The draw was the $2.50 favourite before the second test in Adelaide got under way, and although that was the way that the test finished, the draw did touch $11.00 on day 4. This has been an intriguing series to date, and it all comes down to the decider which gets under way in Perth on Friday.
The WACA wicket has long been regarded as a minefield, and while it isn’t as dangerous as it was 20 years ago, punters think there will be a result in the third test. The draw opened at $3.25, but within 24 hours it was out to $3.65 and virtually unwanted, and is now $4.00. Betting has been divided between Australia ($2.55-$2.40) and South Africa at $2.60, but most of the cricketing media think the conditions will suit the visitors. Both sides have ongoing problems with their respective bowling attacks, and although only 2 of the last 18 Tests in Perth have ended in a draw, these two sides have batting attacks that suggest the draw is over the odds. In the 12 Perth Tests this millennium, Australia have won 8, there have been 2 draws, and the visiting sides have won twice. It is worth noting that one of those visiting teams was South Africa, and that victory for them was in 2008. There was a big increase in the ‘live’ betting on the Adelaide Test, and we expect the same will happen again this week as it is the last of the series. It is unfortunate that the South Africans declined a five-match series to return home and have their own ‘Boxing Day Test’ as these two sides are so evenly matched. Sri Lanka will be Australia’s opponent at the MCG on Boxing Day, and they will need to improve rapidly on what they have shown at home this week against New Zealand if they are to be considered a threat in their series against Australia.
The two main golf events this week have limited fields, but both are wide open as far as betting is concerned.
The Nedbank Challenge will be played at Sun City in South Africa, and Lee Westwood heads the betting at $4.50. A field of 12 will do battle here, and Westwood must be the favourite after winning the Nedbank in 2010 and 2011. Justin Rose and Louis Oosthuizen occupy the second line of betting at $5.00, and that trio have attracted most of the betting. Rose showed he wasn’t far off his best with a barnstorming finish in Dubai last week when runner-up to Rory McIlroy, while Oosthuizen lost in a play-off to Matteo Manassero in Singapore two weeks ago. Oosthuizen is the shortest of the South African players, just ahead of Charl Schwartzel ($8.00) and Garth Mulroy, the roughie of the field at $51. The locals have had a good record in the past in this event, having won five of them since 1999, but the last to win was Trevor Immelman back in 2007.
The World Challenge, hosted by the Tiger Woods Foundation, will be played this week at the Sherwood CC, Thousand Oaks, California, and the host is the $3.75 favourite. Tiger is the defending champion, and has won this event five times before, as well as finishing second on three occasions. While he might not have been in career best form this year, he has still won on the PGA Tour three times, and punters think he will win again. Dustin Johnson and Jason Duffner have each won twice on the Tour this year and share the second line at $13, just ahead of Ian Poulter ($15) and a host of players on $17. One Aussie, Jason Day, has made it into the field of 18, and he is one of the outsiders at $26. Zach Johnson finished second to Tiger last year and has met with backing at $21.
The Australian Open gets under way at The Lakes next week, and TattsBet Adam Scott the $5.50 opening favourite. The recent Masters winner heads the betting but is sure to be hotly pressed by Justin Rose ($7.50), while the previous two winners, Greg Chalmers (2011) and Geoff Ogilvy (2010) are next in line at $13.
The 2013 NRL draw was released last week, and it seems as though nobody is happy with it! There are quite often some glaring problems with any draw, but it has been interesting to see how smoothly the AFL schedule was released and received in comparison to their rugby league counterparts.
In any case, it is what it is, and there has been some reaction to the draw in betting, as well as the ongoing saga with Israel Folau. Parramatta had been one of the best backed sides ($26-$21) since the Eels said they would sign Folau, but as Parramatta now might have problems fitting him into their salary cap, the money has dried up. Melbourne have eased from $5.50 out to $6.00 since the draw was released, and they really do have an interesting run early in the season. They may still win the title, but as we have seen in the past, a side’s odds can double on the back of one loss, and with Craig Bellamy saying he may ‘rest’ players in early rounds, then $6.00 is not over the odds. Brisbane have firmed again, now $13 after opening at $17, and while many think that it is no big deal that they have so many home games on a Friday night, we view it as a big advantage as they have a full week off between games. Sides who play Monday night seem to be cursed, and while the Broncos have three Monday night games up to round 20, two of those will be at home. Betting on most of the other ‘futures’ markets will open over the next 2 weeks now that the draw has been done.
