TattsBet News 23rd August

RUGBY LEAGUE 

Seven of the eight NRL games this week have will have a big impact on key ladder positions, and that has seen terrific early betting interest.

Canberra can make the finals, and punters think that they can put a halt to the winning run of Canterbury on Friday night. Of the first $10,000 bet on this game, 80% was for Canberra to win ($2.75) or cover a 6.5 point start, and they have now moved in to $2.60 or +6.0. There is a distinct move away from the Bulldogs this week ($1.49), with Canberra having it all to play for and the Bulldogs having an unimpressive win last week.

Manly are backing up off a short break, and have named a few players who were injured last week, and there is also a good push for the outsiders in their Friday night game. Brisbane were terribly unlucky going down to the Storm last week, and while they are $2.65 this week, the bets are running 4-1 in favour of them over Manly. A win to Brisbane and they make the 8, a loss and they could miss if results go against them.

Wests Tigers are the other side currently in the 8 that are under pressure and with Robbie Farah out with a broken hand, and Anthony Minichello available to play for the Sydney Roosters, Sunday’s match will take centre stage. The Tigers haven’t had much luck go there way this year, and they were beaten 42-28 by the Roosters back in round 15. The Roosters have also won 5 of their last 6 games against the Tigers, and all of those stats are hard to ignore. The Tigers are $1.57, but punters have avoided them like they have the plague, so expect that price to drift out. There looks a strong possibility of upsets this week, and this is one of them.

AFL

Three weeks ago Adelaide were on track to win the minor premiership, Carlton were out of the finals race, the Gold Coast were likely to win the wooden spoon, Lance Franklin was favourite for the Coleman Medal, and Jobe Watson was the one for the Brownlow Medal. It has been an amazing season, and it isn’t over yet!

Sydney v Hawthorn is one of the season’s biggest clashes, and punters are divided as to who will win. The Swans opened at $2.05, but Lance franklin a doubtful starter (again), they have firmed slightly into $2.02. They have attracted more individual bets than Hawthorn, who are out to $1.80. On paper you would think this will be close and could go either way and when we get games like that the bigger punters tend to keep away, and that is the case here.

The Collingwood forward line has been a problem for several weeks, and although the Magpies have won 8 of their last 9 games against the West Coast, they travel to Perth as $2.08 underdogs. The game takes on more importance as a win to the Eagles would see them go past Collingwood, and get them into the top 4. Once again punters are divided with action coming for both sides.

If North Melbourne can beat Fremantle on Sunday the door to the finals is well and truly open for Carlton especially in light of the fact that the Blues should have a percentage booster against the Gold Coast. Fremantle haven’t beaten the Kangaroos at Etihad Stadium in four attempts, and were belted there last year by 98 points. One of the first bets for the week was $5000 on the Kangaroos at $1.40, and the signs are there that they may start shorter.

With the top 4 positions still undecided, premiership betting has been quieter than usual. Hawthorn is $2.50 ahead of Sydney ($5.00), Collingwood ($5.50), Geelong ($7.00) and Adelaide ($8.00), but looking at the game matchups this week, all of that will change at the completion of the round.

The last player to win the Brownlow from a side that didn’t make the finals was Shane Crawford, but Gary Ablett is now a $4.00 chance to better that and win from second last position. It will be interesting to see how umpires treat his domination in a side that has been on the receiving end of some big hidings. Jobe Watson remains the favourite at $3.75 after TattsBet took close to $6000 for him last week at $3.00. One of the big movers recently (and there have been a few) is Dayne Beams, who is now at $15.00, the same price as his team-mate Dane Swan. 

RUGBY UNION 

Rugby punters were spot on in both Rugby Championship games last weekend. The All Blacks were backed from an opening $1.47 to start at $1.30 against the Wallabies, while South Africa firmed from $1.16 to start at $1.10 against Argentina. The lines were covered in both matches, with South Africa winning by 21 points which was well in excess of the line there, which had moved from -12.5 out to -14.5.A penalty goal to the All Blacks right on the siren saw them win 27-19, and that took them just over the line of 6.5 points, and no doubt punters were happy with that conversion.

