Yet the big prize is now up for grabs and it seems that the nation's desire to see Mayo shatter their 70-year curse is not encouraging a rush of bets on James Horan's men.
Paddy Power have revealed when it comes down to bets, there’s just a 2% split in who punters are supporting.
The bookies also revealed that:
* Double the number of punters in punters in Mayo (18%) are backing Tyrone to win than vice versa (10%)
* 61% of Kerry folk are backing Tyrone
* The Dubs are split down the middle (almost) on who they want to see claim Sam
* When it comes to support, everybody needs good neighbours, with Galway and Sligo punters showing strongest support for Mayo to reverse the curse.
* And while Monaghan are the most likely to side with Tyrone, Kerry are right up there with them!
However, proud Kerry man and Sunday World columnist Pat Spillane may well have labelled them ‘cute hoors’ on live TV recently, but it turns out that Tyrone have got friends in low places and punters in Kerry are amongst their biggest fans as far as the betting is concerned.
“Kerry were bitterly defeated by Tyrone in a controversial semi-final by just a single point, and while their most famous son was hopping mad about the circumstances, 61% of punters in The Kingdom have backed the Red Hands to lift Sam – proof that you don’t need friends when you’ve got good enemies,” spokesperson Rachael Kane said.
Overall, a total of 22% of match bets are on Mayo, while 20% are on Tyrone. However, the remaining 58% of punts are on a draw result, which is by far the bookies most popular selection.
Punters are latching on to the possibility of a tie result, following two draws in the semi-finals, and a well-documented history of similar results in championship deciders.
“A draw result with Mayo winning in extra time would be a nightmare scenario for Paddy Power,” Paddy Power’s spokesperson adds.
“We started laying Mayo heavily after they beat Galway in the Connacht final. They were backed from 7/1, and then we continued to lay them heavily at 6/4 after they stunned the Dubs into submission,” she explains.
“On the Tyrone side, following reports of their possible demise due to COVID, Paddy Power saw a big upturn in bets on them as soon as it was confirmed they would contest their semi-final, albeit delayed, against Kerry, and punters backed them in their droves, snapping up odds of 12/1 with Paddy Power.”