Total points under 39.5 – 8/13
The Division 1 league champions suffered their first scare of the summer last Sunday grinding out an exciting draw, however it was Mayo who needed the equaliser and Bryan Sheehan had a chance to win it all from a 55-metre free in the final minute of added time.
Jack Barry was a surprise omission from the drawn encounter and could be used from the start on this occasion, while Jonathan Lyne is another who is fancied to start.
James O’Donoghue has been struggling to regain top form and Paul Geaney remains the Kingdom’s chief scoring threat. The Dingle man has scored 1-20 in four championship clashes – an average of 5.8 points per game.
There were eyebrows raised everywhere when Aidan O’Shea galloped into full-back to mark Kieran Donaghy in the drawn encounter last Sunday and it is hard to believe that those two will come face-to-face on this occasion as the imposing Kerry attacker was involved in 2-4 of his side’s 2-14.
The Mayo full-forward line of Andy Moran (1-5), Cillian O’Connor (0-4) and Jason Doherty (0-1) contributed 1-10 between them, while Colm Boyle sneaked forward to get their second goal.
Cillian O’Connor is the top scorer in the championship so far with 3-53 in eight games – an average of 7.8 points per game.
Verdict: Eamonn Fitzmaurice underestimated Mayo’s full-forward line last Sunday, but do not expect the Kerry boss to make the same mistake twice and the knock-on effect could be a lower scoring, less entertaining encounter.
If Kerry do deploy a sweeper on this occasion, Andy Moran and Jason Doherty will not be allowed to do as much damage as they did in the drawn encounter.
Apart from Aidan O’Shea on Kieran Donaghy, Mayo got most of their match-ups spot on and it is hard to envisage the Kingdom scoring more than they did last week. Will all that in mind, it would be surprising to see as many scores as last Sunday (40 points in total), so backing the alternative handicap under 39.5 points looks the best bet on the coupon.
Under 1.5 Goals – 9/4
Kerry’s full-back line looked awful last Sunday, but it is worth remembering that they kept two clean sheets in their previous three championship outings and expect big improvement in that department for the replay with more protection for Shane Enright and Killian Young.
Mayo did not concede a goal against Sligo, Galway, Clare or Roscommon and both of Kerry’s goals last Sunday came directly from individual errors from Mayo players.
Expect both teams to be more cagey on this occasion and under 1.5 match goals is a very attractive wager.
Tyrone to win – 5/2
The All-Ireland champions, who are chasing three-in-a-row, can call upon the services of star attacker Diarmuid Connolly should Jim Gavin wish as the St Vincent’s forward is free to play following a suspension from their clash with Carlow.
Dublin have won all their games by nine points or more with Kildare getting closest to them in the Leinster final. Con O’Callaghan has been a revelation this term, as has Paul Mannion, while Dean Rock is the Dubs top scorer with 3-19 in four outings – an average of seven points per game.
Mickey Harte’s men defended their Ulster crown with the minimum of fuss, registering comfortable wins over Derry (0-22 to 0-11), Donegal (1-21 to 1-12) and Down (2-17 to 0-15). They translated that form to the All-Ireland quarter-final where they blitzed Armagh on a scoreline of 3-17 to 0-8.
The pace of Niall Sludden and Mark Bradley has complimented the hard work and aggression of the Cavanagh brothers. So, Mickey Harte now has a side capable of competing with the very best.
Verdict: Tyrone caused Dublin all sorts of problems when the sides met at Croke Park in the National League and were five points in front at one stage in the second-half.
It ended in a draw, but the fact that Tyrone were able to hold the Dubs to 0-2 in 38 minutes of football suggests that they might have the All-Ireland champions sussed.
The aforementioned Mannion and O’Callaghan have been Dublin’s two shining lights up front this summer, but Gavin’s men have faced nothing like Tyrone’s tenacious defense and could struggle.
Tyrone have perfected their system and have the ability to frustrate Dublin. An upset could be on the cards.
Niall Sludden to score the first goal – 16/1
Niall Sludden’s pace posed Dublin all sorts of problems during the sides’ stalemate in the league and he looks great value at 16-1 to get the first goal of the game.
He got three points from play during that aforementioned February encounter and did serious damage against Donegal in the Ulster semi-final too.
The stage is set for Sludden to prove himself to be one of the best attackers around and his direct style of play could really hurt Dublin.
* All odds correct at time of posting.