The 2013 AFL draw was released this week, and although there are many differing opinions as to which teams have been advantaged or not, it hasn’t really seen many changes to the market. Hawthorn start the season with a tough draw but remain flag favourites at $4.25. The Hawks will play the other top 8 sides in the first 7 rounds, so if they can get through that relatively unscathed, then they will be short to win the flag. Sydney are on the second line of betting at $7.00, and at this stage have been best backed along with Essendon, who have firmed from $17 into $15. The Swans have been confidently backed to win again, and apart from having a fairly soft draw in the first few weeks of the season, they are still a chance to sign Kurt Tippett. If that happens, they will firm up in the betting again. Adelaide on the other hand have been neglected at the moment at $8.00, and losing Tippett will make it difficult for them, but they did find ways of covering the forward line when Tippett was out this season with concussion. There has been plenty of money for Brisbane at $67, and they could improve enough to be a finals contender as they weren’t that far off the pace this year, and did have their fair share of injuries.
Now that the draw is done, all of the other ‘futures’ markets will open in the coming weeks.
The NRL has a new logo and the Brisbane Broncos have a new halfback in league news this week. The former created a little ripple, but Scott Prince’s exit from the Titans to Brisbane has certainly created headlines. Many are wondering about the fact that the Gold Coast couldn’t offer Prince anything more than a one year deal while Brisbane have given him at least 2 years. The big question is whether or not he can regain his best form, if he can then that will solve some problems for the Broncos, if not then Brisbane will cop plenty from their critics as they have headed in a different direction to what they have said they would. In any case, fans of Brisbane were clearly impressed as within the first few hours of the signing becoming news, TattsBet took a dozen small bets for them to win the title at $15 after the price came in from $17. The Titans have eased from $23 out to $34.
As an aside to the Scott Prince move, Melbourne have replaced the Bulldogs as favourites to win the competition. When the market was first opened after this year’s final, the Bulldogs were $6 and Melbourne $7, but constant support for the Storm, particularly in the premiership double book, has seen that price cut to $5.50 with the Bulldogs out to $7.
The first test between Australia and South Africa at the GABBA is only a week away, and this is shaping as a terrific contest on the field, and an even better one in the betting ring.
Australia hold all the aces in Brisbane, they haven’t lost a test there since 1988 when going down to the West Indies, but they are taking on the number one side in the world this time. There is plenty to say that South Africa can win the first in a three test series, and they have already firmed from $2.70 into $2.55. The Aussies look to have a better bowling attack but have drifted from $2.60 out to $2.70, while the draw is $3.25. There has only been one draw at the GABBA from the last 8 tests played there, but Brisbane’s weather can be fickle this time of the year, and while that may play a key part in the betting, we also have two evenly matched sides. The same trend has been evident in the betting on the series with a bet of $4000 coming for South Africa at $2.50. There have been four times as many bets placed on the South Africans in preference to Australia, and that price has been cut to $2.40 with Australia out to $2.60. A drawn series is at $3.50.
TattsBet will also be betting on the first tour match at the SCG, but please note that as this is a four day match, betting will be based on the first innings leader.
Mission Hills, Shenzhen, China will host the HSBC Champions this week, and while Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods have elected not to play, it is still a very good field. It will be the first time that the Mission Hills course will be used after the HSBC was played at Sheshan, but this course was used for the World Cup of Golf between 2007 and 2009. Italy won the World Cup here in 2009 when represented by the Molinari brothers, and Francesco was half of that Italian team along with brother Edoardo. Francesco also won this event when it was played at Sheshan, so he must be a real chance at $31. Luke Donald was the opening favourite at $11 ahead of Justin Rose ($13) and Adam Scott ($17), but there has been a good push for Ian Poulter who has joined Scott at $17 after opening at $26. Louis Oosthuizen is another to attract support, in from $21 to $19, and Martin Kaymer, another previous winner at Sheshan, is in from $21 to $19. Scott is the $2.40 favourite to be Top Aussie, but both Greg Chalmers and John Senden have been backed from $6.00 into $5.50 to beat him home.
The NASCAR season is drawing to a close, and Championship favourite Jimmie Johnson scored an all- important win in Martinsville last weekend. Johnson was the $5.00 favourite to win that race, and the win took him to 2291 points. He is now $1.67, but Brad Keselowski us breathing right down his neck, now $2.15, and only 2 points in arrears. It does look a match race from here on in, although Kasey Kahne ($15) and Clint Bowyer ($21) are still given some hope.
Johnson is the $5.50 favourite again this week at the AAA Texas 500. He won at the same venue earlier in the season, and has is a 6 time winner around here in all races since 2006. Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth are others who have been consistently in the money around this track, and are on the second line of betting at $7.50.
Sebastian Vettel became the first driver since Ayrton Senna to lead start to finish three times in a row last week in India, and that win also made it four on end for Vettel. It is hard to believe the difference in the cars from the early part of the season, and on face value he probably appears over-priced at $1.80 to win in Abu Dhabi this week. Vettel started $1.40 in India, and the race was all but over shortly after the start, with Fernando Alonso finishing second ahead of Mark Webber. That is the order of betting for this week with Alonso at $5.00 ahead of Webber, who is $7.00 along with Lewis Hamilton. On top of his recent form, Vettel’s record in Abu Dhabi is also a big pointer. There has three F1 races held there, and he won the first two. Last year Vettel was the fastest qualifier, but retired shortly after the start with a puncture, so put that race to the side and as we said, he probably should be shorter. All of the usual F1 markets are open for business.