It doesn't get any easier for the Wallabies this week as they travel to Auckland to play New Zealand. The Aussies haven't won at Eden Park since 1986, and are $7.50 to break that hoodoo this week. They were the inferior side last week, and will be without Pocock and Fefu this week, and that has seen New Zealand popular in multis at $1.09, and also conceding 14.5 points start.

The other match will be played in Argentina, and the home side are $4.15 to beat the Springboks, who are $1.23. The Pumas are always hard to beat at home, and we are more than happy that the early money has been for South Africa conceding 8.5 points start.

Tattsbet will also be covering the ITM Cup games in New Zealand, and they get under way this week. These games were televised live into Australia last year, and were hugely popular. Betting is available at half time on all of the 'live' games, which will be nearly all of them. Canterbury are the $3.00 favourites to win the Premiership ahead of Waikato ($4.50), while North Harbor are the $4.00 fav's to win the Championship ahead of Southland at $4.25. While many of the team names will be recognised as Super Rugby team names, the makeup of the sides is quite different in the ITM Cup, particularly with the national side on duty at the moment. 

GOLF

The Johnnie Walker Championship will be played at Gleneagles this week, and it is the last counting event for the Ryder Cup. Last year saw an exciting 5 way playoff which was eventually won by Thomas Bjorn, and many think the Dane can win again as he is the worst result for Tattsbet at $29. Francesco Molinari is the $11 favourite, and the family has a bit of history here as his brother Eduardo won here 2 years ago. Nicolas Colsaerts is a well backed second pick at $13, and he needs a win or second to grab an automatic qualifying spot in the Ryder Cup. David Lynn is another on the firing of breaking into the Cup, and he has been backed at $31.

FedEx Cup points are up for grabs this week in The Barclays at Farmingdal, New York, and all of the big names are there. This event rotates around courses in New York, but the US Open was played here in 2002 and 2009. Dustin Johnson won last year beating Matt Kuchar, and Kuchar won in 2010, while Steve Stricker won in 2009 when it was played at Westchester. Stricker was second in 2009 and third in 2010, so it isn't any real surprise that he has been well backed at $26. Stricker also played well in both US Opens at Farmingdale, and his form this season has been excellent. Rory McIlroy is the $8.00 favourite and has been backed after his recent victory in the US PGA Championship, and did finish 10th here in the 2009 Open, so the course holds no fear. Tiger Woods is second pick at $8.50, but following his fade-out in the PGA Championship, there hasn't been much money for him this week. Adam Scott is the shortest of the Australians at $26, and is $2.50 to be the 'Top Aussie''. 

MOTOGP

Dani Pedrosa won the motoGP in Indianapolis at the weekend, but the performance of Casey Stoner was the talking point. Stoner broke his ankle and did ligament damaged when he parted company with his bike in the practise sessions, and most expected him to withdraw from the race. Pedrosa qualified fastest and went in as a hot $1.75 favourite ahead of Jorge Lorenzo at $3.00, while Stoner was at $9.00. He did in fact start, and finished a valiant fourth, which means he is still a chance for the title, 39 points behind Lorenzo. The injury is probably going to cost him any chance, and it is still unknown if he will line up in Brno this weekend for the Czech Republic GP. That means that Lorenzo is short at $2.25 ahead of Pedrosa at $2.75, then Stoner at $3.75. Stoner won this race last year, and also back in 2007, while Lorenzo won in 2010, defeating Pedrosa and Stoner. So once again the top three riders have form at the venue, and that explains why they dominate the market. American Ben Spies is a $15 chance, while Andrea Dovizioso (second to Stoner last year) is at $17. A word of warning with Stoner though, the Brno circuit has a lot of turns that are right handed, and that will put a lot of pressure on his ankle. 

SUPERBIKES

With only four rounds of the Superbikes to go, the title has developed into a contest between Max Biaggi and Marco Melandri. Biaggi leads the title on 274 points and is the $1.77 favourite ahead of Melandri (263.5) at $2.20. Carlos Checa ($11.00) and Tom Sykes ($13) are over 50 points behind the leader, and will need an awful lot to go right for them if they are to have any chance.

