Three against the field: Follow 5/1 Falkirk in Scottish Division One

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Despite being relegated from the SPL fairly emphatically last season, gathering just 30 points and half of those during a doomed scramble across the final 10 games, Dundee are 6/4 favourites to win Scottish Division One.

A statistical scour of the field suggests that the correct strategy for playing this market begins by dodging the frontrunners. The only side to instantly reassume top-tier status after relegation this century were Inverness CT in 2009/10.

Dundee followed their last demotion in 2004/05 with their worst ever campaign, finishing seventh in the 10-team second tier, and took seven years to resurface in the SPL, and even then as runners-up profiting from Rangers’ enforced relocation to Division Three.

Never in an existence blighted by six prior relegations have they topped the table immediately after dropping into less glamorous surroundings yet Falkirk, their closest rivals in the Scottish Division One title betting, are a long way back at 5/1.

However, while it is incredibly rare for an SPL dropout to rapidly regain their place, recent top-flight experience is a huge advantage in the promotion fight. Five of the last six clubs to go up were in the SPL in the previous 10 years, with 2011/12 champions Ross County the exception.

The three teams fitting that profile this term besides Dundee are Falkirk at 5/1, Livingston at 7/1 and Hamilton at 9/1. That trio proved their enduring competitiveness with top-half showings in 2012/13 and, even in backing the lot, you would be guaranteed a profit if any one triumphs.

If you wish to focus on one though, Falkirk are probably best qualified having come third in each of the last three editions and reached the Scottish Cup semis in April.

They were also the sharpest Division One finishers of anyone besides winners Partick last season, victorious in eight of their final 14 matches.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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