Back to the drawing board this week.

And by drawing board, I mean the Crayola colouring-in book. Wee Fiver has had enough of my French experiment and has told me to forget it. "Remember the days when you could lose money with your own ill-conceived ideas, daddy?" he asked as Paris St-Germain foiled a near 4-1 double last weekend. "Yes," I replied plaintively. "Well, I could hold my head up high then," he countered. "Now I get bullied at nursery for my daddy being a plagiarist."

It's an expensive nursery. I spend almost as much on fees as I lose to bookmakers. Almost.

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Somewhat annoyingly, my four-year-old had a point, though. I've been using someone else's system for the past three weeks and something hasn't felt right about it. Not least because it keeps costing me money. So I'm preparing to go back to a straightforward gut approach.


The Scottish Cup quarter-finals present a decent opportunity to right a month of wrongs and I'm looking specifically at you, Dundee United. Jackie McNamara takes his side to Inverness tomorrow for a rerun of the bad-tempered last-eight meeting in the League Cup that resulted in Nadir Ciftci serving a two-match suspension for a tangle with assistant referee Gavin Harris. There was a sense of injustice that night back in October yet much has changed since. United took a modicum of revenge by thumping Terry Butcher's Hibernian two Friday nights ago. Butcher was, of course, the Inverness manager who oversaw United's cup exit. The Highlanders have since gone on to reach their first senior final under the stewardship of John Hughes but they don't appear to be anywhere near as potent as they were with Butcher at the helm.

Meanwhile, United have started to find form again following a sticky patch. Rumours that next season's kit will include a built-in hoody are unfounded, as are claims that the club will be sponsored by ASBO, but United's kids have certainly been making a nuisance of themselves and there is enough reason to believe that at 19/10 with Skybet they are worth the punt.

Elsewhere, it's hard to find value at Ibrox where Rangers take on Albion Rovers while Aberdeen at home to Dumbarton looks to be a home banker. St Johnstone are 4/5 at Stark's Park where they take on Raith Rovers and it is perhaps here that we should take closer inspection. Historically, the Perth side have a good record against their Championship opponents with 42 wins from 94 total meetings - a record that includes eight cup victories from 18 meetings. Yes, Tommy Wright's side have one of the worst away records in the top flight but it is nullified somewhat by Raith's struggles at home - they have managed just one victory in six, with three defeats.


Dundee United are too good to ignore, not least given the manner of their performance against Hibernian, and, while it could be argued that the draw is a possibility in Fife, St Johnstone should have too much savvy for their lower-league opponents. The double pays 4.22/1


It's been a rough few weeks and true to form the under/over 2.5 goals bet found a way to lose last week with PSG-Marseille falling short of the over 2.5 goals by one. Typically, it was the first week I'd decided to include an over bet having gone under the spread in three successive weeks. The total is -£91.73.