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On the Each Way hunt in Scotland at 125/1…

Thursday 30th July 2020

In Across the Leagues today:

  • Our first pick for 2020/21…
  • Scottish Premiership – Top Goalscorer…
  • Going after the Each Way places…

On the Each Way hunt in Scotland at 125/1…

Gianluca Mancini picked up his 15th yellow card of the season last night.

The Roma centre back is now out on his own as the most-booked player in Serie A in 2019/20.

Mancini’s yellow ensured a small profit on the evening, paying out at 9/5 (2.8) in the Player to be Carded market.

Our 7/1 scorer selection Andrea Boletti started on the bench for Torino and didn’t come on until the 75th minute, when the score was already 3-2 to Roma...

Under Paddy Power’s rules for First Goalscorer Each Way betting, that’s a void bet with stakes returned. If you backed Boletti separately in the First Goalscorer and Anytime Scorer markets, just the First Goal bet would be void.

Too good…

The big story of the evening was Brentford, who put in a very impressive display to overturn a 1-0 1st leg deficit against our Championship Promotion outside chances, Swansea.

Sometimes you just have to say: too good. The best team won. It was 3-1 to Brentford on the night, 3-2 on aggregate, and it could’ve been more.

Whereas the London side were promotion & playoff favourites, our Welsh picks were 40/1 (41.0) when we backed them earlier in July. By yesterday, the Swans were down to 7/2 (4.5).

No payout for us this time, but that Swansea bet was a tantalising taste of what our big-odds approach feels like, and how the large-payout carrot can be worth reaching for…

Immobile 35 goals, Ronaldo 31…

Back in Italy, our season-long 16/1 pick for Serie A Top Goalscorer, Ciro Immobile, scored again for Lazio on Wednesday night.

Cristiano Ronaldo played for newly-crowned Juventus in their 2-0 defeat at Cagliari (a score-line that was 33/1 in the Correct Score markets, incidentally).

With one game to go, Ronaldo is now four goals behind our man Immobile. Surely, even the great man himself can’t score four on the final day…?

Our first pick for 2020/21…

That Immobile advice from last August saw us take on the favourite Ronaldo.

With the new Scottish Premiership season starting this weekend, we’re looking to go against the Old Firm of Celtic & Rangers, and the short prices at the top of the Top Goalscorer betting.

Scottish Premiership top scorers…

The first angle we can work with here, with our outsider perspective in mind, regards the correlation between League Winners and Top Goalscorers.

This is a topic that I researched back in April (in my previous Football Angles service). You can read the full piece and see all the stats here.

The takeaway point is that the title-winning team doesn’t always produce the top-scoring player in the division…

  • For example, after Liverpool & Leicester’s Jamie Vardy took those gongs this season in the Premier League, that combination hasn’t actually occurred in any of the last seven English top-flight campaigns. The last one was Man Utd & Robin van Persie in 2012/13

In the Scottish Premiership, where Celtic have now won the league nine times in a row, the updated figures show that in recent years the Bhoys can’t always be relied upon to supply the top man:

Scottish Premiership – Top Goalscorer
2019/20 – O.Edouard (Celtic)
2018/19 - A.Morelos (Rangers)
2017/18 - K.Boyd (Kilmarnock)
2016/17 - L.Boyce (Ross County)
2015/16 - L.Griffiths (Celtic)
2014/15 - A.Rooney (Aberdeen)

Celtic are odds-on at 4/9 (1.44) to reach the magic 10 titles in a row, a feat that neither Old Firm club has ever managed in their long histories. Rangers are 7/4 (2.75) to stop them and take the title back to Ibrox.

Players & prices…

Looking at the 2020/21 Top Goalscorer market, it’s no surprise that Celtic & Rangers players take up no fewer than seven of the top 10 positions on the list.

Last season’s top scorer, Celtic star Odsonne Edouard is the favourite, at a top-price 5/2 (3.5) with Skybet to come top of the pile again. That’s a Win Only price. In fact, if you were to back him Each Way (1/4 odds 1-3 places), you’re actually losing money if Edouard finishes anywhere other than in first position.

That’s of little interest to us. We want to be finding a contender with a chance at a nice price, with the Each Way places worthy of a payout on their own…

  • We were only one goal off pulling off that move in Germany in the season just ended. Wolfsburg striker Wout Weghorst, a 50/1 underdog pick for 2019/20 in the Bundesliga, finished just one goal off the Each Way places
  • In England, we landed the full 20/1 odds on Vardy in the Premier League. And got 33/1 Each Way shot Ollie Watkins 2nd for a place payout in the Championship, just one goal off the top spot

We’re going big again with our new-season selections…

Let’s run through a few of the contenders in the list, as we work through the research and analysis for the Scottish Premiership opportunities.

Question marks…

When you’re making a season-long ante post bet, question marks by a player are not a good thing. You want stability. You want to know he’s in the manager’s plan. You can’t score goals if you’re not on the pitch. You can’t win the top scorer award in Scotland if you end up signing for a new club in a different league or country…

Some cases in point:

Jermain Defoe (Ranger), 11/2 (6.5)
Defoe is now in veteran territory, at 37 years of age – and currently injured. Defoe came 2nd with 13 goals last season.

