Posted on 03 May 2012 at 16:40 PM by Match of the Day
As we've discussed on these pages previously, the central tenet to in-play betting is always the same - forget what the odds were at the start of the event, take in the early stages of the occasion and then after a set period of time, step back and see if what's unfolding tallies with the previously held view that caused the bookies to set their markets up as they did, however that may have been. Sometimes there will be scoring events, like goals, tries, birdies, touchdowns or whatever, and these will distort matters, but even so the biggest advantage the punter has over the firm laying the bets is the ability to set aside what was initially seen as the "accepted wisdom" and to treat the event on it's merits.
This is especially true in fixtures where it's difficult to predict what approach will be brought to the event - as is very much the case in tonight's Scottish Premier League tie between Celtic and St Johnstone.
As a relatively new enterprise, rest assured the good people of Betting.com have no wish to bring any form of Jihad down upon our own heads, however at the risk of offending some supporters from the blue half of the city of Glasgow by stating the obvious, it would be foolish to ignore last Sunday's big Old Firm clash and the manner in which Celtic essentially toyed with Rangers at Parkhead. Rangers have gone through what can only be described as a turbulent season and the prospect of being unable to sign players at the very least and possibly far, far worse was understandably a distraction all year. However our job here at Betting.com is to assess how things are likely to unfold on the field of play and the simple matter of fact is this - last night Rangers won at their ease against a mid-table team in Dundee United, and tonight Celtic, if they apply themselves correctly, are well capable of doing the same against a similar standard of opponent.
This is why this game is so suited to in-play betting. Of course the possibility that Celtic treat the fixture like one long victory lap cannot be dismissed. After all, their work for the season is done and at this stage, there is no possibility of even winning the league by less than ten points - a crucial milestone for the club so as to blow any notions of a "tainted title" out of the water. Nonetheless sometimes playing in such fixtures can allow a team to play in a more expressive fashion and if Celtic do open up against St Johnstone, they can win by plenty. The match betting of 4/11 from Ladbrokes is consistent with odds of even money minus one goal - it's notable that the Asian handicap betting markets are much more skewed in favour of the Celts. Ladbrokes may be proved right if Celtic start the game at a slow pace and essentially go through the motions, but if they come out of the blocks with intensity and play the game as they would an SPL fixture in January or February, then there is every chance of a big win here and all betting strategies should be drawn up appropriately and accordingly.