Queen of the South’s league form continues to stutter, but the Scottish Challenge Cup holders will welcome the arrival of Rangers in a quarterfinal fixture that is difficult to call.
Having taken three points just once in their opening five matches of the Scottish Championship, Jim McIntyre’s men have plenty of work to do when an ever-improving Rangers outfit visit Palmerston Park.
Ally McCoist’s rejuvenated team have won all of their five Scottish League One matches this campaign and will be confident of upsetting the team that overcame Partick Thistle in last year’s Challenge Cup final.
As ever, avid punters have the opportunity to make a quick buck from such a close encounter. While those predicting the outcome will have a difficult time, there’s a number of smart options to take when putting down your cash.
Let’s have a look at the tastiest bets (all odds via Skybet).
Queen of the South have failed to score three consecutive Scottish Championship matches heading into the clash with Rangers.
McIntyre’s side last had the ball in the net during the 2-1 Scottish League Cup win against St. Mirren on Aug. 27, a match that saw Stephen McKenna and Michael Paton notch the victory. Heading back to the team’s previous Challenge Cup outing, Derek Lyle’s brace ensured a 2-0 win over Airdrieonians at the Excelsior Ground.
Lyle has some mouthwatering odds heading into the Rangers match.
The striker is backed to repeat his previous cup brace with two goals at 16-1 and should be followed as first scorer at 13-2. While Queen of the South continue to struggle for goals, the 32-year-old striker has the potential to lift the fans with an early strike against the team from Glasgow.
Similarly, Lee McCulloch’s terrific run of form should enter your consciousness for this one. As reported by BBC Sport, the former Wigan forward is currently the Scottish League One top scorer with seven goals in five games.
At 9-2 to score the opener, McCulloch could earn smart punters a decent wad of cash.
Considering Queen of the South have only lost one from six games at home this season, a victory price of 4-1 is rather generous. Granted, McIntyre’s team are not favourites to win, but McCoist’s side have a real battle on their hands if they are to escape unscathed.
The Doonhamers' lack of goals should worry fans, especially with rampant Rangers in town, but there’s good value on all odds of victory for the hosts. Odds of 14-1 for the match to finish 1-0 in favour of the home side should tempt those who believe Rangers’ winning streak will crumble.
For everyone else, both 1-0 and 2-0 wins for the away team are currently marked up at 9-1.
As already mentioned, Queen of the South’s inability to net in three of their past four games will see plenty of punters drop decent funds on McIntyre’s team failing to score once more. With odds of 2-1, significant money can be doubled here, especially when you consider Rangers have kept five clean sheets from eight matches in all competitions.
Having scored 10 goals in their last two games, any odds of a Rangers shutout offer huge winnings. The bookmakers have produced odds of 18-1 for the game to finish 0-0, certainly enticing when you consider this should be a hard-fought encounter.
Odds of 7-2 say Queen of the South will hold Rangers for the first half before losing in the second. Expect the home crowd to aid their team’s quest during the opening stages, but should Rangers get on top, McIntyre and his boys may lose momentum in the second-half.
Which bets are you going to take? Let me know in the comments section below and be sure to discuss the match with me on Twitter: