JOE v Paddy Betting Challenge, Week 11
Another week, another week with one short-priced winner each. We got a bit lucky, possibly, as our tip for the July Cup, Bated Breath, was declared a non-runner because of the sloppy ground conditions, so we got most of our €35 back.
That meant we extended our lead over the lads at Paddy Power. We've now lost €111 less than Paddy over the first 10 weeks of the challenge. We'd pop the champagne corks, but we're still €70-odd in the red so we can't afford to.
Yet. That could change this weekend. Keep the faith and all that. Here's the running totals:
Here goes with this week's selections, with Shane Breslin doing the honours for JOE this week.
Depending on your viewpoint, the 2012 Formula One season is either the greatest season of them all with several former world champions facing off in cars that are actually of comparable power and reliability, or a mish-mash of crap between a load of drivers who just can’t get any consistency going.
We’re not sure which way we’re falling yet, but looking at this weekend surely there’s a bit of value about Lewis Hamilton? The Englishman has already won the German Grand Prix twice, including at Hockenheim in 2008. His main rival (in terms of the betting at least) is reigning world champion Sebastien Vettel, who still awaits his first win in his home GP and couldn’t win in Germany last year when he was far superior than anyone else. The McLarens looked in good shape in Friday practice and the 16/1 about Jenson Button was mighty tempting, but 9/2 on Hamilton looks the safer option.
Ah, provincial football finals. You have to love them. Except the Munster ones that don’t involve both Cork and Kerry. And Connacht, every year. This Sunday looks like a cracking afternoon, with two eagerly awaiting showpieces in Ulster and Leinster.
Donegal and Down face off up north, and I think there’s an opportunity here on the spread. Donegal eased past a Cavan side that was bad and a Derry who were arguably even worse. Last time out was much more like their normal form, eking out a 0-12 to 0-10 win over Tyrone. They could well do the same to Down this weekend, indeed they probably will, but with a four-point spread the value could be with the underdogs. Down were woeful against Monaghan but produced a serious comeback there, and with Dan Gordon and Benny Coulter fit enough to start they should at least put it up to Jim McGuinness’s men.
It’s been too long since a Meath-Dublin Leinster final. This is one of the great occasions on the GAA calendar, and it hasn’t happened since 2001. Meath go into the game on a high after that win over Kildare, while the Dubs struggled against Wexford. As a Meath man it gives me no pleasure to suggest that the Dubs might have our measure but I can’t see any other result. Take the Dubs back line to prevent their net from being rattled.
Up north holders Donegal will be looking to make it two Ulster titles on the trot for the first time when they take on 2010 All Ireland finalists Down. Donegal have looked frightening this year, seeing off Cavan and Derry with ease while they never looked in trouble against Tyrone. Down had a cracking second half against Monaghan but we feel their defence gives up too much space and we don’t think their forwards have the physicality to rack up a winning score, so we’ll therefore plump for a Donegal win between 4 to 6 points at 16/5.
Amazingly it’s been 10 years since traditional Leinster kingpins Dublin and Meath have faced each other in a provincial final. Following a turbulent league campaign Meath manager Séamus McEnaney looks to have finally settled his squad and we can see them pushing the Dubs all the way. Dublin meanwhile rode their luck against Wexford and while we think they’ll still win, despite the loss of Diarmuid Connolly, we think Meath +3 with their goal threat are great value.
Having pulled off shocks in the previous round of the qualifiers both these sides will be riding a wave coming in to this fixture. Antrim snuck a win against Galway by keeping things tight and with the away draw we can see them doing the same here. Tipp meanwhile are no slouches themselves in defence and haven’t conceded a goal since the fourth round of their league campaign, which was way back in March. All signs point towards a tight affair so we’ll take the sure thing at 5/6.