May 7: Scottish Betting Preview

MRF_GriffithSCeltic

SCOTS bookies McBookie are still confident Hibs will qualify for the next round of the Premiership play-offs despite losing the first leg.

I’m not sure because Raith will up a stern defence of their 1-0 lead and are available at 11-8 to progress with Alan Stubbs’ side just 8-15.

McBookie spokesman Paul Petrie said: “There is no doubt Hibs are up against it but we are confident they will get the required result. However, they are now 2-1 to be promoted and even if they do win it could be another year in the Championship.”

Hibs have faced cup semi-finals and finals this season but today’s play-off quarter-final is their biggest game of a packed campaign.

I’m not sure what to make of Stubbs’s men. They’ve managed to hit the heights in many big cup ties but finishing third to Falkirk in the Championship could cost them.

An extra two-legged affair was the last thing Hibs needed – plus the fact it’s against a Raith side who have hit the heights at exactly the right time.

I tipped Raith to win the first leg – 19-5 was too big to miss – and it would be remiss of me not to stand by Ray McKinnon’s Kirkcaldy side who have lost just once in 16.

All the pressure will be on Hibs, a massive weight of expectation, and they’ve shown they can’t handle it and missed chances at Stark’s Park could return to haunt them.

Hibs are again short at a best 4-9 with Coral but did lose just once at home in the regular season and beat Rovers twice at Easter Road.

Raith are 17-2 at McBookie but I’d rather keep the draw on side and back them to qualify. They also tempt +2 at 4-5 with Ladbrokes.

Hibs are just 8-11 at Coral to overturn the deficit and set up a meeting with Falkirk. Jason Cummings had a mare in Kirkcaldy and is 7-2 at Paddy Power to bounce back with the first goal.

The other play-offs are more clearcut with Livingston up against it after losing 5-2 at Stranraer. They need a miracle but it should be another open game and I’m on over 3.5 goals at 6-4 with William Hill. To turn it around Livi are 8-1 with Coral.

Ayr are able to relax after winning 4-1 at Peterhead. The Blue Toon will have Rory McAllister back from a ban as they go for goals and best bet here could be both teams to score at 8-11 with McBookie.

In the SPFL the final issue to be settled is the relegation play-off with Killie making a fist of it by winning 4-0 at Hamilton last week.

Lee Clark’s men lie four behind Accies and six adrift of today’s visitors Partick Thistle. A win should keep things interesting and I’m on Killie to pick up the points at 6-4 with Ladbrokes.

Tomorrow Celtic aim to officially be crowned champions when Aberdeen visit. The Dons have problems up front with Simon Church a doubt and Adam Rooney out – so I’ll be on Celtic at 8-15 with Coral to beat their rivals at home for the sixth time in a row.

All three meetings this season have seen both sides score as have six of the previous seven at Parkhead. A repeat pays 4-5 at Hills.

Player of the Year Leigh Griffiths, above, could score first and is 10-3 at Coral.

Bets to Consider

Raith to qualify

Ayr v Peterhead btts

Kilmarnock

Dundee

Griffiths to score first

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