Ulster Football Championship Betting Guide for the 2022 Season

Original banner featuring a GAA football net and ball followed by the words Ulster Championship next to the coat of arms of the Ulster GAA

While the Ulster Senior Football Championship is far from being the only such tournament in Ireland, it’s widely considered to be the hardest to win.

According to Gaelic football referee David Coldrick, the Ulster Championship “makes or breaks you”, while he also opined that “there’s an extra dimension and intensity to such games and you must be at your best to succeed”.

Nine teams compete annually for Ulster’s Anglo-Celt Cup, while the championship is believed to be the most equitable in terms of the distribution of title wins through history.

We’ll explore this and more in the guide below, while offering some GAA football betting tips ahead of the 2022 iteration.

Best Ulster Football Betting Sites by Category

🥇 Best Ulster Football Betting Site:

BoyleSports

🎁 Best GAA Football Free Bet Offer:

William Hill

📡 Best Ulster Football Live Betting Site:

Ladbrokes

💯 Best Ulster Football Enhanced Odds Betting Site:

888 Sport

What are the Best Sportsbooks for Ulster Senior Football Championship Betting?

As you can imagine, there are numerous sportsbooks that provide coverage of the Ulster Senior Football Championship, including match bets and outright wagers.

We’ve detailed the best such sportsbooks below, while asking what sets these entities apart from their rivals.

Ladbrokes

Logo of Ladbrokes as it is chosen as the best live betting site for the Ulster GAA tournament alongside a Gaa football player evading his opponent

We’ll start, understandably, with Ladbrokes, which is synonymous with the traditional UK and Irish high streets and boasts nearly 40 sports betting markets all told.

This number includes match and outright betting on the Ulster Championship, along with a range of markets pertaining to the subsequent All-Ireland Championship and Super 8s.

New Ladbrokes customers can qualify for a €20 welcome bonus, which comprises four free bets worth €5 each. These can be used to wager on the Ulster Championship, although your selections must feature minimum odds of 1.50.

BoyleSports

Logo of Boylesports as it is chosen as the best betting site for the Ulster GAA tournament alongside a couple of players competing for the ball

BoyleSports is probably the most famous and popular sportsbook in Ireland, while it offers a whopping 41 sports betting markets to punters.

Of course, it stands to reason that BoyleSports offers the most extensive coverage of GAA markets on the market, while the platform is always among the first to provide ante-post outright odds on the provincial championships.

As a new player at BoyleSports, you can earn a €20 free bet when you credit your account with a minimum of €5. This offer will be subject to nominal wagering requirements, while the minimum odds in play here are a little higher than some of the aforementioned gambling brands at 2.00.

William Hill

William Hill logo which is Ulster's choice for free bet offer alongside players in action

William Hill is another popular UK and Ireland gambling brand and one that offers access to around 31 sports betting markets in total.

Contained within this number are several GAA markets, including match and outright betting pertaining to the Ulster Senior Football Championship and other provincial tournaments.

William Hill’s welcome offer is a little more valuable, with a €30 bonus comprising of two free bets worth €15 each. The same minimum odds apply here, while you should note that there are no wagering requirements associated with the promotion.

888Sport

Logo of 888sport which is the site that offers enhanced odds for the Ulster tournament alongside an image of players trying to catch the ball

While 888Sports offers less sports betting markets in total (28), it is renowned for providing incredibly competitive and often enhanced odds.

You can also wager directly on the Ulster Championship through the website, whether you want to wager on individual games or the outright winner of the tournament.

The 888Sport welcome bonus offers up to €100 in free bets, so long as you credit your new account with a minimum of €5. The precise value of the bonus will vary depending on the size of your initial deposit, while this will be subject to wagering requirements of 5-times.

The Ulster Championship Format and Fixtures

The Ulster Senior Football Championship will maintain its historic straight knockout format for 2022, with the nine teams drawn randomly against one another across three rounds of fixtures.

As usual, the action will get underway with a single preliminary qualifying round on Sunday, April 17th, when defending champions Tyrone will visit the unfancied Fermanagh. The winners here will enter the quarter-finals, where they’re scheduled to face Derry.

This will represent a tough trip to Brewster Park for Tyrone, with Third Division Fermanagh likely to be incredibly fired up in their bid to pull off a stunning upset.

