GAA Tips: John Mullane’s best bets for this weekend’s National Hurling League games

The Waterford legend has his say on a crucial weekend in the National Hurling League

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* 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.

Saturday 7pm: Cork v Galway

Cork made a serious statement of intent last Sunday in their win over Limerick. They looked really good beating the All-Ireland Champions 2-19 to 1-13 in the Gaelic Grounds.

Questions were asked whether they’d stand up to Limerick but I thought they really took it to them and were deserving winners.

They’ve now a great chance of making the semi-finals, and with Limerick out of it, this Cork team will see it as a great opportunity to claim a first league crown since 1998.

For Galway, no one would’ve thought that Wexford team, minus so many top players, would’ve gone up to Salthill and won. Henry Shefflin will be keen to see a reaction this weekend.

Handicap: Cork (-2)

This is essentially a winner takes all meeting for one of the two semi-final slots. I can’t look beyond Cork. They’re a form team. Ciaran Kingston will be eager to keep the momentum going and you look at the talent they have on the bench. I think they’ll pick up the point and cover the handicap.

First Goal Scorer: Jack O’Connor

With Shane Kingston out through suspension, Jack O’Connor should come in and start for Cork, and I’d fancy him to get the opening goal too.

 

Waterford v Tipperary

I predicted Waterford would be in the frame in Division 1B at the start of the league, and it’s played out that way.

The Deise got out of Belfast with a win by the skin of their teeth last week down to 14 men.

Tipp weren’t impressive against Dublin for about 55 minutes last week but came with a late surge to seal the win there.

Handicap: Waterford -2

I think Liam Cahill will have earmarked this game at the start of the campaign as a must-win for Waterford and he’ll go after it at the weekend with his stars packed into the team. If they play as well as they can I think they’ll win and cover the -2 spread.

Over 3.5 Goals

They’ve 12 goals so far – 7 againts Laois, 2 against Dublin, and 3 against Antrim – and I said that I could see them score 20 in the league by the time it’s over. I think there’ll be plenty in this match too, so over 3.5 goals in the game looks wortha  punt to me.

First Goal Scorer: Stephen Bennett

I don’t think you can look beyond Stephen Bennett. He hits the penalties, he’s in and around the square. He hit a couple against Dublin and Laois, he didn’t get one last week, but I’d take him to get back on track against Tipp.

Hurling tips this weekend

Saturday 7pm: Cork v Galway

Sunday 1:45pm: Waterford v Tipperary

* 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.

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