TattsBet News 2nd August

RUGBY LEAGUE 

Unlike their AFL cousins, league fans didn’t fare so well last week when only four of the eight favourites won. The biggest upsets were the wins by Newcastle over Canberra and Parramatta over Brisbane, and on paper this week looks just as difficult. There has never been a league season like this, and every match this week is important as far as all of the ‘futures’ books are concerned. The Bulldogs are $4.00 to win the competition ahead of Souths ($4.50) and Melbourne ($5.50), but on form there are several other sides in form that are capable of winning…they just have to make the finals! The Gold Coast were $13.00 to make the final 8 three weeks ago, but are now $21.00 to win it, and Newcastle have finally struck form and are in to $34.00, but they also need to maintain form to feature. It doesn’t get much bigger than this week for the Knights as they host the Bulldogs, and if they can win here they should just about make the play-offs. Plenty think they can as action has been split between them at $2.45 and the Bulldogs at $1.55. The Titans will be without Greg Bird, but that hasn’t put too many off as they have been well backed at $2.35 to beat the rampaging Souths ($1.60) on Sunday afternoon. There is some question mark over Souths ‘away’ form, but they have been in terrific form, and can still mathematically grab the minor premiership.

A month ago Wests Tigers would have been $1.15 to beat Parramatta, but the Tigers have faltered, and the Eels had a big win over Brisbane last Monday, so the betting gap has closed. The Tigers are $1.60 with the Eels at $2.35, and a loss for the Tigers would almost certainly end finals aspirations. At the other end of the ladder, the wooden spoon looked certain to be heading Parramatta’s way prior to last weekend, and a win here would also see that unlikely to happen.

AFL

AFL punters have plenty to play with after all eight favourites won last week, and all eight covered their respective lines as well.

This week we have what appear to be a lot of one-sided matches, and a couple of others that will be crucial in the run-up to the finals series. Hawthorn play Geelong on Friday night, and although the Hawks were beaten by Geelong in round 2, punters think that result will be easily reversed. The Hawks opened the week at $1.36, but several big bets, including one of $12,000, have seen that price collapse into $1.30. They have also been coupled up in several big multis, with one punter outlaying $15,000 at $3.48 that Hawthorn, North Melbourne, the West Coast, Sydney and Adelaide would all win their matches.

The Kangaroos have been marching towards a finals berth, but they are really short odds at $1.10 this week. They play the western Bulldogs at Etihad, and while both sides play their best footy there, the Doggies did beat the Roos by 3 goals back in round 7. They have had a lot of injuries to contend with, and get players back for this game, so we are keen to be taking on the Roos, especially at the line of -46.5.

Carlton are another side that are still in the finals race, and get players back this week. They have done a really good job over the last month with the list they had, and have to be some hope $2.85) of chalking up a win against Sydney at Etihad on Sunday.

Hawthorn are still the $2.50 flag favourites ahead of Sydney ($5.00) and Collingwood ($5.50), but with top 4 spots still up for grabs, and all three sides playing in games this week that they could possibly lose, premiership betting has gone quiet. 

THE GAMES 

Week 1 of the London Games is just about over, and it would be fair to say that the Australian team are well behind as far as medal expectations are concerned. Those that took ‘under’ 12.5 gold medals are in the box seat, but there is an intriguing race going on to see which country will win the most gold medals. The USA were $1.50 with China at $2.50 when betting opened several months ago, but by the time the Games started, China were in to $2.00, with the biggest bet being $4000 at that quote. China touched $1.57 during this week (one bet of $4000) as they won some gold in the pool that was unexpected, but a late rally from the USA has the betting currently sitting at $1.63 China and $2.10 for the Americans.

James Magnussen went agonisingly close to winning gold in the mens 100m freestyle, and while all and sundry thought that he was a good thing coming into the Games, the focus now moves to Sally Pearson in the 100m women’s hurdles. Sally has been short odds since betting opened, getting into $1.30 prior to being beaten in a lead-up event a few weeks ago. Her victor on that occasion was American Kellie Wells who was $13.00 prior to that race, but this week has been backed from $4.75 into $4.00. Pearson has eased out to $1.50, and there is money for her at that quote in a fabulous betting race.

The highlight of the track and field is always the mens 100m final, and once again we have a really good betting contest. Usain Bolt hasn’t been seen on the track since being beaten in the Jamaican qualifiers where he suffered a hamstring injury. Bolt claims he is 100% again, and this week he has been backed from $1.57 into $1.53, but he has his doubters. Yohan Blake defeated Bolt in Jamaica, and there has been really smart money for him at $2.75. Just to add some mystique to the whole thing, we have also seen some educated money for American Tyson Gay at $13.00, and this race is clearly shaping up as the biggest betting event of the games. Let’s just hope that Bolt is over his problems! 

GOLF

Tiger Woods is $5.50 to win the Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone this week, and while Tiger might not be the player that he was, he has won three times this year, and more importantly has won this event seven times. That sort of form would normally see plenty of money for Tiger, but punters have really skirted around him, preferring most others in the market. Tiger has won three in a row twice (1999-2001 and 2005-2007) before winning in 2009. Finishing 78th and 37th the last two years may not be so flattering, but he has definitely improved on that form this year. Adam Scott won last year, and has been backed at $17 after his British Open disappointment, while Luke Donald, second to Scott last year, has been so0lid in the betting at $15. Others to meet with support have been Rory McIlroy ($21), Zach Johnson ($29) and Dustin Johnson ($34). Aussie Jason Day is returning after a short layoff due to family reasons, and he is $41, and $5.25 to be the ‘Top Aussie’ behind Scott at $2.10.

