The Nations League continues through this weekend and, while the new competition hasn’t always been well received, it’s a welcome break from the endless round of international friendlies.
This week’s schedule also gives teams an opportunity to make some final preparations for the World Cup. Scotland and the Republic of Ireland won’t be involved in the tournament in Qatar, but they provide one of the more meaningful Nations League games on Saturday (7.45pm).
The teams are in Group B1 and both are in with a chance of promotion to the top tier where they would join Europe’s elite.
This is one of those matches where there are odds-against figures on all three possible outcomes, so there is some value if we can make the right call. Scotland are favourites to take all three points and a number of UK betting operators are quoting 11/10 on the home win. The draw is up next at 2/1 while victory for the Republic of Ireland follows at 5/2.
The Scots were in action on Wednesday night as they hosted Ukraine and Steve Clarke’s men came away with an impressive 3-0 win. The victory puts them clear at the top of the group with nine points from their first four games.
Ireland haven’t played in this section since a 1-1 draw away to Ukraine in June. It was an impressive enough result for Stephen Kenny’s men, but it leaves them with just four points from their first four matches.
Scotland have a comfortable points advantage over Saturday’s opponents, but the result market is much closer than might have been expected.
Individual goal scorer markets have been slow to come in on the back of those midweek games. They will fill up in the lead up to kick off, but we do have some early options for the first goal scorer bet.
Scotland left it late to seal the points against Ukraine on Wednesday. John McGinn and a double from Lyndon Dykes secured that 3-0 win from the 70th minute onwards. For Saturday at Hampden Park, Dykes is available to open the scoring at best industry odds of 6/1 while McGinn follows at a top price of 9/1.
The favourite in this first goalscorer market is another Scottish striker. Che Adams has five goals in his first twenty international appearances and he’s available at a general 5/1.
The first two names from within the Republic of Ireland camp are those of Troy Parrott and Michael Obafemi who are both available at 11/1 in places.
Away from the player betting, Both Teams to Score is available for this Nations League encounter at a general 4/6. Those who prefer the ‘no’ option on BTTS can currently claim best industry odds of 6/5.
In the Total Combined Goals markets, a stake ‘Over’ the 2.5 line would be met with a top price of 8/5. That’s a higher figure than we see in most games so the bookies are clearly not expecting too much attacking intent.
Punters who want to push in an upwards direction can take Over 3.5 Goals which is available at a best of 9/2. Those who agree with the bookies and are looking at a quiet 90 minutes may want to back the Under 2.5 option which is listed at just 1/2 in many places.
This preview will round off with some Correct Score suggestions in advance of picking our betting tips. The match odds and the side bets tend to point to a narrow home win so you may want to take Scotland 2 Ireland 1 at best odds of 9/1. Those that want to reverse that outcome can back a 2-1 win for the Irish Republic at 11/1 while the 1-1 draw is quoted at a general 5/1.
Our Preview’s Scotland vs Ireland Betting Tips Verdict
Recent results and overall form within this group suggest that Scotland should be winning this comfortably. Ireland have a reputation as a battling side who punch above their weight but, while that’s justified from a historical perspective, is it true in the modern day?
Two near neighbours face off and, like a domestic local derby, we could just ignore the form book. However, this preview is finding it hard to make a case for the away side here and are happy to get behind a Scotland win at those 11/10 odds.
John McGinn bagged the opener in that 3-0 win over Ukraine in midweek. The Aston Villa midfielder is known for scoring important goals for both club and country. McGinn has 14 goals for the Scots from 49 appearances. That’s a decent return for someone who plays behind the centre forwards, so take him for an anytime goal this weekend. These are our two betting tips: