* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.
This Ulster Championship tie will be all about the handicap betting, as Donegal are such huge favourites in the outright win market. I thought Down were one of the worst teams I saw in the entire National League this year. They only scored 41 points in their three regular League games, which tells you how defensively minded they’ve set themselves this season. They did manage to hold on to their Division 2 status though, beating a very poor Laois team in their relegation decider.
The handicap on offer here is seven points, and Donegal are very likely to beat that mark. Thye were unbeaten in League and gave the All-Ireland champions Dublin a good run for their money when they meet in the Division 1 semi-finals. I’m going with Donegal (-7) in this game.
This Leinster Football Championship Round 1 tie promises to be a very good game. It features two teams that gained promotion from their respective National League divisions. Offaly may have been beaten by Derry in the Division 3 final last weekend, but they won promotion Division 2 the week prior to that by seeing off Fermanagh. Meanwhile, Louth made their way out of Division 4 by defeating Carlow comprehensively, which was a nice start for their new boss Mickey Harte.
On the basis of League status, you would expect a Division 3 team to beat a Division 4 side though, and that makes Offaly the right choice here. It could be a close contest, but I’m going with The Faithful County to succeed.
Wicklow are a funny one. They lost all their games in Division 3 of the League, but they managed to save themselves from the drop by shocking the Ulster champions Cavan in their relegation play-off two weeks ago.
For their part, Wexford had a very poor Division 4 campaign losing their two games in the regular League fixtures before beating Sligo in an utterly meaningless shield final last time out. It has to be a Wicklow victory in this game, and they should progress to the next round.
This will be yet another tight Leinster Championship clash! Longford only managed to score just 39 points in their three regular Division 3 matches. Unsurprisingly, they didn’t win any of them. But, they did survive in the division by upsetting last year’s Munster Championship winners Tipperary in a relegation play-off, thanks to an impressive performance.
Carlow beat both Wexford and Waterford in Division 4, but achieved nothing for it as they fell heavily to Louth in a promotion play-off and they will start in the bottom tier of the National League again in 2022. Despite being favourites, I still believe Longford are a bet to win at their current price and I’m backing the Padraic Davis-led outfit to triumph in this one.
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