Donegal And Mayo Worthy Favourites For Championship Clashes
With high-profile Championship games comes greater value in the betting markets and that is certainly the case as Armagh meet Donegal in the Ulster Senior Football Championship and Galway host Mayo in the Connacht equivalent.
Donegal and Mayo are two of the sides regularly involved at the business end of the All-Ireland series in the last few years and are both favourites to advance to their provincial semi-final and final respectively again in this renewal.
Armagh v Donegal, Sunday 2pm, live on RTE 2
Yet, life is unlikely to be so straightforward for the former unit in the Athletic Grounds.
All week, GAA folk across the country have referred to the All-Ireland quarter-final between Armagh and Donegal last year and illustrated how the latter forged a winning path from a losing position in the closing moments of that encounter at Croke Park.
Presently, BoyleSports are laying Armagh at 40/1 for All-Ireland glory which is the very best price in the industry.
In fact, Kieran McGeeney’s team are essentially viewed as being roughly four times less likely than 11/1 shots Donegal to lift Sam Maguire.
Yet, is there really that much quality separating the sides? Are Donegal close to four times the team Armagh are currently? I would argue not irrespective of what has gone on in previous seasons.
The beauty of the Championship is that it is all about the here and now and even though statistics and records are important they tend to be more relevant when discussing matches outside of the Ulster SFC.
Counties such as Tyrone and Donegal have dominated in the North but there are always ties crop up that are less likely to follow ‘form’ patterns and this could be one such game.
In contrast, and even though Galway are genuinely developing, it is hard to counter BoyleSports’ stance that Mayo are the worthy favourites to land another blow to their most storied rivals in the west.
Mayo, both physically and psychologically, are a more advanced unit than Kevin Walsh’s side.
Joint-managers Noel Connolly and Pat Holmes will be extremely keen to ensure Mayo retain their provincial title en route to desired All-Ireland success.
In relation to the Armagh-Donegal clash, it just seems McGeeney’s side are overpriced at 2/1 to post a match-winning total and are backed to lower their rivals’ mast in the Athletic Grounds.
The Orchard County are really a 6/4 shot and so punters are snatching the market value. Are Donegal justifiably favourites to go on and face Derry? Probably so. However, are they a 4/7 chance? That’s debatable.
Galway v Mayo, Sunday 4pm, live on RTE 2
Also, Mayo appear to be a sound bet to cover the two-point handicap at 10/11 against Galway.
Mayo have beaten the Tribesmen in the Championship the last twice by a combined total of 7-30 to 0-27 which is an incredible statistic including 17 and seven-point victories respectively.
Lastly, given Mayo are generally a goalscoring machine, take BoyleSports’ 13/8 that they score over 1.5 goals as well in Pearse Stadium.
Opportunities will be created and their attacking arsenal is absolutely lethal.
Armagh To Beat Donegal @ 2/1
Total Mayo Goals – Over 1.5 @ 13/8
Mayo (-2) @ 10/11
*Prices correct at time of publication