Cork v Laois: Laois to win – 9/4
It seems almost everyone is convinced that Cork are on the way back, but does a double-digit win over a really poor Limerick side and a reasonable showing in a Munster final warrant such a short price in a qualifier at a neutral ground against a side who are battle-hardened back door specialists.
Laois are seriously well organised under John Sugrue and have earned back-to-back promotions in the National League. Donnie Kingston looked better than ever against Offaly last time out and brother Paul impressed too.
Graham Brody is among the top three keepers in Ireland, and with John O’Loughlin dictating the tempo of games from midfield, Laois have built an impressive outfit with from a solid foundation.
There is certainly not as much between these sides as the betting suggests and Laois look the value option.
Cavan v Tyrone: Cavan (+4) – 10/11
Is there really as much between these sides as the market suggests? Perhaps not.
Tyrone have returned to the system which propelled them to an All-Ireland final in 2018, so the attractive, kicking game which took us all by surprise in the latter stages of the League is now a distant memory. Hand-passing and hard running are once again the order of the day.
They could get lost in translation against the top sides and Cavan have the potential to exploit the flaws in their plan. This could descend into a low-scoring, dour struggle between two sides at pains to concede easy scores, and for that reason, Cavan look the value option on the handicap prices.
They were outclassed by Donegal, but their Armagh form doesn’t look too shabby now and their style of play could frustrate Tyrone as it will be a mirror image.
Galway v Mayo: Mayo to win – 10/11
If Mayo had their full quota of players to pick from, they would be strong fancies to book a place in the Super 8s, but they can still sneak through despite the absence of several stars. Galway are vulnerable right now following a deflating Connacht final defeat to Roscommon.
That was a game they were in complete control of, but they let it slip through their grasp with endless errors in the second half. Damien Comer and Paul Conroy have been sorely missed over the last few months and Kevin Walsh has his work cut out to get them back on track.
Mayo have come in on the right side of an epic qualifier encounter and that hard-earned success over Armagh could be the catalyst for a ticket to the Super 8s.
Expect to see more of Cillian O’Connor and Kevin McLoughlin, and that precious pair can unlock a fragile Galway defence who struggled to contain Roscommon.
* All odds correct at time of posting and may vary up to throw-in.