THERE are 16 Scottish Cup ties this weekend but in reality only two sides have a chance to win it.
The Old Firm are so far ahead of the rest this season it's hard to see them losing a testing one-off tie.
It's even more unlikely they'll fall to a lower-league side. Rangers were the first name in the last 16 yesterday and Celtic are massive odds-on favourites to join them.
If you think I'm being unfair on the likes of Aberdeen, Motherwell and Hibs then look at the outrights.
Celtic are 11-8 favourites at William Hill with Rangers 11-4 – and the latter looks big considering there is so little between the sides.
Third in the book are Aberdeen at 14-1 with Motherwell 22-1, Hibs 25-1 and Killie 33-1. I'd only back maybe Motherwell each way – one third odds for runners-up – and hope the Old Firm are paired before the Final.
That's all a long way off. One of tonight's live games sees Celtic travel to Partick Thistle hunting an easy win to keep them on course for a quadruple Treble.
Celtic have won on their last 10 visits to Firhill – six by at least two goals – and won 5-0 at home in the Betfred Cup last September.
The holders are no bigger than 1-12 and that makes finding value challenging. Celtic -2 looks fine on accas at 8-13 with boylesport while Celtic -3 pays much better at 7-5.
Thistle have the worst home record in the Championship – two wins in 10 – and were hammered 4-1 by Dundee United at Firhill last weekend.
A revived Celtic should be able to match that despite the absence of Ryan Christie.
Neil Lennon will field a strongish side and I expect Odsonne Edouard to start and he's worth a look at 5-2 with McBookie to break the deadlock.
Other bets that should land easily include Celtic to win to nil at 3-4 with McBookie and Celtic/Celtic HT/FT at 4-7.
Aberdeen have a gimme against League One Dumbarton – but I think I said that last season when they were held by Stenhousemuir,
The Sons crashed 3-0 at Falkkirk last week and again Aberdeen should be looking at this of a standard bearer.
Aberdeen -1 is for accas at 8-13 with Sky Bet while -2 has every chance of landing at 7-4 with Paddy Power.
Top scorer Sam Cosgrove could fill his boots here but is no bigger than 13-8 at McBookie to score first.
There are no all top-flight ties so the potential for a couple of surprises.
Tomorrow I fancy Dundee United to beat Hibs but that would only be a mild shock. Robbie Neilson's side are Premiership bound and 2-1 with bet365 is a fair price.
Scouts will again be watching goal machine Lawrence Shankland and the Scotland striker is 14-5 with McBookie to score first and evens to net at anytime.
Hearts are winless under Daniel Stendel and while they should beat League One Airdrie I'd be nervous if I was a home. The Diamonds are as big as 17-2 with William Hill and I'd consider the underdogs +2 at 5-6 with Betway.
Dundee v Motherwell is tonight's late show and I'm on the Premiership side at 4-5 with betfair.
Ross County won't get it easy at Ayr who are 5-2 and St Johnstone and Hamilton will need to be professional to take care of Morton and Edinburgh City respectively.
The romance of the Cup takes seventh-tier Broxburn to St Mirren for what will be a great day out for their fans – and a heavy but not embarrassing defeat.
I can see Saints covering the -4 handicap and that looks big at 9-2 with Paddy Power.
There are three League Two games and Cove will be on many accas despite being 1-3 at home to Cowdenbeath having shown ambition by signing Peterhead legend Rory McAllister for a five-figure fee
McAllister is second favourite at 16-5 with McBookie to score first behind 14-5 Mitch Megginson.
- Edouard to score first
- Celtic -2
- Cosgrove to score first
- Aberdeen -2
- Dundee Utd (Sun)
- Shankland to score
- St Mirren -4
- McAllister to score first