Wicklow can stay within mammoth handicap against Dublin
Dublin v Wicklow
Portlaoise, 4pm Sunday
Dublin failed to cover the handicap in two of their three games in Leinster last year and they may struggle to overcome a mammoth 23-point handicap against a Wicklow side who won't throw in the towel.
The handicap varied between 16 to 18 points for Dublin's clash with Carlow in the Leinster quarter-final last year but they only pulled away in the closing stages for a 12-point win (0-19 to 0-7). Portlaoise was the stage for that showdown too.
They easily surpassed the handicap against Westmeath (4-29 to 0-10) but their opponents fell apart and accepted their fate early in the second half. No side managed by John Evans ever do that.
They had only nine points to spare over Kildare in the provincial decider (2-23 to 1-17). That was bang on the handicap spread.
Dublin don't tend to go through the gears in Leinster so the advice is to treat their provincial campaign with caution, With Jim Gavin’s charges have been taken out of Croke Park, the advice is to get on Wicklow with a start.
The Dublin total points spread has been set at 31.5, so Dean Rock looks great value at 11-8 to score nine points or more.
The flawless free-taker is sure to have chances from dead balls with Wicklow likely to foul a lot in frustration.
3pts 4-5 Hills
D Rock to score over 8.5 points
3pts 11-8 BoyleSports
Longford v Meath
Pearse Park, 3pm Sunday
You could back Longford at 4-1 for this tie at one stage but the teams are much closer in the betting after Meath's lacklustre league campaign which almost saw them join Longford in Division 3.
Longford have home advantage but Meath have quality up front with Graham Reilly, Donal Lenihan and Cillian O'Sullivan capable of doing damage to the hosts' rearguard.
This is not a particularly good Meath team, but they did get four goals against Westmeath in the O'Byrne Cup final, and they can escape unscathed.
Paddy Kennelly's presence in midfield can add some attacking impetus to the Royals and they still look a much stronger side than Longford. They can defy a two-point handicap.
2pts Evs BoyleSports
Over Meath 1.5 goals
2pts 13-8 BoyleSports
Kildare v Carlow
Tullamore, 2pm Sunday
There appears to have been an overreaction to Carlow's promotion from Division 4 and Kildare can prove there is a huge gulf in class between the sides in this Leinster tussle at Tullamore.
Kildare were relegated from the top tier but they were competitive in most games. They were in front of Dublin at half-time and should have beaten Tyrone, so the bare results can be misleading.
How would Carlow have fared in Division 1? They might have been stuffed in every game. This should be a straightforward assignment for the Lilywhites.
2pts 11-10 general
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