Abu Dhabi is also hosting the V8 Supercars this weekend, so there will be plenty of action. The V8’s last raced in Abu Dhabi in February last year, and that was for the second time. On each of those occasions there were two races each of 200km’s, but this year there will be three races over 65km’s, all held on the F1 circuit. Race 1 favourite is Jamie Whincup at $2.15, ahead of Craig Lowndes ($5.00), Mark Winterbottom ($5.50) and Will Davison ($5.50). Whincup and Davison won a race each on the Gold Coast, but this is a completely different event. The Gold Coast races were team events around a tight course, but the wide open spaces in Abu Dhabi will suit those with the fast cars, and those who can handle the oppressive conditions. Whincup has won three of the four previous races held here, and when you add the races held in similar conditions in Bahrain, that impressive record gets better. All up, Whincup has won 8 of the 9 races held in the UAE, so is another who is deserving of the short quote TattsBet has given him.
Australia had their biggest win in 12 years when they defeated New Zealand in their first match of the Quad Series last week in Sydney last week, but that 68-48 win will be a distant memory when the pair do battle again in New Zealand on Thursday afternoon. The Silver Ferns were never in that contest, and that was in complete contrast to their 2-1 win over Australia in their series prior to the Quad Series, but they will be bolstered by the return of Camilla Lees and captain Casey Williams. On the other hand, the Diamonds have subsequently had injury problems, and that has meant that that the Silver Ferns are well in the betting at $2.20, with Australia at $1.65. The line has been set at 2.5 points, and we are expecting this one to go right down to the wire.
The new Western Sydney franchise provided the biggest upset of the A League season so far when they edged out the Brisbane Roar 1-0 last weekend. The Roar were $1.27 before kick-off, and that was the shortest priced fav of the season to date, but they were really no match for the fledgling club. That loss has seen some major changes to the prices to win the title. The Roar have only one win from four appearances to date, and have eased from $3.25 out to $4.50. it is still too early to be writing any team off, but there is little doubt that Adelaide will be a force this season. Adelaide and Newcastle head the table on 9 points, with Adelaide at $4.75 while Newcastle are well down the betting list at $9.00. Perth have won two of their four matches and continue to be backed at $7.00.
Brisbane host Adelaide this week, and a lot of questions will be answered Sunday. The Roar opened at $1.75, but a solid stream of bets for Adelaide at $4.40 has seen a price change, with Brisbane out to $1.80 and Adelaide into $4.20. This match has all the ear markings of a draw, and it has remained solid in the betting as well at $3.50.
Western Sydney will be the favourites for the first time when they play Melbourne Heart on Friday night, and punters think they can make it two wins in a row. They have been quite popular at $2.55, and at that price are slight favs ahead of the Heart who are $2.60, while the draw is $3.25. A reminder that there is LIVE betting on each and every A League game.
Terror To Love and Sushi Sushi won the two features in New Zealand last week while Bitobliss won the Kilmore Cup on Sunday, and each of those results has reshaped the betting on the upcoming New Zealand Cup. Terror To Love was impressive in his win, and has firmed from $2.80 into $2.20 to win the big one at Addington, while Sushi Sushi burst into calculations with an emphatic win in the Kaikoura Cup on Monday. The ex- Victorian has been elevated to the second line of betting at $7.00, and has been best backed apart from the favourite. Third pick is another Victorian in Caribbean Blaster ($8.00) who went down narrowly to Bitobliss is a soul stirring finish to the Kilmore Cup. They gapped the rest, and connections are continuing with plans to run in New Zealand.
Derby favourite It’s A Dundeel has eased out in the betting in the latter part of this week, with many of the professional racing critic’s saying that he is a risk. It’s A Dundeel was disappointing at Moonee Valley last week when a long odds on favourite, and he has had a few changes to his itinery in the lead up to the Derby. Add to that the fact that he isn’t overly big, and has been up for several months, and we have a real betting quandary. The Kiwi was $2.40 prior to the barrier draw, touched $2.85 on Wednesday night, but bets of $5000 and $2000 forced a price change in a fraction to $2.70. There has been a stack of money for It’s A Dundeel over the last month, but there is now a really good push for Honorious and Hvasstan (both $6.00) as well as Super Cool at $7.50. Super Cool beat It’s A Dundeel last week, so does represent value on that run alone.
Americain continues to attract support to win the Melbourne Cup, and there is little doubt he will start favourite. Americain has been $8.50 into $6.00 since it was confirmed he would be ridden by Damian Oliver, but even that price is in danger of disappearing. In the last 24 hours, bets of $3000 and $2000 have come in at $6.00, and that is on top of dozens of bets around the $1000 mark. Dunaden is second elect at $7.00, with bets of $2000 and $1500 taken in the last 24 hours as well, so he seems certain to maintain his place in the market. Punters are beginning to warm to the Luca Cumani trained Mount Athos this week. It will be nearly 3 months since Mount Athos raced by the time he lines up at the start on Tuesday, but this week he has been $10.00 into $8.00. Gatewood has been backed to win close to $100,000 this week at $26, so it appears as though those punters think he will win on Saturday and force his way into the Cup field. Once a year Melbourne Cup punters love to be on Bart Cummings trained horses, and given his record, why not? Bart might have as many as three runners, or perhaps only Precedence, with Saturday’s results set to determine that number. We have noticed however that of all of the ‘roughies’ in the Cup, those three are a standout as far as popularity is concerned, and if Bart can add another Cup to his trophy cabinet, it will not be a good result for bookies.