THE only online bookmaker listing first-scorer prices on all SPFL games are McBookie.com. It’s a great service they provide and we’ve teamed up with the Scots firm to look at some of the best bets from the Scottish lower leagues.
Also, leave a first-scorer prediction for any of the weekend SPFL matches at the end of this article to have a chance to win a £10 free bet with McBookie.com. Remember to quote odds. Last week's winner was Liamaldinho*.
Here is McBookie's Damian Walker's first-scorer tips for this weekend. He writes: It won’t just have been Falkirk fans who were cursing Dumbarton a couple of weeks ago.
Plenty of punters will have turned their living rooms blue watching Gillette Soccer Saturday after Dumbarton scored three times to grab a point in a 3-3 draw. Having just beaten Hearts away the Bairns were backed from an early 4-6 into 4-11 at kick-off while the Sons had been on a shocking run. Such is football betting sometimes.
Now Dumbarton have a fantastic chance to register their first win of 2015 when they host a side in even worse form than them – namely Cowdenbeath. The Blue Brazil have been defending like their namesakes did in that infamous World Cup semi-final when they shipped seven goals against Germany.
In their last two games Cowdenbeath have conceded 10 goals without reply, although David Luiz didn’t feature. So it is a little surprising to see Dumbarton still trading at odds against at the time of writing.
The Sons have strengthened their squad in the last month with Ian Murray bringing in Darren Petrie, Dylan Easton and Stuart Findlay after Colin Nish and Chris Kane departed. As a result of the reshuffle Garry Fleming is expected to play a more forward role which makes his first-scorer odds of 7-1 with McBookie look fair in a game Dumbarton should win.
In League One there is a massive game down at the foot of the table with bottom-placed Stirling hosting second from bottom Ayr. And if you thought Nightmare on Elm Street was frightening, imagine a winless run that stretches back almost five months with 10 defeats and four draws since October 18.
That is what Ayr chairman Lachlan Cameron has had to deal with and if he didn’t have any grey hair last autumn he sure as hell must have now.
And while Stirling have hardly in brilliant form themselves, with just one win from five matches in 2015, in the other four games they have drawn 2-2 with fifth-placed Dunfermline and have been beaten by a single goal by leaders Stranraer, second-placed Forfar and sixth-placed Peterhead.
Amazingly, at the time of writing, punters are backing Ayr to win at Stirling and they are 13-10 from 6-4 with McBookie. The value seems to lie with the home side and Stirling’s Gordon Smith is 9-2 with McBookie to grab the opening goal in this crucial fixture.
In League Two Elgin boss Jim Weir has brought in Raith keeper Ross Laidlaw on loan and has also strengthened his squad with other outfield signings. The Black and Whites began 2015 propping up the league but since December 27 have won four – beating Albion Rovers, Berwick, Annan and Montrose – and drawing at Queen's Park.
They are now up to seventh in the table and in the last month have gone from 50-1 to just 6-1 with McBookie to make the play-offs.
Elgin striker Craig Gunn has scored 10 times from 26 appearances this season which isn’t a bad haul for a side that has been struggling for most of the campaign.
Gunn has a great chance to improve on his tally as Elgin travel to face bottom side East Stirling and the forward is 11-2 with McBookie to get the ball rolling with the game’s first goal.
Can you find a winner this weekend?
Fleming (Dumbarton) 7-1
Smith (Stirling) 9-2
Gunn (Elgin) 11-2
* I'm happy to admit I made a right ricket of checking last week's entries. Liam's pick scored first for Hibs as opposed to first in the match but I'm not taking his prize away. It was an honest mistake and anyone has a complaint can email admin email@example.com