Galway and Limerick are not strangers when it comes to the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship. They’ve met in the final twice before, albeit the last time was nearly 40 years ago. The two will meet again on Sunday to top off a captivating summer of hurling, full of the drama and intrigue one has come to expect of modern Irish GAA.
Limerick have proved a formidable presence in front of goal with a grand total of 11-183 in their 2018 campaign, although they have shown weakness in their concessions. Galway, reigning champions, will set out to quell any chatter surrounding a surprise victory here and the top online bookmakers all seem to agree that they will take home the Liam MacCarthy once again.
Let’s take a look at the markets on offer and the All Ireland Hurling Final odds for 2018.
As always there has been plenty of All Ireland Hurling betting action throughout the summer but now there is only one game left for punters to take advantage of. Limerick are the underdogs on this occasion, with Paddy Power listing them at 13/8 to win against The Tribesmen. Galway’s price to win is currently 8/11 with Bet365.
We can perhaps attain more value on the Limerick side of things from the team total points market. As stated, The Shannonsiders haven’t been shy above or below the bar this year so Paddy Power’s 4/5 on them ending up with Over 24.5 points is not to be sniffed at if you're considering a flutter.
If you’re expecting Galway to barely make it (we’re looking at you Limerick fans) try the 1-3 points option available in the Winning Margin market at 10/3 with Bet365. If you think it will be a late thriller combine this with a wager on the Highest Scoring Half being the 2nd (4/5 at Bet365).
A more difficult market to predict is the ‘First Scoring Play’. The odds for a point to open the play are short for both teams and don’t provide us with much betting interest. However, those who think play will open with a goal might find value in a Limerick goal to open option at 19/1 or a Galway goal to open at 17/1 at Betfair. The ‘Race To 5 Points’ market at Betway may be of interest too, with Limerick at 11/10 for an early lead.
A fan favourite GAA Betting option is of course the Hurler of the Year. Joe Canning of Galway, who won it last year, has gone from strength to strength in this campaign and a strong display during Sunday’s proceedings (with a win for Galway) could put him over the line. Paddy Power currently have him listed at 13/2 to take home the honour.
Canning is 9/4 to Score Anytime with Coral during the final and we like these two bets paired together for anybody who fancies a solid performance from him in Croker.
Aaron Gillane has played terrifically for Limerick throughout the Championship and he shouldn’t be dismissed in the Hurler of the Year market too. There’s a reason Paddy Power have him at 6/1, and that’s because the 22 year old has been the side’s biggest scoring threat and continues to grow in determination and confidence.
However, Padraic Mannion of Galway remains the outright favourite for the Hurler of the Year market at 5/4 with Paddy Power due to the integral part he’s played in Galway’s successes this summer. The 25 year old spoke to the Galway Advertiser about their route to the final this year, explaining that it was no mean feat:
"It has been tough to get back to the final. The extra-time in the semi-final against Clare the first day was a big moment - especially with so many big game players off injured - that we could still get a win there. It proved the strength in the panel and it was a really big game for us. The subs who came on scored around four points and that was great to see."
Mannion further explained that Galway are preparing hard for their battle on Sunday.
"You try to bring what has been going well for you to the final and produce another performance. We just take the games one at a time and focus on our performance - and this Sunday will be no different."
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