Scottish Premiership Betting Tips

Scottish Premiership season preview: Predicting where all 12 clubs will finish

The Scottish Premiership returns this weekend and, ahead of the new season, we’re predicting where all 12 clubs will finish, offering pre-season betting tips.

1st - Celtic

In: Maik Nawrocki (£4.3 million; Legia Warsaw), Odin Thiago Holm (£2.5 million; Vålerenga), Marco Tilio (£1.5 million; Melbourne City), Yang Hyun-jun (£2.1 million; Gangwon) & Kwon Hyeok-kyu (£1 million; Busan IPark).

Out: Jota (£25 million; Al-Ittihad), Conor Hazard (£175,000; Plymouth), Aaron Mooy (free; retired), Liam Shaw (loan; Wigan), Adam Montgomery (loan; Fleetwood), Osaze Urhoghide (undisclosed; Amiens) & Vasilis Barkas (free; Utrecht).

Brendan Rodgers is back at Celtic, so will the Hoops domination of Scottish football continue?

Back in June, having won five trophies in two seasons at the helm, Ange Postecoglou departed Glasgow to become the new Tottenham manager.

So, little over four years after leaving himself for the Premier League, Rodgers is back as Celtic boos. During his two-and-a-half years in charge, Rodgers won every domestic honour up for grabs, hoping to continue that streak upon his return.

Rodgers will also be eager to give the Champions League a good go, having won just one of 12 group stage matches last time round, suffering some serious humblings.

The Celts have won 17 of 23 Scottish titles since the turn of the millennium, so predicting them to retain the trophy isn’t especially outlandish, but it’ll be interesting to see how this team looks post-Postecoglou.

Jota is the only notable sale, so far, while Yang Hyun-jun, Kwon Hyeok-kyu,Maik Nawrockiaaa, Marco Tilio and Odin Thiago Holm could all make their competitive debuts against Ross County on Saturday.

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Tip of the season

Celtic to win the Premiership- 4/6!

Back Celtic to win a third consecutive Premiership title at 4/6!

2nd - Rangers

In: Danilo (£6 million; Feyenoord), Cyriel Dessers (£5 million; Cremonese), Sam Lammers (£3.5 million; Atalanta), Abdallah Sima (loan; Brighton), Jack Butland (free; Crystal Palace), Dujon Sterling (free; Chelsea), Kieran Dowell (free; Norwich) & Leon Balogun (free; Wigan).

Out: Ryan Kent (free; Fenerbahçe), Alfredo Morelos (free; unattached), Antonio Čolak (£2.5 million; Parma), Scott Arfield (free; Charlotte), Mateusz Żukowski (free; Śląsk Wrocław), Allan McGregor (free; unattached) & Filip Helander (free; released).

Across the city, it’s all change at Rangers, following a trophyless campaign last time round.

Ryan Kent, Alfredo Morelos, Scott Arfield, Filip Helander and Allan McGregor who, between them, made 1,268 appearances for the club, have all departed.

To fill the void left by Kent and Morelos, the Gers have spent big on new attackers Danilo, Cyriel Dessers and Sam Lammers, while Abdallah Sima has also arrived on loan from Brighton.

Jack Butland is the new number one goalkeeper, succeeding McGreogr, so certainly has big gloves to fill.

This is Michael Beale’s first full-season in charge, having taken over following Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s sacking last November.

The big games start straight away for Rangers, who will take on Genk or Servette in the Champions League third qualifying round, with the first leg at Ibrox to come as soon as next Wednesday.

Having spent big already, the Light Blues are under big pressure to replicate what they achieved 12 months ago by getting into the group phase.

Beale’s team start their league campaign at Rugby Park on Saturday evening, with the first Old Firm of the campaign to come on September 3, which’ll be a key yard-stick for their many new recruits.

