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Queen of the South is overpriced to follow in the footsteps of Colchester and Rotherham, teams that have landed decent bets for this column in the last two weeks, and make it a hat-trick of sides capitalising on overrated favourites.
The pressure got to Preston against Colchester and Norwich versus Rotherham and, if anything, the stress under which Rangers will play Queen of the South on Saturday will be even greater. Rangers cannot afford another season outside the Scottish Premiership and, consequently, every players in a Gers shirt will be as nervous as hell at Palmerston Park.
Compiling odds for football games, particularly those in which the teams have completed over 36 rounds in the same league, is not rocket science. There is a historical data that shows that, if sides are of an equal ability level, the home team will win somewhere between 45 and 50 per cent of the time. Given the final composition of the Scottish Championship ladder and the head-to-head record between Queen of the South and Rangers one cannot make a case for the Gers being odds on with several bookmakers to win at Palmerston Park in the first leg of their two-legged tie. Actually, the match betting is absolutely ridiculous.
Just seven points separated Queen of the South and Rangers at the end of the Scottish Championship regular season. One thinks that entitles Rangers to be one notch shorter to beat Queen of the South than if the sides had finished level on points. However, have a look at the Scottish Championship head-to-head record between Queen of the South and Rangers – the Doonhamers won both Palmerston Park matches without conceding a goal and the Ibrox Stadium games resulted in a 4-2 win for the Gers in August and a 1-1 draw in March. One would argue that the results of the Scottish Championship matches between Queen of the South and Rangers cancel out the seven-point lead that the Gers registered over the , particularly as the Glasgow giants have not triumphed in any of the most recent three encounters.
Considering all factors, including the higher than usual probability of a draw because Queen of the South and Rangers are doing battle over two legs, the aforementioned Scottish Championship statistics and the pressure under which the Gers will have to perform one cannot have the Doonhamers trading at longer odds than 3/2 2.50 +150 1.50 1.50 -0.67 for first-leg success.
Everywhere one without a Rangers bias looks there are great value bets on Saturday’s Scottish Premiership play-offs quarter-final first leg. Bet365 is offering odds of 3/1 4.00 +300 3.00 3.00 -0.33 about Queen of the South beating Rangers at Palmerston Park – odds that one thinks are 15% wrong. The same bookmaker is offering odds of 1/1 2.00 +100 1.00 1.00 -1.00 that Queen of the South does not lose to Rangers in front of its Dumfries fans – odds that one thinks are 20% wrong. And Bet365 is at it again with its odds of 333/100 4.33 +333 3.33 3.33 -0.30 about Queen of the South progressing to the next stage in which it would line up versus Hibernian – odds that one thinks are wrong by something around the 25% mark.
It is impossible to strike a bad bet if one backs Queen of the South on one of the three highlighted Bet365 markets but, if one had to place only one wager, it would be on the Doonhamers not losing to Rangers at Palmerston Park because it represents the best value of the one-off options.
Tips Summary – (9th May – 5.30 GMT)
Queen of the South to beat Rangers –
Queen of the South to Qualify – 333/100 4.33 +333 3.33 3.33 -0.30
Queen of the South Win/Draw v Rangers – 1/1 2.00 +100 1.00 1.00 -1.00
Where to Bet: Bet365