Cavan v Monaghan: Over 31.5 points – 5/6
Monaghan are without Darren Hughes this weekend, their tenacious and ultra-consistent defender, who has been the glue holding their rearguard unit together for most of the last decade. His broken ankle is a big blow to the Farney army whose National League campaign went horribly wrong after their brilliant opening round win over Dublin.
Cavan are dangerous, especially on home soil, but they are still quite a young side and Monaghan might be a bit more streetwise. Cavan’s four matches in last year’s Championship averaged 35 points per game, while Monaghan’s eight outings (forgetting the dreadful defeat to Fermanagh) had an average of 34 points per game, so the best bet on the match coupon could be for over 31.5 points here.
Tipperary v Waterford: Tipperary under 26.5 points – 5/6
Tipperary were back to their brilliant best last Sunday, scoring 2-28 in their impressive victory over Cork, but expect a different type of game at Semple Stadium. If this turns into another high-scoring shootout, there will only be one winner and that is Tipperary.
John ‘Bubbles’ O’Dwyer was sublime last Sunday, scoring seven points, while Seamus Callanan and Jason Forde were unstoppable at times. But, The Rebels gave them far too much time and space to find the target. Waterford will surely learn from Cork’s mistakes and try to turn this into a dour dogfight.
Expect The Déise to be more defensive than Cork and try to bottle up the middle third of the pitch and, with that in mind, the best bet has to be for Tipperary to score 26 points or less.
Limerick v Cork: Cork to win – 2/1
The current prices are not a fair reflection of these two sides. Too much has been read into Cork’s opening round defeat to Tipperary and the Rebels looks a great price to bounce back.
Patrick Horgan was superb against Tipperary, scoring 14 points, but he and the rest of his attacking colleagues didn’t make life hard enough for Tipperary and expect to see more energy and tackling from the Rebels forwards when they don’t have the sliotar this Sunday.
Limerick are coming into the game cold, having had a long break since the League final. Cork will be hurting after last Sunday and are fancied to cause an upset.
Don’t forget they were the better side for most of last year’s All-Ireland semi-final before surrendering in extra-time and Cork beat Limerick at the Gaelic Grounds during the League too.
* All odds correct at time of posting and may vary up to throw-in.