Twice an All Ireland winner
And a three time All-Star with Meath. We asked Colm O'Rourke about the GAA football action this weekend.
They’re on the road for the first time in a decade but I don’t think one person thinks Laois have a chance on Saturday of stopping the juggernaut that is Dublin football these days. In Ulster there’s an intriguing clash between Monaghan and Down to look forward to on Sunday.
I’ve gone for a 2/1 double of both Down and Laois to cover the handicaps but Paddy’s offering a special on the Dubs which has really caught my eye.
Laois vs Dublin – 7pm Saturday – Live on Sky
Look it. We know that Dublin are good enough to win well away from Croker. Everyone always says that if you take the Dubs away from Croke Park they get vulnerable but it’s simply not true
Laois did get up and running with an impressive victory over Wicklow last week. It’s always nice to start your Championship with a win because it helps you build a little bit of momentum. The problem for Laois is that momentum now comes up against a train. They won’t be able to turn Dublin over but they’ll want to show a bit of fight and not be embarrassed.
Dublin have named the strongest possible team which shows their intention. They’ll win with a bit to spare, but not the 14 points that the handicap offers. Diarmuid Connolly is decent odds of for first goalscorer.
What I’d be more interested in is the specials that Paddy are offering on the Dubs. Dublin to win every Leinster Championship game by 9 or more points is which to me is printing money. The same applies to the All-Ireland market but I’ll wait to see how they do Saturday before calling that.
O’Rourke predicts: Laois to cover the handicap at
Monaghan vs Down – Sunday 2pm – Live on RTE
Longer term for Monaghan there’s a lot of people that are fancying them to cause a bit of damage in the Championship this season. Personally, I don’t think they’ll win Ulster because it’s likely that Tyrone will be waiting on the other half of the draw in the final. Tyrone are Monaghan’s bogey team – they always struggle against the Red Hand.
But they’re a good solid Division One team that got their act together when they needed to. Conor McManus is their main point of attack which will need to be changed soon. Teams have figured out that if you stop McManus, you stop Monaghan.
They’re coming up against a team that was relegated from the division in Down. The Mourne Men have fallen a lot in the last six years since their All-Ireland final appearance in 2010.
Monaghan need to break past an All-Ireland quarter final barrier. They’re not a free scoring team so look for them to beat Down but not beat the handicap. McManus first goalscorer is the way to go as well at odds of.
O’Rourke predicts: Down +4 at odds of