TattsBet News 28th June

RUGBY LEAGUE

There are only five NRL games this week as we head in to Origin 3, and things have been very, very quiet since betting opened on Wednesday. In the first 24 hours of betting there hadn’t been a bet placed that was over $500, and that has never happened before. The Origin players sitting out has a lot to do with it, but there have been some big upsets in the two previous weeks that this was the case, so perhaps punters are a little gun shy with the big names out.

Parramatta and Newcastle returned to the winners list last week, amazing when you consider that the Eels were down by 12 points with 15 to go while the Knights trailed the Tigers 14-0 in the first half. Who knows what will happen this week, but this should be one of the better betting games with the Knights at $1.74 and the Eels at $2.10.

St George Illawarra haven’t won in Canberra in since 2000, and have only beaten the Raiders once in their last 13 meetings, but go to Canberra as $1.57 favs in Monday night football. The Dragons defence was to the fore when the hung on to beat the Gold Coast by 2 points, but while the Raiders will be without Josh Dugan, this game has all the earmarks of a possible upset.

State of Origin is less than a week away, and this is shaping as one of the best Origin games of all time. For the first time in years, NSW are a real hope of winning the series even though the decider is in Brisbane, and all of the injuries have only added to the intrigue of it all. The betting is virtually unchanged since the end of game 2, with QLD at $1.62 and NSW at $2.35. The line opened at 4.0, and remains on that number, but in the past few days we have seen twice as many bets come for the Blues compared to the Maroons. The 1-12, 13+ market has been popular with money coming for both sides to win 1-12 (inc one of $5000 for QLD at $3.00), and many have been happy to also take a draw at $21.00. From what we have seen to date it is unlikely that either side would win by 13+, and punters agree as both of those options have drifted in the betting.

AFL

Carlton have a shocking record against Hawthorn, and with their injury list growing they will be hard pressed to break the shackles at the MCG on Friday night. Hawthorn have won 13 of their last 15, and the last 8 in a row against the Blues, and those 8 wins were by an average of 34 points. Carlton showed improvement going down by 10 points to the Eagles a fortnight ago, but they are a long way from the form that saw them as flag favourites a couple of months ago. The Blues are $3.35 to beat Hawthorn ($1.33), and the line has been set at 21.5. There has been a spattering of interest in the Blues at the line, but very little in the head to head market.

GWS and Sydney played in the first game of the season, and while the GWS were beaten 100-37 that night, they did cover the line. They have been a great side for line followers this season, and it would be accurate to say that the bookies have underestimated their ability. Having said that, the Swans have been playing much better footy than what we all thought, and are now near the top of the ladder and $9.00 to win the flag. The line for the rematch this week has been set at 66.5, and the early money has been for the plus. While this match will be at ANZ Stadium where the scores are often lower, we think that the best form of the Swans should see them surpass that line.

The Kangaroos returned to their very best in a win over the Crows last week, and there isn’t any reason why they won’t go close against St Kilda on Sunday. Both sides play their best football at Etihad, and there is a little concern over the fitness of Nick Riewoldt. Even if the Saints star does play, the $1.40 for them seems to short, so Tattsbet are keen to take them on.

SOCCER

Spain disposed of Portugal in a penalty shootout this morning in the first semi of Euro 2012, and now that they are through to the final, they are now odds on at $1.90. Germany take on Italy in the other semi- final on Friday morning, and the betting suggests that Germany will get through to contest the final. The 90 minute betting has Germany $1.72, the draw at $3.50 with Italy at $4.75. That is very similar to what the betting was on the Spain v Portugal game which ended 0-0 after normal time. Naturally these are huge betting games, and there were some big bets recorded on the correct score in that match. One punter placed $14,000 and $10,000 on Portugal to win 1-0 at $8.50 and $8.00 respectively, while another placed $10,000 on Spain to win 1-0 at $5.75. He was in contention for the whole game, but the 0-0 stalemate meant that the draw was a handy result for Tattsbet.

TENNIS

Sam Stosur, Bernard Tomic and company have kept Aussie tennis in the news for the wrong reasons this week, but life goes on, and most of the big names are still in. Maria Sharapova is now $2.50 favourite to win the womens title, and she does appear to have a dream draw. Serena Williams is second pick at $4.00 ahead of Petra Kvitova $6.00, then Victoria Azarenka $8.00, and there has been no charge to that order of betting since the start.

It is a similar scenario in the mens title with Novak Djokovic now in slightly to $2.25 ahead of Rafael Nadal ($3.00) and Roger Federer ($5.00), and that is how they have been ranked since betting opened after the French Open. There has been little or no interest outside of that trio, and it would be a major upset if anybody else was to win.

MOTO GP

The Dutch motoGP will also be on this weekend, so it will be a big couple of days for bike fans. The race in Assen will be held on Saturday, so qualifying gets underway a day earlier on Thursday. As is always the case, betting will be suspended while all the practise sessions are held, but most importantly, the race does go off Saturday and not Sunday.

Jorge Lorenzo is the opening $2.00 favourite with Tattsbet, but punters have shunned him in early trading , preferring Casey Stoner ($2.75), Dani Pedrosa ($5.50) and Ben Spies ($11.00). Spies defeated Stoner in this race last year, while Lorenzo won in 2010. Stoner has been placed the last 3 years, won in 2008, and was runner-up to Valentino Rossi in 2007. The only one of the big names not to win in Assen has been Pedrosa, but he has been placed on a couple of occasions. As we all know, Stoner will be retiring at the end of the season, and really his form hasn’t been that good on race days since he made that announcement. Lorenzo is the form rider having won four of the six races held so far (Stoner has won the other two), and was an easy winner in the British GP last start.

