This is the time of year when many sports bettors get lulled into a false sense of security. Simply put, there’s not much going on at the moment. This is one of the reasons why I’ve always gravitated toward what many consider ‘obscure’ sports and competitions–I don’t want to fall into any bad habits. It’s easy to get complacent if not downright lazy during the Summer and this makes it exceptionally difficult to ‘change gears’ once sports start hitting the board hard and fast over the next couple of months.
Soccer is a perfect example. With the Copa America and the U21 Euro over there’s not much in the way of high profile football on the board at the moment. This will change dramatically in a couple of weeks. The English Premier League starts play in early August with the rest of the major European leagues quickly following suit. Soccer presents a unique handicapping challenge since there’s just so much of it on the board from leagues and competitions all over the world. Once you lose your ‘rhythm it’s hard to regain it.
One of the more interesting soccer competitions underway right now is the Scottish League Cup, a competition comprised of all Scottish Professional Football League teams. It’s also called the Betfred Cup for branding purposes but the competition itself dates back to 1946 and is considered to be the second most important tournament in Scotland behind the Scottish Cup which will start up in August and is sponsored by William Hill. The field consists of eight groups of five teams which includes all Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) clubs as well as the top teams from the Highland Football League and the Lowland Football League. The match we’re discussing here involves the Highland Football League champions Cove Rangers. Teams playing in Champions League and Europa League qualifiers get a bye into the second round.
Dundee FC reached the knockout stage of last year’s tournament but were almost immediately eliminated. They’ll want to improve upon that performance this time around. They had no problem with the Raith Rovers in the opening match of this competition winning 3-0. Cove Rangers put up a nice fight before succumbing to Scottish League Two side Peterhead 2-1. The Cove Rangers are not delusional about their place in the Scottish football hierarchy though they do like to put up a strong effort against stronger competition. That being said, they’ve lost four of their last five in Scottish League Cup group competition.
Look for Dundee United to control possession and leave with a workmanlike yet convincing win.