IT'S matchday three in Premier Sports Cup and KevMac previews the best of the action and suggests three stand-out bets for today.
Dundee Utd v Arbroath
TAM COURTS wasn’t a popular choice when he took the Tannadice reins but he has a perfect record so far in the League Cup with two wins from two.
And while punters were far from impressed with a laboured 1-0 win at SPFL new boys Kelty Hearts on his dugout debut, Dundee United turned on the style to crush Elgin 6-1 in their second group game.
They now face a tougher challenge at home to Championship Arbroath but if Courts’ side can keep the goals flowing then the gaffer might win over more of the doubters.
Micky Mellon did a decent job last term as United returned to the top flight, coming close to a top-six finish and reaching a Scottish Cup semi-final.
But his safety-first style of football didn’t go down well with a lot of fans and you got the impression star striker Lawrence Shankland was being starved of service at times.
That certainly hasn’t been the case so far under new gaffer Courts with the Scotland international netting three times in two games.
Shankland will be looking to add to that total against Arbroath today and United are 5/6 with McBookie to rack up another victory.
But the hitman won’t get it easy against Dick Campbell’s well-drilled side who have won their first two group games without conceding.
I tipped Arbroath to beat East Fife in midweek and it didn’t look good when keeper Calum Antell saw red in the second half, forcing midfielder David Gold to don the gloves. But the 10 men rallied superbly and brought up my bet thanks to goals from Dale Hilson and Luke Donnelly.
Arbroath have been a tough nut to crack for United, losing just two of their last six meetings, and Campbell’s men memorably claimed a 1-0 win at Tannadice two seasons ago.
Goals have been at a premium in this fixture of late, with under 2.5 strikes trapping in five of the last six meetings, so backing a repeat here could pay off at 11/10 with Red Zone.
There has been a one-goal winning margin in the last three meetings and that bet is priced 8/5 at McBookie for today’s showdown.
Motherwell v Queen of the South
Motherwell kicked off their campaign with a 1-0 win at Queen’s Park in midweek but were fortunate to escape with the points as the Spiders wasted a serious of good chances.
The Doonhamers scored three in midweek against Annan but have also conceded in both their games so far, making over 3.5 strikes appealing at 7/5 (McBookie).
Alloa Athletic v Livingston
Livingston are the other Premiership side in action today and the Lions should be too strong for Alloa at the Indodrill.
The Wasps failed to score when they lost at home to Cowdenbeath so a Liv win to nil looks the shout at 19/10 with McBookie.
Falkirk v Hamilton
We're still waiting for the first big shock of the League Cup group stage with the Premiership clubs winning all their matches so far, excluding forfeits.
But that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been any surprise results, with some Championship clubs coming a cropper.
Ayr lost on penalties to Albion Rovers in their first game while Queen of the South crashed 1-0 at home to Queen’s Park.
Hamilton only edged a 1-0 win at Edinburgh City and now face a tricky tie away to League One Falkirk.
The Bairns looked set for promotion last season until a horrendous collapse saw them fail to secure even a play-off place.
Former Aberdeen youth chief Paul Sheerin has now taken charge and has a squad that looks capable of winning the title.
The Bairns romped to a 5-1 win over Albion in their first Group E game so take on Accies with their tails up.
If you’ve been betting against BTTS so far in the League Cup you will have a big smile on your face as that bet has landed in 22 of the ties.
One of those games was Hamilton’s clash with City although both teams did score as Falkirk routed Albion Rovers.
But only two of the Bairns’ last six matches last term saw BTTS come up so try betting against it here at 23/20 with BetVictor.
There’s not much between these sides so a one-goal winning margin for either team could pay off. That bet pays a decent 5/4 with McBookie today.
Queen's Park v Airdrieonians
It could also be tight as Queen’s Park host Airdrie in Group F. The Spiders have joined their opponents in League One after winning the title in the bottom tier.
Laurie Ellis has taken over from Ray McKinnon and led Queen’s to that win over Queen of the South in their League Cup opener.
Motherwell beat them 1-0 in midweek but it was another decent display from Ellis’ side and they were unlucky not to take something from the game.
Queen’s Park are 6/5 with Betfred for a win today and that looks decent value against a Diamonds side who lost on pens to Annan.
Inverness Caledonian Thistle v Stirling Albion
Stirling Albion bust a few coupons last weekend with a 3-2 win at Cove.
The Binos now take on Caley Thistle up north and BTTS stands a chance at 11/10 with SportNation.
Inverness beat Peterhead 2-0 in their opener and the Blue Toon now face Cove in an intriguing clash.
Paul Hartley’s side were outclassed by Hearts in a 3-0 midweek loss so the 12/5 on offer at McBookie for a Peterhead win might be worth a speculative punt.
Clyde v Kilmarnock
Kilmarnock had to forfeit their opener at East Kilbride after fielding an ineligible player in their 2-0 win.
That makes today’s clash with Clyde a must-win and I fancy Tommy Wright’s side to get the points while keeping a clean sheet. A Killie win to nil is 19/10 at McBookie and under 2.5 goals pays 13/10.