Cowdenbeath v Rangers
The first of our Scottish Cup betting tips is Cowdenbeath v Rangers. Cowdenbeath has hit the jackpot in drawing Rangers in the Scottish Cup. As well as a chance for the home players to showcase their talents and make a name for themselves in front of the Premier Sports cameras in this Friday 7.45pm kick-off; the gate and everything that comes with the draw will help boost the club’s bank balance. The League Two side may come from the bottom tier; however, they have won each of their last two and have been active in recent weeks. Meanwhile, their opponents have been off on a warm-weather break in Tenerife during the Premiership winter shutdown. Will that make any difference during the opening exchanges?
Cowdenbeath is pushing for a play-off finish this season in their division and have every chance going into 2019, a record of seven wins and four draws against eight defeats leaving them one place outside the play-offs in fifth. They are just three points behind Annan Athletic with a game in hand following victory in each of their last two. A 2-0 home win over Berwick got the year off to the perfect start; that was followed by the 4-1 hammering of Elgin City on the road last time. A 100% record for 2019, that will be put to the ultimate test here; however, it will also ensure the home side and their fans set-up with confidence in the ranks.
Back in Business
Rangers return from a welcome winter break where they were put through their paces in Tenerife on warm-weather training. A deserved getaway for a side who have already endured a marathon season which started earlier than usual due to the Europa League qualifiers. The time away would’ve also given manager Steven Gerrard time to talk tactics with his troops, evaluate what has happened so far and plan for the season, something the hectic schedule hasn’t allowed. The players would’ve also welcomed new signings Jermain Defoe and Steven Davis into the fold and fans are excited by the arrival of both men.
Davis is a former Rangers player, of course, and knows all too well what it takes to survive at Ibrox; however, there’s a sense of intrigue about Defoe’s arrival in Scotland. A big game striker who has played for and scored goals at some of the top clubs down in England, is he still match fit, sharp and will he cope with the physical demands of Scottish football? We’ll find out in the coming weeks and months but one thing’s for sure, if Gerrard calls him into action for this match, he’s in for a rude awakening running out at Central Park. We expect Gerrard to give a few of his usual starters an extra day off and hand fringe players a chance to shine.
These sides aren’t the strangers you might expect and have crossed paths a total of 38 times in the past. Rangers dominate the head-to-head scores, of course, with the numbers currently sitting at Rangers 31-3 Cowdenbeath with four games ending in a draw. The teams last met in this competition as recently as January 2016 when the Glasgow club ran riot, winning 5-1 at Ibrox thanks to goals from Wallace, McKay and a Waghorn hat-trick. The last meeting at Central Park ended in a goalless draw back in March 2015; however, they were very different days for the away side, their line-up including the likes of Lee Robinson and Dean Shiels.
There are no surprises in the betting with Rangers priced as odds-on favourites, no more than 1/9 available. Many firms go as tight as 1/11. That quote makes a bet on the away day pointless, forcing backers into the specials markets. Rangers -2 goals on the handicap is our best bet at 4/5 with Bet365 and that will do a great job in addition to the accumulator of the day. A win to nil is another lively option at 4/5 and both make more sense than another draw at 9/1 (Bet365) or the home win at as big as 34/1. It’ll also be worth waiting for the line-up and picking out any value that pops up.
St Mirren v Alloa
The other of our Scottish Cup betting tips is St Mirren v Alloa. St Mirren fans haven’t had a lot to cheer about in the Premiership so far this season as the Paisley club go through a transitional period, both on and off the park; however, this home tie in the Scottish Cup gifts them the perfect chance to leave their problems at the door for an afternoon and enjoy knockout football against lower league opposition. The Saints are second bottom of the table and staring relegation in the face. They have lost four of their last five, each of their last two and 15 of their first 21 league games.
The winter break seemed to come at the right time, and they’ll be hoping to find the money to bring in reinforcements this month. Bookies have the locals priced at 4/7 favourites with Unibet and that’s another addition to our weekend accumulators. A draw can be backed at 3/1, best price when doing your betting with Bet365.
Wasps Have a Sting in their Tail
Alloa Athletic go into this match on a fantastic run of form; their last five Championship outings read three wins and two draws. They remain on the edges of the relegation zone; however, there’s no doubt they are a side moving in the right direction and will board the team bus with confidence high in the camp. Six points better than Falkirk in ninth, The Wasps can afford to look up the table, the promotion play-off places just seven points ahead at present.
The visitors secured a thrilling win over Greenock Morton last weekend when fighting back from a goal down to claim the points courtesy of a 2-1 win. Millar had The Ton in front on 12 minutes, but that goal was matched by Trouten who scored from the penalty spot on 67 minutes. A bizarre own goal from Waddell on 77 turned the game on its head. Away win here is 9/2.