IF Rangers beat Dundee today the chances of an Old Firm Scottish Cup semi-final will shorten.
It’s a big if though because as long as Dundee are brave and don’t hide they should give Rangers a serious test at Ibrox today.
McBookie.com go 3-1 on an Old Firm final and punters can also back a Highland derby at 25-1 or a Dundee derby at 40-1.
The firm is also offering 9-2 the Cup is won by a Championship team – Rangers, Hibs or Morton – and 8-1 the tie with Morton on Sunday is Ronny Deila’s last match in charge of Celtic.
Bookies have a policy of pricing Rangers short and Premiership rivals long when they meet in cups and they usually get it right.
Earlier in the week 5-1 was on offer at the likes of bet365 and Betfred. Surely the Dens men should be no bigger than 5-2 for today’s William Hill Scottish Cup clash. You can still get 4-1 at Paddy Power but the trend is still on Dundee shortening.
Rangers knocked out Killie in the last round after a draw at Ibrox but Paul Hartley’s side are better as they showed in Wednesday’s 0-0 stalemate at Celtic with a weakened team.
The likes of ex-Rangers man Kane Hemmings started on the bench and he’ll be the one Mark Warburton fears after hitting 14 goals in 13 games.
I’ve tipped unders in the last three or four recent Rangers games and they’ve come in at decent prices – but with Hemmings on the pitch I’d be inclined to take both to score at 4-5 with 888sport.
Warburton will be without cup-tied Michael O’Halloran and Billy King and that’s a blow while top scorer Martyn Waghorn is out. But plenty of other players chip in with goals and for a scorer consider Lee Wallace at 21-10 with Ladbrokes.
Today’s other tie sees Ross County v Dundee United – and last week when the sides met in the league the Tangerines won 3-0.
That was a shock but they reverted to type by losing 1-0 at home to Aberdeen on Wednesday while County got back on track with a 2-0 victory at Kilmarnock.
I can’t see League Cup finalists County playing as badly and with United needing points more than cup success I’m on the home win at 6-5 with Paddy Power.
On Sunday it’s Celtic v Morton and Hibs v Inverness. A couple of weeks ago I’d have sided with the Championship side Hibs at home to Inverness but their title hopes have crashed and burned after defeats to Morton, Dumbarton and QoS.
Maybe a cup distraction is just what Alan Stubbs’s side needs and they can win if they play as they did in the League Cup and beating Hearts in the Scottish.
How bad were Celtic against Dundee in midweek? They were that poor that it would surprise no one if Deila was bagged despite sitting top of the table.
Defeat to Morton would be help him on his way and it can’t be ruled out against a side who won 1-0 on their last visit to Parkhead and drew at Rangers a couple of weeks ago.
Morton are 33-1 at Marathonbet and while I’m not brave enough to tip it I can see them running a nervy Celtic side close.
So look at markets such as Morton +3 at 11-10 with Coral, Morton to score at 11-10 with William Hill and HT/FT draw/Celtic at 4-1 with McBookie and Hills. In the same way I can’t back Rangers at 4-6 I can’t take Celtic at a best 1-12.
Ladbrokes have price boosted both teams to score in the four ties to 14-1 from 10-1 and a Hibs, Rangers and Falkirk treble returns 9-2 from 10-3.
I’ve focused on the Cup but elsewhere I like Hearts to beat Partick in the Premiership, Falkirk -1 v Alloa in the Championship and Ayr at Brechin in League One.
Bets to Consider
Hemmings to score