The first three quarters will take place on May 1st, with Antrim drawn against Cavan, Donegal hosting Armagh and Monaghan entertaining Down. Fermanagh or Tyrone will then take on Derry in the fourth such game to continue their defence of the Anglo-Celt Cup.

The winners will then advance to the semi-final stage, with the victors of the Donegal / Armagh match scheduled to face either Antrim or Cavan. One of Derry, Fermanagh and Tyrone will then take on Monaghan in the second semi-final.

The eventual final is likely to take place by July 24th, as the GAA implement their first officially split season between provincial and All-Ireland championships.

This years will draw is a relatively equitable one, particularly as Tyrone have to start their title defence on the bottom rung of the Ulster Championship ladder for the first time since 2004. Sure, they thrashed Derry in Omagh on that occasion, but there’s no doubt that ‘The Red Hands’ will find themselves in a dogfight in 2022.

The quarters also throw up some interesting and difficult-to-call matches, and in this respect, the 2022 iteration of the Ulster SFC may be one of the most fascinating for many a year.

The Ulster Championships 2022 Schedule

Premlinary Qualifying Round

Date

Team 1

Team 2

Result

April 17th

Fermanagh

Tyrone

TBC

 

Quarter-Finals

Date

Team 1

Team 2

Result

May 1st

Donegal

Armagh

TBC

May 1st

Antrim

Cavan

TBC

May 1st

Monaghan

Down

TBC

May 1st

Derry

Fermanagh / Tyrone

TBC

 

 

Semi-Finals

Date

Team 1

Team 2

Result

TBC

Donegal / Armagh

Antrim / Cavan

TBC

TBC

Monaghan / Down

Derry / Fermanagh / Tyrone

TBC

 

 

Final

Date

Team 1

Team 2

Result

TBC

TBC

TBC

TBC

Ulser Championships Odds and Prices

Ulster GAA logo official

The relatively equitable nature of the Ulster Championship is reflected by the early ante-post odds, across both qualifying and quarter-final matches and the outright betting market.

Of course, not all of our listed sportsbooks have released their Ulster Senior Football Championships yet, but the initial pricing hints at a tight and competitive tournament that the bookies are finding it hard to call.

However, the defending champions Tyrone remain the overall favourites for now, and they can currently be backed at an average price of 7/4. Monaghan are also relatively well-fancied at odds of around 11/2, but it’s second favourites Donegal (2/1) that will really catch the eye of punters.

Certainly, 14-man Donegal were heroic in a narrow defeat to Tyrone in last year’s semi-final, while star performers like half-back Ryan McHugh and sweeper Hugh McFadden expected to really shine this season. Manager Declan Bonner also oversaw the Tír Chonaill men’s last two successful title tilts on 2018 and 2019, so the team is well-placed to add to their haul next time around.

Remember, Donegal have won the most titles (5) of any side since 2010, with Tyrone having won four during the same period.

Armagh can also be backed at around 6/1, despite a title drought that dates back to 2008. Remember, Armagh pushed Monaghan to the brink in a classic Ulster semi-final in 2021, so they’ll fancy their chances of going at least one better next time around.

For fans of history, 39-times Ulster SFC winners Cavan are 6th favourites at an average price of 14/1, which will come as little surprise given that the side has won just a single championship title (2020) since 1997.

Below, we’ve published a table of the latest Ulster championship odds, and we’ll continue to populate this with the relevant information as and when it’s made available to us.

Team

Ladbrokes

William Hill

888Sport

BoyleSports

Tyrone

TBC

TBC

TBC

7/4

Donegal

TBC

TBC

TBC

2/1

Monaghan

TBC

TBC

TBC

11/2

Armagh

TBC

TBC

TBC

6/1

Derry

TBC

TBC

TBC

10/1

Caavan

TBC

TBC

TBC

14/1

Down

TBC

TBC

TBC

20/1

Antrim

TBC

TBC

TBC

80/1

Fermanagh

TBC

TBC

TBC

150/1

Recommended - The Best Ulster Championship Bets

Logo of the Ulster GAA alongside a player running with the ball

At this stage, it’s time to take a look at some of the best and most popular Ulster Championships bets, with a number of ante-post and in-play markets available to punters.

We’ve listed three of the most popular wagers below, so you can look at how to deploy your bankroll in the marketplace.

