Cork vs Kerry: Kerry (-6) – Evens
There is no other way to describe Cork football at the moment than to call it a laughing-stock. Ever since 2015 when they last showed something competitive against Kerry, it has been one slippery slope.
In the 2015 Munster final, it took an outrageous last-minute effort from corner-back Fionn Fitzgerald to rescue a draw for Kerry, who would win the replay quite comfortably.
Last year, Kerry beat Cork by 17 points, before Tyrone beat them by 16 points in the Qualifiers.
They have since been relegated to Division 3 of the National Football league and are only in the final thanks to a kind draw against Division 4 Limerick in the semi-final. Had they drawn Kerry, or even Clare, instead they would probably be preparing for the second round of the qualifiers rather than a Munster final.
Kerry only beat Clare by six points in their semi-final, but it is a reflection of just how bad Cork are that the challenge of going to Cusack Park is considerably greater than going to Cork.
The handicap is again six points on Saturday, and Kerry should beat it.
Down vs Mayo: Down (+6) – Evens
Where to start with Mayo? They have once again been dumped out of the Connacht Championship before the final and showed zero composure in their defeat to Roscommon.
Their League win is already absolutely irrelevant because they have failed to kick on from it and they face yet another qualifier run if they are to have any hope of finally bringing Sam Maguire west.
This is not an easy game either. Down have been bubbling under the surface and it took extra time for an improving Armagh team to put them out of the Ulster Championship in a thriller.
They have since laid waste to 2016 All Ireland semi-finalists Tipperary and, with home advantage, will fancy their chances against a wounded Mayo.
Even when The Westerners did reach the final via the Qualifiers, they have always flattered to deceive in their early rounds as they found their rhythm. They were taken to extra time by Cork and Derry in 2017, while in 2016 Fermanagh gave them a scare in Castlebar.
The six-point spread is quite generous to the perennial bridesmaids and it is questionable whether they will beat it.
Monaghan vs Armagh: Armagh to win – 7/4
Monaghan’s season has fallen apart ever since their win over Dublin in Clones. What should have been a springboard to improve following last year’s All Ireland semi-final has instead prompted a spectacular collapse from the Farney.
They would lose five of their next six League games and avoid relegation by the skin of their teeth before being dumped out of the Ulster Championship by Cavan. An underwhelming Ulster campaign is nothing new to Monaghan – they suffered a similar fate in 2018 against Fermanagh after all – but this year’s elimination came off the back of one of their most disappointing League campaigns in recent memory.
They did at least get their revenge on Fermanagh in the first round of the Qualifiers, but again didn’t fire on all cylinders in a dull four-point win.
They come across an Armagh team that will feel they should be in an Ulster final. The Orchard County led by four points with 20 minutes remaining of their provincial semi-final with Cavan, but had to settle for a draw.
Cavan were the better team in a very entertaining replay and deservedly booked their place in the final against Donegal.
Based on the teams’ respective efforts against Cavan alone, Armagh are a very dangerous opponent for Monaghan and this definitely has the feel of an upset. Remember, Monaghan have previously bowed out at the hands of Longford in the Qualifiers and are by no means immune to a massive shock.
The way things are at the moment, this shock wouldn’t even be that big.
* All odds correct at time of posting and may vary up to throw-in.