THE Scottish Cup reaches the last 16 stage this weekend and in each televised tie the lesser-fancied team plays host to an illustrious opponent.

Hamilton and Rangers kick-off proceedings at Saturday lunchtime (Premier Sports, 12.30pm). The Gers are 1/5 to triumph, the Accies 13/1 (Paddy Power) and a draw 5/1. A -2 handicap has the Old Firm outfit at 9/5 (Unibet), Hamilton 6/5 (Skybet) and a tie 3/1.

Rangers have faltered in recent weeks and the Lanarkshire side are probably playing them at a good time. Springing a surprise is perhaps asking a bit much but the Accies can keep it close.

Prediction: Hamilton 1 Rangers 2.

Hearts will not be relishing a trip to League One high-fliers Falkirk on Saturday evening (BBC Scotland, 7.20pm). The Jambos are 4/7 to get the job done at the first time of asking, the Bairns 5/1 (Boylesports) and a draw 16/5 (Hills). The -1 handicap prices are Hearts 31/20 (Unibet), Falkirk 7/5 (Paddy Power) and a tie 11/4 (Bet365/Skybet).

A few weeks ago, a shock was feasible but the Edinburgh side have improved lately and should avoid embarrassment.

Prediction: Falkirk 0 Hearts 2.

BSC Glasgow are the only team outside the top four divisions left in the competition and their reward is a glamour tie with Hibernian (BBC1 Scotland, 12pm). Hibs are 1/7 (Skybet), BSC 22/1 (Paddy Power) and a draw 17/2. The -3 handicap prices are the Hi-Bees 5/2 (Skybet), BSC 21/20 (Bet365) and a tie 7/2 (Bet365).

Prediction: BSC Glasgow 0 Hibernian 3.

Clyde versus Celtic is the final televised game (Premier Sports, Sunday 2pm) and this encounter is expected to be the most one-sided of the lot. Celtic are 1/14 (Boylesports), Clyde 30/1 (Paddy Power) and a draw 12/1 (Paddy Power). The Bully Wee are 5/4 (Boylesports) on a -3 handicap, the Bhoys 6/4 (Paddy Power) and a tie 15/4 (Bet365).

Much will depend on the strength of the side Celtic put out but they are unlikely to be troubled by their League 1 opponents.

Prediction: Clyde 0 Celtic 4.

Scotland and England got off to inauspicious starts to their Six Nations campaign last week, both tumbling to seven-point defeats. Their Calcutta Cup match at Murrayfield on Saturday (BBC1, 4.45pm) is therefore crucial as the loser is almost certainly out of the championship running. Scotland are 3/1, England 1/3 (Skybet/Boylesports) and a draw 28/1 (Bet365/Boylesports). Scotland +9 at 10/11 (Skybet/Paddy Power) or England -8 at 19/20 (Unibet) are the best handicap prices.

Ireland play Wales at Landsdowne Road earlier in the day (ITV, 2.15pm) and are 8/13 (Paddy Power), Wales are 8/5 and a draw 22/1. Both teams are even money with Betway off a -4 handicap.

France host Italy on Sunday (BBC1, 3pm). The Italians were trounced 42-0 by Wales in their first game and consequently France are 1/33 to beat them (Hills). Betway’s even money option for both teams on the handicap at France -26 is likely to be the best way to get a competitive wager on the fixture.