Kildare will have great difficulty bouncing back from last week’s drubbing against Dublin, especially as a couple of their players have jumped ship this week. It doesn’t seem to be a happy Kildare camp.
I was very disappointed, I thought they would have been able to stay inside the 11 point handicap margin last weekend. That game was nearly a done deal after 15 minutes. Kildare don’t seem to have great fighting spirit and this is a great opportunity for Offaly and I think they’re well worth backing at 5/2 to win this game. The handicap of +2pts at 6/5 is a good bet but it’s a tight margin. With Kildare struggling I think it’s best to go for the kill at 5/2.
Colm’s Bet: Offaly to win at 5/2
Clare v Longford, Saturday 5pm
Longford have a very good chance of winning away from home here. In qualifier matches the advantage very often lies with the home team. In this case I think Longford have got up and running again in the qualifiers. Clare were poor in the Munster semi-final so I’m going for an away win here at good odds of 7/4.
Colm’s Bet: Longford to win at 7/4
Cavan v Roscommon, Saturday 5pm
When they met in the league earlier in the year they played out a draw but since then Roscommon have suffered a bad defeat to Sligo and Cavan but in an honourable showing against Monaghan.
Cavan are the form team here and even though they met in the championship last year when Roscommon beat them easily, Cavan are a much better bet at evens.
Colm’s Bet: Cavan to win at evens
Kerry v Cork, Sunday 2pm
I expect Kerry to go for the jugular early, it’s what they did last year when James O’Donoghue racked up point after point. It’s hardly going to be as easy this year but Cork have a real problem in that their defence hasn’t been able to get to grips with the forwards from any of the quality teams this year.
The strange thing about them is that Cork have scored more in the league than any other team but they also have let in more scores, apart from Kerry, in Division 1. This is the two worst defences from Division 1 facing off so it could be a shoot-out between the forwards.
For me Kerry will win this game. They’re playing at home and they want the easy route back to the All-Ireland quarter-final and I think they’re a good bet to beat the handicap.
The best bet in this game for me is under 32.5 pts for the match total. I think that both teams are going to play an extra defender in this one as they try to get their back line organised for later on in the championship.
Colm’s Bet: Under 32.5pts at 5/6