TattsBet News 16th August

AFL

The early money was spot on the mark this week after Nick Riewoldt was ruled out of the St Kilda side to take on Geelong on Friday night. The Cats have been one of the biggest shorteners for the season so far. In a very big betting game, the Cats have come in from an opening $1.50 to $1.38 in the first 72 hours of betting. Some of the bigger bets recorded have been $15,000 at $1.47, $10,000 at $1.40, the same amount at $1.38, and a $12,000 multi at $4.60 of Geelong, Carlton, Fremantle and Collingwood all to win. There has been some support for the Saints as they have been drifting out, but nothing like what we have seen for Geelong.

It is hard to believe that a side like Melbourne could be $1.16, but with the GWS having several big ‘outs’ this week, that’s what price Melbourne currently are, and they will probably start shorter. The Demons opened at $1.22, but it was the withdrawals for GWS that saw the price collapse, not money. However, it is worth pointing out that Melbourne did thump GWS by 78 points back in Round 13.

The Gold Coast will be getting the biggest ever pre-match line start (101.5) in the history of Tattsbet when they take on Hawthorn at the MCG on Sunday. The Suns did win last week, but this is a different story as Hawthorn have been disposing of good sides by big margins, and that has been without Buddy Franklin.

Chris Judd returns to the Carlton side this week, and they are $1.70 favourites to continue the woes of Essendon, who are $2.15. The Blues play their best football at the MCG, and although Essendon can expect more players to return, they were very ordinary in the second half against the Kangaroos last week. The loser here is almost certainly out of the finals race, so there is a lot at stake.

Matthew Pavlich touched $251 in Coleman Medal betting early on in the season, but is now the $2.25 favourite. Jack Riewoldt is next in line at $3.25, the Buddy Franklin ($4.00) and Drew Petrie ($5.50). If Franklin is to play this week against the Suns, he is capable of kicking a bagful, but that may not be confirmed before the round starts. Jobe Watson has firmed into $2.75 to win the Brownlow Medal, but punters this week have shown a preference for Patrick Dangerfield and Trent Cotchin who are both now at $8.00. We have already mentioned a couple of times this season how Dangerfield was backed to win close to $200,000 at $126.00 before the season started, and with 3 relatively easy games to come for the Crows, a few more votes is on the cards. Whilst on goal kickers, a special mention must go to a Tattsbet client who spent $3 on a goal kicking multi last week. He took Dean Cox, Stephen Milne and Lewis Roberts-Thompson all to be the first goal scorers in their respective matches, and all came home for a collect of $5304.00. Well done! 

RUGBY LEAGUE 

Betting to win this year’s NRL title is still wide open, and we now have three equal favourites. The Bulldogs, Melbourne and Manly share top billing at $4.00 ahead of Souths at $5.75, then it is the Cowboys ($11.00), Brisbane, Wests Tigers (both $21.00) and Cronulla at $26.00. Those are the sides that currently make up the top 8, and while there are still a few others that can possibly make it, another win to each should see them through. It is going to be very difficult to try and win the competition from outside of the top 4, and this has been made more evident by looking at the AFL. The McIntyre system has been in place there since 2000, and no side has been able to come from outside of the top 4 to make the Grand Final, let alone win it.

The shortest priced favourite of the upcoming round is the New Zealand Warriors, and given their recent form it isn’t really surprising that punters have given them a wide berth. While the $1.33 might seem well under the odds, Penrith’s form also leaves a lot to be desired, and they are $3.35 in a very, very quiet betting game. With the recent resurgence of Parramatta, Penrith are now favourites ($1.62) to finish at the bottom of the ladder, with the Eels out to $2.30. One punter is sitting on a ticket of $3000 on Penrith at $8.00, so he will be hoping that the Warriors can find some form at home.

Broncos fans have been notable by their absence recently, but there has been a good push for the Broncos to beat Melbourne on Friday night. The $2.40 has been quite popular as has the +4.5 at $1.90, and they showed with a valiant loss to the Bulldogs last Sunday that even though they are under-manned, they are still capable. The jury is still out on exactly where the Storm are at after edging out the Titans last week, but clearly punters see this as a danger game.

Another outsider that has met with confident support this week is Cronulla, and they will host Souths on Saturday night. The Sharks were well backed and disappointed against Newcastle on Monday night, and even though Greg Inglis returns for Souths, there is money for them to win at $2.65. The recent run of outsiders winning is probably the catalyst for some of the betting on outsiders, and with all games being relevant to important ladder positions again this week, more upsets are on the cards. 

