What a weekend of GAA awaits as the championship season races into the month of July. Who would have though that Tipp, Waterford, Kilkenny, Mayo and Donegal would all feature on the same weekend in qualifier action, good luck to you if you predicted that!
We have looked at all available GAA betting markets and have a few nice looking selections from this weekend’s action.
Using a scale of 1-5, with five being a banker, and one being a dodgy bet, Bear in the Square have picked out the best bets of the weekend – and how likely they are to come off.
Donegal vs Longford – Saturday 17:00
After a tough defeat to Tyrone, Donegal will look to get their season back on track when Longford visit Ballybofey on Saturday. The fact the game will be played at home is big advantage to the Tir Chonaill men. Longford manager Dennis Connerton has stressed in the media this week the huge task his side face, and while their record in the qualifiers is good, to win in Ballybofey would be a huge ask.
Worryingly for Longford they have been leaking goals all season conceding no fewer than ten during the National League. Against Laois in the Leinster Championship, they conceded a further four goals while Louth also managed to score a goal against them in their recent qualifier match.
On the other hand Donegal created plenty of goal chances against Tyrone, scoring one but this should have been more were it not for Eoin McHugh’s miss in the first half.
Against Antrim they bagged three goals so the potential is there for Donegal so tag on a few goals Saturday evening. Laois’s Donie Kingston caused huge problems for Longford at full forward and it would be no surprise to see Michael Murphy spend some time in around the house.
Paddy Power has priced Donegal to score over 1.5 goals at 5/4 which we really like the look of and suggest a 2pt stake.
Mayo vs Derry – Saturday 17:00 RTE 2
It’s last chance saloon for Mayo on Saturday when they face Derry in Castlebar. Even though they were down to 14 against Galway, they did have a gale force wind in that second half but were unable to manufacture the scores to get them at least a draw. This is hardly the first time the quality of the Mayo forwards was called into question.
We expect Derry to poise problems for Mayo and by getting numbers back, they will aim to frustrate a counter attacking side, who in the past have found it difficult to break down defensive teams. Mayo come into this with a number of injury concerns with Lee Keegan, Chris Barrett and Ger Cafferkey picking up knocks in club games while Aidan O’Shea is unlikely to start as he is still struggling with injury.
Against Galway, Mayo finished the game with two defenders and a midfielder playing in the six forward positions so squad depth is an issue. With the weather conditions expected to be wet on Saturday this should help ensure the game is tight, and with both teams looking to protect the house it could be a low scoring affair. We can’t see it being a really high scoring game so the Under 35.5pts market available at 5/6 with Paddy Power looks interesting and we will have 3pts on that.
Galway vs Wexford – Sunday 14:00 RTE2
The Davy revolution rolls into HQ on Sunday and no matter how this game goes, huge credit has to go to the Clare man. The people of Wexford are alive once again, wearing their county colours with pride and that alone is great to see. However, the task ahead of them might be a bridge too far.
Galway are now a formidable force who possess a potent forward line with each player capable of doing damage. They are familiar with playing in Croke Park unlike this Wexford team and that has to be a huge advantage. The big pitch will allow Galway space and they will look to get plenty of ball into the dangerous Jason Flynn and Conor Whelan.
The form of these inside forwards has allowed Joe Canning to flourish out the field, playing in space where he is able to come onto breaking ball and pick off points from distance. We admire this Wexford team but this could be one step too far for them and the handicap of Galway -4 at 10/11 looks like a solid selction and we will have 2pts on that.
Check out this week’s episode of The 16th Man podcast, where we were joined by Richie Hogan, Dick Clerkin and Dara O’Cinnéide as we looked ahead to this weekend’s action.