THE PARS host table-toppers Ross County on Saturday and three points are a must if they want to stay within hailing distance of the play-offs.

The bookmakers give Athletic a higher probability of winning the game than the respective league positions would imply: they are 9/5 (Boylesports), a draw 5/2 (Bet365) and the Staggies 8/5 (Hills). However, County are not exactly bombproof with their two most recent away performances being a defeat at Morton and a thumping by Queen of the South. Dunfermline might have mustered only two home wins all season but under new management they could improve sufficiently to take something from this game.

Prediction: Dunfermline 1 Ross Co 1.

Most neutrals will be gladdened to see Kilmarnock putting pressure on the Old Firm sides at the top of the Scottish Premiership and they will be hoping to see off Hearts tomorrow (Friday) night to continue the momentum (BT Sport 1, 7.45pm). Killie are 11/8, a draw 23/10 (Betway) and the Jambos 11/5. Rangers host relegation-haunted St Mirren on Saturday (3pm) and the layers see this contest as a formality. The ’Gers are 1/6 (Skybet), a draw 15/2 and the Buddies 20/1 (both prices Betfair Sportsbook).

Celtic will complete the second game of their double-header with St Johnstone when they travel up to McDiarmid Park on Sunday (Sky Sports Football, 12.30pm). Saints, lying in sixth place, are having a decent season but are 8/1 (Betfair Sportsbook) to provide an upset. The Bhoys are 4/11 and it is 4/1 that the points are shared.

Rugby’s Six Nations Championship starts this weekend with all the matches being shown on terrestrial television. There are an abundance of markets to choose from; the outright market has Ireland at 4/5, England 4/1 (Betfair Sportsbook), Wales 11/2, Scotland 18/1, France 22/1 (all Spreadex) and Italy 1000/1.

You can bet on outcomes such as total tournament tries, top point-scoring nation (Scotland are 10/1 with Betvictor) and total wins – in Scotland’s case the prices are: two 7/4 (Unibet),; three 11/4 (Unibet), one 5/1 (Paddy Power), four 10/1 (Unibet), none 50/1 and five 66/1 (Unibet).

France versus Wales start proceedings tomorrow (Friday) night (BBC1, 8pm) and this clash is figured to be the closest encounter in the entire tournament. France are 21/20 (Betway), Wales evens and a draw 25/1 (Boylesports).

Scotland are 1/25 on to start their campaign with a win over Italy (BBC1, Saturday 2.15pm). The handicap has Scotland at -24 (Paddy Power) or Italy +25 (Bet365), both at even money.

Many people’s idea of the overall champion will come from whoever triumphs in the Ireland versus England game (ITV, Saturday 4.45pm). The Irish are 1/3 (Bet365), England 10/3 (Spreadex) and the draw 33/1 (Boylesports). Ireland are -8 on the handicap at 10/11 and England +9 at evens (Paddy Power).

In a weekend packed with sporting action, America’s big occasion, Superbowl 53, takes place at the Mercedes-Benz stadium in Atlanta on Sunday night (BBC1, kick-off 11.30pm). New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams will battle for glory in what is expected to be a closely-fought contest: New England are 3/4 to emerge victorious and LA 6/5. The point spread (handicap) is set at -2.5 in favour of the Patriots and if you shop around, total points are either over 56 or under 56.5.

Many individual performances have also been chalked up, such as first/last or anytime touchdown scorer; receiving yards for nominated players and passing yards for the respective quarterbacks.

The game ought to be tight and it would be folly to write off the Rams, who have an excellent running game and their defence has stepped up considerably in the post regular season play-off matches. For this reason, with time expected to be taken off the clock each time LA get possession, reaching 56 points looks a tough ask and going under that mark is the play. Tip: Under 56.5 points at 10/11 (Hills/Paddy Power).

Prediction: New England 24 LA Rams 23.