WHILE the Carling Cup always produces shocks the day of the underdog is rarer in the Co-operative Cup.

Four SPL sides enter the fray tonight and only one looks on dangerous ground. Aberdeen, Hearts and St Johnstone should sail through but Hamilton may crash out at First Division leaders Raith Rovers.

Hamilton, now 5-2 relegation favourites with McBookie.com after opening with successive 4-0 defeats to Aberdeen and Hearts, are without crocked skipper Alex Neil and haven't adequately replaced midfielders James McArthur and James Wesolowski. Rovers are flying with three league wins out of three and look a cracking bet at 2-1 with William Hill.

In recent seasons Aberdeen have had a dire cup record but after opening their SPL campaign with two wins they should see off Second Division Alloa at Recreation Park. The Dons are a biggest 4-9 with William Hill and Ladbrokes.

St Johnstone haven't had the best of starts but should be too good for a Morton side who perform better at home. Saints are 1-2 with Ladbrokes.

Banker of the night must be Hearts at home to Third Division strugglers Elgin. Best odds are 1-9 with Bet365 and totesport so focus on the handicaps and consider the Edinburgh men at 7-5 minus three goals.

Other punts Jambos followers should consider are 2-5 (Skybet) to score in both halves and 8-11 (Skybet) to win to nil. Strikers Calum Elliot and Kevin Kyle are 5-2 with Ladbrokes to score first with Stephen Elliott 3-1.

First Division big guns Dundee could also be in trouble. Their season hasn't got going and they were thrashed 4-1 at Stenhousemuir in the Challenge Cup. A visit to near neighbours Brechin will be even tougher and the Second Division side are value at 11-4 with Bet365.

An Old Firm winner of the Cup pays 1-2 with Hills and it's 6-4 for any other side. A non-SPL winner is 8-1.

Ten of the 11 ties features teams from different divisions and for no shocks William Hill go 5-2. Between one and three sides to be knocked out by lower-league opponents pays 4-7, four to six is 11-2, seven to nine 10-1 and all 10 is 150-1.

CO-OP CUP TREBLE

  • Aberdeen
  • Dunfermline
  • St Johnstone
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