
Falkirk ew to win Petrofac Cup
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