THE romance of the Cup could be lost this weekend as the big guns ease through.
Celtic, Rangers and Aberdeen are likely to progress without trouble while it should be the end of an adventure for Highland League pair Brora and Cove.
Strangely Brora are the same price at Kilmarnock as Partick Thistle are at Celtic – and no one's getting any joy at Rugby Park these days.
Cove should test an inconsistent Falkirk but it's tough spotting where a shock could happen.
Celtic kick it all off at home to Thistle at lunchtime and are no bigger than 1-5 at sponsors William Hill to reach the last eight.
Brendan Rodgers's men are expected to bounce back from last week's defeat at Killie but in their last six meetings at home to Thistle the biggest win was 2-0 and this season they've beaten them 2-0, 1-0 and 2-1.
I'd rather be on Killie, Aberdeen and Rangers – to win and on the handicaps.
Killie are 1-5 with Marathonbet to ease past a Brora side who have reached this stage by winning at League One sides Stranraer and East Fife.
Steve Clarke won't take the opposition lightly but after five successive home wins – including defeats of Rangers and Celtic – this should be comfortable and Killie -1 (1-2, Betfred) and -2 (5-4, Paddy Power) both look good.
Aberdeen and Rangers are in action tomorrow and both should win well. The Dons are miles ahead of New Firm rivals Dundee United but Ladbrokes have priced them up at a fairly generous 4-11 so the Dons -1 is available at 11-10.
Derek McInnes's men have won three in a row scoring 10 goals since their latest defeat to Rangers and should be too strong for a Championship side that's suffered two heavy defeats in four – 3-0 at home to Morton and 6-1 at Falkirk.
Aberdeen -2 isn't out of the question at 29-10 with McBookie and they are 6-4 to score 3+.
Rangers battled past Partick on Wednesday and will know the threat posed by League One Ayr. Ian McCall's men have netted 64 in the league but conceded 32 so there should be plenty of goals.
Graeme Murty's men play better away from home and are a best 3-10 with Marathonbet which isn't bad. Again the -1 handicap tempts at 4-5 with Ladbrokes while -2 – which is what they covered in the last round at Fraserburgh – is 15-8 at McBookie.
In midweek I tipped Josh Windass to score at 3-1 and tomorrow I'm on penalty taker James Tavernier at 4-1 with Paddy Power.
A treble on Killie -2, Aberdeen -1 and Rangers -1 pays 73-10 at Coral and is worth the risk. Add Celtic -1 and it rises to 12-1.
Elsewhere in the Cup Hearts beat St Johnstone 1-0 at home last week and should again close out the struggling Perth men. The Jambos are 17-20 at McBookie and 15-8 to win to nil.
Dundee v Motherwell is another all-Premiership ties and unless Steven Caulker plays as he did to win an England cap I reckon Well will triumph at 9-5 with Marathonbet.
They won at Dens in October and have eased the loss of Louis Moult by signing Curtis Main and Nadir Ciftci. I also tipped Main to net in midweek and he is 11-4 at bet365 to counter again.
The other tie sees Morton entertain Championship rivals Dumbarton at Cappielow. Two meetings this season have ended in draws but Ton have won three in a row and the Sons' only win in six was at Peterhead. Back the home at 8-13 with Sky Bet.
In the Championship Livingston are going for three wins in a row against a Dunfermline side who have suffered three straight defeats. Take Livi at 13-10 with Marathonbet.
Raith look best bets in League One at 8-15 with McBookie at home to Airdrie.
And in League Two Stirling should be backed at 32-25 with Marathonbet at basement boys Cowdenbeath.
- Celtic to win to nil (12.15pm)
- Kilmarnock -2
- Main to score
- Rangers -1 (Sun)
- Tavernier to score (Sun)
- Aberdeen -1 (Sun)
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