Scottish Premiership Most Profitable Clubs Betting - Which Teams Can You Make a Profit Betting On?

Updated: 174 Football

Scottish Premiership Most Profitable Clubs Betting - Which Teams Can You Make a Profit Betting On?
Dan Tracey Data Scientist and Football Editor

Writer, analyst, podcaster, Spurs fan. Three out of four is not bad. If there is a data angle, I will find it.

The fact remains and will always remain that betting blindly on one club to win each time they play is not a good betting strategy, however, as one might expect, some teams will perform better over the course of a period of time than others, and throw in a couple of shocks and you might find profit to be had with bookmakers.

Backing Scottish Football Teams Blind!

Betting on one club to win each time is not wise! But consider long-term performance📈, unexpected upsets🎭 and potentially boost your winnings💰. We've analyzed odds & results from Scottish Premiership to offer insights. Stay tuned!

We have taken a look at results and odds in the Scottish Premiership to come up with some data sets showing just what return you would have gotten from backing a team to win blind in every game.

2022/23 SEASON RESULTS

Team Units Winnings Profit ROI
St Mirren 38 46.9 8.9 23.42%
St Johnstone 38 45.8 7.8 20.53%
Aberdeen 38 41.92 3.92 10.32%
Celtic 38 39.55 1.55 4.08%
Rangers 38 39.52 1.52 4.00%
Motherwell 38 39.13 1.13 2.97%
Hibernian 38 35.97 -2.03 -5.34%
Livingston 38 34.25 -3.75 -9.87%
Ross County 38 29.92 -8.08 -21.26%
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Here we can see that the usual Glasgow duopoly has been broken, and it is St Mirren who have earned the crown of being the most profitable club from a betting point of view. The SMISA Stadium outfit managed an impressive top half finish, and home performances put punters in the black.

While the main reason that St Mirren finds themselves as the kings of betting profitability is due to picking up a home win over Celtic. Even with home advantage being given away, the Hoops would have been favourites to come out on top.

Unfortunately for the manager Ange Postecoglou, his Celtic side would slip up at the hands of St Mirren. Odds of 16/1 before kick-off, and not only would three points be earned but it would eventually lead to a 23.42% return on investment at the end of the season.

Breaking the Glasgow Duopoly

St Mirren - the surprising king of betting profitability👑! A top half finish & home performances got punters smiling😄. Their betting win moment? Beating Celtic - the favourites, leading to an amazing 23.42% season ROI!💰

While that success over the eventual 2022/23 champions would be enough to pip St Johnstone to the top spot, however, they also managed their own Old Firm scalp at home and this would also give their overall profitability a sizeable boost.

Not only did St Johnstone claim the scalp of Rangers in front of their own support, but it also signalled the final days of Giovanni van Bronckhorst as manager of the Glasgow giants. Odds of 9/1 before kick-off, three massive points for the McDiarmid Park men.

Those three points would boost St Johnstone’s profitability at the same time. If you spent £38 on individual £1 bets across the season, you would eventually end up with £45.80 – a 20.53% return on investment.

Aberdeen finished third in the table and also third when it comes to profitability. The Pittodrie outfit reached a nadir when sixth-tier Darvel dumped them out in the Scottish Cup, they would eventually resurrect their season under current boss Barry Robson.

An impressive run of results at the back end of the campaign would see £41.92 in the coffers come the final day. A profit of £3.92 was recorded and still enough to generate just over 10% return on your investment.

Aberdeen: Profitability Runner Up

In spite of early Scottish Cup exit, Aberdeen's season was saved⏳ by boss Barry Robson, ending with £41.92 in the coffers💰. A small but sweet profit of £3.92 presents over 10% ROI! 📈

While we cannot overlook the Glasgow giants either. Both of them recorded profit at the end of the season. Only 3p was the difference between the two, the green and white half of the city were up by 4.08%, the blue counterparts were up by 4.00% 

Of course, the Scottish Premiership is different in terms of the way it is set up and with an end-of-table split being put in place, it allowed Motherwell to mop up four wins from the last five on offer and, therefore, give them an easy way to boost their profits.

Thanks to that late-season flurry, the Fir Park outfit just managed to find themselves in the black as opposed to the red. 12 points from the last 15 that were on offer would mean a 2.97% return on overall investment come the final day. 

HOW TO LOSE MONEY QUICKLY

Of course, for every winning the story some have lost out and when you look at Dundee United, they have lost out in the most significant way of all. Relegated to the Scottish Championship for 2023/24, a significant loss on any £38 investment – one to more than a third.

