St Johnstone will go in as favourites in bwin’s 3Way football betting market for Tuesday night’s clash with Aberdeen, despite suffering a heavy defeat at the weekend.
New boss Steve Lomas had presided over two wins and a draw in his first three SPL matches since replacing Derek McInnes, but his side’s European ambitions were dealt a major blow as third-placed Motherwell romped to a 3-0 victory at McDiarmid Park.
The former Northern Ireland star has a chance to get back on track quickly with the visit of the Dons and his men are at odds of 5/4 to triumph, with the draw at 2/1 and an away success rated as a 23/10 shot.
On the face of it, the Saints deserve their favouritism as they are sitting pretty in fourth place, while eighth-placed Aberdeen have a woeful record on the road, having picked up just two points from eight matches outside the comforts of Pittodrie.
Craig Brown’s men are also without a win in their last six league matches, losing four of them.
With Aberdeen conceding 16 of their 25 goals after the interval, odds of 6/5 on more goals after the break than before it are worth a look.
It is logical to assume from this that St Johnstone should be odds-on and that their 3Way price is a steal – but a closer look at the clash should set alarm bells ringing for savvy punters.
The truth is that Lomas’ men generally fare better in away fixtures – they have picked up 16 points compared to ten at home, with only one defeat – and will be missing several players through injury.
That doesn’t necessarily mean they will not see off the beleaguered Dons, more that backing them to do so appears dicey and that better value can be found elsewhere.
For example, betting on under 2.5 goals in the match looks to be a very safe play at 13/20, considering the last seven clashes between these two at McDiarmid Park have all fallen into this category.
Admittedly, the Saints’ last two home matches have produced seven goals, but Lomas was furious at his side’s failure to do the basics against Motherwell and will surely demand they keep the back door shut first and foremost against Aberdeen.
Assuming the Dons will be happy to keep it tight and take a point, it could be a pretty cagey affair, at least in the opening stages.
This is given further weight by the fact that seven of Aberdeen’s eight away matches in the SPL thus far have contained less than two goals in the first half (a repeat here is offered at a miserly 7/20).
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With Brown’s men also conceding 16 of their 25 goals after the interval, odds of 6/5 on more goals after the break than before it are worth a look.
Along the same lines, Aberdeen have managed just one goal in the first halves of their away matches this term, so backing the hosts to win the first half at 9/5 has some merit, while they are at 83/100 to open the scoring.
If you are convinced that the Dons’ away-day blues will continue, then perhaps these statistics highlight two routes which provide more value than simply backing St Johnstone in the 3Way market.
Betting on the Saints to win after a drawn first half is at a lengthy 9/2, while a victory for Lomas’ men in a match containing under 2.5 goals is available at 7/2.
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