Nobody pulled off better January business in the Ladbrokes SPFL than Heart of Midlothian, with boss Ian Cathro bringing in a number of excellent recruits – nine in total.
And on the back of a month of extremely smart signings and back-to-back drubbings of Rangers and Motherwell – 4-1 and 3-0 respectively – the Ladbrokes News team reckon there’s tons of value in getting on Hearts in the Betting without Celtic market at 14/1.
Firstly, the rookie gaffer has added vital experience to a talented but sometimes disorganised backline, with the rock-solid Aaron Hughes and Greece stalwart Alexandros Tziolis both joining the Tynecastle ranks.
Indeed, it’s in revamping the Hearts backline where he’s been most busy – bringing in no fewer than five defenders – and it’s not difficult to see why, with the 31 goals conceded so far in the Ladbrokes Premiership the only reason his side are currently behind low-scoring Rangers and Aberdeen.
There’s no doubt the Scottish game is a place where fearless and combative defenders thrive, and that’s also clearly factored into Cathro’s judgement, with the imposing Andraz Struna and powerful Greek centre-back Tasos Avlonitis also among his recruits.
At the other end, Esmael Goncalves has already made a big impact coming forward, netting twice at Fir Park last weekend with a pair of tidy sweeping finishes, and looked lively throughout.
But though many faces came through the door last month, that has been offset by the exit of Robbie Muirhead to MK Dons, while Igor Rossi and Alim Ozturk have also been shipped out. This is now very much Cathro’s side, and so far at least, they look to be the real deal.
Having thumped Rangers and Motherwell, they’re now just six points off second spot – and neither the Gers nor Aberdeen are currently looking imperious, despite both being 10/11 in the Betting without Celtic.
Mark Warburton’s men have managed just five points in their last five Ladbrokes Premiership games, while Aberdeen’s winning run ended with defeat at Celtic Park in their last away game.
So now looks the time to lump on Hearts in the Betting without Celtic, at the sizeable price of 14/1.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing