Whilst Dublin have unsurprisingly been ranked as odds-on favourites for this year’s All Ireland title since prices for the 2019 championship were first published by bookmakers, GAA pundits – with the possible exception of Joe Brolly – appear to be in agreement that it is County Mayo which currently qualifies as the outstanding value bet from the remaining field of contenders.
The Yew County is priced at 12/1 with most bookmakers – and slightly longer at 14/1 with Paddy Power – to lift its first All Ireland since 1951.
GAA’s “Greatest Tragic Comedy”
Having now lost in an astonishing nine consecutive heart-breaking finals defeats since 1989 – four of which since 2012 alone – most observers are sensing that a tenth attempt at long-awaited redemption could now be imminent.
Mayo’s lifting of the NFL Division One title in late March had added to the general feeling that this could finally be the year in which the duck is broken – even if defeat to Roscommon last weekend sparked the usual headlines of Mayo as GAA’s greatest and longest-standing tragic comedy.
But disappointment at such an early stage of this year’s campaign may ultimately work in Mayo’s favour – “As a Mayo fan, I am now at peace with disappointment,” one fan stated on Reddit after Sunday’s narrow loss, reflecting a wider mood in the county that may mean that expectations are simply non-existent this time around.
That, in turn, could allow a team with all the necessary physical attributes to be champions the kind of psychological lee-way to allow its more creative side to emerge – something which could ultimately spell trouble for Dublin, assuming that anything will be allowed to spell trouble for Dublin as it seeks an unprecedented fifth consecutive championship.