THE Scottish league season is a week away and today the countdown starts in earnest with the first round of the League Cup.
Challenge Cup and League Cup openers have to be treated with caution with teams still warming up for the big kick-off but I fancy the two Premiership sides involved – Dundee and Hamilton – to put down a marker and you can add Falkirk for what should be a nice 11-10 treble at Paddy Power.
Much-changed Dundee entertain League Two champions Peterhead and should cruise through if they keep tabs on Blue Toon goal machine Rory McAllister. Dens boss Paul Hartley has brought in 12 players, including the likes of Paul McGowan, Kevin Thomson, Greg Stewart and German striker Luka Tankulic.
Dundee have looked decent in pre-season with Tankulic on target and highly rated. If you can get a price for first scorer consider him or Stewart who starred for Cowdenbeath last term.
To win Hartley’s men are a best 1-3 at Paddy Power and I like over 2.5 goals at 4-6 with Ladbrokes.Hamilton have made fewer changes than Dundee with Mike McGovern, Dougie Imrie, Danny Redmond and Kieran MacDonald arriving and should beat Allan Moore’s Arbroath who went down at home to Alloa last week.
Accies are a best 1-5 at Paddy Power and if first scorers are put up by anyone take Mickael-Antoine Curier who has been flying in pre-season.
Falkirk were the biggest winners last week and thumped East Stirling 7-1 away and should win well at a Montrose outfit well beaten 3-0 at home to Peterhead. The Bairns are a best 1-3 at bet365 but again over 2.5 goals should come up and that pays 3-5 with Ladbrokes. I also like Falkirk minus one at 4-5 with McBookie.
Backers of favourites can also look at Livingston away to Albion Rovers, Ayr at East Stirling, QoS at home to Elgin and Raith to beat Forfar.
If there’s a shock it could come at Cappielow. Morton scraped past Spartans 1-0 last week and could find it tougher against Berwick who are a best 6-1 at boylesports and 29-20 with McBookie plus one goal.
Clyde will fancy their chances against Cowdenbeath while Brechin are looking to add a second Championship scalp in a row when they entertain Dumbarton.
Dundee, Hamilton, Falkirk
(11-10, Paddy Power)