A £38 outlay would only return £25.25 and with your pockets being £12.75 lighter, this would represent a 33.55% loss for anyone who decided they wanted to back the struggling Tannadice side week in and week out.

Dundee United: A Lesson in Losses💔

Relegated to Scottish Championship 2023/24, Dundee United stands as a major betting flop. A £38 outlay only delivered £25.25 back, lightening pockets by £12.75💸. A stark 33.55% loss for die-hard Tannadice backers. 😢

Things were not a great deal better of Hearts. They may have finished fourth in the table but this is largely considered the club with the third biggest budget in the division and with a third place finish guaranteeing some form of European group stage football in 2023/24, the Jam Tarts came unstuck.

Not only have they given up a guaranteed £2m in continental prize money but they also gave up £9.22 via our betting methodology. Backing Hearts to win would see you lose nearly a quarter of your overall investment funds. 

⚽ Hearts & Hibernian 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿: Hearts finish 4th, Hibernian placed 5th📊. Both failed to return profit after 38 games🎲, but Hibernian, despite the losses, did best among the six underperforming teams. £38 out, just £35.97 back in - a narrow miss!🔻

DRAWING THE COMPARISONS 

Team ROI Profit Rank League Rank Difference
Hearts -24.26% 11 4 7
Celtic 4.08% 4 1 3
Rangers 4.00% 5 2 3
Hibernian -5.34% 7 5 2
Aberdeen 10.32% 3 3 0
Livingston -9.87% 8 8 0
Kilmarnock -23.29% 10 10 0
Dundee United -33.55% 12 12 0
Motherwell 2.97% 6 7 -1
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While another way to measure the success of these clubs or the lack thereof, is by looking at how the ranks in the end-of-season profit table compare against the final positions in the 2022/23 Scottish Premiership.

Hearts are the team that has the biggest disparity between where they finished and how profitable they were across the course of the season. Fourth in the overall standings, second bottom when it comes to profitability – a difference of seven places.

Next up is the Glasgow rivals Celtic and Rangers, you could hardly split them regarding their overall profitability. Their first and second places in the Scottish Premiership saw fourth and fifth in their profit ranks. Both clubs recorded a difference of three places.

No less than four clubs recorded parity when it came to their league and profit rankings. Aberdeen were third in both, the same could be said for Livingston in eighth, Kilmarnock in 10th and Dundee United in 12th.

The team with the most positive swing between league placing and profit ranking was St Johnstone. They may have only finished ninth in last season’s Scottish Premiership, as we now know they were the second most profitable club when using our betting methodology. 

One thing to note before concluding is that the Scottish Premiership when disregarding Celtic and Rangers is an incredibly volatile league and with the other teams in the division easily capable of taking points off each other, it can make betting on the competition something of a minefield.

This means if you were to follow this system, then the key to profitability is hoping that the giants of the Scottish game have an off day and if they do, the road to end-of-season profit becomes very much on.

2021/22 SEASON RESULTS

Can you back one single team every week in the Scittish premiership for a whole season and earn a profit at the end of the season by doing so? That is the question we have posed ourselves and not only have we posed this question, but we have posed it 12 times over.

Here we look at the Scottish Premiership results from the 2021/22 season and retrospectively place £1 stakes on each game. While in doing so, we will then see which teams generated a profit using this system.


Team Units Winnings Profit ROI
Livingston 38 44.65 6.65 17.50%
Dundee United 38 44.64 6.64 17.47%
Celtic 38 40.05 2.05 5.39%
Rangers 38 36.68 -1.32 -3.47%
Motherwell 38 34.51 -3.49 -9.18%
Hearts 38 34.4 -3.6 -9.47%
Ross County 38 30.85 -7.15 -18.82%
St Mirren 38 28.57 -9.43 -24.82%
St Johnstone 38 25.5 -12.5 -32.89%
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Here we can see that the usual Glasgow duopoly has been broken and if goal difference can decide league titles, then as single penny can decide this. Because with Livingstone returning £44.65 in terms of winnings, David Martindale’s men came out on top by the narrowest of margins.

A margin that saw Dundee United having to make do with second in the table and with an outlay of £38, their winnings of £44.64 would have meant a 17.47% return on any investment made (Livingston’s would be 17.5%)

The reason that these two sides have defied the natural order of Scottish football, is due to the earning of unlikely home wins and when it comes to the Premiership, that can only mean getting the better of Celtic or Rangers.

Something that Livingston achieved early in the season, as they got the better of Celtic by a goal to nil and in doing so, made life rather difficult for new boss Ange Postecoglou and a similar feat was recorded at Tannadice by Dundee United.