Outright Betting

Let’s start with the basics; as outright betting on tournaments such as the Ulster SFC represents the most popular type of ante-post wager in the market.

In simple terms, outright betting requires you to wager on the eventual winner of the championship, with eventual payouts based on the real-time price offered to you by sportsbooks.

This is an excellent market for informed punters who prefer ante-post wagers, as odds typically shorten over time as bettors flock to the market and each side receives a certain amount of backing.

The Over/Under Betting Market

Another popular market refers to over/under betting, as you look to target individual matches and the total amount of points scored during the contest.

More specifically, the sportsbook in question will recommend a theoretical points tally for certain matches, and it’s your task to determine whether the actual total will be higher (over) or lower (under).

This wager is great fun and ideal for Gaelic Football fans and casual gamblers, while it’s also an even money wager that offers significant value for money.

Accumulator Betting

While the Ulster Senior Football Championship isn’t necessarily a natural fit with accumulator betting, it is possible to place this type of wager over the course of the initial qualifying round and four quarter-final matches.

With acca betting, you’ll have to include a minimum of four selections within a single wager, where the odds of each individual outcome are multiplied together to create an extended price. Each selection will have to come in for the bet to be successful, but it’s a wager that can deliver increased returns for punters too.

So, you could look to create a four or five-fold accumulator covering the early stages of the Ulster SFC, ideally backing slightly shorter-priced favourites to optimise your chances of winning.

Alternative Top Bookies for the Ulster Championship

18+ | UK 1st depositors only (NI excl.). Mobile Exclusive. Bet £10 minimum on sports & get a £20 free bet. Wagering req. apply: min odds of 2 | Cashed out/Free Bets won’t apply | 30 days to qualify | Payment method restrictions exist | Play Responsibly | Terms and Conditions apply. http://www.begambleaware.org

18+ New Players only. Make a qualifying deposit of €5* or more and claim the offer within 30 days of registering your account to qualify. Must contain at least one selection at odds of 1/5 (1.20) or greater.. For free bet wagering requirements and minimum odds read T&C’s.| Terms & Conditions apply | Play Responsibly | www.begambleaware.org

18+ New UK + IRE customers. Paypal and certain deposit types and bet types excluded. Min 5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4 x 5 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days on sports, stake not returned, restrictions apply. www.begambleaware.org

The Top Ulster Championship Betting Tips

Now that you understand some of the most popular bets, the next step is to learn how to deploy these successfully.

Our team has provided some expert tips below to help you on your way so that you can target the Ulster Championship with a greater degree of success.

Avoid Handicap Betting With the Ulster SFC

While this may sound strange, handicap betting is an option that only really suits markets where there’s an overwhelming favourite and a perceived gulf in quality between two competing sides.

However, rarely does such a chasm exist in Ulster Championship matches, with the aforementioned 2022 odds highlighting the close, competitive and keenly-contested nature of the tournament as a whole.

Because of this, we’d recommend avoiding handicap betting on the Ulster SFC, unless there are form, injuries or team news indicators that place a particular team at a real-time disadvantage.

Make the Most of Welcome Offers

All sportsbooks offer generous welcome offers to their online customers, including each and every operator listed on our site.

As we’ve already touched on, however, not all sportsbook welcome offers have been created equal, so you’ll need to compare this market in detail in order to find the option that best suits your bankroll and wider betting strategy.

You should also review the T&Cs associated with each offer, particularly the small print will include details such as wagering requirements, minimum odds requirements and any restrictions with regards to deployment.

Bet365Bet credits that are valued at €50 Claim Now
William HillPlace a €10 bet and you will be given €40 worth of free betsClaim Now
888sportMake a €10 bet and you will receive €30 worth of free betsClaim Now
BetVictorMake a €5 wager and you can claim €30 worth of free betsClaim Now
UnibetPlace a wager and if you lose your bet, you can get up to €40 back in a free betClaim Now

Target Individual Player Markets

Outside of team markets, there’s also a host of ante-post and in-play bets pertaining to individual players that you can target.

Top points or goalscorer is perhaps the most popular ante-post market of this type, as this is a straightforward wager that’s ideal for both casual and serious gamblers. Tyrone’s Darren McCurry topped the charts in 2021, with a total of 22 points scored overall.

