2016/17 marks the fourth season of the Scottish Premiership under it's current guise after the old Scottish Premier League merged with the Scottish Football League to form the Scottish Professional Football League in 2013.
Although the league format is new, it’s done little to disrupt the dominance of Celtic who secured their 46th title when winning the league at a canter last season. The Bhoys only lost 4 games from 38 played and without their Old Firm rivals Rangers around to challenge them, Celtic look as though will continue to dominate the top tier of Scottish football. Bookmakers, such as William Hill, have opened markets which reflect the undoubted dominance of Celtic, the most popular being the option of betting on the league winner without Celtic as a ‘best of the rest’ type option.
As of 2015, Scotland's top flight league championship has been won 54 times by Rangers and, as mentioned before, 46 times by Celtic. Nine other clubs share the honour of winning the remaining 19 championships. The last time the championship was won by a club other than Rangers or Celtic was 1984–85, suggesting that betting on the Scottish Premiership without Celtic is a bit of a no brainer if you want to bet on a league winner.
Leading Scottish League Title Winners
Rangers – 54 Titles
Celtic – 46 Titles
Hearts, Hibs, Aberdeen – 4 Titles
Dumbarton – 2 Titles
Motherwell, Kilmarnock, Dundee, Dundee United, Third Lanark – 1 Title
Aberdeen will once again be expected to provide the main threat to Celtic’s title hopes, while Inverness Caledonian Thistle, St. Johnstone and Dundee United are likely to battle it out to secure a European spot for next season.
Scottish teams are only allocated three European places due to their ranking in the European coefficient table, though Celtic will need to make it through the play-offs to reach the Group Stage of the Champions League. It's a similar story in the Europa League for last season's runners-up and fourth-placed sides Aberdeen and St Johnstone, while Scottish Cup winners Inverness CT enter the competition in the second qualifying round.
Although the name of the division may have changed, the format remains the same in the Scottish top flight. As well as the top three gaining a place in Europe, the bottom club will be relegated to the Scottish Championship, while the side that finishes 11th will have to compete in the Scottish Premiership play off if they are to retain a place in the top division.
The Scottish Premiership is unlike most top flight divisions when it comes to its fixture schedule. The first 33 rounds of fixtures follow a typical league structure however, on the 34th round the league splits into two sections of six teams each with teams playing every other team in their section once. The exact matches are determined upon the league table at the time of the split. This is unusual because it means that after 38 games the team that finishes 7th in the table could finish the season with a higher points total than the team that finishes 6th in the league.
Scottish Premiership Goalscorer Betting
Despite Celtic's domination, it was Aberdeen's Adam Rooney that topped the scoring charts with 18 goals last season and the former Stoke striker will be hoping to put in some more impressive diplays for the Dons this season, so can be readily considered for First Goalscorer betting.
Celtic's Leigh Griffiths and Dundee Utd's Nadir Çiftçi were tied on 14-a-piece, while Greg Stewart of Dundee found the back of the net 13 times. Hamilton Academical pair Anthony Andreu and Ali Crawford were among the others to get into double figures along with Motherwell's John Sutton, Inverness' Billy McKay, Ross County's Liam Boyce and Celtic's Kris Commons.
It’s no surprise that the Scottish Premiership top scorer market is yet another one that is dominated by Celtic, with Commons joined by Leigh Griffiths, Nadir Çiftçi and Anthony Stokes among the favourites to win the golden boot with most bookmakers. Adam Rooney looks to be the most viable option for those betting on the award not heading to Celtic Park.