Scotland Premiership betting tips and odds
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Scotland Premiership Results
Scottish Premiership Intro
Width of knowledge is just as important as depth when it comes to sports betting. Sticking to the tried-and-true teams and leagues can only get you so far. Besides, it’s generally believed that smaller leagues are the ones where true value bets can be found.
Getting to know all the teams and players is not easy, though. It takes time, patience, research – but to get you started, you can find simple overviews of different leagues right here with Betting Fellow. In this article, you will read all you need to know about Scottish Premiership betting.
The Scottish Premiership History and General Info
The Scottish Premiership is currently the top division of the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL). Currently, it is named in honour of one of the world’s biggest bookmakers and the league’s main sponsor – The Ladbrokes Premiership. It consists of Scotland’s 12 best professional football clubs, and only 16 clubs have ever played in it since its founding in 2013.
From this perspective, 2013 might seem very recent, relatively speaking. This is because the history of the football league system in Scotland is long and complicated. As such, it can be a bit difficult to track records and histories in Scotland, but bear with us – we’ll try to explain as simply as possible.
It all started back in 1890 with the founding of the SFL – the Scottish Football League. It changed a few names due to sponsorship deals over the years, but it remained the home of top-level football in Scotland for the better part of a century. It consisted of two divisions for most of its history, until a third was added in 1975, and then a fourth in 1994.
For the 1997/98 season, however, the highest tier clubs broke away and formed a separate league because they felt they weren’t getting their fair share of the proceeds. This action mirrored what happened with the English Premier League in the early 90s.
In 1997, the Scottish Premier League was formed to represent the top-level professional clubs. This league consisted of the 19 most successful teams, although only two of them – Celtic and the Rangers – ever managed to win it. Tiers 2 through 4 remained with the Scottish Football League. This sort of system remained in place until 2013 when the two organisations finally agreed to a merger. This resulted in the SPFL, and thus the Scottish Premiership.
There’s a lot more nuance and a lot of smaller changes here, but this should give you a solid idea of the league’s history. Now, let’s get into how it works:
A season lasts from August until May and is split into two phases. During the first phase, all 12 teams play against each other three times and are ranked using the classic system of 3 points per win, 1 point per draw. This means a total of 36 games, where each team plays twice at home and once away, or vice-versa.
For the second phase, the teams are split into two groups – the ‘top six’ and the ‘bottom six’. They then proceed to play five games each, once against each club in their group, and are again ranked in a similar fashion. While the points carry over from phase 1, a team in phase 2 is only ranked against other members of its own group – even if they end up having more or fewer points then a member of the other group.
During the pre-season, there is a system of “seeding” that tried to ensure that every team will play twice at home and twice away. The lowest-placed team is then relegated to a lower tier and swaps places with the winner of the Scottish Championship. The club in eleventh place also plays two-leg playoffs with the Championship play-off winners to earn a place in the next season.
So far, Celtic from Glasgow has won every single season of the Premiership since its inception in 2013. Combined with the 44 titles they had before with the SFL and SPL, they have an impressive 50 titles total. The true record for the number of titles over all of these leagues are the Rangers FC, however, with 54. Their last victory was back in the 2010/11 season, though, so they have technically not won a single Premiership. The third club in this ranking would be Aberdeen, with only 4 – the last of which was back in 1984.
The all-time top scorer during the 7 years of the Premiership’s existence is Celtic’s Leigh Griffiths with 77 goals over 141 appearances. If we take into account the Scottish Premier League since 1998, however, that record would go to the Rangers’ Kris Boyd with 225 goals. We should also probably mention Celtic’s legendary footballer Jimmy McGrory; although he does not hold any league-specific records, he is the all-time best goal-scorer in British top-tier football, with 550 goals at a club and international level.
Scottish Premiership Title Challengers
The history of this league makes it pretty clear that there were always only two real contenders for the title, although unfortunate circumstances with the Rangers made it completely one-sided until 2016. This is reflected in the Scottish Premiership league betting odds. Unsurprisingly, the shortest odds to win this season are given to Celtic with 4/6, or 1.67. Not far behind (relatively speaking) are the Rangers with 6/5, or 2.2.
