Bear in the Square are a GAA tipping duo who share a common love of Junior B and Ciaran McDonald. Our tips are weighted from 1-5 with a five-point stake being our max bet.
The football championship exploded into life last Sunday as Kerry and Mayo could not be separated. With the replay fixed for Saturday and Dublin facing Tyrone on Sunday, it promises to be a feast of football this weekend.
With winners at 5/1, 6/5, 11/10, 10/11 & 5/6 in recent weeks, we have a few interesting selections for this weekend’s action.
Kerry vs Mayo
Looking back at the game, it is hard to believe how poor the Kerry defence was. It can be marketed as rustiness or lack of ‘championship’ minutes but the Kerry defensive display was non-existent.
Their full-back line was taken for 1-10 and this will obviously be a major concern for Éamonn Fitzmaurice.
Mayo, in typical Mayo fashion, should have won but still came close to losing. The major talking point from their performance was the positioning of Aidan O’Shea on Kieran Donaghy.
O’Shea was miles off Donaghy at times and didn’t look overly comfortable operating from full-back. Donaghy had a fine game but it wouldn’t surprise us to see this match up happening again.
Lee Keegan was quite last time out and his dual with Paul Murphy is sure to be another fascinating encounter.
These sides played twice in 2014 and drew on both occasions. Last Sunday finished in another draw so it is hard to ignore a draw this weekend at 8/1. Many shrewd punters will be eyeing this up, but we look elsewhere for our main selection.
With the game set to be another open contest, we can expect to see plenty of goal chances again for both sides. We like the 4/5 available on both teams to score a goal. With Mayo’s direct running style and Kerry’s marquee forwards we can expect plenty of goal mouth action. We will have 3.5 points on this with Paddy Power.
In their eight championship games to date, Mayo have been leading or drawing at half time in six of those games.
It is 8/11 for Mayo +2 at half time and considering how close these games have been we think this has a great chance of coming in. We will have a 2.5 point stake with Paddy Power on this.
Dublin vs Tyrone
The three-in-a-row chasing Dublin team face their biggest challenge of the 2017 season when they face Tyrone on Sunday.
Tyrone play an excellent counter-attacking game and will look to condense the space offered up to the Dublin forward line. Their aim will be to turnover ball and break at pace, and move it through the hands of Peter Harte and Mattie Donnelly.
Jim Gavin and his Dublin team are only two games away from a milestone hat-trick of titles. Star player Diarmuid Connolly is available for selection again after seving a 12-week ban. We don’t expect him to start, but it is likely he will be called upon at some stage.
The positioning of Dublin defender Eric Lowndes at half-forward against Monaghan was a statement of intent from Jim Gavin. He is sure to have had Peter Harte in mind when making this switch.
With the subject of the game set to be about containment, we expect both sides to cancel each other out to a certain extent.
Jim Gavin will be well aware of Tyrone’s counter attaching style and will have his team well drilled. Likewise, Micky Harte will know that the longer Tyrone have the ball in their hands, it will be harder for Dublin to score.
We expect there to be few goal chances in this game and believe the 6/4 available on Under 1.5 goals with Paddy Power is the way to go here. We will have a 1.5pt stake on this.
Bear in the Square, Pundit Arena
Check out the latest episode of The 16th Man, where we looked ahead to all the weekend’s action.