LOI BEST BETS – Fri, March 8th

LOI TV Commentator & host of Between the Stripes LOI podcast, Kieran Burke is back with another series of selections for this weekend’s domestic action.


I can not believe the betting for this game. Bohemians manager Declan Devine is under a world of pressure just four games into the new campaign while Irish legend Damien Duff is being touted as a future Ireland manager given his exploits at Tolka Park over the past two and a bit seasons.

Shelbourne go into this Dublin derby as league leaders, they are unbeaten (P4, W3, D1) and have enjoyed a fruitful few days with hard-fought wins away to Sligo and at home to Galway. Both of those games ended 1-0 to the Reds and epitomises what Shelbourne are all about under Duff, they’re well-organised, hard-working, and as gritty as teams come.

The same can not be said of Bohemians, they are the polar opposite, Declan Devine’s men come across as a soft touch. The Gypsies soft underbelly was again exposed on Monday night as they conceded two incredibly soft set-pieces in defeat to Drogheda.

Shelbourne will be far too shrewd for struggling Bohemians.

BEST BET: Shelbourne (NAP) (21/10)


Cobh Ramblers will make the longest journey in the League of Ireland on Friday night as the Cork men travel to Donegal to take on an in-form Finn Harps. New Harps boss Darren Murphy has spoken about his desire to turn Finn Park back into a fortress this season and his players have so far responded to that message after a home draw against title favourites Cork City and a convincing win at home to Athlone Town last week.

Harps were unlucky not to win that game against Cork City as a controversial penalty decision went against the hosts. Having also won on the road in Longford this season, Finn Harps find themselves second in the division and one of only three unbeaten sides.

While Cobh Ramblers deserve credit for coming from two goals behind to claim a point against Athlone Town last time out, the Rams have shipped six goals in their two matches so far and look set to fulfill predictions that they won’t be as competitive as last season having endured a dreadful off-season with manager Shane Keegan and a host of his top players departing the club for different reasons.

Finn Harps may well have made one of the signings of the winter in striker Success Edogun. The former Treaty United man has scored in every game so far and will fancy his chances against a leaky Cobh side on Friday.

BEST BET: Finn Harps (23/20)



For those of you new to this column, every week I highlight a team or two perhaps at a larger price that I think could be of interest away from my main betting tips above. This week, newly promoted Waterford FC caught my eye ahead of their trip to the Brandywell to tackle Derry City.

The Candystripes almost enjoyed a perfect few days as they led in the dying stages against champions Shamrock Rovers on Friday, having scored a late winner against St.Pat’s just days earlier. However, a late Rovers equaliser left a tad of a sour taste in Derry mouths on Monday night.

However, having watched both games, it again became clear to me that the Brandywell playing surface is a huge disadvantage in Derry’s hopes of delivering a league title this season. While they haven’t lost at the Brandywell in quite some time, they just aren’t as slick and polished as they often prove to be on a grass pitch and that’s a big concern for the year ahead.

Waterford FC have acquitted themselves brilliantly since promotion and when you look at their starting XI, they’ve as much firepower as anyone in this division. Padraig Amond is the league’s top scorer with four goals and we can expect the veteran striker to have a really good season given the service he’s receiving from the likes of Barry Baggley, Conor Parsons, and Maleace Asamoah.

The latter of those three has been a real revelation since arriving from Waterford’s sister club Fleetwood, the winger has pace to burn and with two good attacking full-backs in Power and Burke, this is a Waterford side that could do some real damage on the break should Derry struggle in possession.

Waterford are 5/1 to win in Derry but the Double Chance market could be the smart play here with the Blues 13/10 to win or draw in Derry.

Elsewhere, Treaty United should expect to continue their perfect start to the season with victory at home to a defensively naive Bray Wanderers side. However, 6/5 isn’t an overly appealing price even if the Limerick men are the only team in either division with a 100% record.

Similar comments apply to St.Patrick’s Athletic as they host a Dundalk team in turmoil. Yes, the Saints should win but they’ve got a few headaches of their own at the moment so I’ll gladly skip over them at an odds-on price.


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*Odds were correct at time of publishing the article