THE Scottish play-offs continue on Wednesday night as Rangers host Hibs. Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) picks out the best bets.
Rangers v Hibs | Wednesday 19:45 | BT Sport 1
The Scottish play-off system generates a lot of words. For me, it’s fairer than the English version as it rewards clubs who finish higher up the table. Gaining promotion from a third or fourth place finish in the second tier requires getting through six games. It’s almost like a mini-season. That’s the task facing Rangers.
This is only the second season of this system so we don’t have much data to go with, but I would have assumed gaining promotion from Rangers’ position would be a tall order. Falkirk failed last season and I expect that trend to continue in the seasons ahead.
But onto Wednesday night. Rangers arrive at this juncture having edged past Queen Of The South (sigh) at the weekend. After a win in Dumfries the previous weekend it was all set up for party-time at Ibrox but Queens gave them a tough match in a 1-1 draw.
Now the Gers face a Hibs side who finished three points ahead of them in the Championship and are seeking a sixth win out of seven. Alan Stubbs’ side have beaten Rangers three times this season including a 4-0 crushing two days after Christmas.
After winning just five of their opening 13 league fixtures things looked bleak for Hibs, but since December onwards they’ve been superb (bar a wobble in March) winning 15 of their 21 games since losing to Falkirk on December 6th.
It’s tricky though. Do you back a side fresh from a play-off victory or one who haven’t played in two and half weeks? Pro’s and con’s both way. I can see both sides suffering in the pressure of this game. Rangers have struggled on the big occasion this season while Hibs fluffed their lines in the Scottish Cup semi-final against Falkirk.
These nerves may make the game a cagey affair and I was surprised to see Under 2.5 Goals at odds-against. That bet paid out in their last two meetings and I can see it happening again.
It’s also worth noting that the last three Edinburgh derbies went Under 2.5 so it seems when the stakes are high for Hibs the goals are low. Add that to the fact four of the six play-off games last season went under and there’s a decent bank of reasons for getting involved. At 11/10 with Boylesports it’s a bet I like.
Rangers v Hibs – Under 2.5 Goals (11/10 Boylesports)
Rangers v Hibs. Big match eh? Got a view?
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