Burgh can provde capital gains
Scotland's lower-league teams are split between league and cup action this weekend.
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Firstly I'll deal with the Scottish Cup second round, which involves all 10 League Two sides and 22 non-league survivors from the opening round. They come from league bodies all over the country, the largest representation being from the Highland League, which is also the strongest in terms of depth and ability.
Many of the bookies, due to lack of real knowledge, have still to price up some matches but enough have and certain value is available over a few of the games to allow us two selections.
My first choice is Fraserburgh at a best price of 11/4. They are on their own at this price and I promise it will not last. The 'Burgh' are as short as 13/8 and on my tissue have them slight favourties to travel to the capital and defeat Edinburgh City.
The home side play home matches at the old Meadowbank stadium, which used to lend itself more to athletics than football. The wide-open spaces may suit Fraserburgh a touch better. City boss Gary Jardine has had to oversee a big change in personnel, but form is coming together. Opposition manager Kris Hunter has a settled and local squad and although not one of the top few teams in a strong league, I take them to edge it and anything 9/4 or better is fine by me.
Two of the south-based sides, St Cuthberts and Threave Rovers, face torrid afternoons, being up against top junior side Auchinleck Talbot and League Two leaders East Stirling respectively. The 2/17 and 2/7 will only appeal to larger-stake punters but I will definitely play on the handicaps if priced as I feel both willl win comfortably.
For now, my second choice is a double on Clyde and Albion Rovers of League Two to see off Lowland League opponents Gala Fairydean and Spartans. The Lowland League is in its inaugural year and was set up to act as part of the pyramid system in Scotland that may see non-league compete in League Two within two years.
Although they will give a decent account of southern football I expect the League Two clubs to progress and at 8/5 the double it is a good margin better than my forecast of 10/11.
With there being six all non-league ties, a decent representation will make round three and, given a favourable home tie, it is possible I may be predicting on some giant killing in next round.
In the league, there are only 10 matches to run an eye over and the competitiveness of the games would have you think value would be freely on show. However, most bookies are in agreement and are giving up nowt or little to the punter.
I have been through all 10 matches at great length and only on Monday evening did I see smidgings of an edge.
Before I give the tentative choice, I will give a brief comment on a few matches.
Although I recommended Dundee last week without being a selection, I cannot have them odds-on away from home when still searching for form. Hamilton, following cup and league defeats in a week, are too short and new Livingston boss John McGlynn is perfect as a ship steadier.
Elsewhere Alloa are close to value to win at Greenock Morton but are still a bit short of firepower. Dunfermline (13/10) and East Fife (4/1) were the Monday value but both are considerably shorter now. Rangers again appeal on the handicap as the squad is finding form.
My best bet though is Queen of the South at 2/1 to see off Falkirk.
One of my contacts in the Borders tells me this week he is still convinced the Dumfries side are the best side in the Championship. At present, the difficulty of adapting to the new plastic surface and the slightly more cautious style of play sees them off the pace.
They get the perfect opportunity to brush up on the same type of pitch when travelling to Falkirk's Community Stadium, also in its first season. Both clubs may need to improve to figure in the Championship and play-off race.
However, I have a suspicion Queens' squad is stronger and manager Jim McIntyre will hopefully let the handbrake off and allow this talented squad to be more expansive and feel at home on plastic.
2/1 is only a tad over my forecast but if impressive front players Derek Lyle, Michael Paton and Iain Russell can find the net we can start October with a win.
- Colin provides further tips via SCOTFOOTY4PROFIT, a simple, low-cost text and email service, providing quality selections on Scottish football. For full details contact him at: email@example.com.