Lonesharkoy previews the Leinster Football final between Dublin and Westmeath from Croke Park and recommends a bet on total Dublin goals.
Dublin vs Westmeath, Leinster SF Final
At this stage, sixteen points is becoming the default handicap for Dublin in Leinster football matches. Five of their eleven provincial outings over the past four seasons have been won by this exact margin and while we obviously understand that this is merely a coincidence, it’s notable too that in the last four Leinster campaigns, they’ve only twice gone over this mark – against Longford and Kildare this summer.
Once could argue that the last thing Dublin needed was to become more adept at beating up small fry in Leinster, yet it seems as if this is exactly what’s happened, and the reason for that it simple – they’ve added so much more goal scoring to their arsenal. Nine majors have been posted in their last two outings; scores which have made the difference between big wins and the type of absolute pummellings that have inspired some people to question the very structure of the championship.
Yet here’s the anomaly – Dublin’s total points mark is either 28.5 or 29.5 this week, depending on where you bet, while their total goals are still at around 2.5. That would suggest around 21 white flags as the likely expectancy - and that might be a bit high, even allowing for the somewhat accommodating nature of the Westmeath defence. Consequently we can say one of two things – either Dublin’s total points line is too high, or their total goal line is a fraction low.
It’s a close call, but we’ll go for the latter and take over 2.5 goals at even money with Powers. After all, Bryan McMahon was able to cut through this defence at ease, so surely Kevin McMenamin and Diarmuid Connolly would be able to do the same?
This Westmeath side are a fine attacking force, as evidenced by their team selection. We all saw from Kieran Martin last time out where he’s at his best and he’s been named at centre back once again, while beside him, James Dolan is a natural forward that has found a home at left wing back for the county. They’re not built to play conservatively, and their tendency to tackle high up the field is fine against most opponents, but not the Dubs who are incredibly powerful, and well capable of capitalising on any overlap, the natural consequence of a missed tackle. Expect Dublin to get goals here again, and even money about three or more looks like a decent play.