GOLF

Tiger Woods returns to the PGA Tour this week, and is the Tattsbet favourite at $6.50 to win the AT&T National to be held in Bethedsa, Maryland. While there has been money for Tiger, we haven’t been exactly inundated, and there have been several backed to beat him. These include Dustin Johnson ($16.00), Adam Scott ($23.00), K.J Choi ($34.00) and J.B Holmes ($51.00). Tiger has won this event before (2009), while Choi also has good form having won in 2007 as well as finishing second to Nick Watney last year. It is a more than handy field which includes Marc Leishman ($61.00) who won his first PGA Tour event last week, but we think we may have identified a roughie with a good chance. Jeff Overton ($51.00) has been thereabouts in most starts in the National, and has finished in third place the past two years (in a tie last year)

The European Tour holds plenty of interest as well this week as the Irish Open will be held in Portrush, Northern Ireland. It will be the first time that the Irish Open has been held in Northern Ireland since 1953, so the list of past winners doesn’t really hold the significance that it normally would. Rory McIlroy is the well backed $8.00 favourite, and while that may come as a surprise given he has missed the cut at four of his last five starts, he does have form on the Royal Portrush course. As a 16 year old, McIlroy broke the course record (61) which he still holds, so that statistic alone points towards him being very hard to beat. Second favourite Graeme McDowell ($11.00) is from Ulster, so would be keen to win on home soil, while Padraig Harrington ($12.00), another Irishman, has been solid in betting as well. Harrington has won the Irish Open before, but of course it was held in the South.

CYCLING

The Tour de France starts this week in what is shaping as a very big weekend in sport.

As we know, Andy Schleck is out of the tour, and the market is now dominated by Bradley Wiggins and our own Cadel Evans. Wiggins has had a great start to 2012, and there is plenty to say that the $2.15 favorite can win, but naturally we are seeing plenty of betting activity for Evans to go back to back at $3.00. Denis Menchov is third pick at $17.00, but there have been several others who have attracted good support including Samuel Sanchez ($26.00 into $23.00),Ryder Hesjedal ($51.00 into $23.00), Frank Schleck ($34.00) and Pierre Rolland, also at $34.00. There are other options open for the Tour, and Tattsbet will bet on the winner of each Stage.

FORMULA ONE

Fernando Alonso was the first driver in 2012 to win a second race for the season, but not too many saw it coming. While Alonso was one of the pre-race favourites, he went into the race as a $41.00 chance after qualifying. There were a few small bets placed on him at that quote, but most of the big support went the way of Sebastian Vettel , who was backed from $1.72 into $1.60 after he qualified on pole position, as well as Lewis Hamilton at $4.50.
That win by Alonso has catapulted him to 111 points in the Drivers Championship, and he is now $2.65 favourite. It is hard to believe how far the Ferrari’s have come when you consider the amount of flack they were copping before race one in Melbourne, but Alonso is now in the box seat. Vettel is second pick ($3.40) ahead of Lewis Hamilton ($3.75). Mark Webber is still a $15.00 chance, and very few have been backing him lately even though he currently sits in second position on 91 points.

Betting is up on the British GP which will be held on the 8th of July. Vettel is the early favourite at $3.50 ahead of Hamilton ($4.00), Alonso ($5.25), while Webber is $13.00.

V8’S

The v8’s will be in action the weekend after next, but betting is already open. The two races in Townsville will have an added attraction with former Formula 1 champion Jaques Villeneuve taking his place in the field. It is an outstanding publicity coup by the V8 Supecars to have him in the two races to be held in Townsville, and while Villeneuve is a 250/1 pop to win race 1, we are expecting a surge in interest. Like the formula 1’s, the V8 season is very open, and we have three equal fav’s to win the first race. Mark Winterbottom, Jamie Whincup and Will Davison all share that line of betting, with Craig Lowndes next in line at $5.50.

NASCAR

The Quaker State 400 is the race on the NASCAR calendar this week, and it will be only the second time that it is held in Kentucky.

Last week’s road race held in Sonama went to Clint Bowyer, and that was an upset as he went around at $26.00. Race favourite was Aussie Marcos Ambrose ($3.75) who qualified fastest, but got tangled up in an early scrimmage. Bowyer is a $23.00 chance this week back on an oval surface, where Jimmie Johnson ($6.00) and Kyle Busch ($8.00) head the betting. Busch won this race last year beating David Reutimann and Johnson, but there appear to be several chances in a wide open betting event. Johnson remains the Sprint Cup Champion favourite at $3.50 even though he is 25 points behind leader Matt Kenseth ($10.00), but Johnson is so consistent each season that he normally holds sway in this betting.

SUPERBIKES

Aragon will host the Superbikes this week, and historically there isn’t a lot to go on as last year was the only year that the Superbikes raced there.

Marco Melandri defeated Max Biaggi in the first race last year, with the positions reversed in the second race. Veteran Biaggi has been in terrific form having won both races in Misano a fortnight ago, and is now a warm favourite at $1.57 to win the Superbike Championship ahead of Carlos Checa ($5.00), Jonathon Rea ($6.00) and Melandri at $9.00.

Betting is up for race 1 this week, and Biaggi does in fact head that market at $2.75 ahead of Checa at $3.75, with Melandri well in commission at $5.50.Punters have put their faith in that trio again, and on recent form it is hard to see the winner of each race not coming from that group.

NOTABLE BETS TODAY

$10,000 at $1.80 NZ Warriors to make NRL Final Eight