The first round of the football qualifiers start this weekend and we have all your GAA Betting needs covered! With action also in the Leinster and Ulster championships, there are plenty of opportunities to make a few quid this weekend.
Using a 1-5 rating system, with one being a risky bet and five being a certainty, we have our top four bets for the weekend.
Monaghan vs Down – Saturday at 19:00 RTÉ 2
The weekend’s GAA coverage kicks off on Saturday evening with Monaghan taking on Down for a place in the Ulster final. Down were surprise winners of their contest with Armagh, especially after a shaky start where they were lucky to only concede two goals in the first half. The wind was an important factor in their second half display, which saw them grind out their first win over Armagh in 25 years.
Monaghan have chalked up two Ulster Championship wins beating Fermanagh and Cavan to earn them a place in this semi-final. Conor McManus scored the crucial goals in both games with his strike against Cavan particularly impressive, showing great movement in the lead up to the goal. Obviously, he is a key player for this team, but in Jack McCarron, Conor McCarthy and Owen Duffy, the Farney men are building a solid attack around the Clontibret man.
Down gave up numerous goal chances to Aramgh which has to be a worry for manager Eamon Burns, especially after they conceded ten goals during the league. Monaghan have the players to exploit any gifts from the Mourne men and we expect them to run up a big score in the process.
Its 5/6 with Paddy Power for Monaghan to score over 18.5 points and with players like McManus, McCarron and Duffy in such good form, and McCarthy an excellent option off the bench we think they can cover this and suggest a 3.5pt stake.
Offaly vs Cavan – Sunday 18:30
This draw has been tough on Offaly, who are faced with only one week to prepare for a clash with Division 1 side Cavan. Last Saturday they suffered a heavy defeat to neighbours Westmeath, conceding 3-17, finishing with 14 men. In the drawn game the week previously they finished with 13 men so discipline is an issue. Morale is bound to be low and it’s a tough ask having to play a Division 1 side in the first round of the qualifiers.
Cavan were impressive against Monaghan and only for a bit of Conor McManus magic, they might have come away with a draw. Crucially they have had two weeks to prepare for this game which is a huge advantage. Offaly really suffered from the long diagonal ball into John Heslin, so it will be no surprise to see Gearoid McKiernan spend some time at full forward.
Dara McVeity returns to their starting line-up and he is a player of real quality. If Cavan can get ahead early then Offaly heads might drop, giving the Breffni men the chance to tag on scores.
The handicap of Cavan -4 points at 5/6 with Paddy Power looks likely and we will have a 2.5pt stake on that.
There is one other market we like here. Cavan posted the best defensive record in the league, only conceding two goals. Offaly really struggled to create goal chances in their games with Westmeath and with Cavan likely to hold the ball for long periods and operate a tight defensive system, the 7/4 on offer with Boylesports on Offaly not to score a goal looks like a decent bet and we will have a 1.5pt stake on that.
Make sure to check out the latest episode of The 16th Man podcast, where we look ahead to all the weekend’s action.