TattsBet News 26th July

RUGBY LEAGUE 

There were upsets galore in rugby league last week with only 3 of the 8 favourites winning, although a couple of the outsiders that won were well backed.

The Bulldogs firmed from $2.35 into $2.00 before beating Manly, while Parramatta were backed from an opening $4.35 to start at $2.90 before beating the Storm 16-10. Jarryd Hayne’s late inclusion to the Eels side was the catalyst for the move, but unfortunately for them Hayne was injured again and is now out for the season. Melbourne’s form must be a worry, and they have been relegated to second fav’s to win the premiership, now at $5.00 behind the Bulldogs ($4.50). The Storm are due to get Billy Slater back this week, so it will be interesting to see if they can regain some form. For a Friday night clash, their game against the dragons has been quiet, with punters preferring to wait and check that Slater is a confirmed starter. They have only won one of their last six matches, and while they may seem short at $1.48, the form of the Dragons hasn’t been much better.

Brett Stewart will travel with Manly to Perth for Saturday’s match against the Warriors, and that would suggest he is likely to play. Manly are solid in the betting at $1.48, and there have been very few takers for the Warriors at $2.65. The Warriors are now $2.65 to make the finals, and there was one bet of $10,000 taken on them to make it at $1.80 four weeks ago. A loss to Manly is going to make a finals berth highly unlikely, especially with the improving form of some of the other sides.

Two sides who are now in the finals mix are Canberra and Newcastle, so a win in their match on Sunday is very important. The Raiders thumped Newcastle 32-16 back in round 14, but the Knights have found form, and Canberra have a terrible record when favourites. The Raiders are $1.65 with the Knights at $2.25.

AFL

A month ago the Eagles were $5 to win the flag, and Essendon were $8.00, but injuries and losses have seen both blow out in the betting. The Eagles are now $11 while the Bombers are $34, and the task doesn’t get much easier this week for the Bombers. They feature in Friday night football against Hawthorn, and the betting says that they will be on the receiving end of a thumping. Hawthorn are $1.17 with Essendon at $5.00, but the line has already moved from -30.5 out to -32.5. It is expected that Buddy Franklin and Luke Hodge will return for the Hawks.

Geelong has only lost one of their last 30 matches at home, but that imposing record has been overlooked by several punters this week. They take on Adelaide, and the Crows have firmed from an opening $2.40 into $2.23 in the first 48 hours of betting. Adelaide attracted around $10,000 worth of bets in the early flurry, but it has continued as the week has progressed. They will be without Kurt Tippett, but the Cats lose Matthew Scarlett.

North Melbourne are in the 8 for the moment, and punters expect them to get a percentage boosting win over Melbourne this week. The opening line on this game was posted with the Roos at -44.5, but it quickly moved to 45.5, and the minus also shortened to $1.85. Melbourne will be returning from a loss to Port in humid conditions in Darwin, and it is expected that the Roos will be way too fast at Etihad.

Brisbane provided one of the shocks of the season when they defeated the West Coast in Brisbane in round 14, but that win seems to be a distant memory as we come to round 18. Granted the Eagles are at home, but seem pretty short at $1.15. The line was posted at a healthy 32.5 points start to the Lions, but within hours several bets of $2000 for the Eagles at the minus forced that line in to -33.5, and the price in as well to $1.80.

RUGBY UNION 

The unexpected exit of the Queensland Reds from Super Rugby last week has meant that two New Zealand sides will take on each other in one semi- final, and the other semi will see two South African sides meet.

The Crusaders have been one of the favourites all season, even though they were never really on track to win the NZ Conference, and punters think that they will dispose of the Chiefs this week and go through to the final. The Crusaders opened at $1.60 but were quickly in to $1.56, with the Chiefs out to $2.40 from an opening $2.30. They did meet in round 3 where the Chiefs won 24-19, but the Crusaders had a lot of key injuries in the early part of the season. They also met in round 17 where the Crusaders won 28-21 in a close battle. The Crusaders will be without Kieran Read, and that is a big loss, but they are such a popular side in big games that it looks as though they can only get shorter in the betting. Whatever happens, the Chiefs look value on what we have seen this season. The Crusaders are the $2.65 favourites to win the title ahead of the Stormers at $2.70, then it is the Chiefs at $4.00 and the Sharks at $8.00.

The Stormers host the Sharks in the early hours of Sunday morning, and although the Sharks have been the big improvers since the 3 week break, they go in as outsiders at $2.50 in this match. Although they thrashed the Reds last week, the travel to and from Queensland must be an issue, and is no doubt why they have been pretty much friendless in the betting. These two sides also had close matches with each other in the season proper with the Stormers winning at home 18-15 back in round 3, while the Sharks won at home 25-20 in round 14. The early betting says that the Stormers are considered by most as the likely winners, but on form, the Sharks are also going to get to silly odds.

GOLF

The win by Ernie Els in the British Open wasn’t a complete surprise as we did report before the Open started that there had been money for the big South African. There were several bets around the $200 mark for Ernie at $41 and $34 before tee-off, but although he was never really that far off the pace, there wasn’t too many bets struck on him throughout the tournament. Adam Scott was all the talk over the weekend, and it was interesting that although he held a 4 shot lead going into the last round, that is the time that punters dropped off. Perhaps it was the lead, or maybe the expected windy conditions, but there was a distinct swing towards Graeme McDowell ($4.50) and Tiger Woods at $6.50.

