TWO in-form sides meet at Hampden Park on Wednesday as the Scots host Northern Ireland. Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) took a look at the odds.
Scotland v Northern Ireland | Wednesday 19:45 | Sky Sports 1
You have to go back 29 years to find the last time these two were in a major tournament together. It would be unwise to get too positive, but there’s certainly a warm glow surrounding both these sides at the moment, not witnessed since they both narrowly failed to qualify for Euro 2008.
The Scots are involved in a gripping group in the Euro 2016 qualifiers. They’ve picked up seven points from four matches against Germany, Georgia, Poland and Ireland and Group D looks like going all the way to the wire.
Michael O’Neil’s Northern Ireland side sit second in Group F after three wins from their opening four games. Two of those wins came in away trips to Greece and Hungary and they have every right to be feeling good about themselves at the moment.
Both sides have a competitive fixture at the weekend, but it’s the Scots who have the far easier assignment as they host ultra-minnows Gibraltar on Sunday. Northern Ireland meanwhile have a tricky home fixture against Finland. With that in mind, am I right to assume Scotland might just be a bit more up for this on Wednesday night?
Odds of 4/5 to win with William Hill don’t really appeal to be honest and for me it’s the visitors who are better value at a chunky 19/4 with BetVictor. However, it’s unlikely we’ll see an away win here.
The Over/Under 2.5 Goal line is interesting. I thought we’d see the Unders as narrow favourites but extreme favourites seems a more apt description. Quite a few firms are as short as 8/15 on two or fewer goals. My word, that’s short.
With that in mind I have to make a case for the Overs at a glistening too-big 10/7 with 888 Sport. Hey, why don’t I do it via bullet-points?
- Both sides are in good form and full of positivity
- The Scots have scored in their last eight matches
- Northern Ireland have scored in seven of their last nine competitive matches
- In the last 18 months Northern Ireland have beaten Russia and Greece and scored twice against Portugal
- The occasion! Scotland have played their old Home International rivals nine times this century. Eight times the games went Over 2.5 Goals
Yes, purely from a value point of view I’ll have to back Over 2.5 Goals at 10/7 with 888 Sport. I’ll also have a nibble on a 2-1 Scotland win at 17/2 with the same firm. The Scots should be more up for it and they’re playing at home.
Scotland v Northern Ireland – Over 2.5 Goals (10/7 888 Sport)
Scotland v Northern Ireland – Scotland to win 2-1 (17/2 888 Sport)
You’ll also pick up precious 10 Cash Race points.