3rd - Heart of Midlothian

In: Calem Nieuwenhof (undisclosed; Western Sydney Wanderers), Frankie Kent (undisclosed; Peterborough) & Michael McGovern (free; Norwich).

Out: Josh Ginnelly (free; Swansea), Orestis Kiomourtzoglou (£150,000; Greuther Fürth), Euan Henderson (free; Hamilton), Gary Mackay-Steven (free; released), Michael Smith (free; released) & Robert Snodgrass (free; released).

Another team with a big European tie to look forward to this month is Heart of Midlothian who, after finishing fourth last season, are hoping to go, at least, one better this year.

The Jambos competed in a major European group stage for the very first time 12 months ago, but things turned sower after New Years’ Day, with Robbie Neilson sacked in April following five successive defeats.

Rookie manager Steven Naismith stabilised the team towards the end of the campaign and has since been given the job full time, which is undoubtedly a risky move.

Hearts have lost, arguably, their best player this summer, with Josh Ginnelly’s contract expiring.

Calem Nieuwenhof and Frankie Kent are the only outfield editions, to date, with supporters concerned that this squad is weaker than it was in May.

The Jambos begin their campaign at McDiarmid Park on Saturday, before facing Rosenborg in Norway in the Europa Conference League next mid-week, underdogs to get through that one.

In short, there is plenty of uncertainty in Gorgie right now, but their team should be up towards the top of the table again challenging for European qualification, although with Hearts you just never know.

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Tip of the season

Heart of Midlothian to finish third- 7/4!

Back Hearts to finish top, outwith Celtic & Rangers, at 7/4!

4th - Aberdeen

In: Slobodan Rubežić (undisloced; Novi Pazar), Ester Sokler (£350,000; Radomlje), Leighton Clarkson (undisclosed; Liverpool), Ross Doohan (undisclosed; Forest Green), Graeme Shinnie (undisclosed; Wigan), Nicky Devlin (free; Livingston), Or Dadia (loan; Hapoel Be’er Sheva) & Rhys Williams (loan; Liverpool).

Out: Ross McCrorie (£2.5 million; Bristol City), Matty Kennedy (free; Kilmarnock), Connor McLennan (free; Salford), Dean Campbell (free; Barrow), Marley Watkins (free; Kilmarnock) & Joe Lewis (free; released).

Aberdeen meanwhile, having come third last season, are are guaranteed to feature in a UEFA group phase for the first time in 16 years, entering in the Europa League play-off round.

Of course, the Dons will be aiming to win that tie but, even if they don’t, they’ll drop into the Europa Conference League, which’ll be huge for the club.

Attempting to summarise last season isn’t easy, mainly because so much happened, not least they were knocked out the Scottish Cup by Darvel, before being smashed 5-0 to Hearts and 6-0 to Hibs, and that was just in the space of eight days during January.

This saw Jim Goodwin sacked before, under interim boss Barry Robson, the Reds won seven consecutive Premiership matches, surging up to third by the end.

Robson has since been made permanent manager, so it’ll be interesting to see how he does full time.

This summer, they have lost Ross McCrorie, but both Duk and Bojan Miovski have stayed, while Leighton Clarkson and Graeme Shinnie’s loan deals have been made permanent.

So, there is plenty of optimism at Pittodrie right now although, knowing Aberdeen, that’ll almost certainly evaporate at the Tony Macaroni Arena on Saturday.

5th - Hibernian

In: Dylan Vente (£700,00; Roda JC), Jojo Wollacott (undisclosed; Charlton), Dylan Levitt (£300,000; Dundee United), Jordan Obita (free; Wycombe), Adam Le Fondre (free; Sydney FC), Will Fish (loan; Manchester United), Riley Harbottle (undisclosed; Nottingham Forest) & Maksymilian Boruc (undisclosed; Śląsk Wrocław).

Out: Kevin Nisbet (£2.5 million; Millwall), Marijan Čabraja (free; Rijeka), Kyle Magennis (free; Kilmarnock), Aiden McGeady (free; Ayr), Mikey Devlin (free; Livingston) & Kevin Dąbrowski (free; Raith).

Hibernian are the only member of last season’s top five to have got their season underway already, although somebody should’ve told the players that.

Last Thursday, Hibs were beaten 2-1 by Inter Club d’Escaldes at Estadi Comunal d’Andorra la Vella in the Europa Conference League, a result widely described as the most embarrassing in Scottish football history.

Believe me, there are plenty of contenders for that unwanted accolade!

The Hibees welcome the Andorran minnows to Easter Road this forthcoming Thursday, so are still favourites to advance through to the third qualifying round, where they’d meet Djurgården or Luzern, probably the latter.

As Forest Gump famously said, sort of, last season’s Hibs were like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.

Lee Johnson’s side twice lost four league games on the spin, but also won four on the bounce and enjoyed a seven-match unbeaten run, eventually finishing fifth, securing that aforementioned return to Europe.

In the transfer market, Élie Youan’s loan has been made permanent, while Dylan Vente, Dylan Levitt, Jojo Wollacott, Riley Harbottle and Maksymilian Boruc have all arrived for fees too.

Kevin Nisbet has been sold to Millwall for over £2 million, but Hibs supporters will be hoping to see more of talisman Martin Boyle, after he ruptured his ACL back in the autumn, featuring during pre-season.

6th - Motherwell

In: Jonathan Obika (free; Morecambe), Davor Zdravkovski (free; AEL Limassol), Pape Souaré (free; Morecambe) & Conor Wilkinson (free; Walsall).

Out: Kevin van Veen (£600,000; Groningen), Max Johnston (compensation; Sturm Graz), Connor Shields (free; Chennaiyin), Dean Cornelius (free; Harrogate), Jack Aitchison (free; Exeter), Mikael Mandron (free; St Mirren), David Devine (free; Alloa), Riku Danzaki (free; Western United), Ross Tierney (loan; Walsall) & Sean Goss (free; released).

Having ended last season so impressively, Motherwell will fancy their chances of a return to the top six, possibly pushing for the European positions.

This season does start on a downer for the Steelmen, who’ve lost talisman Kevin van Veen, sold to Groningen for £600,000, having scored 29 goals in league and club last season.

The Dutch striker is just the second Motherwell player to hit 25+ league goals in a campaign post-WW II, after Michael Higdon a decade earlier.

So, big shoes for new signing Jonathan Obika to fill, although he has already netted against both Elgin and Queen’s Park during the League Cup group stages.

Stuart Kettlewell took over as manager last February, accumulating 30 points from a possible 42, losing only twice, which is a remarkable record.

Of course, van Veen was a key reason behind this late-season surge but, if Motherwell continue to show anything like that, they have to be favourites to finish in the top six.

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Tip of the season

Motherwell to finish in the top 6- 3/2!

Back Motherwell to get back into the top 6 at 3/2!

7th - St Mirren

In: Conor McMenamin (£146,000; Glentoran), James Bolton (free; Plymouth), Mikael Mandron (free; Motherwell), Stav Nachmani (loan; Maccabi Haifa) & Zach Hemming (loan; Middlesbrough).

Out: Curtis Main (free; Bengaluru), Joe Shaughnessy (free; Dundee), Eamonn Brophy (undisclosed; Ross County), Jay Henderson (free; Ross County), Declan Gallagher (undisclosed; Dundee United) & Richard Tait (free; retired).

Last season, St Mirren finished in the top six for the first time since the split was introduced in 2001, with this actually representing their first top half finish in the top division for 38 years.

During his 18 months in charge in Paisley, Stephen Robinson has done an excellent job, with the Buddies likely to enjoy another successful campaign this year too.

Northern Ireland international Conor McMenamin has arrived for a fee, while Stav Nahmani and Mikael Mandron will also bolster the Saints attacking options.

