Pete’s Picks – Saturday’s Live GAA Games
The first thing you have to ask yourself when it comes to meetings of counties such as these is this: Do I really trust either side to carry my dough?
Fermanagh v Westmeath, Football, Sky Sports 3, 5pm
And the clinical answer is no, not particularly. Both Fermanagh and Westmeath have many strengths but neither, obviously, can be thought of as serial winners at the highest level.
Pete McGrath’s northerners are the 4/5 match betting favourites to earn a spot in the All-Ireland SFC quarter-finals while their opponents are 11/8. These prices are clearly based on the premise Westmeath’s go-to attacker John Heslin is unavailable for the tie as he is nursing a fractured bone in his heel.
Otherwise, Tom Cribbin’s side would surely be favourites to progress? Heslin scored 0-3 (0-2 frees) of the 0-6 scored by the Lake County outfit in the Leinster final loss to Dublin.
There has been a whole pile of discussion regarding the potential impact of Fermanagh’s Seán Quigley. Yet, Quigley’s application levels can plummet quite quickly if the early plays do not go his way. Equally, he could shine and is the 9/2 market leader to score the first goal.
Still, instead of siding with one of counties in the various match outcome-related markets, backing over 2.5 total match goals at 2/1 represents better value.
Eleven goals in Westmeath’s four Championship games were registered while there was four in Fermanagh’s four Championship outings.
Over 2.5 Total Match Goals @ 2/1
Cork v Kildare, Football, Sky Sports 3, 7pm
The BoyleSports odds-compilers have the main handicap betting line set on this game at five points with Cork 10/11 to win by six or more and Kildare 21/20 to stay within that margin.
Cork should progress from this encounter in Semple Stadium and Brian Cuthbert has made a ruthless statement of intent by leaving out Brian Hurley after the Castlehaven player produced below-par displays in the two contests against Kerry.
However, bettors may find themselves on the edge of their seats having supported the Leesiders -5 right up until the final quarter, and maybe even later.
Kildare have not enjoyed the most productive of seasons and Jason Ryan is under intense pressure from within the county.
Nevertheless, the Lilywhites are no mugs and, at 9/2, may have their backers given there will be question marks of Cork’s collective psychological state until the ball is thrown-in.
In fact, this is probably one game tailored for in-running punters as the opening quarter of the first-half will tell us all we need to know about how Cork have reacted to the body-blow of losing to the Kingdom last Saturday.
In saying that, I like the look, on paper, of the Rebels’ attacking sextet with the addition of Colm O’Driscoll important to counter the likes of Emmet Bolton careering out of Kildare’s half-back line.
Arguably the best idea is to split a stake on Cuthbert’s charges winning by 4-6 points and 7-9 points at odds of 16-5 and 7-2 respectively. Neither of the two matches shown live on Sky Sports on Saturday are worth getting stuck into from a punting perspective as there are far too many imponderables.
Cork To Win By 4-6 Points @ 16-5
Cork To Win By 7-9 Points @ 7-2
*Prices correct at time of publication