TattsBet News 4th October

RUGBY LEAGUE 

The NRL Cup is heading south after Melbourne Storm defeated Canterbury 14-4 on Sunday, and even though the Storm hit a form slump after the Origin series, they were one of the best backed sides all year. After opening at $9.00 late last year, the Storm were in a fraction to $8.00 prior to the first round, and got as short as $3.00 after racking up early wins. Even when they were on that losing streak, the best the Storm got out to was $6.50, we all knew they would come good, and they did. After opening at $2.00 when the two finalists were known, Melbourne were quickly backed into $1.80, and spent the rest of the week hovering around that mark. In a terrific betting game, there was late money for the Bulldogs who were backed form $2.10 into $2.00, but it wasn't anything like what was placed on Melbourne. Punters got that right, the only saving grace being that they didn't win by 13+ as that was backed from $4.85 into $3.85. While that mini plunge didn't come off, there were plenty of people very happy when Ryan Hoffman crashed over for the first try, and just as many again when Cooper Cronk was awarded the Clive Churchill Medal. Hoffman was easily the worst result for TattsBet after he was backed from $17 into $11, while Cronk eventually started $5.50 equal favourite with Cameron Smith, with that duo commanding nearly 50% of the bets.

There will be a Test in Townsville between Australia and New Zealand on October 13, and betting will open for that next Monday. The betting is open for next year's title, with Melbourne heading proceedings at $6.00 ahead of the Bulldogs ($7.00), Manly ($8.00) and Souths ($9.00). The most notable movers from this season are the Sharks ($11), Knights ($13) and the Roosters ($19), while the Tigers, who were backed for a fortune before this season started, are $21 after losing a coach and several players. There will be plenty of market movers over the coming months and we will keep readers abreast of those moves.

AFL

Sydney were $26 when the 2012 AFL flag market opened, and although they occupied the top part of the ladder for the better part of the season, they were never really given much hope of landing the major prize by punters. Even when the Swans were locked in to a top 4 position they were hard to sell, but when they downed Collingwood to make it through to the Grand Final, we then started to see some serious support. Sydney were $2.75 at the start of the week, and were $2.50 when the game started. The ratio of bets for Sydney was 6-1 in favour of them over Hawthorn, but we did see big bets come for the Hawks including three of $30,000 at $1.50 and $1.55 (2), and several $20,000 bets. The in-run betting was interesting, with the Hawks $1.25 at quarter time when up by 19 points (Swans $3.75), then Sydney got into $1.25 themselves when up by nearly 5 goals. There was money for the Hawks at 3 quarter time at $1.75 even though they were 1 point down and kicking into the breeze. It looked all over when they raced to an 11 point lead, but the Swans did not give up, and have added another Cup to the trophy cabinet. Ryan O'Keefe was easily the best backed of the Swans players, firming from $16 into $12, but he was a much better result than some of the big names from Hawthorn.

Most of the major stats said that Hawthorn should have won, but they didn't, and once again will be ruing many wasted opportunities. The betting is up for next season, and they have been installed as $4.00 fav's ahead of the Swans ($7.00), West Coast ($8.00), Carlton and Adelaide (both $9.00). Many might wonder if Hawthorn deserve to be favourites, and if they do, the value may be elsewhere, but where?

The SANFL Grand Final will be on this Sunday, and Norwood have been long odds on favourites for several weeks. Now that it is down to two, they have shortened right up into $1.33, with West Adelaide at $3.25. These two met in a semi-final two weeks ago with Norwood inning by a massive 44 points, and that was after having 21 scoring shots to West Adelaide's 7. The game does look to be in Norwood's keeping, but you just never know in finals football! 

BATHURST

Car 888 (Lowndes/Luff) is now the clear cut $3.00 favourite to win Bathurst on Sunday after being $4.50 before recently winning the Sandown 500. Lowndes is no stranger to the winners circle at Bathurst having won it five times before, with Mark Skaiffe in 2010, three in row with Jamie Whincup (2006,07,08), and back in 1996 with Greg Murphy. His form at the mountain, as well as recent wins has meant that punters think he can deliver again. There hasn't been a lot of interest in Car 1 (Whincup/Dumbrell) at $3.50, but Car 5 (Winterbottom/Richards) has attracted nearly as much support as the favourites. Garth Tander and Nick Percat (Car 2) are back to defend their title, and are another car to meet with solid support including two early bets of $500 each way at $10.00. Several other cars at big odds have also been backed including Car 9 (Van Gisbergen/Youlden) at $26, and Car 51 (Murphy/ Owen Kelly) has been backed from $101 into $61. Betting will be closed while all of the key practise sessions are on, and will reopen as soon as they are completed. Tattsbet will also be betting LIVE throughout the race. 

