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Rodgers’ return to make for an interesting season
After Celtic won the Scottish Premiership title last season, Rangers will be going all out to reclaim the crown they last won in 2021.
Ange Postecoglou’s side romped home with seven points to spare last season, but after losing only four matches, Michael Beale’s outfit were competitive and will feel that they have the capacity to make a strong challenge.
If the Old Firm pair will continue to dominate the Scottish Premiership betting in the outright market, the battle to be best-of-the-rest promises to be fierce, with Aberdeen, Hearts and Hibs only differentiated by five points last term. All will feel they are better equipped for the season to come, but how might European football affect their form?
At the foot of the table, meanwhile, Dundee will be aiming to re-establish themselves in the top flight after winning promotion from the Championship, with this dogfight poised once again to go to the wire. For an in-depth look over the pre-season Scottish Premiership betting odds, including a 4.5 tip, read on.
There’s so much to be excited about this season so it’s about time we all tuck into some Scottish Premiership outright bets alongside a variety of other tips for the 23/24 season. If you fancy placing some of these tips, Paddy Power have an exceptional sign up offer linked below. If you haven’t got an account, you can sign up here to back any of our League Two outrights. Sign up to Paddy Power, back any of the selections with £10, and get £50 in free football bets.
Scottish Premiership winner odds
Celtic to clinch the title
Postecoglou may be gone, Tottenham having attracted the amiable Aussie to the Premier League, but Celtic remain the team to beat in Scotland this season, reflected by their price of 1.75 in the Scottish Premiership odds. While the Hoops might have won the title by seven points last term, this was largely due to them easing up late in the season when the crown was secured.
In has come Brendan Rodgers, welcomed back to Celtic after a dramatic exit in 2019. He will be under pressure to hit the ground running after walking out on the club to Leicester, but if his side does so, Celtic have too much quality for Rangers.
Of course, there will be fears that key players following Postecoglou out of the club before the end of the transfer window, but with the club having recouped a record fee for Jota – a winger who finished up last term with 11 goals and 10 assists, showing up particularly well against Rangers – they are under little pressure to sell.
Celtic’s strength is the sheer number of threats they boast, but Kyogo Kuruhashi will be the key man after bagging 34 goals across all competitions last term. Impressively, 12 players contributed at least five goals.
Rangers, who are 2.2 to win the league, have undergone an interesting revolution under Beale, making them less predictable in terms of their strength as the beginning of the season looms. Several established first-team players have gone, including Ryan Kent, Alfredo Morelos and Malik Tillman, leaving the English manager with a chance to reconstruct his attack.
Cyriel Dessers, Sam Lammers and Abdallah Sima have all arrived and a lot hinges on at least two of these players being successful. None come with recent pedigree, with Dessers and Lammers relegated from Serie A last season after scoring six and two goals respectively, while Sima’s Angers went down without a trace in Ligue 1.
Indeed, it remains to be seen how Rangers will set up this season, with Beale’s side looking rather confused in pre-season matches, with little obvious structure as yet in place. This chaos cannot help them. With Celtic priced at 1.62 in the Scottish Premiership odds, the Parkhead club have to be favoured for the relative stability they have in their playing squad and the difference in quality when it counted last season.
🏆 Celtic to win the Scottish Premiership
To win without Celtic & Rangers odds
Hibs to be best of the rest
A popular market in Scottish Premiership betting is who will finish third, with Rangers and Celtic having enjoyed a monopoly on the league title since 1985. This is often a battle that is hard fought and was surprisingly claimed last season by Aberdeen after a wretched start to the season. The 2023/24 Scottish Premiership odds unsurprisingly nod towards a three-way battle between the Dons, Hearts and Hibs, who have each finished third once in the last three years.
Hibs are the outsiders of this trio at 4.5 but offer the best value. The re-signing of thrilling winger Elie Youan represents a positive development in an attack that promises to be full of goals, with Martin Boyle, Christian Doidge and Adam Le Fondre all available. Josh Campbell also netted twice in a friendly win over Groningen in July, hinting that he could well match or better his eight-goal contribution from last term.
Bright in attack and experienced in a defence anchored by veteran goalkeeper David Marshall, Hibs should not be underestimated in what will be a tight battle. On paper, Aberdeen seem to be a strong option, having retained key players Duk and Ylber Ramadani as well midfielder Leighton Clarkson, who has made his move from Liverpool permanent. Barry Robson’s side finished last season superbly, making odds of 3 appear generous.
One major issue that Aberdeen faces, though, is the rigours of guaranteed group stage football in Europe. This severely hampered Hearts last term, and while the Edinburgh club suffered terribly from injuries, the Dons’ squad will be stretched in the autumn months due to this commitment.
Manager Barry Robson hinted at this when, speaking on 24 July, he said: “We’re trying to make sure we can try and spare some players at times, keep them fresh for important games – which they all are – to be able to play the way we want to play.”
Hearts, meanwhile, are the side that should have finished third last term but a run of four wins in their last 16 thwarted them. Steven Naismith has been given the job of leading the Tynecastle club after overseeing the final seven games of the season, and the former Rangers, Everton and Scotland forward has not shaken up the squad over the summer months.
The Edinburgh team, who will once again be led offensively by Lawrence Shankland, have allowed numerous faces to depart. None of the players who have left are liable to hurt the squad greatly with their absence, with the exception of speedy attacker Josh Ginnelly, who scored 10 league goals last season. He has not yet been replaced and this suggests Hearts will not be the attacking force they were last term.
Naismith’s side will surely not have the bad luck with injuries that they suffered last season, while they are unlikely to progress deep in Europe, freeing them up to focus on the league. The Jambos are best priced at 4.50 in the Scottish Premiership betting to finish third but while they boast a good squad, there is a question lingering over their manager’s tactical acumen.
🥉 Hibs to finish 3rd in the Scottish Premiership
St Johnstone to be relegated
St Johnstone offer plenty of value as a team to be relegated, with the Perth club offered at 3.5 to go down, whether that’s finishing bottom or losing out in the postseason playoffs.
The Scottish Premiership betting on this market is tight – five clubs are priced below 4 – but the early running in the League Cup plus Saints’ poor performance in the transfer market this summer suggests that their 15-year stay in the top-flight – a club record – could well draw to a close next summer.
Having spent much of last season in trouble only to be given impetus by a late change of manager, Saints have done nothing to improve their squad. Nine players have departed with only two arriving, and while more business will be done, fresh energy needs to be injected into an ageing squad.
Newly promoted Dundee are favourites for the drop at 2.1 but carry positive momentum from last season and have strengthened their side, albeit with some leftfield signings, including two from Mexico and highly rated youngster Charlie Reilly. It would be surprising if they were comfortably safe.
Similarly, Ross County’s narrow escape last season has them at 2.38 for relegation. The Dingwall side appear to have strengthened their ranks, with Eamonn Brophy and Jay Henderson signed from St Mirren, while the arrival of Kyle Turner from Partick Thistle should add quality to their midfield.
Of the other favourites for relegation, Kilmarnock will likely improve this season under Derek McInnes after flirting with disaster last term, while Livingston are well managed by David Martindale and should grind out enough points for survival. Given the lack of standout teams in the Championship, it would be no great surprise if the top-flight side won the playoff once again, making the Scottish Premiership odds on relegation less appealing.
⬇️ St Johnstone to be relegated from the Scottish Premiership
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