The Scottish Championship is unusually glamourous this season (as it was last, to be fair) with both Rangers and Edinburgh side Hibs fighting to join Celtic and Hearts, their respective city rivals, in the Premiership. The outright winner betting suggests that Rangers have got the Championship sewn up but read on as we take a closer look at that market, offering our analysis, betting tips, predictions and live odds comparison.
Rangers, absent from the top tier of Scottish football since 2012, are currently the huge favourites to win the title in the Scottish Championship. The best betting odds on the Glasgow giants are just 1/7 with BetVictor, the bookies clearly predicting that Rangers will finally return to what few could argue isn’t their rightful place.
They operate on a budget unlike any seen in the Championship and their squad should undoubtedly have what it takes to win the title. That said, they haven’t started as well as they would have liked and having finished third last season know that only results will see them go up as champions.
Last year they were way off the pace set by Hearts, ending some 24 points adrift of the Edinburgh side they are so accustomed to beating. However, it should also be noted that they were three points behind Hibs and lost three of their four games against their rivals (this season) for outright glory.
This year the two teams are tied with one win apiece, both top of the table clashes going the way of the home side thus far. Indeed, whilst the bookies are having no problem at all separating these two teams, in football terms they are very much neck and neck. Three points apart last term, one win each this season and both tied on 31 points. Rangers may have played just 14 games, compared to the 15 of Hibs and the Glasgow side do also have a vastly superior goal difference (+31 versus +18) but even so, there are certain to be some punters tempted to back Hibs at long odds of 11/2 (Bet365) in the outright winner market.
Hibs are a very decent side, managed astutely by ex-Celtic and Everton man Alan Stubbs, and they are very strong on home soil and are well balanced, both in the shape of their squad and the style of their play. They have some very promising youngsters too but their biggest advantage is that they can play without pressure. Everyone expects Rangers to win the Championship easily and the longer Hibs can stay in touch with their more illustrious rivals, the more doubts will creep into the Rangers players’ heads. If Hibernian are in with a chance come April there is just a chance that Rangers may start to fold a little and as such we are inclined to feel that odds of 11/2 look decent value.
Beyond the top two in the betting there aren’t really any sides worth considering beyond a cursory glance. Falkirk, third on 31 points, are third in the outright betting too but at 100/1 we aren’t tempted and that is a fair reflection of their chances of causing an upset.
In conclusion we feel that Rangers are worthy favourites and odds of 1/7 are worth thinking about, not least because they are as short as 1/10 with many bookies. The odds makers have things right here in our eyes and both Rangers and Hibs are well priced, without either screaming value. We predict Rangers will eventually pull away and so they are our tentative betting tip, although we wouldn’t advise against a small punt on Hibs either.Google+