Saturday 24 February 2018

Dubs' All-Ireland odds slashed to evens

Dublin outclassed Derry in Sunday's League final
Dublin outclassed Derry in Sunday's League final
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

DUBLIN'S devastating performance when beating Derry by 15 points in Sunday's Allianz League football final has convinced the betting markets that Jim Gavin's men are untouchable in the race for the All-Ireland title.

Despite having to win a minimum of six games to retain the Sam Maguire Cup, Dublin have been cut to even money, the shortest pre-championship price for any county in years. All the other contenders as a group are quoted at 8/11 to end Dublin's run.

Dublin went into last year's championship as 5/2 favourites after winning the league and duly delivered from the front-runners' position.

However, the pressure will be even greater this year as they attempt to retain the title for the first time since 1977. They are also bidding to become the first county since Kerry in 1931-32 to win the league and All-Ireland double in successive years.

Dublin signed off on the spring campaign with ruthless efficiency. Their 3-19 score last Sunday was the biggest in a league final since Kerry hit Derry for 4-16 in 1961.

However, Kerry did not win the All-Ireland title that season, losing the semi-final to Down. Gavin will be well aware of the risks attached to being such overwhelming favourites, but with Dublin's Leinster opposition struggling to make progress, the first big test is unlikely to arrive until the All-Ireland quarter-finals.

Cork and Mayo (6/1 each) are Dublin's closest pursuers in the All-Ireland betting. Dublin are 1/7 to win the Leinster title for the ninth time in 10 seasons, followed by Meath on 9/1, Kildare 14/1 and Wexford 40/1.

Irish Independent

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