Christian Doidge (Hibernian), 14/1 (15.0)
Doidge came joint-3rd with 12 goals in 2019/20, but these odds suggest he’s no longer a secret. An injury doubt for the opening weekend, and Hibs might end up seeing their goals spread around…

Kevin Nisbet (Hibernian), 40/1 (41.0)
Came 2nd in the Championship chart with 18 goals for Dunfermline last season, but can he make the step up to deliver regular goals in the top division for his new club?

Sam Cosgrove (Aberdeen), 12/1 (13.0)
Sam scored 11 goals in the last campaign, to finish one off the Each Way places… but he’s out injured until the end of the year, and 12/1 is not appealing at all.

Then we’ve got players who look like they’re very likely to move on, and/ or have fallen out with their clubs…

Rangers’ striker Alfredo Morelos was joint-3rd with 12 goals last term, but he’s not even on the bookies’ list for 2020/21, with transfer speculation rife.

Hibernian boss Jack Ross has said that Florian Kamberi won’t play again for the club. Kamberi went on loan to Rangers last season. But he might end up moving home to Switzerland in the summer transfer window. At 33/1, he’d only be worth considering if Rangers signed him permanently.

And let’s not forget the clutch of Celtic players keen to get in on the goals, aside from the favourite Edouard…

Those men include Leigh Griffiths at 20/1, who is looking to regain match fitness and re-establish himself at Celtic Park. Ryan Christie at 25/1. James Forrest at 50/1. Patryck Klimala at 16/1. And winger Mohamed Elyounoussi at 20/1. They can’t all get 12+ goals to break into the Each Way places.

Four other names from other clubs, in the same price brackets…

Lawrence Shankland was top scorer for Scottish Championship winners Dundee Utd last season, with 24 goals. At 20/1 at best, with plenty of people singing his praises, the 24-year-old’s price looks a bit short on juice. The hype has penetrated the prices.

Australian forward Lyndon Dykes is also being talked highly of. After 9 goals for Livingston last season, he’s linked with a move to Rangers – but then again, so are several players right now. Dykes might even end up in a different league altogether. He’s a top price 33/1 with Bet365, and 20/1 elsewhere.

Kilmarnock pair Eamonn Brophy (66/1) and Nicke Kabamba (50/1) have the look of outsider potential.

Brophy got nine goals last season, but is an injury doubt for the start of the season. Kabamba made the move up from non-league Hartlepool in January, finding the net twice in nine appearances for Killie.

Those two have potential. But at even bigger prices, here’s a young man that could give us a good run for our money…

Hendry at 125/1…

  • In two of the last three Scottish Premiership seasons, getting 12 or 13 goals has been enough to put a player in with a shout of a top three finish, and an Each Way place return in the Top Goalscorer market
  • In three of the last six seasons, 12 – 15 goals have been enough to challenge for the Each Way places

Last season, St Johnstone forward Callum Hendry got 7 league goals, from 20 games. At just 22 years of age, there’s potential for the Blackburn-born player to progress up the charts this coming season…

Going back to the points above regarding player/ club relations, and stability, Hendry and St Johnstone look a very good fit right now.

The new-season build-up seems to have plenty of good vibes for St Johnstone, who came a respectable 6th last time out.

With the new management team seeing former number two Callum Davidson take the top seat, Hendry is on record saying how happy he is about the appointment. Davidson was instrumental in bringing the youngster up to Perth a couple of years back. And new coach Steve MacLean is credited with helping Hendry become a Premiership-level player.

Before lockdown saw the Scottish 2019/20 campaign ended prematurely, Hendry was on a run of four goals in six games in all competitions. If he can carry some of that form into 2020/21, then he could prove a more than decent outside contender for an Each Way place in the scorer charts. And at odds of 125/1 and 100/1, that 1/4-the-odds place position is worth a 31/1 or 25/1 payout on its own.

Week one chances, too…

With St Johnstone going to newly-promoted Dundee Utd on the opening day this Saturday, odds of 2/1+ stand out for Callum Hendry in the match Anytime Scorer markets, too.

In an ideal world, if he starts with a goal, Callum could effectively ‘pay for himself,’ with a 2/1 payout covering the Each Way stake in the season-long market. That would be good.

Today's picks

Scottish Premiership 2020/21

Each Way terms: 1/4 odds 1-3 places.

Dundee Utd v St Johnstone
Saturday, 3pm

  • Anytime Scorer: Callum Hendry @ 23/10 (3.3) with Paddy Power, Betfair Sportsbook, 9/4 (3.25) 888 Sport, Unibet, 11/5 (3.2) Bet365, 21/10 (3.1) Skybet, Betway

That’s plenty to keep us going for now. We’ll be making plenty of moves in the 2020/21 markets for other leagues over the summer.

Lookout for Across the Leagues EXTRA from me on Friday, with a preview of the FA Cup final.

Enjoy the football…

Best wishes,

Oliver Upstone

Oliver Upstone

Across the Leagues

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