GAA Weekend Betting - Kingdom Come & Tribesmen Travel
- Selection: Galway +2 vs Donegal at 10/11 with Ladbrokes
- Selection - Kerry to win vs Tyrone at 8/11 with Betway
Donegal's Letterkenny Jinx
We move onto the third week of the Allianz National Football League (click here to read my in-depth outright preview), and in all four divisions competition is fierce. No team in the top two divisions have preserved a 100% record, and every team in Division 2 has picked up points.
My first game of the weekend to have a GAA punting slant is the clash of my native Donegal as they host Galway in O’Donnell Park, Letterkenny. Donegal have made a promising start to their campaign following a draw against Mayo and an easy victory over Meath.
They currently hold top spot in what is a very compact Division 1 table. Galway have also been impressive, defeating Monaghan and getting undone by Kerry at the death last week by a solitary point down in Tralee.
My betting perspective derives from what you can only call an abysmal record that Donegal holds playing league games in Letterkenny. They have kept a prehistoric cycle of playing league games across three venues - MacCumhaill Park, Father Tierney Park and O’Donnell Park.
Their record over the last few years in Letterkenny, across Division 1 and 2, reads five losses. It’s downright terrible and I can’t particularly put my finger on why this is occurring.
Records are there to be swept to the wayside but it’s not going to be easy to whack it off on this occasion. It’s hard to decipher how far on they really are this season at this extremely early stage, as is the case with most teams.
More senior players like Neil McGee and Michael Murphy have returned to the fray more hastily this season, but Donegal still have plenty on the sidelines. Stephen McMenamin and Patrick McBrearty, two of their better performers last season, have yet to make an appearance.
Corofin Panel Boost
Galway were impressive last weekend but will certainly rue succumbing a three point lead going into the last 15 minutes against Kerry as the Kingdom’s never say die attitude saw them bag 1-1 in the closing strides to emerge victorious - taking full advantage of Galway having a player sent to the sin bin.
I’m not certain, but you would expect some of the Corofin three-in-a-row winning contingent to return to the pitch this weekend for Padraig Joyce. Kieran Molloy, Liam Silke and Ian Burke are three who will fit in perfectly, but there is a massive contingent of the Corofin squad on the Galway panel, and rightly so.
For the punting pick, on the handicap market, the +2 about Galway looks very attractive. They may shy away from the facts, but Donegal losing five years in a row in Letterkenny will surely play on the fans' and players' minds - at least a small bit.
Kingdom Travel North
Kerry travel to Omagh this weekend and will be reluctant to throw away their unbeaten record from the first two games. Tyrone will be disappointed to lose last weekend to Ulster rivals Monaghan in a game they never really had a foothold in.
The county has got a massive boost as last year’s top scorer in the Championship Cathal McShane hasn’t taken up his offer in the AFL and will be togging in the Red Hand colours this season.
Their attack struggled last weekend, only notching up 11 scores with their forwards only bagging three from play. Padraig Hampsey and Mattie Donnelly remain unavailable, alongside McShane. Taking out those core three, who are huge players up the middle for Tyrone, means staying in Division 1 is going to be an arduous task for them.
GAANOW was in Tralee as @Kerry_Official claimed their first win of the #AllianzLeagues when https://t.co/gvXdqh656y Player of the Week, Paul Geaney kicked a late goal to claim victory over @Galway_GAA! pic.twitter.com/l9UYXyCSZ3— The GAA (@officialgaa) February 4, 2020
Kerry, on the other hand, will have the top two spots and a final date in Croke Park firmly in their sights. They’re finishing out games and grabbing results in the right manner. I don’t believe they will have to scramble in the last seconds to get a victory this weekend.
The Na Gaeil All Ireland winning contingent of Diarmuid O Connor and Jack Barry returned last week, and the balance of the Kerry squad looks fantastic. James O’Donoghue has stepped up and bagged scores after not even making the 26 man panel for last years All Ireland Final.
Strength In Depth
A player I really admire in Michael Burns got two scores last week down in Tralee. When you see a team substitute players like O’Donoghue and Burns off, to be replaced by Tommy Walsh and Dara Moynihan, it really shows the superb strength-in-depth they possess.
David Clifford got another six points last week and Tyrone have no one who can handle him, with Ronan McNamee’s early substitution particularly worrying. Kerry won the league clash in Killarney last year and also the All Ireland semi-final, despite a very shaky start.
Kerry with nearly their full quota, and looking to be in good form should sweep aside this weakened Tyrone side, despite being away from home. The 8/11 on offer with Betway is a much bigger price than I expected here for the Kingdom.
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