TattsBet News 15th March

RUGBY LEAGUE

Two rounds of NRL down, and only seven of the sixteen favourites have won. All eight winners in Round One worked out to roughly 251.00 (250/1), and Round Two was even higher at just under 300/1. It doesn’t get much easier this week, and to show how hard it is getting, there wasn’t a single price move in the first 24 hours of betting. That is a rarity, but goes to prove that punters are as perplexed by the form as the bookies.

The Tigers take on the Dragons on Friday night, and while the Tigers are the slight outsiders at $1.95, most of the early betting on this game has been for them. The same applies in the Roosters v Raiders game with Canberra at $1.95, and that is preferred over the Roosters. The Raiders were impressive last week against the Titans, but the niggling doubt with them is always their ‘away’ form. Working on the assumption they have overcome that, we expect the Raiders to come away with the 2 points.

Canterbury are one side that the NZ Warriors have always struggled with, and they also look good value on Sunday. The Warriors had a reasonable tough game against Parramatta, and we are keen to take them on at $1.52 and also the line of -5.5 points. The Bulldogs have done nothing wrong to date, so we are happy to side with them again.

In premiership betting, the Storm are $6.50 favs ahead of Manly ($7.00), then out to Brisbane and the Warriors at $8.00. There has been money this week for the Cowboys at $12.00 and the Bulldogs at $13.00, but it looks as though the prices are going to jump around erratically each week until we get a good grasp on the form….if that ever happens!

The Intrust Queensland Cup ran a lot truer to form in the opening round. All favs won, all covered the line, and all played at home. That is the way it used to run in the NRL, so we will have to see how they fare this week. Wynnum Manly remain title favourites at $4.25 after beating Tweed Heads in a high quality game last Sunday, and Northern Pride were equally as impressive in disposing of Ipswich. This Sunday’s Channel 9 game of the day will see the Sunshine Coast play Souths Logan. Tattsbet will be betting LIVE on this game.

RUGBY UNION

The Queensland Reds face a real test when they travel to South Africa to take on the Sharks this week, and it seems as though Reds fans are very nervous about this one. The Sharks beat the Lions last week after narrowly going down to the Stormers, and the Reds had an unimpressive 11-6 win over the Rebels. On form we can understand why there is money for the Sharks at $1.65, but the Reds never give up.

The Rebels are not the sort of side that you would want to be taking short odds, yet they go into this round as $1.60 chances against the Cheetahs. The Rebels showed some grit last week against the Reds, and will be desperate to win at home, but the Cheetahs were also valiant in defeat when they went down to the Brumbies.

The Chiefs are going along nicely, and should justify their $1.15 quote with a win over the Brumbies. The Chiefs are again a mover to win the title, now into $9.00, while the Crusaders are still the favourites ($4.00) ahead of the Reds at $4.50.

AFL

Adelaide will host the Eagles in the final of the NAB Cup on Saturday night, and on form the Crows look mighty hard to beat. The Crows smashed an undermanned Collingwood last week, and punters have been eager to take the opening quote of $1.70. There is some talk that the Eagles will go in without several of their big names, and for that reason they have been hard to sell at $2.15. Adelaide have been a mover in flag betting as well, now into $21.00. In the past three weeks, Adelaide have been backed to win close to $100,000 at $26.00 and $21.00, and are also into $1.85 to make the finals. Cross town rivals Port have also been popular at $81.00 to win the flag, and have firmed from $9.00 into $7.00 to make the final eight on the back of a couple of impressive trials. Collingwood have eased out to $3.85, Hawthorn are now into $4.65, with Geelong drifting to third elect at $5.00.

The SANFL version of Port Adelaide have been backed to win that premiership as well. The Magpies have had a disappointing few seasons, but have impressed in trial matches, and are in to $13.00 after opening at $21.00. They thrashed Centrals last week, and that has seen the price for Centrals blow from $3.25 out to $3.75. The Eagles remain the favourites at $2.75.

CRICKET

Australia have landed in the West Indies and are red hot favourites ($1.36) to win the first of their 50 over games on Saturday morning. It does appear to be very short odds given their travel itinery as well as having a few players under an injury cloud, but Tattsbet clients have dismissed those problems and have been eager to take the short odds, particularly through multis. The West Indies are $3.15, and slightly longer at $3.35 to win the series, and there is little doubt that they are more suited to shorter forms of the game than tests. David Warner is the $4.00 favourite to top the Australian runs total ahead of Shane Watson at $4.25.

After an intriguing last round, Queensland won the right to host the Sheffield Shield final, and this has been made a lot more interesting with the possibility of bad weather intervening. There are two ways to bet on the Shield, one having a ‘draw’ option, the other just to win outright. Queensland are $1.60 in that option as a draw means the home side wins the Shield, and Tasmania are $2.30. The ‘3 way option’ has Queensland at $2.30, Tasmania at $3.00 and a draw at $3.15. Tasmania have impressed since Ricky Ponting has been included into the side, and their batting attack looks much stronger. The Tattsbet cricket expert is predicting an upset here!

