Kildare v Laois, Saturday 7.15pm
It was very tight last week and I was inclined to go for Laois but I’m changing horses mid-stream, something even John Wayne wouldn’t do. This week I’m going for Kildare. Even the handicap (-1.0) favours Kildare this week as I expect them to win by four or five points.
Alan Smith almost stuck one in the onion bag last week. I expect him to be the hot favourite for Kildare at 15/2 to score the first goal. If Laois are going to win they’ll have to get a couple from Donie Kingston.
Colm’s Pick: Kildare -1pt at 5/4
Armagh v Donegal, Sunday 2pm
Playing at home is a big advantage for Armagh but the form of the league is still working out. Most First Division teams are capable of beating Second Division teams and I expect that to play out here.
Armagh have come up from the third tier so the gulf in class, as far as the divisions they played in last season, is pretty stark. They’ll get a lift from being at home but Donegal have had a great win over Tyrone to prepare them for this game. I expect Donegal to win this one and beat the handicap in doing so. Donegal’s Michael Murphy is the obvious choice to score the first goal at 13/2.
Colm’s Pick: Donegal -2pts at 11/10
Galway v Mayo, Sunday 4pm
Mayo are still the form team to beat in Connacht and the last few years they’ve been easily fit for Galway, beating them by seven or eight points last year and 16 points the year before. Maybe Galway are getting a bit closer but I don’t see there being a repeat of their hurlers’ success over Mayo.
For me, Mayo are still one of the top three teams in the country. I would be very surprised if they don’t beat Galway this Sunday and I would also expect thme to beat the handicap.
Shane Walsh is a massive loss for Galway so for me it’s Mayo to win clearly.
As far as goalscorers go, Danny Cummins at 7/1 for Galway is someone not too many people outside the county would know a lot about but Cillian O’Connor at 5/1 for Mayo is a proven scorer both of goals and points.
The points total should come under the 33-mark in this game. Pearse Stadium can be a windy place at the best of times and produces a lot of low scoring games, so I’d go under 33.5pts at 5/6.
Colm’s Pick: Mayo -2pts at 10/11