Jul 27, 2021
Jul 27, 2021

How to find value betting on Scottish soccer

Is it worth studying the form in Scotland?

How stats play a huge part

Why there is a bet worth having most days

How to find value betting on Scottish soccer

Scottish soccer may not be the most popular of all the leagues in Europe with lovers of the beautiful game, but it is one of the most popular competitions with bettors looking to make a profit from their soccer betting. Read on to find out how to find value in the upcoming 2021/22 season.

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There’s a secret about Scottish soccer I think you should know: it’s packed with value and generous odds. You have to be willing to put in the hard work and research each bet you place, which may involve a little extra work than you are used to, but it will soon pay off.

Don’t get hung up on the Old Firm dominance

Scottish soccer is organised into the following four divisions:
• Premiership (12 teams)
• Championship (10 teams)
• League One (10 teams)
• League Two (10 teams)

Glasgow giants Glasgow Rangers and Celtic dominate the landscape in Scotland, with one half of the Old Firm almost always winning the title. Most bettors are preoccupied with guessing which one of the two will finish in the first place - the Bhoys or the Gers. It’s a 50/50 split in the pre-season and just as tight throughout the campaign. However, it’s anyone’s guess how the rest of the pack will perform and where they’ll end up in the league.

Predicting which half of the Old Firm will win the league is no mean feat, but the stats show that each side goes through periods of dominance. Celtic and Rangers have each won the championship nine times in a row, but neither has been able to make it double figures.

For a strong idea of which team will win the league, it’s worth looking at the champions from the previous campaign. Rangers won the league under manager Steven Gerrard at the end of the 2020/21 campaign, but that was their first title in a decade, with Celtic winning the previous nine.

The betting at this early stage has Rangers at no better than 4/6 to win the title. Judging by how easy they won the title last year, that looks worth a gamble. Celtic are going through a transitional period with a new, untested manager and the 6/4 on them doesn’t quite look big enough.


Betting without the Old Firm

The ‘Scottish Premiership without the Old Firm’ outright betting market is always worth a second look. That’s because there’s value to be found. In most seasons, a strong case could be made for up to six sides to finish third.

Outside of the Glasgow dominance, there is an Edinburgh scrap to finish as best of the rest. Hearts lead that at present on 18 third-place finishes, ahead of cross-city rivals Hibs on 14. Aberdeen and Motherwell stand at nine with recently promoted Dundee Utd on eight.

Hibs finished third in the 2020/21 season and had little fuss doing so. That was in the absence of Hearts, who were relegated to the Championship in 2020 but bounced back at the first time of asking. They will return to the Premiership in 2021/22, and the Jambos will aim to continue battling for third place.

Odds will be added to this market nearer the big kick-off at the end of July and it is worth keeping an eye out for any value that’s given on Hearts or Hibs to finish third.


Know and understand the match stats

When making predictions on Scottish soccer matches, there are many important factors to consider. This includes travel time, weather, and even pitch quality. Most teams won’t travel the day before a match, especially in the Championship and below, which means players could face a monster journey across Scotland. This often has a direct impact on the performance of the players.

Most teams outside of the Premiership are part-time, with only a few holding full-time footballer status. It’s worth finding out which teams are part-time, especially in the Scottish Cup when they could be drawn against a full-time outfit. In that situation, you can be confident that the team training five days a week will have superior fitness levels, showing in the latter stages of a game.

Weather plays a part in results, especially in winter. Let’s say Greenock Morton are off to Inverness Caledonian Thistle in December. The chances are they’ll face a good few hours on the team bus, stuck in traffic and fighting against the snow. When they arrive in the highlands, they will have to perform on a pitch that the elements have already hammered. It’s not only that game you’d have to worry about for Morton - if it were a Tuesday trip to Caley Thistle, they could still be feeling the effects of their Saturday match.

