IT'S the start of the real Scottish season this weekend and there will be plenty of attention on big-spending Queen's Park who should be able to make an early stamp on their League Two title challenge with a win at Stirling Albion.
It's been well documented the newly-formed professionals are making a huge effort to make their mark on Scottish football around about 130 years since they last did.
Lord Willie Haughey's considerable financial clout has meant they have been able to recruit several players who should be at a much higher level than Scotland's fourth tier.
Take your pick from Louis Longridge, Bob McHugh, Michael Doyle, Grant Gillespie, Tommy Robson and, of course, marquee signing Simon Murray. All could stake a claim for places in Championship teams.
Admittedly, doubts remain over the ability of Ray McKinnon to gel this squad through the season but there are no excuses for the campaign not to be a penalty kick for the former amateurs.
Stirling away isn't an easy start for them and they weren't great in League Cup matches but they should be all over a Binos side who might take some time to get going and have goalkeeping issues. And the Spiders should show what they are all about at Forthbank at a solid 4-5.
Aberdeen look good value at odds against to win in Tayside against a Dundee United side who are suddenly showing signs of trouble. The Dons seem to do their best work away from Pittodrie and have won four out of their five games away from the north-east this term, with the only loss coming in the Europa League at Sporting Lisbon.
Derek McInnes' long injury list has improved too and they will relish their first trip to Tannadice in four and a half years. Micky Mellon's side were embarrassed at home to Peterhead last week and a single-goal win over Lowland League champions Kelty Hearts was hardly much to get excited about either.
They previously lost their last league game at home to Livingston and if the Dons can keep Lawrence Shankland quiet they look a good price.
Peterhead have been written off at 11-4 for their trip to Airdrie in their opening League One encounter.
Jim McInally's men won at Dundee United last week and followed that up with a comfortable win against Brechin.
The Blue Toon have recruited well at this level with the likes of Isaac Layne and Gary MacKenzie arriving to Balmoor Stadium and while the Diamonds have made headline signings such as Thomas Robert and Griffin Sabatini Peterhead look a big price.
- Queen's Park (4-5, McBookie)
- Aberdeen (11-10, McBookie)
- Peterhead (11-4, McBookie)
Ex-Racing Post man Mark Walker is a McBookie.com blogger