Scottish Premiership Predictions and Best Bets – September 12, 2020
We are already heading into Matchday 7 of the 2020/21 Scottish Premiership campaign, but due to the disrupted start to the season, some sides have only played four games.
The table looks a bit muddled at the moment, although Saturday’s fixture list sees every team in action on the same day for the very first time this term. Here is the schedule for September 12.
- Mirren vs. Hibernian
- Livingston vs. Hamilton
- Aberdeen vs. Kilmarnock
- Motherwell vs. St. Johnstone
- Ross County vs. Celtic
- Rangers vs. Dundee United
You probably won’t be surprised to hear that Rangers and Celtic remain the only unbeaten sides. However, Steven Gerrard’s men lead the way having played two games more than their Glasgow rival.
Motherwell sits bottom of the pile as the only team without a win this season. Hibs and Aberdeen both have the chance to build on impressive starts when they face St. Mirren and Kilmarnock respectively.
You can find my predictions for all of Saturday’s Scottish Premiership games below. I also take a look at the best value bets for September 12.
Hibernian to Beat St. Mirren
It’s safe to say that Jack Ross will be extremely pleased with his side’s start to 2020/21. Hibs went unbeaten in their opening give games this season, picking four wins along the way. And although the team’s impressive run was brought to an end by Aberdeen last time out, the Edinburgh club remains in second place.
New signing Kevin Nisbet has been the star of the show so far, racking up three goals and two assists in just four appearances following his move from Dunfermline. However, goalkeeper Ofir Marciano must also be given huge credit having kept three clean sheets already this term.
Meanwhile, St. Mirren has enjoyed somewhat of a mixed start to the season. The Buddies kicked things off with a win over Livingston before being thrashed by Rangers. A victory over Hamilton soon followed, but the Paisley club has only managed to pick up one point from their previous two outings.
A draw with Ross County and a loss to St. Johnstone suggests that Jim Goodwin’s men could struggle to better last season’s ninth-place finish. The Buddies have netted just three goals in five games this year, although they do boast one of the best defensive records in the division.
St. Mirren will put up a decent fight, but I’m expecting Hibs to return to winning ways this weekend.
Livingston to Beat Hamilton
This is undoubtedly the least glamorous matchup in Scotland’s top flight this weekend. Both teams have managed to scrape just one win so far this season, with second-bottom Hamilton sitting one place below Livingston.
After failing to win any of their opening five games this term, Livingston finally picked up their first win of the campaign last time out. Jon Guthrie’s second-half strike handed Livi all three points against Ross County, although Gary Holt’s men could have scored more.
The Lions only suffered narrow one-goal defeats to St. Mirren and Aberdeen, while a draw with Rangers proves they can challenge the top teams in the country. If Livingston can find some consistency, I’m sure the team will begin to move up the table.
Unfortunately, I can’t see Hamilton moving up the standings anytime soon. The Accies’ sole victory came against bottom-club Motherwell on Matchday 5, but they have lost every other game they’ve played in 2020/21.
It feels like Brian Rice’s side hasn’t fully recovered from their 5-1 drubbing at the hands of Celtic on the opening day. Hamilton comes into this game on the back of another heavy loss to Rangers, so I’m backing Livingston to get the job done on Saturday.
Aberdeen to Beat Kilmarnock
Aberdeen has played two games less than most of the teams in the division, but three straight victories have seen the club climb to fourth. The Dons have beaten St. Johnstone, Livingston, and Hibs in their previous three domestic outings, with a 6-0 Europa League qualifying hammering of Faroese side NSI coming in between.
Derek McInnes men may have scored just four league goals this season, but they have only conceded two. Youngster Lewis Ferguson has netted in back-to-back games, and the defense is looking seriously strong.
On the other hand, strong is certainly not a word that can be used to describe Kilmarnock’s defense. Killie’s backline has already shipped nine goals this term, and no other side in the division has conceded more.
Having said that, only Rangers and Celtic has scored more goals than Alex Dyer’s men this season. Killie notched up their first win of the season with a thumping 4-0 victory over Dundee United last time out, but that was also their first clean sheet this year.
Kilmarnock will no doubt be buoyed up after clinching their first win of the campaign, but Aberdeen should be far too strong for Killie.
St. Johnstone to Beat Motherwell
St. Johnstone has been very unpredictable so far this season. The Saints drew with Dundee United on the opening day, but since then, they have either won or lost. Two wins and three defeats have left the Perth club sitting in seventh place, nine points off the top and five points from the bottom.