St Mirren kick off their campaign against Hibs on Sunday and don’t face a member of the Old firm until October 8, welcoming both Aberdeen and Hearts to Paisley before then, meaning it’s set up for them to make a strong start.

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Tip of the season

St Mirren to finish in the bottom 6- 2/5!

Back St Mirren to finish in the bottom 6 at 2/5!

8th - Livingston

In: Mikey Devlin (free; Hibs), Michael Nottingham (free; Accrington), Mo Sangare (free; Accrington) & Miles Welch-Hayes (free; Harrogate).

Out: Nicky Devlin (free; Aberdeen), Jack Fitzwater (free; released), Jack Hamilton (free; Raith), Stéphane Oméonga (free; Bnei Sakhnin), Jackson Longridge (free; Hamilton) & Jaze Kabia (free; Cork).

In the last four seasons, in chronological order, Livingston have finished fifth, sixth, seventh and then eighth, so the smart money would be on a ninth place finish wouldn’t it?

However Davie Martindale’s men continue to punch above their weight, never in danger of relegation, despite having one of the smallest budgets in the division.

The Lions lost just five home matches last season, three of which came at the hands of the Old Firm, with the Tony Macaroni Arena set to remain a fortress.

Livi have managed to hold onto star striker Joel Nouble, while Mikey Devlin is a shrew edition from Hibs.

Another solid season is expected at Almondvale.

9th - Kilmarnock

In: Matty Kennedy (free; Aberdeen), Kyle Magennis (free; Hibs), Robbie Deas (free; Inverness), Marley Watkins (free; Aberdeen), Kieran O’Hara (free; Colchester), Lewis Mayo (undisclosed; Rangers), Stuart Findlay (loan; Oxford), Corrie Ndaba (loan; Ipswich) & Will Dennis (loan; Bournemouth).

Out: Ash Taylor (free; Bradford), Scott Robinson (free; Partick Thistle), Chris Stokes (free; Morecambe), Lee Hodson (free; Eastleigh), Calum Waters (free; Moron), Liam Donnelly (free; released), Alan Power (free; released) & Blair Alston (free; released).

As Championship champions, Kilmarnock’s sole aim last season was to avoid relegation, an objective they achieved, ending up six points clear of the drop with 40 points on the board.

Now, Derek McInnes’ men will be hoping to kick on, believing the editions of Kyle Magennis, Marley Watkins, Matty Kennedy and Lewis Mayo can help them achieve this.

If Killie are not going to be involved in another relegation scrap, they’ll need to improve their away form, yielding a measly eight points away from Rugby Park all season, with their two victories both coming towards the end of the campaign.

Goalscoring is likely to continue to be an issue for Kilmarnock and, while that is the case, they’ll remain towards the foot of the division.

10th - Ross County

In: Josh Reid (£70,000; Coventry), Scott Allardice (free; Inverness), Kyle Turner (free; Partick Thistle), Jay Henderson (free; St Mirren), Eamonn Brophy (undisclosed; St Mirren), James Brown (undisclosed; Blackburn), & Will Nightingale (loan; Wimbledon).

Out: Alex Iacovitti (free; Port Vale), Keith Watson (free; Raith), William Akio (undisclosed; Cavalry) & David Cancola (free; released).

Deep into June’s two-legged Premiership play-off final, it looked a certainty that Ross County would not be featuring in this Premiership preview.

Malky Mackay’s men were 3-0 down to Partick Thistle and, just as the Staggies were staring the Championship in the face, they pulled off one of the most spectacular comebacks in SPFL history, eventually surviving on penalties.

Safe to say the Highlanders will not want to go through that again, desperately hoping to secure automatic safety this time round.

Ross County appear to have made smart editions in 2023, firstly bringing in Simon Murray from Queen’s Park in January.