RUGBY UNION 

The final two matches in the Rugby Championship will be decided on Sunday morning, and the recent results have thrown these two matches wide open.

South Africa will play New Zealand in Johannesburg, and there has been an early push for the All Blacks who have firmed from $1.53 into $1.50. They go to South Africa after beating Argentina last week, and with the Springboks having a big win over the Wallabies, we rate their chances highly of a home win. South Africa are $2.50, and are getting 5 points start ($1.85) in handicap betting.

Australia were the walking wounded last week, and have had to travel to Argentina to take on the Pumas. It looks like at least five of the Wallabies will be missing from last week's side, and when you consider that it took them an eternity to put Argentina away on the Gold Coast a few weeks back, then they will need to play very well to win this week. Punters think they face an uphill battle as Argentina firmed from $1.87 into $1.80 in the first 24 hours of betting, and look destined to start even shorter. 

GOLF

Sports enthusiasts were treated to one of the best contests of the year last week when Europe came from an impossible position to win the Ryder Cup. The USA were favourites from the outset and went into the last day at $1.12 ahead of Europe at $8.50 with the tie at $14. There weren't any big 'single'bets on the USA at the short odds, but there was plenty of multi action going through them.

Most of the big names are taking this week off, but there are a couple of good events on. In the US. the Justin Timberlake Shriners Open will be played, and Ryan Moore is the $15 equal favourite with Nick Watney. Watney was runner up last year to Kevin Na ($34 this year), but the Summerlin course in Las Vegas isn't an overtaxing course as judged by the winning scores when the event has been held there. Na shot 23 under to win last year, and there has been good money to say that both he and Watney will be hard to beat again. Troy Matterson won here in 2006, and has been specked $51 as has George McNeil ($67) who won in 2007. The shortest of the Aussies is Jason Day at $23, and if Day is ever going to recapture some form, it could be this week. Out of interest, Justin Timberlake plays off 6, so we know what the singer/actor does in his spare time!

There will be celebrities aplenty on the European Tour event as well. The Alfred Dunhill Links Championship will be played on three courses, Kingsbarns, Carnoustie, and the Old Course at St Andrews. This is a pro-am event, and some of the celebrities teeing off include Michael Phelps, Oscar Pistorious, Steve Waugh and Shane Warne. Peter Hanson, Martin Kaymer and Paul Lawrie will also be fronting up after winning the Ryder Cup, and while they may have celebrated hard and long after winning, Kaymer won this event back in 2010 after being part of the winning Ryder Cup team that year. The German is well in demand at $23, with Louis Oosothuizen the $13 favourite ahead of Dustin Johnson ($17), Padraig Harrington ($19), with Lawrie and Charl Schwartzel just behind Kaymer at $26. Harrington is a two-time winner of this event in 2002 and 2006, while Lawrie is also a previous winner back in 2001. 

CRICKET

Four sides remain in the T/20 World Cup, and all of a sudden Aussie fans think that the national side can win the Cup. Australia were only the fifth most popular side at $7.00 before the Series started, and had been pretty much neglected at that price. That has all changed however as they have been the form side of the series, mainly due to Shane Watson's domination, and are now $3.25 equal favourites with Sri Lanka to win the Cup. There have been a couple of $2000 bets taken at that quote, and the Aussies are a warm $1.67 to go through over the West Indies ($2.20) on Friday night. The other semi-final will be played Thursday night, and the unpredictable Pakistan side have firmed from $2.15 into $2.05 to out Sri Lanka who have eased out to $1.75.Hopefully the weather doesn't play a factor in deciding the finalists as this has been an intriguing competition. We have noticed that the interest levels from punters has gone up a few levels this week now that the footy finals are out of the road, and we expect that to continue. A reminder that Tattsbet will be covering the remaining finals LIVE in the run. 

BASKETBALL

The NBL season kicks off this week, and while we are all saddened at the demise of the Gold Coast Blaze, it does appear as though the NBL is heading in the right direction. At least the season doesn't start during the football finals this year, and there will be one game live on Channel 10 each week.

New Zealand will be attempting to win their third title in a row, and will be at home to Perth on Friday night. New Zealand at $4.00 second elects behind Perth ($3.25), but this week there has been support for Townsville at $8.00 and Wollongong at $11. Townsville were in disarray this time last week when they released their two imports, but they subsequently signed Gary Ervin and veteran Larry Abner, and all of a sudden they look a better side on paper. The Crocs can be certain of a fiery welcome to Cairns on Saturday night when they take on the Taipans, and it wouldn't be a big surprise to see them chalk up a victory.

The pre-season form as well as the NBL Blitz form suggests that the Melbourne Tigers and Sydney Kings will struggle this season, and the Tigers travel to Adelaide for the televised game on Sunday. Adelaide finished with the wooden spoon last year, but have a new look list which includes Adam Gibson, a significant signing from the defunct Blaze side. The Tigers didn't impress in the pre-season, and while that form can sometimes be misleading, Adelaide will be keen to stamp their authority and a big win is on the cards. 