The final round of V8 Supercars is on in Sydney this week, and although the Championship has already been won by Jamie Whincup, there has been more interest in the races this week than we envisaged. Whincup opened at $2.60 to win race 1 on the street circuit at Olympic Park, and although he has been backed at that price, several others have met with support to win. Mark Winterbottom is second pick at $4.50 ahead of Craig Lowndes at $5.00, then it is Will Davison at $6.00. Looking back at the form for this race makes interesting reading. There are 2 x 250km races, and this will be the fourth year that the format has been that way since the move from Oran Park. In the six races to date, Jamie Whincup has never finished amongst the placings, and has failed to finish twice. Winterbottom, Lowndes and Shane Van Gisbergen have had the best form of those in the betting, so it is understandable that all three have been backed. Van Gisbergen finished third in both races last year (behind Lowndes and Winterbottom), but in a big shock he has announced that he is walking away from the sport after this weekend. Plenty think that he can go out on a winning note as there has been good money for him each way at $21.
The last of the Rugby Internationals will be played on Saturday night in the UK, and it does seem very odd that both matches will start at the same time. Wales host the Wallabies at Cardiff, and England play New Zealand at Twickenham.
Wales have opened at $2.40 with the Wallabies at $1.56, and the line is a 3.0 start. The Welsh have an abysmal record against Australia having won only 2 of the last 22 meetings (and 1 draw) since 1991. The damning stat though is that they have lost their last 7 in a row, and 3 of those have been at Cardiff. There wasn’t a lot between the two sides in their three-Test series in Australia this year, and the Wallabies petered out in the second half last week to win 22-19 after leading 22-3 at half time. That alone must give Wales some chance of scoring an upset, and it appears as though punters are thinking along similar lines as there hasn’t been a lot of interest shown in Australia to win the game.
England are $6.50 to beat the All Blacks ($1.10), with the opening line set at 15.5, and on recent form it is hard to put a case forward for England. The last 3 matches at Twickenham have resulted in three easy wins for the All Blacks, with England only able to score 1 try in total, and the last time that England defeated New Zealand was back in 2003. England’s recent form isn’t anything to rave about either with only 1 win coming from their last six matches, and that was against Fiji.
GREYHOUNDS AND HARNESS RACING
Just a reminder that TattsBet is having a six week trial of fixed odds on the Tuesday Albion Park harness meetings, and that is on top of the fixed odds available for the major meets each weekend. The greyhound focus will be on Queensland and Victoria for the next week with the running of the Brisbane and Ballarat Cups. TattsBet will be betting on the heats of the Brisbane Cup on Thursday night, and they will feature last week’s Melbourne Cup winner Got A Moment as well as other finalists from that race Don’t Knocka Him, Proven Nitro and Glen Gallon. All three are assured to be warm favourites in their respective heats and that should make for a terrific final next week. The Ballarat Cup will be run next Wednesday night, and TattsBet will have a market up after the box draw is made early next week.
The match of the round in the NBL this week sees two of the league’s big improvers – Adelaide and Sydney – battling it out on Sunday afternoon live on Channel TEN. The Kings lost arguably their best two players in the off-season, but Australian guard Ben Madgen, who is the competition’s leading scorer, has helped lift Shane Heal’s team to a 6-4 record a third of the way through their campaign. Considering they were tipped to finish at the bottom of the ladder, it has been a fantastic effort to date. Sydney tackles the notoriously tough ‘Doomsday Double’ in round nine with a trip to Perth prior to the clash in Adelaide. It’s tough to take out either of these games on the road, but the Kings did come home with a pair of wins in their keeping when they headed off on the ‘Sunshine Swing’ to Townsville and Cairns earlier this season. The 36ers won the first game between the teams this season 88-81 in Sydney, but they, too, have a double this weekend with an away encounter against the winless Crocodiles on Friday night. The 36ers will be the clear favourites in this game, but the Kings have shown enough to suggest that they will be capable of staying inside the allocated handicap.