Armagh vs Down Prediction: Preview & Odds - Ulster Football Semi Final

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TournamentUSFC
Timetable27th April, 17:15 GMT
PredictionArmagh To Win!
Odds1.20
BookmakerBoyleSports
Armagh To Win!
The best odds
1.
Boyle​Sports
Odds : 1.20
Bet €100 and win €120 if Armagh win.
Bonus:
€30

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2.
Legend Play Sports
Odds : 1.20
Bet €100 and win €120 if Armagh win.
Bonus:
3.
1​Bet Sports
Odds : 1.20
Bet €100 and win €120 if Armagh win.
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Down and Armagh will meet once again in the Ulster Championship semi-final on Saturday, almost 12 months after ‘The Orchard Men’ thumped their rivals by 10 points at St Tiernach's Park. The omens don’t look good for Down after an unconvincing quarter-final win over Antrim, but can they upset the latest football betting odds and gain revenge for their last four defeat in 2023?

🏆Armagh vs Down Ulster Championship Prediction

Down were outclassed in last year’s semi-final and will be desperate to avenge this defeat this time around, but the manner of their quarterfinal victory over Antrim raised more questions than answers. They certainly lacked fluency throughout and only prevailed by four points at Páirc Esler, while they were reliant on the creative brilliance and composure of Odhrán Murdock in the second half.

Down also lost their League final against Division Three rivals Westmeath, so aren’t in the best form ahead of their Ulster semi-final clash. However, Conor Laverty’s men can be brilliant on their day, as seen last year when they scored a mighty 8-16 against Laois in the 2023 Tailteann Cup semi-final.

Armagh are a far more consistent side under the stewardship of Kieran McGeeney, although they also lost their league Division Two final against Donegal at Croke Park. Still, they finished second in the division and earned promotion. They also came within a whisker of winning the Ulster Championship in 2023, only losing to Derry on penalties after a thrilling shoot-out.

Overall, Armagh have enjoyed a superb campaign in 2024 and thrashed Fermanagh in the Ulster quarterfinal, prevailing by 11 points at Brewster Park despite taking their foot off the gas in the second half. Because of this and the inability of Down to perform consistently, I’m tipping Armagh to record another Ulster semi-final win this weekend.

My Prediction: 🏆Armagh to Win!

💯 Armagh vs Down Ulster Championship Odds

Ireland’s best betting sites have already published their odds ahead of the Ulster semi-final between Down and Armagh. Backing the winner remains the most popular betting market in the Ulster Championship, even though the draw remains a viable (if unlikely) outcome during normal time. But how is this currently being priced?

🏅Armagh vs Down: Match Winner

Armagh are the heavy betting favourites to repeat their semi-final win over Down this weekend. Their average price of 1.20 implies an 83.33% probability of a win for the Orchardmen at St Tiernach's Park in Clone. As for Down, they can be backed at around 5.50 to avenge their last-four defeat in 2023, suggesting that they have just an 18.18% chance of achieving this objective. The draw is priced at 11.00 and has an implied probability of 9.09%, making it the statistically least likely outcome during normal time.

Result
Down to Win5.255.256.005.255.50
Armagh to Win1.201.201.201.201.20
Draw12.0012.0011.0012.0012.00

✔️ Armagh vs Down - Betting Tips

In addition to backing the winner of this Ulster semi-final, you can access a range of alternative betting markets. But how can you navigate these successfully and make the most of your real money bankroll or the available free bets that you have on your account? Here are some expert betting tips to keep in mind:

  • Tip 1: Back Armagh to Win Outright: Armagh are the justified favourites to defeat Down at St Tiernach's Park, having enjoyed an impressive league campaign and thrashed Fermanagh in the Ulster quarterfinals. Conversely, Down looked well below par in their last eight win over Antrim, while they remain overly reliant on the creativity of Odhrán Murdock in midfield. So, get on Armagh to win outright at a price of 1.20 at LegendPlay.
  • Tip 2: Back Armagh with a Handicap of -5.5 Points: If you want to create further value when backing Armagh to win, consider engaging in handicap betting. Remember, the Orchardmen comfortably overcame Down by 10 points in last year’s semi-final, while their high-pressing and energetic style of play may be difficult for their opponents to cope with. You can back Armagh to prevail with a handicap of -5.5 points at the enhanced price of 1.80 with RoyalistPlay Sports.
  • Tip 3: Back Armagh to Qualify for the Final: Of course, Down are capable of achieving incredibly high-performance levels at times and could push Armagh all the way if they bring their A-game this weekend. This increases the likelihood that this Ulster semi-final will go to extra time, meaning that any winning bet on Armagh will be null and void. So, if you expect the Orchardmen to edge their opponents after extra time, simply back them to qualify for the final at a price of 2.60 with BoyleSports.

