William Hill has just released its new year prices for the 2019 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship.
And whilst it will come as no surprise to GAA acolytes that Dublin has been priced as odds-on favourites to carry off a record fifth consecutive championship, they have been priced by Hill at 1/2 to achieve the feat – the shortest pre-tournament odds on record for GAA’s ultimate prize.
Dublin benefits from – and is simultaneously the target of criticism for – its unrivaled financial clout and the demographic advantage that arises from its being the nation’s capital (there has been talk of need to split the team into two lest its dominance hurts GAA football over the long-run).
And this may explain why bookmakers appear to have lost sight of the fact that at least two of its last four triumphs in GAA finals were effective coin tosses – their victories in the finals against Mayo in both 2016 and 2017 were by a single point, with the former coming on the back of a replay.
Their win against Tyrone in 2018 itself hinged on a controversial goal which changed the face of the game, and is another indicator that a lay on Dublin winning the championship likely represents some value proposition.
Mayo Stands Out as Value Bet
Elsewhere, Mayo – who were twice pipped to the winning line by Dublin in two of the last three finals – remain arguably the championship’s single most outstanding bet at 12/1. Last year’s finalists, Tyrone, are ranked third favourites on 10/1, just behind Kerry, GAA football’s most successful team historically, who are priced at 5/1.
Monaghan, one of only five Irish counties never to have won the championship, are ranked by Hill as seventh favourites at 20/1 – a price which some commentators feel belies the performances of the Ulster outfit’s 2018 campaign where they were pipped to the final by Tyrone by a single point as the Red Hands scored a fortuitous goal in the last five minutes of the semi-final head-to-head.