Roscommon ready to book their ticket to the Super 8s in style
David Jennings on the final round of the football qualifiers
Armagh v Roscommon
O’Moore Park, 3pm Saturday
The gulf in class between Roscommon and Armagh is not reflected in the prices for the first of the round four qualifiers at O'Moore Park on Saturday so the advice is to back Roscommon.
Indeed, the 5-6 available about them winning by two points or more looks the best bet of the summer.
The bare facts tell you that Roscommon were four points inferior to Galway in the Connacht final (0-16 to 2-6) but that does not tell the full story as Kevin McStay's charges led 1-5 to 0-5 and converted only one of the first seven shots on goal at the start of the second half, hitting five wides and dropping one glorious opportunity short into the hands of Rory Lavelle.
Had they converted even half of those, Galway would have been in deep trouble.
Armagh would surely have been outclassed by Galway and Roscommon look underrated by the bookmakers. There were the best team in Division 2 by some margin, winning the final emphatically against Cavan and were seconds away from seeing off Mayo in last year's All-Ireland quarter-final.
Roscommon have a settled team, with more scoring power than Armagh, and it could be all one-way traffic in O'Moore Park provided their loss in the provincial final has not destroyed their confidence.
One of the best features of this Roscommon team is their ability to start in style. They blew away Leitrim in the opening ten minutes and Galway could not cope with the early pace they set in the Connacht final.
Paddy Power have chalked up a half-time handicap and Roscommon are 13-8 to defy a two-point line. That looks great value.
5pts 5-6 Betfair, Paddy Power
2pts 11-4 Betfair, Paddy Power
Roscommon -2 on first-half handicap
2pts 13-8 Betfair, Paddy Power
Cork v Tyrone
O’Moore Park, 5pm Saturday
Cork, the most unpredictable outfit around, face Tyrone, one of the most predictable and consistent sides in the business, in the second leg of a double-header at O'Moore Park and Mickey Harte's men are expected to book their ticket to the Super 8s without much fuss.
The problem is that they are priced accordingly so there is no value in the win or handicap market.
The market which does appeal is total goals as this game has goals written all over it.
Although Tyrone failed to find the net in their most recent outing, they did create chances. They had converted more in the wins over Meath, where they scored two goals and Carlow, where three were scored. They were also the second-highest goalscorers in Division 1 behind Dublin.
Cork scored two early goals in their landslide loss to Kerry in the Munster final and their full-forward line looked dangerous when the right type of ball was played into them. If Brian Hurley is fully fit, he could pose problems.
Ladbrokes are offering 4-1 for four or more goals in the match and that looks big given the style of play these sides have adopted.
Four or more goals
1pt 4-1 Ladbrokes
Kildare v Fermanagh
Pairc Tailteann, 7pm Saturday
Kildare could not crack the Carlow code in Leinster so they exited the Leinster championship at the quarter-final stage, but do not expect them to suffer a similar fate when they face a similarly defensive side in Fermanagh.
Cian O'Neill will know exactly what to expect from Fermanagh so there can be no surprises.
Kildare turned a corner at Newbridge last Saturday. They stood up for what they believed in and then did their talking on the pitch with a thoroughly deserved success over last year's beaten finalists, Mayo.
They were clever in possession and patient in the second half. They have grown as a team and should have too much firepower for Fermanagh, who looked devoid of ideas in the closing stages of their Ulster final loss to Donegal.
Fermanagh have scored 0-12, 1-8 and 0-12 in their three summer showdowns. Asking them to score 16 points or more seems far-fetched so the advice is to take the 8-11 for under 15.5 Fermanagh points with Paddy Power.
3pts 10-11 Betfair, Paddy Power
Fermanagh under 15.5 points
3pts 8-11 Paddy Power
Already advised (May 11)
Kildare to qualify for Super 8s
3pts 11-8 BoyleSports
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