It is no secret that scoring goals has been St. Johnstone’s main problem this season. Only three sides in the division have netted fewer goals than Callum Davidson’s men, with the Saints firing a blank on three separate occasions.
Still, a trip to Motherwell provides St. Johnstone with the ideal opportunity to gather some momentum. The Steelmen remain the only team in the league without a win to their name in 2020/21, and they are also the joint-lowest scorers.
All of a sudden, Motherwell’s remarkable third-place finish last term seems like a very long time ago. Jim McMahon’s team has been almost unrecognizable this season, so I can’t see the Well getting anything from this game.
Granted, the Saints haven’t exactly been setting the league alight. But Motherwell has been nothing short of woeful lately. An away win is on the cards here.
Celtic to Beat Ross County
The Bhoys already find themselves six points behind Rangers, although Celtic does have two games in hand over their bitter rival. Neil Lennon’s side has only played four domestic games this term, producing three wins and a draw.
After crushing Hamilton on the opening day, the Glasgow club was held to a draw by Kilmarnock on Matchday 2. But successive victories over Dundee United and Motherwell have quickly put Celtic back on track. It would probably be fair to say that Celtic isn’t firing on all cylinders right now, but it will surely only be a matter of time before the defending champion gets in their groove.
Albian Ajeti – who was recently signed from EPL side West Ham – has netted two goals in his first two appearances for the club, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he has a big say in the outcome of this game.
Ross County started the season in strong from, winning their opening two games. However, the Dingwall outfit has since failed to win any of their previous four outings. Draws with Kilmarnock and St. Mirren have kept the Staggies afloat, but disappointing defeats to Dundee United and Livingston will have frustrated manager Stuart Kettlewell.
Ross County was dreadful against struggling Livingston last time out, seeing just 36% possession and only managing one shot on target. Needless to say, if the Staggies play that poorly again, they will be humiliated by Celtic.
Rangers to Beat Dundee United
If it wasn’t for an uncharacteristic goalless draw against Livingston on Matchday 4, Rangers would be heading into Matchday 7 with a 100% record. Five wins have propelled Steven Gerrard’s men to the top of the table, although I’m sure they will still be kicking themselves over the draw with Livi.
Nevertheless, the Gers can’t really have too many complaints at the moment. Not only are they the division’s top scorers, but they are also yet to conceded a goal this season. Indeed, the club recently matched a 114-year-old record for most consecutive clean sheets in Scotland’s top flight.
Following promotion from the second tier last season, I think Dundee United will be relatively happy with their start to the 2020/21 campaign. Yes, the Terrors come into this game on the back of consecutive defeats. But victories over Motherwell and Ross County, along with a draw against St. Johnstone, have left the newcomer sitting comfortably in mid-table.
Micky Mellon’s men will need to start scoring more goals if they want to stay out of relegation trouble this year. But as things stand, Dundee United is in a decent position.
The Terrors’ stubbornness could trouble Rangers slightly on Saturday, but I’m still expecting the home side to seal all three points.
Scottish Premiership Betting Picks for Saturday, September 12
I have scoured the best online betting sites and found two excellent picks for Saturday’s Scottish Premiership games. Here are my value bets for September 12.
- Livingston vs. Hamilton – Both Teams to Score (2.10)
Livingston (1.57) is the clear favorite to win this one, with Hamilton (5.50) the bookies’ obvious outsider. However, the away side is more than capable of upsetting the odds here. For that reason, it makes sense to steer clear of the outright markets for this clash.
The odds for both teams to score in any matchup rarely get above 2.00, so I think this price is definitely worth taking advantage of. Let’s not forget that these two sides have the joint-worst defensive records in the division, meaning there should be plenty of goals in this game.
- Aberdeen vs. Kilmarnock – Aberdeen to Win and Under 3.5 Goals (2.30)
Having won their previous three outings, Aberdeen (1.80) heads into this game as the favorite. Kilmarnock (4.50) only picked up their first victory of the season in their previous encounter, so I can’t see the away side causing the host too many problems on Saturday.
Don’t get me wrong, the price for the home win is already pretty good on its own. But considering that Aberdeen is one of the lowest scorers in the division, I recommend adding the under 3.5 goals market into the mix to enhance the odds.
Three of Aberdeen’s four games this season have seen just a single goal scored, with the other game also producing under 3.5 goals. All the signs are pointing towards a low-scoring home victory here.