SWIMMING

Normally the Australian Swimming Championships get a few lines deep into the sports pages, but they have been front and back page news this week thanks to some supposed funding issues. That aside, the races will now be shown live on Channel 10, and there is no doubt that the added exposure has meant that these will be terrific betting events. Tattsbet will be covering all the finals, with betting closed while the heats are run. As soon as a final field is known, fresh betting will be open right up until start time. Ian Thorpe has been the big story of the week, and it has been a nightmare to try and work out exactly where he is in regards to being a winning chance. On lead up form he has no hope, but this is where it all counts, so expect some rapid improvement. Thorpe is $41.00 to win the 100 metres, but it is in his pet event of the 200m freestyle that punters think he can win. After opening at $13.00, Thorpe was into $9.00 a few hours into trading, and it is clear that his fans think (or is that hope?) he gain regain some of his old form.

Geoff Huegill is another of the ‘comeback gang’ and he is well in commission at $3.00 to win the 100m butterfly. Heugill has been the best supported of the three main chances in this event (Sam Ashby $2.75, Chris Wright $3.00), but the bets have not been substantial. Wright will also contest the 200 fly where he is a $6.00 chance, but this race will create a lot of interest as it features the controversial Nick Darcy. Darcy has been installed at $1.75 ahead of Travis Nederpelt at $2.35. If the betting is right, and Darcy makes the team, he can look forward to some more headlines.

FORMULA ONE

Driver’s Championship favourite Sebastian Vettel is solid in the betting at $2.25 to win the season opener in Melbourne this weekend. After opening at $2.50, Vettel has easily been the most popular driver, and that is hard to argue with after his domination last year. However, the first race of the season is always the best chance of an upset as there are so many changes to the cars, and the rules, and of course there is always the possibility of bad weather in Melbourne, and Vettel is always a risk in the wet. Second pick is Lewis Hamilton at $5.00 ahead of Jenson Button ($6.50), Fernando Alonso ($7.50) and Aussie Mark Webber at $8.00. Alonso has been a marked drifter since betting opened (out from $5.00) as the Ferrari’s were terrible in testing, and even Ferrari have been talking down their chances. There will be a host of markets available on the big race including top 3, top 6 ,top 10, pole position and fastest lap. Betting will be suspended while qualifying takes place, and will re-open as soon as possible at the conclusion of each session.

V8’S

There will be four races for the V8’s this week in Melbourne, and the rules differ slightly for the first couple. In race one, the last couple of cars will be forced to drop out each lap until there are ten left, and the finishing order of that ten will determine the grid for race two. It probably doesn’t matter that much as far as betting is concerned, but clearly any driver drawn further back than twelve on the opening grid is going to need a lot of luck to figure in the finish, but that is the case anyway on the tight Melbourne circuit. Jamie Whincup is the $2.75 fav to win race 1 ahead of Garth Tander and Craig Lowndes at $5.00. Will Davidson returned from the wilderness to win a race in Adelaide and shares the $7.00 line of betting with Mark Winterbottom. Tattsbet will cover all four races for the weekend.

GOLF

Many of the big names are missing from the Transitions Championship this week, but that hasn’t seen any significant decrease in interest. Luke Donald is the $12.00 favourite with Tattsbet, ahead of Justin Rose and Charl Schwartzel at $17.00, Webb Simpson at $19.00, and Matt Kuchar at $23.00. Kuchar, along with Nick Watney ($26.00), K.J.Choi ($34.00) and Jason Day ($34.00) have all been well backed, and are among our worst results. Day is the shortest of the Aussies, but those looking for a little bit of value could do worse than have something on John Senden at $41.00. Sendonhas been a runner-up twice here, and has been a top five finish at seven of his last nine starts, so is in form.

The European Tour returns this week in Spain with the running of the Open de Andalucia. Just like the name, this is a very open event where Matteo Manassero and Robert Rock head the betting at $23.00 ahead of MigueL Angel Jiminez, Joost Luiten and Marcel Siem, all at $26.00. Siem has featured in top 5 finishes at his past two starts, and the German has always performed well in Spain.

RACING

Is Manawaui as good as we thought he would be? That question may be answered on Saturday when he contests the Randwick Guineas. In complete contrast to when he last raced, there has been little interest in Manawanui in early betting, and he is a drifter from $3.20 out to $3.25. The signs are there that he will probably get out further, and may even be replaced as favourite by Mosheen, with the filly backed from $4.00 into $3.70 in the first 24 hours of betting. The Tattsbet racing analysts think it is definitely not a two horse race though, and rate Strike the Stars and Ocean Park (both $11.00) as capable of winning. Ocean Park is the interesting runner, his NZ form is outstanding, and many of the Kiwi experts think he is over the odds. The race does have a lot of depth, and looking at the wide spread of bets coming through, it seems as though punters also think there is a strong chance of an upset.