There’s just a handful of games left to be played in the Scottish season, including Sunday’s Premiership play-off between St Mirren and Dundee United in Paisley. The best of what’s to come – and by a long way – goes at Hampden Park on Saturday, however, as Celtic and Hearts face-off to decide the destination of this year’s Scottish Cup. Here are our top Scottish Cup Final betting tips.
The match will be played from 3.00pm GMT and we’re set for a real celebration of all things Scottish football. On the pitch we see a champion looking to defend against a challenger who have had one eye on this match for weeks.
All the Ingredients for a Great Final
In the dug-out, Neil Lennon is aiming to complete the treble and give himself the best possible chance of landing the Celtic job full-time. Opposite number Craig Levein is looking for his players to rediscover the early season form that saw them challenge Celtic and Rangers for top spot in the Premiership. The stands will be packed and those viewing numbers will be boosted by a sizeable television audience.
Who will come out on top and climb the famous Hampden staircase to lift the oldest football trophy in the world? Celtic or Hearts? Bookmakers are confident in their predictions and have The Hoops priced as favourites to claim this piece of silverware for the third year on the bounce, completing a third domestic clean sweep of Premiership, League Cup and Scottish Cup winner’s medals.
Bet on the Final In-Play
You can back the jolly or take a punt on an upset in a tournament that is known the world over for underdogs spoiling the show. If you’d prefer to go in search of a bigger price, to increase your enjoyment of the match, there’s no lack of specials on offer with major bookmakers offering eye-catching prices on the likes of both teams to score, first goal scorer, Asian handicap, total goals and even to win to nil.
When the first whistle sounds to start the match, the majority of pre-match markets remain in place and you can have your say at any point during the contest thanks to in-play betting. Odds and handicap lines are updated to match the flow of the final and a financial interest is as exciting in the final 10 minutes as it was before kick-off. Watching live coverage of the Scottish Cup final is a fine way to spend an afternoon but landing a profit will make the occasion all the more enjoyable.
Celts Target Another Clean Sweep
Celtic won their eighth Scottish Premiership title on the bounce by finishing nine points ahead of closest rivals Rangers. It wasn’t the clear run many fans have become used to, but they did get the job done with plenty to spare, their Old Firm rivals unable to capitalise on six draws and five defeats. Celtic won three and drew one of their last five Premiership outings but the spare defeat on that list came at the hands of Rangers in Govan a couple of weeks ago, beaten 2-0 by Steven Gerrard’s men.
Neil Lennon remains in temporary charge of this side following the exit of Brendan Rodgers to Leicester City. Many big-name managers have been mentioned in connection with the job next season, including the likes of Jose Mourinho, David Moyes and Rafa Benitez, but it’ll be difficult for the board to overlook former player and manager Lennon if he is able to oversee the treble. Celtic fans are desperate to complete 10 league titles in-a-row and they could turn to Lennon – the man who started it all eight years ago – to help shove them across the line.
The Hoops were last seen in action beating Hearts on Premiership duty at Parkhead a week ago, but we can’t take an awful lot from that game as there was nothing at stake and both managers made sweeping changes to their starting 11. Youngster Mikey Johnson took his chance when scoring two goals to better a reply from Jake Mulraney, the latter seizing on a defensive error to level the scores at 1-1 after 18 minutes.
An Amazing Feeling for Lennon
Speaking to the press at full-time, Neil Lennon called being back at Celtic and winning titles an amazing feeling, having thought it would never happen again for him after leaving the club in his first stint as boss. Lennon was sensible enough to admit the Scottish Cup final isn’t a foregone conclusion and his side must prepare to take care of business.
Craig Levein has endured a difficult few weeks following the Premiership split as he watched his Jambos stumble to four defeats and a draw in their last five league matches. The experienced gaffer told the sporting press he was annoyed at having to take a couple of players off injured as a precaution, but he has a few returning next week and Hearts will be stronger in the final than they were at Parkhead.
Value on Hearts
Bookmakers have thrown the weight of their support behind a Celtic win and have the champions priced as 1/3 favourites with Bet365 to live up to expectations. The same firm are top price on the draw with their 4/1 call and you’ll get 17/2 when backing Hearts at William Hill.
Those prices make perfect sense but the odds on a Hearts upset do look a little on the generous side, given this is one match and a straight shoot-out for the trophy. While Celtic have been chasing the title, Hearts have been able to down tools and focus on this match after banking their place in the top six.
That means we can put a line through the form of both sides, especially Hearts run of defeats, and look at this as a single game for a major trophy. It would come as no surprise to see Hearts perform better than their odds tell us they will, but Celtic are on the verge of making history and we must respect that. Back both teams to score in a Celtic win at 11/5 with Bet365.