Pete’s Picks – Sunday’s Live GAA Analysis & Tips
With some cracking games and provincial finals to look forward to on Sunday, we sink our teeth into some analysis and attempt to find some value.
Monaghan v Donegal, Football, RTÉ, 2pm
Monaghan have impressed hugely this season. Having kept one eye on them since producing a noteworthy performance against Cork in the National Football League Division 1 regular-season encounter in Castleblayney, the Farney Army have continued to grow in the estimation of this writer.
Malachy O’Rourke’s side are 5/2 to engineer a match-winning total in the Ulster SFC final in Clones.
Donegal, of course, provide the opposition in Clones and can be supported at BoyleSports’ 4/9 to land a fourth provincial title in five renewals.
That quote is quite stingy, however as, more accurately, Donegal, based on their uninspiring display against Derry, should really be posted in the 8/11 to 4/6 region.
Rory Gallagher’s men are favourites, and understandably so as they have negotiated a difficult passage extremely efficiently, but they are not a 4/9 shot by any means.
Monaghan, it must be remembered, are, for example, one of only three sides to deny Dublin a goal in a competitive game this season alongside Cork and Derry.
O’Rourke’s unit did concede a major to Jim Gavin’s charges in a less significant regular-season league tie but kept a clean sheet against them in the secondary competition semi-final, a game they only lost by a point, 0-17 to 0-16.
Additionally, this is Monaghan’s third Ulster final whereby Donegal are the opposition in as many years having triumphed in the 2013 edition.
Furthermore, last March 8, in Letterkenny, Monaghan defeated Donegal 0-9 to 1-4 in the League. People will argue the League and Championship are worlds apart. Of course, that theory is valid, to a point.
Still, all of the recent evidence suggests Monaghan are not a side that fear tackling Donegal and their performance should make a mockery of the match-betting prices.
Monaghan @ 5/2
Mayo v Sligo, Football, RTÉ, 4pm
If this Connacht SFC final was taking place in either Castlebar or Salthill, venues of an expansive nature that allow dynamic runners to flourish, I would be all over Mayo to cover the seven-point handicap-betting deficit.
However, Mayo-Sligo clashes, particularly in the tight confines of Dr Hyde Park, normally represent awkward hurdles for the former county to overpower.
Mayo are 1/10 and will win. Sligo can be backed at 15/2 and the draw is 14/1.
Bettors will latch on to the five-in-a-row-chasing outfit led by Noel Connolly and Pat Holmes to dismiss the Division 3 side by at least eight points.
Yet, at a shade of odds-against, I would much rather back Mayo to raise at least two green flags at 11/10 and have a much less flamboyant punt on them scoring over 2.5 goals at 7/2.
They only have nine goals in eight League and Championship matches this year but did score 12 in six Championship matches in 2014 including four in two games against would-be All-Ireland champions Kerry so are capable of finding the net regularly.
Mayo Over 1.5 Total Goals @ 11/10
Mayo Over 2.5 Total Goals @ 7/2