This weekend’s Premiership and the relegation dogfight

After 11 games in the Scottish Premiership, Celtic sit at the top of the table on 26 points, two points ahead of Aberdeen with a further four points back to Hearts in third place. If the outright betting odds are to be taken as red then that should be the final finishing order come next May.

A more interesting betting market is on which team will finish bottom where the current bottom placed club Dundee United are the 2/1 (3.0) favourites with league sponsors Ladbrokes to take the wooden spoon and with it relegation. United currently sit four points adrift at the bottom of the table and with an away tie at Celtic this weekend their status as relegation favourites could be vindicated.

Thistle on The Up

Partick Thistle are next in Ladbrokes relegation betting at 5/2 (3.5) but have found form in recent weeks, taking maximum points against United and St Johnstone to move off bottom spot.  They face Hamilton Accies at Firhill on Saturday knowing that victory will open up a seven-point gap over United.

McGhee Returns

Motherwell are priced at stand-out 8/1 (9.0) with Bet Victor (more than three times the price of 12/5 (3.4) with Ladbrokes!) and have not shown many signs of improving on the form that saw them dragged into the playoffs last season.

‘Well travel to Aberdeen, where they have a decent record, and will hope to prolong their hosts’ current run of defeats. The match will have added interest in the shape of Mark McGhee’s return to Pittodrie five years after an unsuccessful stint as Dons’ manager.

Bookies Can’t Agree

Also in the relegation mix are Kilmarnock at a massive 11/2 (6.5) with 32Red, although strangely Bet Victor have them down as the 15/8 (2.88) favourites.  Killie’s form has improved after a dreadful start to the season but they face a tricky match at Dundee this weekend.

St Johnstone, who may well struggle to achieve their now customary top six finish but should still be well clear of relegation and this is reflected in their current price of 40/1.  They also face a tough match at Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

Hearts v Ross County

Away from relegation concerns, one of the more intriguing fixtures of the weekend is between third place Hearts and fourth place Ross County.

The Jambos ended a poor run that had followed a terrific start to life back in the top division with their win at Dundee United on Sunday while County continue to defy expectations by challenging in the top half of the table.  This is a match that may well be significant in the race for a Europa League place come the end of the season.

S Douglas

Football writer amongst other things.