1️⃣ Armagh Update

Armagh have only lost one of their previous five matches in all competitions, with this run including their impressive dismantling of Fermanagh in the Ulster quarterfinals. Donegal remain the only team to defeat Armagh during this sequence, while the Orchard Men also recorded Allianz Division Three victories against Cavan and Fermanagh again (they also drew with Cork). Despite their consistent form of late, the weight of history is against Armagh as they look to win their first Ulster Championship since 2008, although last season’s shootout defeat to Derry at least saw them compete in the provincial final for the first time in 14 years. They’re certainly the justified favourites to defeat Down again at the weekend.

Last 5 Games
Fermanagh 0-9
Armagh 3-11
14.04.24
Ulster Senior Football Championship
Armagh 0-14
Donegal 0-15
31.03.24
Allianz Football League Roinn 2 - Final
Cork 2-16
Armagh 2-16
23.03.24
Allianz Football League Roinn 2
Armagh 2-21
Cavan 0-12
16.03.24
Allianz Football League Roinn 2
Fermanagh 0-11
Armagh 0-15
03.03.24
Allianz Football League Roinn 2

Kieran McGeeney recently welcomed back goalkeeper Ethan Rafferty from injury, leaving his team at full strength ahead of the Ulster Championship semi-final. This will potentially afford them a competitive edge against Down in the Ulster SFC last four, especially when you also consider their recent form and the potential psychological impact of last season’s semi-final victory. Star performer Rory Grugan is also fit and raring to go in attack.

2️⃣ Down Update

Although Down achieved their objective of earning promotion from Division Three during the spring, their defeat to Westmeath in the divisional final highlighted their inconsistency and lack of attacking fluency. This loss also means that they’ll have to defeat Armagh and reach the Ulster Championship final to qualify for the All-Ireland competition. They underwhelmed in their narrow win over an unfancied Antrim side too, especially as their opponents were without their star performer Ruairi McCann at Páirc Esler. Midfielder Odhrán Murdock contributed two key assists and a single point in the second half, and he’ll have to play a pivotal role once again if Down are to overcome Armagh.

Last 5 Games
Down 0-13
Antrim 0-9
13.04.24
Ulster Senior Football Championship
Down 0-13
Westmeath 2-10
30.03.24
Allianz Football League Roinn 3 - Final
Down 3-15
Clare 1-10
24.03.24
Allianz Football League Roinn 3
Westmeath 0-13
Down 1-10
17.03.24
Allianz Football League Roinn 3
Down 2-17
Sligo1-8
03.03.24
Allianz Football League Roinn 3

👕 Armagh vs Down - Potential Lineups

Pos. Down
6-2-6
Armagh
6-2-6
Pos.
Goalkeeper J. O’Hare B. Hughes Goalkeeper
Right Corner-Back P. Fegan P. Burns Right Corner-Back
Half-Back R. McEvoy A. McKay Half-Back
Left Corner-Back C. Doherty P. McGrane Left Corner-Back
Right Half-Back M. Rooney G. McCabe Right Half-Back
Centre Half-Back P. Laverty A. Forker Centre Half-Back
Left Half-Back D. Guinness B. McCambridge Left Half-Back
Midfielder C. McCrickard C. Mackin Midfielder
Midfielder O. Murdock B. Crealey Midfielder
Right Half-Forward S. Johnston S. Campbell Right Half-Forward
Centre Half-Forward L. Kerr R. Grugan Centre Half-Forward
Left Half-Forward R. Johnston J. McElroy Left Half-Forward
Right Corner-Forward B. O’Hagan C. Turbitt Right Corner-Forward
Full Forward P. Havern A. Murnin Full Forward
Left Corner-Forward D. Magill O. Conaty Full Forward

Armagh To Win!

✒️ Lewis Humphries – Expert Tipster

Lewis Humphries is an experienced football and GAA writer and tipster from the UK. He writes regularly about the Champions League, Premier League, Serie A and the GAA provincial championships, regularly delivering expert match predictions and betting insights. He also successfully predicted the winner of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, while accurately forecasting the outcome of several group stage and knockout games.