Then, this summer, Josh Reid, Scott Allardice, Kyle Turner, Jay Henderson and Eamonn Brophy should all improve this team, meaning the Staggies look good to stay up, which is bad news for the rest.

11th - Dundee

In: Joe Shaughnessy (free; St Mirren), Scott Tiffoney (free; Partick Thistle), Antonio Portales (free; Atlante), Zach Robinson (loan; Wimbledon), Owen Beck (loan; Liverpool), Charlie Reilly (free; Albion Rovers), Diego Pineda (free; Correcaminos UAT), Malachi Boateng (loan; Crystal Palace), Aaron Donnelly (loan; Crystal Palace), Aaron Donnelly (loan; Nottingham Forest) & Jon McCracken (loan; Norwich).

Out: Paul McMullan (free; Derry City), Ryan Sweeney (free; Burton), Paul McGowan (free; Cove), Sam Fisher (free; Dunfermline), Ian Lawlor (free; Doncaster), Pierre Reedy (free; Charleston Battery) & Cillian Sheridan (free; released).

One normal day of Dundee. All their fans want. Will never happen.

Back in May, the Dee secured an immediate return to the Premiership by beating Queen’s Park in a final day straight-shootout for promotion, prevailing 5-3 on a truly bonkers Friday night at Ochilview.

The Dark Blues picked up the Championship title with just 63 points to their name, the lowest points-per-game achieved by second-tier champions since 1994.

The following day, the club were congratulating Gary Bowyer on being named Championship manager of the season before, 42 minutes later, announcing, somewhat out the blue, he’d left by mutual consent.

Tony Docherty is the new man in charge, his first head coach role, having previously been Derek McInnes’ long-term assistant.

He hasn’t made the best start, knocked out of the League Cup by Airdrieonians, needing to beat Inverness by two-clear goals to sneak through, but only managing a 1-0 victory.

Given that Dundee’s last four Premiership campaigns have seen them finish tenth, ninth, bottom and bottom, safe to assume they’ll be involved in another relegation scrap.

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Tip of the season

Dundee to finish in the bottom 2- 10/11!

Back Dundee to finish 11th or 12th at 10/11!

12th - St Johnstone

In: Dimitar Mitov (free; Cambridge United) & Luke Jephcott (free; Plymouth Argyle).

Out: David Wotherspoon (free; released), Jamie Murphy (free; Ayr), Murray Davidson (free; retired), Michael O’Halloran (free; Dunfermline), Theo Bair (free; released) & Melker Hallberg (free; released).

This will be St Johnstone’s 11th successive season in the top-flight, most recently suffering relegation in 2002, but there is concern in Perth that this streak could come to an end.

In 2021, the Saints were cup-double winners, a remarkable and historic achievement, before almost being relegated 12 months later, only surviving in the play-offs.

Then, last season, they were forced to sack Callum Davidson, the man who’d led them to both cups, with Steven MacLean guiding the Saints to three wins from five post-split fixture, with this enough to beat the drop.

MacLean has since been appointed manager full time, which could be a masterstroke, or could backfire completely.

The latter appears more likely at the moment, after the Saints endured a catastrophic League Cup campaign in July.

They lost three of four matches, narrowly beaten by both Stenhousemuir and Ayr, before being demolished 4-0 by League Two champions Stirling Albion last Saturday, in an embarrassing result.

Just two new players have been signed, goalkeeper Dimitar Mitov and striker Luke Jephcott both arriving on frees, with the Saints facing Hearts on the opening weekend, before taking on both Celtic and Rangers shortly after.

Currently priced at 4/1 to be relegated, we think that’s an incredible price, as the issues continue to pile up in Perth.

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Tip of the season

St Johnstone to be relegated- 4/1!

Back St Johnstone to finish bottom of the Premiership at 4/1!

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Ben Gray

Ben Gray

Arsenal fan – follow them over land and sea (and Leicester); sofa Celtic supporter; a bit of a football '"encyclopedia".

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