From an in-play perspective, you could also target the first goal or points scorer in a particular game, with this market known for offering competitive odds and appeal for knowledgable GAA fans.

Interesting Facts and Stats About the 2021 Ulster Championship

There were some truly outstanding games during the 2021 Ulster SFC, as Tyrone claimed their 16th title. Below, we’ve selected some of the most interesting facts and statistics from the tournament:

  • Monaghan’s 2021 run and brave final performance came against a truly tragic backdrop, following the death of their U20 capital Brendan Óg Ó Duffaign in a car accident just weeks before
  • Despite the sides historically dominant performance, this was Monaghan’s first Ulster final since 2015. Similarly, the side has only won two titles since 1988
  • Darren McCurry was the first Tyrone player to top the scoring charts outright since Stephen O’Neill in 2005, with an impressive haul of 0-22 during the 2021 Ulster SFC
  • Tyrone manager Feargal Charles Logan claimed his second career title in 2021, just months after replacing 6-time winner and country legend Micky Harte at the club
  • Monaghan’s emotional and high-scoring semi-final win over Armagh is widely considered to be one of the best Ulster matches of all-time, denying the latter their first final appearance since 2008

Then and Now - A Brief History of the Ulster Senior Football Championships

It was in 1884 when the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) first created a standardised set of rules of Gaelic Football, laying the foundation for a number of highly popular inter-county games over the course of the next couple of years.

From here, the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship was born, with Limerick winning the first such title on April 29th, 1887.

Interestingly, there was no iteration the following year as players headed overseas to promote the sport stateside, although the GAA did introduce provincial championships to help introduce structure to the sport and ease the logistical and cost burden on travelling sides.

This included the Ulster Championship, with the very first final in the summer of 1888 seeing Monaghan defeat Cavan.

Despite the popularity and commercial success of the championship, there was no iteration in 1889, while the tournament was dormant for nine years between 1892 and 1900. The 1901/02 season saw a dramatic return, however, while the championship has been contested in the all-but-one of the subsequent 119 years (1907).

Following an initial spell of dominance that saw Antrim win six consecutive titles between 1908 and 1913, Monaghan’s third title triumph in 1914 triggered an incredible sequence of 31 years in which ‘The Oriel County’ shared the championship with rivals Cavan.

While the championship and become significantly more equitable since this period, Cavan has emerged as the single most successful side, with 39 titles overall. However, just one of these has come since 1997, with Tyrone having claimed eight Anglo-Celt Cups during the noughties to join Monaghan on 16 titles overall.

Three other sides have managed to reach double figures in terms of titles; namely Armagh (14), Down (12) and Donegal (10), highlighting the increased competitive nature of the championship since the Second World War.

FAQS - Your Questions Answered

At this stage, all that’s left is for our team to answer some of your most frequently asked questions, pertaining to both the Ulster SFC and its various betting markets.

Here are some of the most common FAQs, along with our very best attempts at answering!

Who are the Most Successful Ulster SFC Sides?

Despite being one of the most equitable provincial championships, Cavan’s haul of 39 titles is more than twice that of nearest rivals Monaghan. A further four sides have claimed 10 titles or more, including defending champions Tyrone (16), Armagh (14), Down (12) and Donegal (10).

Who Should I Back in 2022?

This is a really tough one to call, with four teams (namely Tyrone, Donegal, Monaghan and Armagh) having a realistic chance of winning in 2022. All we can recommend is that you track and price and news in the build-up to the event, while seeking out enhanced odds or free bets to help minimise your risk as a punter.

How Can I Watch the Ulster SFC in 2022?

Typically, RTE and RTE2 in Ireland broadcast live coverage of the Ulster Senior Football Championships, with Sky Sports Arena offering similar coverage in the UK. You may also be able to seek out extensive highlights on BBC Northern Ireland, but check with your local channels to find out more.

Who Will Win the Ulster Championship in 2021?

This is not an easy thing to predict, but we feel that it will be between Donegal, Tyrone, and Cavan.

Who are the Players to Watch in 2022?

As defending Ulster champions Tyrone went on to win the prestigious All-Ireland Senior Football Championship last year, you shouldn’t be surprised to know that the side provided eight players to the Gaelic Football Team of the Year. Certainly, forward Darren McCurry is one to watch in 2022, while the versatile Conor Mayler and half-back Patrick Duncan also poised for excellent championships!

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