The next team on the list? Aberdeen, with a comfortable 1000/1. Apparently, the only reason you would want to bet on a team to win the league other than Celtic or the Rangers would be if you found a market which excluded those two. In that case, you could also look at Motherwell, whose odds are fairly close to Aberdeen. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at these teams and what makes them stand out so much.
The current undisputed top dog of Scottish football, Glasgow’s Celtic is seen as not only one of the most successful clubs in the country but they are one of the most dominant clubs of any country. They have won the Scottish league championship 50 times, the Scottish Cup 39 times and the Scottish League Cup 19 times.
On an international level, Celtic saw the most success during the 60s and 70s, under the leadership of manager Jock Stein. They became the first British club to win the European Cup in 1967, and reached the 1970 European Cup Final and the 2003 UEFA Cup Final, though they lost both.
Commonly referred to as The Celts or The Bhoys, Celtic was founded in 1887, and its original purpose was to help with poverty among the local Irish immigrants in the East End of Glasgow.
They quickly established themselves as a leading force in football, winning six consecutive Scottish league titles in the early years of the 20th century. This connection to their Irish origins is apparent in many aspects: from the club's name itself, to the cloverleaf crest and green and white jerseys.
They have a heated and long-standing rivalry with Rangers, which is widely considered to be one of the fiercest in the world. Together, these two teams are called the Scottish Old Firm. What makes this rivalry stand out is that not only the teams’ combined dominance of domestic leagues, but the fact that it reflects the political, social, and religious division in Scotland. Fans of Celtic represent the many people of Irish descent inhabiting the country, the majority of whom are Roman Catholic.
Speaking of fans, Celtic’s fans are famous for being some of the most passionate and loyal supporters of any club. Even more importantly, they are also known for their sporting behaviour – which is admirable in a sport where supporter zeal has been known to erupt in violence.
Now, the Celtics are going into the season as standout favourites, and it’s easy to see why. Under manager Brendan Rodgers, The Celts are going strong with a fluid approach to strategy and formation, with a strong focus on high-press aggressive movements. Their offensive plays centred around a double pivot provided by Scott Brown and Callum McGregor are already seeing success, leading many to believe the team will take another league title.
Celtic’s eternal rival in the Old Firm, the Rangers are the second most successful football club in the world in terms of trophies won. They have won more league titles and domestic trebles than any other team in the world with 54 league wins, 33 Scottish Cup wins, and 27 Scottish League Cup wins. They’ve achieved the treble of winning all three in a single season a total of 7 times.
Internationally, their biggest success was a European Cup victory in 1972. They’ve also been the runners-up in 1961, 1967, and 2008.
The Rangers were founded in 1872 and were one of the original members of the Scottish Football League. They have remained a part of the top football league for more than a century, until a financial crisis in 2011 saw the original company liquidated. The club quickly reformed but was forced to claw their way back up from the fourth tier of the Scottish league system. They proceeded to win four promotions in three years, finally returning to the Premiership for the start of the 2016/17 season. Interestingly, this ordeal made Rangers the only club in Scotland which managed to win every single Scottish trophy – most other such teams never really play for lower-tier league titles.
In the Old Firm rivalry with Celtic, the Rangers are traditionally supported by the Unionist Protestant side of the country. This rivalry, combined with its sociological background, has unfortunately seen many problematic encounters between the two groups.
Now that they’re finally back in the league they truly belong to, the Rangers seem poised to take the throne away from Celtic. Under the management of former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, they’re finally back and seem well equipped to win derbies against their great opponents. Specifically, their defensive line with team captain James Tavernier is proving to be especially formidable.
Scottish Premiership Relegation Favourites
For any kind of serious Scottish Premiership betting, it also helps to be aware of who’s likely to be demoted into the First League.
Heart of Midlothian F.C.
