Don’t bet on provincial upsets

THE Leinster senior football final and the Munster senior hurling final are two of the most attractive sporting events of the weekend for punters but I really cannot envisage an upset in either match.

In Leinster, the Dublin footballers should have too much firepower for a Wexford side that has impressed with its scoring ability against lesser competition but may not enjoy as much possession this time.

All-Ireland hurling champions Tipperary have made a solid start to the defence of their title and they can confidently be expected to continue the march back to Croke Park with victory over Waterford tomorrow. Odds of 1-4 doubled up with Dublin at 1-5 works out to 1-2 and, for punters looking to increase their bank this weekend, that looks the best bet of all.

The Open Championship at Sandwich gets underway on Thursday and US Open champion Rory McIlroy is favourite to win back to back majors. However, it’s his compatriot, Graeme McDowell, who has been attracting all the attention in the ante-post market.

The 2010 US Open champion has made a very strong start to the Scottish Open and punters were quick to snap up the 40-1 which was available on Thursday. A brilliant second round 64 earned McDowell a share of the lead at -11 and quite understandably the 33-1 available has come under pressure. If he can continued that sort of form through the weekend then those odds will disappear altogether.

In horse racing, Pekan Star looks an each-way bet to nothing in the John Smith’s Cup at York this afternoon. The very lightly raced four-year-old was a winner over course and distance last time out and, despite having had only three outings to date, he has already established himself as a potentially very high class colt.

His trainer Roger Varian has also been quick to make a name for himself and his colt looks certain to go close today. At 4-1, he is a great each-way bet.

In Irish soccer, St Pat’s host Dundalk tomorrow afternoon but they look very short at odds of 4-5, given that they had a tough game in the Europa League on Thursday night.

Dundalk, on the other hand, have been going nicely of late and have aspirations of a qualifying spot for the Europa League next season. With the possibility that Pat’s could be feeling the effects of Thursday’s exertions, Dundalk look way over-priced at 4-1.

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