With both Celtic and Rangers about to begin long haul European campaigns in separate competitions, it’s a good time to look at what chances the bookies give them of success, both in the Champions’ and Europa Leagues as well as domestically, along with any other value that might be found when betting on Scottish football this upcoming season.
In terms of prospective European success, you can get as much as 1500-1 on Celtic winning the Champions’ League at SkyBet and 188Bet, which seems about right and far more appealing than the miserly 250-1 at William Hill.
Overall, with such a long and demanding campaign ahead of them to even make it to the group stages, there is little optimism about Brendan Rogers’ men recapturing the glory of past Celtic campaigns in Europe.
However, despite the long odds on Celtic progressing to the latter stages of the competition, the Bhoys will nevertheless start very short priced favorites in their first qualifying round matches.
Most bookmakers have them odds-on to win both legs against Armenian side Alashkert (away on 11 July and at home on 18 July), but if you still fancy a punt, it’s worth looking out for some of the newer bookmakers.
Whilst they can’t compete on pricing, the likes of Mr Green sports will offer enhanced odds on these types of markets in the days leading up to kick off in order to compete with the tier 1 bookmakers.
Likewise, Rangers are at incredibly short odds in their Europa League first qualifying round matches against Kf Shkupi Skopje from the Republic of Macedonia, to be played in Glasgow on 13 July and then away five days later on 18 July.
However, as is the case with Celtic, the bookies don’t seem to hold out much hope of Steven Gerrard tasting European success in his first season as a manager.
Online sports books have Rangers at 150-1 to take the title in Lyon on 16 May 2019, a long way behind market leaders Chelsea at 6-1. If that price doesn’t tempt you, you can also currently get 300-1 on Hibernian winning the Europa League, or 750-1 on Aberdeen.
In terms of the domestic season, Celtic are unsurprisingly odds-on favorites to take an eighth consecutive SPL title, with the best price you’ll find at most online sports books 1-10.
So, while that doesn’t offer punters much value, it might still be worth considering a Celtic ACCA, although the prices in these markets are also fairly short. For instance, Betway is only offering 15-4 on the Bhoys winning a third consecutive treble (SPL, FA Cup and League Cup), which will no doubt get some takers but for many this price will still prove to be prohibitively short.
For Rangers fans, the appointment of Gerrard as manager has been something of a leap of faith. A true legend of the game as a Liverpool and England player, he has no managerial experience and so his tenure at Ibrox looks set to be a baptism of fire.
The bookies also seem relatively uncertain as to how Gerrard will fare at the helm, with prices ranging from as little as 27-4 at 10Bet to 12-1 at Unibet and 888Sport on Rangers taking out the SPL title.
The optimistic Gers fan who wants to have a punt on Gerrard proving to be a runaway success in his first stint as a manager can get 22-1 with Betway on an FA Cup and League Cup double, 40-1 on winning the SPL and the FA Cup at BetVictor, or around 200-1 at most sports books on Rangers taking out the domestic treble.
For punters who think Celtic already have the SPL title in the bag but still want to have a bet to make the season interesting, there is a market on winning the title without Celtic i.e., you win if the team you back finishes runner-up. Rangers are early odds-on favourites at 2-5, with Aberdeen next at 6-4, followed by Hibs at 4-1. If you want a bigger punt, you’ll get 100-1 on St Johnstone finishing second behind Celtic, or a generous 200-1 on Hamilton Academical as runner up.