SOCCER

The A League also starts this week, and although a Gold Coast side will also be missing from the A League in similar circumstances to their basketball cousins, key signings by some clubs, particularly Sydney FC, has seen unprecedented support on the opening round.

The first match will see Melbourne Victory go in as $2.05 favourites against cross town rivals Melbourne Heart ($3.50), while the draw is at $3.30. Victory 'got their man' when poaching coach Ange Postecoglou from Brisbane, and it will be interesting to see if the master can turn around the fortunes of Victory after a disappointing last season. Punters think he can as Victory and Sydney FC have both been $7.00 into $5.50 to win the title, while Victory have been the best backed side this weekend. Brisbane Roar are $4.50 to win a third title in a row, and while they have lost their coach, they have had minimal changes to their playing roster. The Roar do have a big match this week though as they travel to Perth on Sunday afternoon to take on the Glory after that controversial match that saw Brisbane win the title at their last meeting. Perth will be out to make a statement here, and the money has been for them at $2.50. Tattsbet also has LIVE betting on all A League matches. 

FORMULA 1 

Sebastian Vettel won the Singapore GP two weeks ago, and although he is 29 points behind Championship leader Fernando Alonso, he must be a strong chance of bridging that gap this week in Japan. Alonso is $1.45 to win the title ahead of Vettel ($3.50), with Lewis Hamilton the only other realistic chance at $8.50. Hamilton was in a winning position in Singapore before retiring with gearbox trouble, and is the opening $3.50 favourite to win in Japan on Sunday. Although a previous winner back in 2007, Hamilton has only been placed once since, with a third back in 2009. Vettel on the other hand finished third last year to Jenson Button after winning in 2009 and 2010, and punters think he can deliver as he has been quite popular at $4.25. Button is on the $6.00 line along with Alonso, and although Button finished second in Singapore, he has incurred a 5 spot grid penalty, and that will make things difficult. Alonso seems to be driving to protect his lead, hence the lengthy price, but we have seen money for him to finish on the podium. 

MOTOGP

Dani Pedrosa's win in Aragon at the weekend has kept the motoGP title alive, and he now trails Jorge Lorenzo by 33 points. Pedrosa went into the race as the $1.85 favourite ahead of Lorenzo at $2.10 even though Lorenzo was on pole, so punters were on the mark there. Lorenzo however is still a red hot $1.12 chance to win the title while Pedrosa is $5.25. The next race is to be held in Japan on October 14, but betting is on hold for the moment as there is a strong chance that Casey Stoner will be back in action after breaking his ankle. Stoner is in third position on the points table, and while ha cannot win, he is only 7 points ahead of Andrea Dovizioso, so will be eager to get back on to hang on to that position, as well as get some miles in ahead of the Australian GP. 

SUPERBIKES

The final round of Superbikes for the 2012 season will be held at Magny-Cours this weekend, and Max Biaggi has only got to keep out of trouble to add the title to his resume.

Biaggi holds a 30 point lead over Tom Sykes, while Marco Melandri is a further 8 points away. Sykes won race 1 held in Portugal a couple of weeks ago, but unfortunately for Melandri he failed to capture a point after crashing out in race 1. That race was restarted, but Melandri was sent to hospital with a couple of broken ribs, and those injuries have him in doubt for this week. Betting will be opened once it is known if Melandri is a potential starter or not. Looking back over recent records at this track has thrown up some interesting figures with Carlos Checa winning 7 of the last 10 races held here, including both races last year. It will be interesting to see if Biaggi also goes into these races just protecting his lead, and if he does, the door is open for either Checa or Sykes to end the season on a high.

NASCAR

Brad Keselowski has been in terrific form recently, and won again in Dover at the weekend. Keselowski was one of the main chances at $12, and defeated Jeff Gordon. That win has seen Keselowski lead the points table on 2142, but favourite Jimmie Johnson leads a pack of drivers behind him on 2137 points.

This week will see the running of the Good Sam 500 in Talladego. The race at the same venue earlier in the season was won by Keselowski, so he looks hard to beat at $10.00. Clint Bowyer won here in 2010 and 2011, so must be rated a strong each way chance at $15, as will be the case with Jeff Gordon, at $13. As we said, Gordon finished second last week, but is a multiple winner at Talladego, and should prove hard to beat.

NOTABLE BETS

The Epsom (Randwick Race 7 Saturday)

$2,500 at $8.00 Rangirangdoo
$3,500 at $5.50 Fat Al

Jockey Challenge Thursday - Gosford

$73,000 at $1.10 Hugh Bowman