The Reno Tahoe Open is also on this week, and it is worth noting that this tournament has been changed to the modified stableford format. That makes it all the more intriguing as that type of format is suited to aggressive play, so that throws the door wide open. Padraig Harrington is the opening $10 favourite at Tattsbet ahead of Seung-yul Noh ($19) and John Rollins at $21. With the Bridgestone on, this event has been on the quiet side, and that is understandable. Stuart Appleby and Rod Pampling head the Australian contingent, both priced at $51. 

RUGBY UNION 

The Sharks have been the form side of the Super Rugby competition since the International break, and now they find themselves in the final. The Sharks touched $51 at one stage, but on the back of another upset win last week over the Stormers, they travel to New Zealand to take on the Chiefs. The Kiwi side provided their own upset when they disposed of the Crusaders, and while the Chiefs may seem short at $1.30, the Sharks have had clocked up a lot of kilometres in the last three weeks. The Sharks had to return home after a trip to Brisbane, then have had to travel to New Zealand this week, and that is a lot of time in the air! Having said that, they do have admirers at $3.50 (after opening at $3.75), but nothing like what we have seen for the Chiefs in the latter part of the week. One punter who placed $6500 on the Chiefs two weeks ago would be on good terms with himself at the moment. The line has been set at 7 points, and being a final, and the two sides involved having a good defense, we will be looking to take the Chiefs on at the minus. Don’t forget, ‘live’ betting will be available on the final. 


MOTO GP 

At the halfway point of the motoGP season, Casey Stoner has breathed some life into the Riders Championship with a win in the US Grand Prix. Stoner went into the race as a $4 chance behind Jorge Lorenzo ($1.50), but was too good for Lorenzo. The standings at the moment see Lorenzo on 205 points (5 wins), Dani Pedrosa on 182 points (1 win), with Stoner next in line on 173 points. Although he has won 4 races, the telling factor could well be a couple of unplaced performances. Lorenzo is $1.35 ahead of Stoner at $4, and Pedrosa the only other chance at $9. The next race will be in Indianapolis on August 19. 

FORMULA 1 

The expected rain didn’t eventuate in the Hungarian GP last Sunday, and it was a pretty uneventful race as Lewis Hamilton ($1.68) led all the way to beat Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean.

That win for Hamilton has seen him move to 117 points in the Drivers title, but he is still 47 points in arrears of leader Fernando Alonso. Hamilton has moved into $5.75 third pick behind Alonso ($1.85) and Sebastian Vettel ($3.50), with a decent gap to Mark Webber at $13 even though he is well placed on 124 points. The F1’s have a break now and will return on September 2 in Belgium.

NASCAR

Jimmie Johnson showed why he was the favourite ($6.50) in the NASCAR event in Indianapolis last weekend by winning that race for the fourth time. The victory has seen Johnson firm into $3.25 to win the Sprint Cup title, ahead of Dale Earnhardt ($6.50) and Tony Stewart ($7.00)

The action this week will be in Pocono, Pennsylvania, and Johnson is again the favourite at $5.50. He has been placed here before, and there have been five individual winners the last five years. Brad Keslowski won last year and is $13.00 this week, while Kyle Busch, runner up to Keslowski, is well in commission at $10.00. 

SUPERBIKES

Veteran Marco Melandri won both Superbike races held in Brno two weeks ago, and those wins have seen Melandri close the gap on title leader Max Biaggi to just 20 points. Biaggi has drifted out to $1.60 and Melandri is now $2.65, but he is the rider in form.

Silverstone will host the superbikes this weekend, and with Biaggi struggling a little, and Melandri in form, we expect to see increased interest. While that duo head the betting, there are definitely other chances as Carlos Checa won both races in 2011, and Eugene Laverty was second on both occasions. Laverty hasn’t had the best of seasons, but showed from qualifying last week that he isn’t that far off the pace, and looks value on an each way basis.

V8'S

The V8’s return this week after competing in Darwin, and all of a sudden Jamie Whincup is the flavour of the month. After an indifferent start to the season, Whincup’s form has seen him head the title on 1794 points, and that places him 100 clear of Mark Winterbottom. Whincup is now $1.75 with Winterbottom at $3.50, and the other main hope is Will Davison ($4.25) who is another 40 points away.

The format for Ipswich this week as changed slightly as there will only be two races, the first on Saturday (45 laps), and the second on Sunday (65 laps). Craig Lowndes won all three races at Ipswich last year, and is the $4.00 second favourite in race I this week, with Whincup the $2.25 public elect. There is plenty of interest in both, but there is also money for Winterbottom ($4.00) and Will Davison ($4.50. Whincup was placed in two races last year, but Tim Slade, a $51 pop this week, could be one to watch. Slade placed in all three races behind Lowndes with two seconds and a third, and while he has been in poor form this year, we will be keeping a close eye on his qualifying times on Friday given his record at the track.