Mayo can triumph in replay
Mayo and Kerry must go again this weekend following their thrilling draw in last week’s All-Ireland semi-final in Croke Park.
Controversially, the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick will host the replay, but there’s no change in the favourites, with Mayo rated 8/11 to win the replay.
Again, a draw is priced up at 15/2, while Kerry are given an 11/8 chance of knocking the Westerners out at the second time of asking.
Mayo were clinging on in the end at Croke Park as a late rally saw Kerry pull level in a game which had seemingly everything, including goals, a red card and a penalty.
Having played the entire second-half with 14 men following Lee Keegan’s soft sending off, Mayo will be reasonably pleased to have avoided defeat last Sunday, halting a run of five consecutive championship defeats to Kerry in the process.
It’s debatable which side carries the momentum into the replay, but Mayo showed real character, which had been questioned in the past, to pull themselves out of a hole in the second-half, before fatigue appeared to deny them a famous win late on.
If they can keep their discipline second time around, then they are quite rightly the bookmakers’ favourites, and they look a good bet at 3/1 to win by 1-3 points in Limerick.
Stephen O’Brien opened the scoring with a point from play last weekend and Kerry are 15/8 to do likewise in the replay, though Mayo are considered more likely to at 7/4.
Mayo’s Cillian O’Connor scored the first goal of the game and is 5/1 to do so again on Saturday, but Kerry’s late goal hero James O’Donoghue is the 7/2 favourite.
Then on Sunday, the 2/7 tournament favourites Dublin pit themselves against 2012 winners Donegal, who have odds of 7/1 to cause an upset in Croke Park.
Odds aside, if anyone can stop the Dubs, it’s reasonable to think it could only be Jim McGuinness’ men, who have frustrated Jim Gavin’s troops in the past.
Donegal’s defensive set-up should keep the game relatively tight, so the +7 handicap given to them looks quite generous of the bookmakers, who are in danger of underestimating the underdogs.
However, and quite worryingly for the three remaining teams in the tournament, Dublin look as though they’ve yet to reach their top gear, largely because they haven’t had to as yet.
Their hard-work, versatility and strength on the bench should see them through to their second successive All-Ireland final, but a seven-point margin seems a lot to expect.
Therefore, the best odds on the game are Donegal with a +7 handicap, or Dublin to win by 4-6 points at 7/2.