With Tam Courts being something of a surprise appointment in this half of Dundee, he quickly repaid his faith in the United board by masterminding a win over Rangers and in doing so, made some early profit for investors.

Although the top two teams are largely unfancied, we cannot say the same about the team in third. A team that not only went on to win the championship but also returned £40.05 worth of winnings after a £38 outlay.

A positive return of £2.05 and a 5.39% return on investment at the end of the season, positivity that was not achieved over the road at Ibrox and with their rivals failing to retain their league title from the season before, they also failed to generate any profit in this system.

With a managerial change during the season, as Steven Gerrard departed for Aston Villa, it was down to Giovanni Van Bronckhorst to take the reins and although he led his charges to the Europa League final, it was also second best on the continent.

With £38 spent on their domestic tussles, Rangers generated winnings of £36.68. A return which meant a £1.32 loss at the end of the season and -3.47% when it comes to trying to find a return on your investment. 

Of course, the Scottish Premiership is different in terms of the way it is setup and with an end of table split being put in place, it allowed Livingston to mop up three wins from the last five on offer and therefore, give them an easy way to boost their profits.

Although the same could be said for Dundee United – although their price boost was arguably more impressive, as they found themselves in the top half of the table. Two more wins from their last five fixtures would have certainly aided their winnings at the end of the season.

HOW TO LOSE MONEY QUICKLY

Then again, the same positivity could not be exuded across Dundee and with their crosstown rivals having only generated £21.42 in winnings, the eventually relegated side would also lead to a -43.63% return on investment.

A figure that is not the biggest surprise when you consider Dundee’s form across the campaign and although such a negative return is perhaps to be expected, the same cannot be said about Aberdeen.

With £21.32 in winnings, the team that started the season being managed by Stephen Glass and finished with Jim Goodwin at the helm, was tipped for a European place by most of the bookmakers beforehand.

Which meant their eventual 10th finish was a largely forgettable and although they just avoided the relegation play-off fixture with Inverness Caledonian Thistle, they could not avoid finishing bottom of the profit table with a -43.89% ROI.

If the picture was gloomy in Aberdeen, it was not much brighter in Edinburgh and although Hearts’ -9.47% ROI can be considered respectable – especially as they were a promoted side, Hibernian at -41.05% is nearing a disaster.

DRAWING THE COMPARISONS

Team ROI Profit Rank League Rank Difference
Hearts -9.47% 6 3 3
Rangers -3.47% 4 2 2
Hibernian -41.05% 10 8 2
Celtic 5.39% 3 1 2
Aberdeen -43.89% 12 10 2
Ross County -18.82% 7 6 1
Motherwell -9.18% 5 5 0
St Mirren -24.82% 8 9 -1
Dundee -43.63% 11 12 -1
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While another way to measure the success of these clubs or the lack thereof is by looking at how the ranks at the end-of-season profit table compare against the final positions in the 2021/22 Scottish Premiership

Unsurprisingly it is Livingston and Dundee United who have the biggest positive swings when comparing profit rank to their league equivalent and especially the former, as they are six positions better off.

Then again, Dundee United will have plenty of reasons to be cheerful and although this system proved profitable last season, if you were to carry out the same at the start of 2022/23, the story would certainly not be the same. 

With these two and Celtic being the only team to generate overall profits, we should highlight the club with the largest negative swing between profit and league rank comparison and this unwanted accolade goes to Hearts.

After finishing third in the table and eventually securing a berth in the Europa Conference League, they did not have the same success when it comes to profitability, and they were actually three places worse off.

One thing to note before concluding is that the Scottish Premiership when disregarding Celtic and Rangers is an incredibly volatile league and with the other teams in the division easily capable of taking points off each other, it can make betting on the competition something of a minefield.

This means if you were to follow this system, then the key to profitability is hoping that the giants of the Scottish game have an off day and if they do, the road to end-of-season profit becomes very much on.

Methodology and Editorial Information

This article was researched and fact-checked by Dan Tracey who also then added the words - Dan is a multi-talented writer, data analyst and podcaster whose six-year career in the sports data sphere has seen incredible successes. From helping UEFA create their annual technical reports to writing articles for Sports Betting Websites, including sites like TheLinesUS and Goal

Data from  https://www.football-data.co.uk/ 

METHODOLOGY

  • £1 stakes
  • £1 goes on each team to win their Scottish Premiership fixture, of which they are 228 in total
  • If that team wins the game, their profit is logged and tallied up
  • If either team draws or loses, a return of £0 is recorded
  • With each team playing 38 matches each, we will then observe the overall profit/loss for each.

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