As is always the case, the fields fall away for the Euro and US PGA Tour events this week, and that is to be expected. The Lyoness Open will be the Euro Tour event, and will be held in Austria, just outside of the capital Vienna. Kennie Ferrie is the defending champion after beating Simon Wakefield in a play-off last year, but will go into this event at $81, and completely ignored by punters. Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen is the opening $13 favourite, and deserves that mantle after finishing 9th in the British Open last week. He has already won the Sicilian Open this year, and this field does lack a lot of depth. Bernd Wiesberger is on the second line of betting at $18 ahead of Pablo Larrazabal ($21), Shane Lowry ($23) and Chris Wood ($23).

Sean O’Hair is $34 to defend his title in the Canadian Open on the US Tour, and he has met with good support at that quote. O’Hair won after missing the cut in the British Open last year, and Jim Furyk won in 2007 after finishing on the heels of the placegetters in the British Open as well, but that was a different course to what will be used this week. The good news for anybody who wants to take the $17 for Furyk to win this week is that he also won in 2006, but on that occasion it was at the same course as this week. Matt Kuchar is the ruling favourite at $13, and Ernie Els will be lining up after winning last weekend as well. Ernie is a $26 chance and is one of the worst results at Tattsbet along with Charl Schwartzel ($26) and Brandt Snedeker ($29). Clearly punters think that coming back from the UK holds no fears for most of those at the head of the betting charts this week. 

THE GAMES 

The London Games are finally upon us, and with the media coverage at an all time high, we are seeing betting interest across a wide range of events.

Swimming will be the major attraction during the first week of the Games, and while it seems as though the Australian team will battle to maintain the high numbers of the last few games, there are still several opportunities for gold. James Magnussen is the shortest of the Aussies at $1.40 in the Mens 100m Freestyle, and while he has firmed from $1.50 into the current price, we have also seen plenty of money for Aussie team-mate James Brown at $6.50. Magnussen will head the Aussie team in the mens 4x100 Freestyle, and they also dominate that market at $1.50.

Stephanie Rice is the pin-up girl of the Australian team, and even though Rice has gone to great lengths to explain she isn’t 100%, punters have been eager to back her to win the Womens 200 IM Gold. After opening at $5, Rice is now into $4 second pick, which has seen most others in the market drift out. Ye Shiwen from China is the ruling $3.50, with American Ariana Kukors at $4.50, then another Aussie in Alicia Coutts at $5.

Cadel Evans has ensured that cycling has been to the fore in the news lately, and he would be one of the main reasons that the cycling medals have been popular as well. Evans is one of the outsiders at $81 to win the road race, with England’s Mark Cavendish a warm $1.85 favourite after opening at $1.90. Both Cavendish and Peter Sagan ($5.00) dominated the flat stages of the Tour de France, and punters think that will be the case again.

There has always been a healthy rivalry between Australian Anna Meares and Victoria Pendleton of Great Britain, and that pair will resume that battle in the Womens Track Sprint. Pendleton defeated Meares in Beijing, and although Tattsbet has listed Meares as the favourite at $2.25, there is plenty of money to say that Pendleton ($3.00) can make it back to back Gold.

BMX isn’t one of the high profile events, but looking at both the mens and womens events, Australia has a strong chance of winning gold in both. Sam Willoughby is the $3.25 favourite to win the Mens Gold Medal ($4.50 in), and is this year won the World Championship held in Great Britain, while Caroline Buchanan ($9.00 into $4.50) has also had a good season having won 2 championships as a lead in to London.

Aside from Medal markets as well as all 302 Gold Medals, Tattsbet will be betting on individual games of football, basketball, tennis, hockey, water polo and key games in the beach volleyball. Let the games begin….

NASCAR

The ‘Your Hero’s Name Here 400’ is the NASCAR event this week, and it will be held in Indianapolis.

As is always the case with these races, the betting is wide open, and Jimmie Johnson is the opening favourite at $7.50 ahead of Tony Stewart ($8.50), Denny Hemlin ($10.00) and Kasey Kahne ($10.00). Johnson and Stewart head the title betting at $3.50 and $4.50 respectively, and a look back over the records shows that both drivers have won this race twice, Johnson in 2006 and 2008, and Stewart in 2005 and 2007.

FORMULA ONE 

Sebastian Vettel finished second in last week’s German GP behind Fernando Alonso, but was subsequently relegated at a post race inquiry. For those that were wondering what that means with betting, anybody who backed Vettel to finish on the podium received had a victory as Vettel was not relegated until after the podium presentation, and that is what is paid out on, to use a racing term, that is the sports betting version of ‘correct weight’. The win by Alonso has seen him progress to 129 points in the Drivers Championship, and is now $1.80, while Vettel is second pick at $3.20.

They will all be in action again in Budapest this weekend where the Hungarian GP will be held. Vettel is the opening favourite at $3.50, and has been best backed in the early stages of betting. Alonso is $3.75, followed by Lewis Hamilton ($5.5), Mark Webber ($9.50) and Jenson Button at the same price. Button finished second last week (after Vettel downgraded), and did win this race last year, beating Vettel and Alonso. Mark Webber was victorious in 2010 (beating Alonso and Vettel), while Lewis Hamilton is a two-time winner in 2007 and 2009, so all of the main chances have form in this event. 

MOTOGP

Jorge Lorenzo is hot favourite at $1.25 to win the motoGP Riders Championship, and with the betting suggesting that he will win in the USA this week, then it will be near on impossible for Casey Stoner to catch him. Dani Pedrosa is best placed to topple Lorenzo, and has found some form, even though Lorenzo defeated him in Italy at their last start. Lorenzo is odds on at $1.90 to win at Laguna Seca, with Stoner at $3.00 and Pedrosa at $3.75. Casey Stoner won this race last year and is a previous winner in 2007, and has second in 2008 and 2009, so track form says he can win, but he just hasn’t been the same the last couple of races. Lorenzo was second last year after beating Stoner in 2010, and deserves his place at the head of betting.