RUGBY UNION 

The Rugby Championship gets under way this week, and with the Wallabies at home to the All Blacks, it is important that the Australians kick off with a win. This new concept is an extension of the Tri Nations, and now includes Argentina, and is the Southern Hemisphere’s version of the Six Nations, which was won by Wales. The Wallabies are $2.70 to win game 1, with NZ at $1.46, and early action has been split between the two sides. The Wallabies do have an advantage in this game as with the early exit of their sides from the Super Rugby competition, they have had a longer period to ‘gel’ and overcome any injuries. They did also record a good series win against Wales recently, and on those occasions looked like they may have overcome some of the problems they have had in the forwards, but time will tell. This will also double up as the first leg of the Bledisloe Cup, a title that the Kiwi’s have held since 2003.

In the other game, South Africa should get their campaign under way with a win at home against Argentina. South Africa are $1.12 to win, and the handicap line has been set at 13.5 points. New Zealand are $1.45 to win the title ahead of Australia and South Africa at $4.75, while Argentina are the bolters at $67.00.

As well as the Rugby Championship games, Tattsbet will also be betting on matches each week in the Currie Cup (Sth Africa) and Top 14 (France), and these open on the day that matches are due to be played.

NASCAR

Marcos Ambrose did make it back to back wins at Watkins Glen last weekend, and there were plenty of Aussie punters who took the closing price of $4.00. As we pointed out last week, Ambrose is right at home on the road courses, but he had to take plenty of risks in the last lap to pass leader Brad Keslowski.

The big question is now whether or not Ambrose can win on an oval track, and while he gets criticised in the US for his poor record on oval tracks, he gets another chance this week in the Pure Michigan 400. Ambrose is well down the betting at $41.00, but there are a few who think he can break his duck. Race favourite is Jimmie Johnson ($7.00) who finished third last week, while Denny Hamlin ($13.00), Keslowski ($11.00) and Kyle Busch ($9) are well in commission. Busch won this race last year, and was third in 2008. 

MOTOR BIKES 

Fresh from a win in the USA motoGP, Casey Stoner is favourite at $2.25 to win in Indianapolis this week. Stoner defeated Jorge Lorenzo last start, with Dani Pedrosa third, and is usually the case, that trio dominate the betting. Lorenzo is the second pick at $2.50, with Pedrosa at $4.50, then a big gap to Ben Spies at $15.00. Spies has always had good form in America, and was runner up to Pedrosa here in 2010 before finishing third to Stoner and Pedrosa last year. Lorenzo was fourth in that race, third in 2010, and won in 2009, so as you can see, all four have form at Indianapolis. While the riders title is still alive, racing will be competitive, and recent races have shown that it is no longer imperative to qualify fastest, there is very little between the first three in betting. 

CRICKET

England are the number one test team in the world according to the rankings, but a loss to South Africa at Lords this week will see South Africa overtake them. England need a win to salvage the best of three series after losing the first test, and drawing in the second, and the dismissal of Kevin Pietersen from the side is going to make the task more difficult. Pietersen scored 149 in the second test which saw England salvage a draw, and that leaves a brittle batting with most out of form. South Africa will be content with a draw, and that has seen that option well supported from an opening $2.50 into $2.35, ahead of South Africa at $2.70 and England at $3.50. Unless weather intervenes, that is a short quote for a test match in the modern era, and we will be looking to take it on. 

GOLF

Rory McIlroy found form at the right time to run away with the US PGA, and while the Irishman was well in the betting at $19 before the tournament started, the ordinary form he has shown this year saw punters shun him. Tiger Woods and Adam Scott were to the fore in betting for most of the weekend, and punters pinned their faith in a victory by either, but it wasn’t to be.

Most of the big names will be missing from the tour event this week, but there has been a surprisingly high level of interest. The Port Royal Country Club in Greensboro, North Carolina, will host their fifth Wyndham Championship, and all four previous winners are in the field. Webb Simpson ($13.00) won last year, Arjun Atwell ($251) in 2010, Ryan Moore ($51) in 2009 and Carl Pettersson ($19.00) won in 2008, and Simpson and Pettersson have been two of the best backed. Pettersson was in the mix at the PGA last week, and should prove hard to beat. Jason Duffner was heavily backed to win last week but was out of business early, and is the equal $13.00 favourite with Webb Simpson, while we have also seen solid support for Bill Haas and Tim Clark (both $26) and Nick Watney at $41. There will be 8 Australians in the field, with the shortest of those being Stuart Appleby at $81, while Appleby, Robert Allenby and Matt Jones are each $5.50 to be the ‘Top Aussie’. 

RACING

Lucas Cranach and Atlantic Jewel are out of the Spring Carnival, and while there is no doubt that the loss of both has taken some gloss off things, there has been huge interest in the Spring markets that were released this week. Green Moon and Mawingo are at $13.00 to win the Caulfield Cup ahead of a host of runners at $21.00. The first bet on the Cox Plate was $1000 each way at $7.00, and she shares favouritism with stablemate Pierro, ahead of Mosheen ($9.00) and All Too Hard ($11.00). Betting on the Melbourne Cup will be available as soon as the first round of nominations close on September 4.