Hibs v Celtic
Let’s take a look at the first of our Dec 16 Scottish Premiership betting tips. It’s a super Sunday from the Scottish Premiership as both halves of the Old Firm are in action following Thursday night’s Europa League drama. We get started at Easter Road where local side Hibs, led by former Celtic player and manager Neil Lennon, take on the champions; it’s a match that’s sure to be fiery from the first whistle. The Hibees started the season well enough and were seen challenging during the fair weather; however, they have fallen well off the pace and go into the week sitting down in eighth on 23 points.
A run of six wins, five draws and five defeats suggests a midtable finish is the best they can hope for this season. However, there’s still plenty of football to be played and fans will remain positive as we head towards a hectic festive period. A win here would certainly set the cat amongst the pigeons in this league, but Hibs have been written off across the board and that’s no great surprise. The locals did grab an overdue win last weekend when beating Hamilton at New Douglas Park courtesy of a goal from Shaw on 65 minutes.
Big week for Celtic
Celtic have been far from at their best so far this season. However, they can be thankful Steven Gerrard’s teething problems across the city has meant main rivals Rangers haven’t been able to capitalise. The champions head to the nation’s capital having won 10 of their first 15, with three games drawn and two defeats. Two of those three draws have come in their last four outings as the pace of playing Europa League and Premiership football begins to take its toll.
The Bhoys were last seen securing their most impressive win of the season when battering then leaders Kilmarnock at Parkhead on Saturday, strolling to a stunning 5-1 victory. Killie had got a draw at Ibrox already this season and hurt Celtic at Ruby Park; this saw them board the team coach to Glasgow with confidence behind them; however, that quickly unravelled under intense pressure. Forrest scored two and there were also goals for Edouard, Lustig and Christie. The beaten side hit back through a Brophy penalty on 52 minutes.
Hibs written off
Hibs enjoy home advantage for this one, but bookmakers don’t expect that to sway the outcome of this match too much. They offer the locals as outsiders of three in the match betting. Punters looking to secure their share of a bumper price can do so at Bet365 where they’ll find Hibs available at 6/1. A big offer, of course, but it’s not enough to part us from our cash, given their recent results. The draw is 10/3 with the same firm and we’re sure Lennon would take it.
That leaves Celtic as firm favourites for the points but there’s a little more value available than you may have expected. Coral offer 4/9 on the points heading back to Glasgow and that’s a price that’ll prove useful in accumulators. The form of both makes it a worthwhile addition and we’re happy to go with it. Those after more can have both teams to score in a Celtic win at 23/10 (Ladbrokes).
Rangers v Hamilton
The next of our Dec 16 Scottish Premiership betting tips is Ranger v Hamilton. Rangers host Hamilton at Ibrox in the second game of the day. This is a match Steven Gerrard’s side simply have to win and look good in doing so. The locals have been poor in recent outings and since hitting the top of the league they were quickly displaced after losing to Aberdeen when last in action at this venue. It was a weak effort from the players despite the backing of a support who were beginning to believe they could challenge Celtic’s dominance this season. On a night that saw both teams reduced to 10 men, McKenna scored the only goal of the game on seven minutes. The Gers were then unable to find a way back into the contest, despite having the lion’s share of possession.
It was a similar story last Sunday when Rangers were held to a 1-1 by lowly Dundee at Dens Park. The underdogs took the lead through ex Rangers hero Kenny Miller on nine minutes; however, the game quickly unravelled when Ralph was sent off on 20 for a rash challenge at the edge of the box. Andy Halliday scored the resulting free-kick before Kyle Lafferty had a good goal chopped off by a linesman visibly struggling to keep up with play. Despite their numerical advantage, Rangers were poor in the second-45 and couldn’t find a winner.
Hamilton in trouble
Hamilton have lost each of their last two – and four out of five when making the short trip to Glasgow. A haul of 13 points from 17 games has them dangerously close to the relegation zone with Dundee four behind and on a four-game unbeaten run. Meanwhile, St Mirren are also four behind at the bottom heading into the week. If results go against them this weekend, they’ll face the possibility of spending Christmas in the relegation zone.
Accies were last seen slumping to another defeat when going down to Hibs at home last Saturday. In what was a surprisingly tight match, Oli Shaw separated the teams with a goal that was to prove the winner on 65 minutes, settling a scrappy contest. Martin Canning blamed a lack of killer instinct in the final third for yet another loss on their record and fans will fear the worst as they approach Govan.
We must work for the value
This looks a strong home win for us as Rangers must respond to their recent poor form if they are to avoid losing the backing of the stands. Fans are beginning to grow frustrated with the side’s inability to put pressure on a Celtic team that look there for the taking.
A home win is favourite, but punters must work hard for the value as there’s currently no better than 1/5 (Ladbrokes) available. –1 on the handicap is our pick at 6/10 with the same firm, while both teams to score appeals at 5/4 (Bet365). Accies are as big as 16/1, the draw 13/2 (Bet365).