PRO PUNTER Dino Vita (@VitaDino) delivers his verdict on the ante-post Scottish Championship markets, picking out his best pre-season bets for the 2019/20 campaign.
WLB Season Preview 2019/20 | Scottish Championship
The Scottish Championship is the most competitive division north of the border this season with as many as five sides all fancying themselves for promotion.
The Dundee duo dominate the betting and I’m siding with Dundee United in the Outright market at 9/4 (Bet365). Robbie Neilson arrived jus before Christmas and although Ross County clinched gold, the Terrors pushed them all the way to the final weeks of the campaign.
Neilson has built on last year's squad and the signing of Lawrence Shankland shows the United mean business. The striker hit 30 league goals last season for Ayr last time out and has started well in the Betfred Cup; if Shankland gets anything close to that tally again, the Tangerines will be hard to stop.
I've opted for United over recently-relegated near neighbours Dundee as James McPake has had to get rid of a lot of deadwood at Dens Park and build a new squad, which is bound to take time to gel.
Below the leading contenders
Inverness and Partick will shoulder the threat from below. John Robertson's ICT finished third last term and were hard to beat but let themselves down with too many draws. The Highland outfit lacked a goalscorer, although the capture of James Keatings could make all the difference – the 27-year-old striker was part of the Hibs and Hearts squads that have won the Championship in the past
Partick were at the wrong end of the table for large swathes of 2018/19 but gradually improved under Gary Caldwell. The ex-Scottish international's recruitment hasn't gone unnoticed this summer with the additions of veteran hitman Kenny Miller and midfield man Rafa De Vita bid players at this level.
Elsewhere, Ayr, Dunfermline and Morton will all be looking to grab a play-off place – whether the trio will have enough in their ranks to challenge the top four in the betting is unclear.
At the bottom, Queen Of The South stayed up via the play-offs last season and will hope for a better campaign this time around. The Dumfries side have made big changes in personnel but crucially, Player of the Year Stephen Dobbie has re-signed – his goals were essential in keeping QOTS up.
Alloa defied the odds to stay up last term – a massive achievement considering they are the only part-time side in the division. Manager Jim Goodwin has left for St Mirren and the Wasps are bound to miss his leadership. This they're joined by fellow part-timers Arbroath and the pair are likely to battle it out to avoid finishing bottom of the pile.
Scottish Championship 2019/20 – Dundee United to win outright (9/4 Bet365)
Scottish Championship 2019/20 – Lawrence Shankland to be Top Goalscorer (5/2 McBookie)
Scottish Championship 2019/20 – Dundee United to win outright and Lawrence Shankland to be Top Goalscorer double (13/2 McBookie)
Scottish Championship 2019/20 – Alloa to finish bottom (11/8 McBookie)