Football tips: The 3 best bets for Scotland v Austria

Paddy's top tipster Shane O'Brien has three top picks for when Scotland face Austria [19.45]

Andrew Roberston Scotland Steve Clarke Julian Baumgartlinger Martin Hinteregger Austria

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*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widget, while in-copy odds are accurate at the time of publication but subject to change

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Short-price punt: Under 2.5 goals

Scotland’s recent goalscoring record doesn’t exactly scream excitement. Only one of their last eight games has seen more than 2.5 goals – and that was against a Czech Republic side badly depleted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Five of Scotland’s last eight games have involved one goal or less, while they failed to score more than one goal in seven of their eight games in 2020. It isn’t exactly surprising, considering Scotland’s best players are predominately defenders, and there is no reason to think that Thursday night will be any different from last year.

Thursday, 19.45: Scotland v Austria
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Austria, meanwhile, have been involved in four 1-0s and one 0-0 in their last 11 games, while they conceded just nine goals in 10 games during their European qualifiers in 2019. Scotland were involved in several cagey games last year and Thursday night should be no different.

Value Bet: Austria to win

Scotland have an excellent opportunity to qualify for their first World Cup in 24 years and it is imperative that they get off to a good start against Austria on Thursday.

The Scots will look to build on their recent qualification for Euro 2021 in a very even group containing Austria and Denmark. In the absence of one of Europe’s big-hitters, Scotland have a real chance to qualify automatically for the World Cup in Qatar.

However, Austria and Denmark will look upon this group in a similar light and are unquestionably better teams than Scotland. Austria, for example, are fresh from a successful Nations League campaign that saw them top a group containing Norway, Romania, and Northern Ireland.

Scotland, on the other hand, lost two successive games against Israel and Slovakia to throw away promotion to the top tier of the Nations League. Their qualification for the upcoming European championships must also be taken with a pinch of salt considering they relied on penalties to get past a poor Israel side and a disappointing Serbian outfit.

They have come a long way under Steve Clarke, but they still have a lot of improvements to make and could struggle in this vital opener.

Long Shot: Austria to win 1-0

Scotland suffered successive 1-0 defeats as their bid to gain promotion to the top tier of the Nations League disappeared in a cloud of smoke. Goalscoring is a real issue for Steve Clarke’s side, who have now failed to score in three of their last eight matches and six of their last seven defeats.

Austria, meanwhile, have not exactly been prolific themselves, scoring just five goals in their last six away games. However, they did win all three away fixtures in their Nations League campaign last year, including two 1-0 wins, and should carry enough threat to score at least once in Scotland.

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widget, while in-copy odds are accurate at the time of publication but subject to change

Scotland v Austria bet summary – Thursday, March 25

Short-price punt: Under 2.5 goals
Value Bet: Austria to win
Long Shot: Austria to win 1-0

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