Read the surface

What are the surfaces and how do certain teams perform on them? That’s not something you have to consider in most leagues, but in Scotland, it’s different. Many teams, even a couple in the Premiership, play their soccer on an artificial surface. They train on this surface every day, know the pitch inside out, and understand the best tactics to use on it. A dozen of Scotland’s professional teams play on an artificial surface and that number is growing.

Opponents usually aren’t as lucky. If a team like Rangers are used to playing on grass but are away to Hamilton on the plastic pitch, we can often see them struggle. The ball moves differently, the players are more reluctant to go to ground and there are injuries as a result of the pitch. This often makes for a low-scoring match.

Livingston is the perfect example of this. They play long ball soccer, with the defence often missing out the midfield with direct balls. This asks questions of their opponents, who know that they must judge how the ball will react to bouncing on the harder surface. This knocks off the timing of some defenders, panics others, and leads to goals scored against the run of play. Remember to check what surface a match is being played on, then consider sticking with the home team who have more experience of playing on the fake grass.

Follow the trends

As the leagues in Scotland are smaller than most leagues across Europe, we often see teams play each other four times during a season - two games at the home of one side and two at the home of their opponent. A Rangers and Celtic fixture list, for example, will have four meetings in the Premiership with the possibility for more in the cup competition. They could even meet seven times if there were a replay of a Scottish Cup tie.

This is seen as boring by many soccer fans, but bettors love it because it gives them something solid to follow in the stats. For example, if teams are meeting for the fourth time in the league this season, you’ll have three recent games to analyse the stats of. Which side has been winning? Has there been plenty of goals or nervy matches? Is a player finding the net often against this particular opponent? It’s worth finding out the answer to all of these questions and it is easy to do so.

Some teams in Scotland struggle at certain venues. That could be because of the plastic pitch, the travel, the weather or just the opponent. Others have plenty of success against a particular opponent regardless of their recent form or position in the league. Look at the stats attached to a Scottish fixture and you may see a player who loves to score in that matchup. For example, Rangers’ Alfredo Morelos has scored two goals in his last three games against Celtic.

That can be extended into the stats to find a bet from the specials markets. Check out any fixture from a season and you will be able to identify a trend quickly.

The teams met five times (league and the Scottish Cup games) during the 2020/21 season. In three of those games, we see one team failed to find the net. Rangers also win at -1 goal on the Handicap in three of the five games. If you were reading the stats ahead of making a bet on the final Old Firm match of the season, you’d be going for Rangers -1 Handicap, Morelos to score, or the standard Rangers win. You would’ve got a great price on all of those bets as traders always expect a tight match when the Old Firm get together. Knowing the stats gives you an edge.


Matchday one

Rangers unfurl the league flag at the Ibrox Stadium before taking on Livingston at 13.30 GMT on July 31. The defending champions are worthy favourites to pick up the three points but a closer look at the stats connected to that fixture shows where the value is.

Livingston have beaten Rangers only three times since the pair first met in 2001 and last season, the Livi Lions failed to find the net against them. In fact, Rangers haven’t conceded a goal to Livingston in seven matches - a run that takes us back almost two years. In that time, Rangers have won to nil six times with the spare a 0-0 finish. That stat shows a ‘Rangers win to nil’ in the Both Teams to Score market is the smart bet. This logic can be applied to most Scottish Premiership matches to help you find a winner.

Conclusion

When betting on Scottish soccer there’s a lot to consider but do the work necessary and you’ll often find a value bet. Look at trends, form, weather, pitch, and travel time. Give it a try on the next round of Scottish soccer matches.

A big season lies ahead for Steven Gerrard at Glasgow Rangers as the side aim to make it two titles in a row while entering the UEFA Champions League qualifiers. Qualifying for the Champions League group stages will have a major impact on the cash Gerrard can spend this summer and he has the contacts in the game to strengthen his team. In my opinion, Rangers will win the Scottish Premiership again.

The real value to be found in Scottish soccer is betting week to week. Keep an eye on the recent form of the teams involved and check the head-to-head stats against opponents at certain grounds and at certain times of the year. You’ll get an idea of what to look for in our Rangers vs. Livingston example above.

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