Besides the odd Champions League qualifier, it is rare to see competitive football at the end of July. Yet this is exactly what we are getting this weekend as the Scottish Premier League kicks off with a remarkably early start to the season when champions Rangers hosts Hearts at Ibrox on Saturday.
With the departure of Walter Smith, Rangers are not favourites to retain their SPL crown this year and they sit behind their arch-rivals Celtic in the outright market. Rangers hero Ally McCoist has taken over at the helm and opinion is still split as to whether he will be a success.
Rangers have won the last three league titles but many would argue that the side that won last year over-performed and were lucky that Celtic managed to falter so close to the end of the season. Smith was one of the most experienced managers in the game and could steer the team towards the title just a few months ago but McCoist has only been a number two the last few years and it will be a big step up for him into such a pressurised position.
The Craig Whyte takeover at Ibrox has prevented any players leaving or coming in so McCoist is stuck with the same bunch from last year. Standards were starting to drop with this group of players under Smith the last 12 months so McCoist, in his first ever season as a manager, will have his work cut out for him to try and push them forward.
Hearts haven’t had an ideal pre-season with reports of players not being paid but new manager Jim Jefferies insists his players will be ready and focussed for their trip to Ibrox. In their last pre-season game they beat Royal Antwerp 1-0 at Tynecastle.
Rangers are firm favourites for Saturday’s encounter but do not offer much value at 4/11, while a draw is 7/2 and an unlikely Hearts win is at 17/2. As both teams are still going to be feeling the effects of a shortened pre-season they might just be a little slow to get out of the blocks on Saturday and a halftime scoreline of 0-0 at 21/10 looks like a good bet with Unibet.com. As both teams are expected to be sluggish after a summer off and their form not as sharp, under 2.5 goals is worth a punt at 11/10 also.
In the end, Rangers should get the win as they are at home and will be desperate to get off to a winning start for McCoist. They will, however, do it the hard way so back Draw/Rangers in the halftime/fulltime market with Unibet at 31/10.
Tip #1: Back Halftime scoreline 0-0 at 21/10 with Unibet.com
Tip #2: Back Under 2.5 goals at 11/10 with Unibet.com
Tip #3: Back Draw/Rangers in Halftime/Fulltime market at 31/10 with Unibet.com
Odds supplied by Unibet, have a bet on the match and watch it live via Unibet.com.
|Diego Costa heads the first scorer betting for Stoke v Chelsea clash|
Blues Are Odds On For Victory At The Britannia
|Athletic Bilbao v Atletico Madrid Odds Back both teams to score at the San Mames|
Atletico Favourites For The Win
|Elche v Malaga Odds Back visitors to continue fine La Liga form|
Santa Cruz Tipped To Score
|Inter Milan v Lazio Odds Score Draw Can Pay for Christmas Presents|
Roberto Mancini In Need Of A Home Win On Sunday Night
|Bordeaux v Lyon Odds Goals expected in Ligue 1 clash on Sunday|
Hosts Are Unbeaten In 12 League Games At Home
|Hertha Berlin v Hoffenheim Odds Match betting is tight for live Bundesliga clash|
Hoffenheim Have Conceded 18 Goals In 7 Games
|Back both teams to score in Liverpool v Arsenal match at Anfield|
Get A Free In Play Bet When You Place A Pre Match Bet
|Draw tipped for Sundays North East derby between Newcastle and Sunderland|
Sunderland Have Drawn 10 Of 16 League Games
|Final Bundesliga treble of 2014 features wins for Leverkusen Schalke and Wolfsburg|
Wolfsburg Tipped To Win Saturday Evening's Live Game
|Eibar v Valencia Odds Paco Alcacer tipped to score for visitors|
Los Che Favourites
|Hibernian V Celtic Odds Bhoys Hot Favourites To Start With A Win|
Odds predict a comfortable win for Neil Lennon's side
|Paraguay V Venezuela Odds Venezuela Could Upset The Semi Final Betting|
Another high scoring affair could be in store
|SPL Season Betting Preview Odds Predict Another Two Horse Race|
Celtic marginal favourites ahead of defending champions Rangers
|Chile V Venezuela Odds Goals Look To Be In Store During Quarter Final Clash|
Humberto Suazo looks to continue his fine scoring record for Chile
|Brazil V Paraguay Betting Paraguay Could Upset The Quarter Final Odds|
Double result could provide value as two nations meet for the second time in the competition
|Diego Costa Heads The First Scorer Betting For Stoke V Chelsea Clash|
Blues Are Odds On For Victory At The Britannia
Betfred are amazingly offering double odds on your first bet with them, up to a stake unit of £10. In addition to this you can also claim a £25 free bet.
Open Account - Free £25 Bet With Betfred
Ladbrokes are one of the highest rated online bookmakers in the UK and are a superb choice for placing your bets. You can claim a free bet of up to £100 when opening a new account with Ladbrokes by clicking on one of the links on this site.
Bet £5 or more and Ladbrokes will match this with a free bet to the same stake unit.
Open Account - £100 Free Bet - Ladbrokes
Those looking for some online casino entertainment ought to check out all the latest UK Casino Sign Up offers from the top operators including 32Red and many of the sports betting casinos.
There is excellent information, should you be interested in playing online blackjack, roulette, the best progressives or slots - Online Casino Betting with the best introductory offers