Although they are the oldest football club from the Scottish capital of Edinbrough, the Hearts are not looking great coming into the season. They are still one of the most decorated clubs in Scotland if you exclude the Old Firm, but that’s not saying much considering that their last league title was in 1960.
Even though they had a strong start last season, key player injuries have left them with major problems when it comes to actually scoring. The methodical strategy of slowly building up channels in the opponent’s defence has a tendency for anti-climatic finishes.
Hamilton Academical F.C.
Established in 1984, Hamilton (often referred to as The Accies) only managed to return to the Premiership a few years ago. They have been plagued by financial problems since, resulting in bad results in the field. Due to recent major changes in their lineup, The Accies’ exact strengths and weaknesses are not yet known. Still, considering they mostly had to settle for what they could afford instead of what they want/need, it’s not looking good – which is reflected in the 4500/1 odds given for them winning the league.
St Mirren F.C.
St. Mirren were promoted to the Premiership in the 2017/18 Scottish Championship, although they have spent most of their existence in top-tier Scottish leagues. Still, they never really shined even amongst teams excluding the Old Firm, and that’s not looking to change. They have been attempting to make use of the current trend of high-possession playstyles rather unsuccessfully.
Scottish Premiership Top Players
If you plan on betting on the Scottish Premiership this season as well as in the future, you will need to know which players to keep an eye on.
Playing for Celtic on a loan from Southhampton, this 25-year-old left-winger seems a perfect fit for the Bhoys’ offensive strategy. He is already the most valued player in the entire league, and there are already rumours that Celtic are already looking to sign him on a permanent basis. Elyounoussi’s strengths lie in his ability to play widely and create excellent opportunities with both feet.
Although he’s a highly controversial figure due to his fiery temperament and often questionable behaviour, it’s hard to deny Morelos’ skill on the ball. The Ranger’s chief goal-getter is known for his quick, strong, and almost forceful style of play which allowed him to bag 28 goals during last season’s league matches.
Another Southampton loan to Celtic, this English goalkeeper is famous for his appearances in the English national team. This is not the first of his performances at Celtic, and he still holds the Scottish top division record of 1,256 minutes without conceding a goal. Some say that Forster is past his prime at the age of 31, but it is hard to deny his value as an asset.
Scottish Premiership Rising Stars
With 13 goals over 17 appearances in the pre-season, The Celts’centre-forward has been grabbing a lot of attention playing for the under-21 French national team. He was even named one of UEFA’s top 50 young stars. He has expressed interest in moving on to the English Premier League, though, and big names such as Manchester United, Chelsea, and most notably Tottenham Hotspur already have their eyes on him.
This young Norwegian player was a midfielder before transferring to Celtic where he was converted to centre-back. This was obviously a smart move, considering that he quickly rose to be one of the best young defensive players in Europe. Both his manager and experts are predicting great things for this 21-year-old.
Scottish Premiership Derby Matches
The Old Firm is not just a name for the two of Scotland’s biggest and most successful football clubs – it is also the name of one of the fiercest rivalries in the world of football. We already talked about how the division between the two supporter groups follows the lines of sectarian division in Scotland. As a result, this rivalry is deeply embedded in Scottish culture and has proven to have a great appeal all over the world.
Both Celtic and the Rangers come from Glasgow, and they have 104 Scottish League championships between the two of them. To millions of fans, this is not just the biggest derby in Scottish football – this derby is Scottish football.
Scottish Premiership Biggest Stadiums
Celtic’s famed base of operations, the Park is an all-seater stadium with a capacity of 60,411 dedicated solely to football. This makes it the largest stadium in Scotland, and eight-largest in the UK. Originally, it was opened in 1888 in the Parkhead area of Glasgow. The club has changed several venues since, and the current iteration’s construction was completed in 1998.
The third biggest stadium in Scotland with a capacity of 50,817. (The second would be the famous Hampden Park, which is used for very prestigious events – but not Premiership matches.) Home of the Rangers, Ibrox was the site of an infamous disaster in 1971. It was largely rebuilt afterwards and became an all-seater stadium with no athletics lanes.