The bikes return after a wet weekend at Silverstone several weeks ago. Those rain shortened races were won by Loris Baz and Sylvain Guintoli, but both are big odds to win in Moscow this week. Betting will open Thursday night, but expect Biaggi to be favourite ahead of Checa and Melandri followed by Sykes and Jonathon Rea .
V8's

The V8 Supercars return to Eastern Creek after a 4 year layoff this week, and with the title at a delicate stage, the races themselves, and the tactics, will be very important. Jamie Whincup is $1.80 to win the title ahead of Mark Winterbottom ($3.25), Craig Lowndes ($5.50) and Will Davison ($6.75). Lowndes won both races at Ipswich, defeating Winterbottom and Whincup in each race, and is finding form at the right end of the season.

Eastern Creek has been renamed Sydney Motorsport Park, and has been re-surfaced and re-configured, so past history isn't of much value. There is a significant rule change for this race as well with teams limited to two sets of soft tyres for the entire weekend. That is going to affect practise times, and it will be interesting to see how drivers cope. Whincup is the $2.50 favourite in race 1, ahead of Lowndes at $3.50, but punters are showing a preference for the Fords, with Winterbottom ($4.00) and Will Davison ($4.50) attracting most of the early action.

Tattsbet has also opened up the first market on this year’s Bathurst, which will be held on October 7. For betting purposes, Bathurst is always done by car numbers' as there are two drivers, but the teams are out so we know who will be driving which car. Car 1 driven by Whincup and Dumbrell is the opening $3.40 favourite ahead of Car 888 (Lowndes/Luff) at $4.25, Car 5 (Winterbottom/S.Richards) at $5.00 and Car 6 (W.Davison/McIntyre) at $6.00. There will be numerous markets available on Bathurst, and most of those will be available by the middle of next week.

NASCAR

Greg Biffle sits atop of the Sprint Cup title after winning in Michigan at the weekend. Biffle was well supported at $15.00 prior to the race, and now holds a 20 point lead over Matt Kenseth in the title. Marcos Ambrose showed that the elusive win on an oval track that he has been chasing may not be far away with a credible 5th.

This week will see a return to night racing with the Irwin Tools Night Race to be held in Bristol, Tennessee. Jimmie Johnson is again the favourite at $6, and while there are always several chances in these races, there are three to watch out for. Brad Keslowski has had a terrific season (second in Michigan) and won this race last year. He is a $9.00 chance this week, and looks mighty hard to beat, as does Kyle Busch, who is equal favourite at $6.00. Busch has been thereabouts recently, but more importantly was a winner here in 2009 and 2010, and that was after being placed in 2006 and 2008. Carl Edwards is another who has an affinity for the Bristol track after making it back to back wins in 2007 and 2008, and is another who hasn't been far away in recent races. 

RACING

There have been a few big casualties already from the Spring Carnival, but that hasn't put a stop to the level of interest.

Tattsbet opened the Cox Plate and Caulfield Cup markets last week, and the Melbourne Cup will be opened just after the first nominations in the first week of September. Atlantic Jewel is out of the Cox Plate, and that has seen popular mare More Joyous backed in to clear favourite. More Joyous was posted at $7.00, but she was quickly in to $6.50 on the back of dozens of bets, including $1000 each way and another of $1000 at the $7.00. Stablemate Pierro is $7.00 ahead f Mosheen ($9.00) and All Too Hard ($11.00, but two proven performers in Manigar and Rekindled Interest have proven popular at $15.00. One punter has backed Rekindled Interest to take out $20,000, and while he has been sparingly raced this year, he is proven at the Valley where he won the Feehan Stakes last year.

Ex imports Green Moon and Mawingo are the $13.00 equal favourites to win the Caulfield Cup, but the betting has been quiet with so many unknown quantities. A lot of the other imports are not certain to start, and recent history shows that most of the European trainers prefer to give Caulfield a miss in preference of the Melbourne Cup. The Caulfield Guineas and the Thousand Guineas are also open, but before that we have the Golden Rose, which will be run at Rosehill on September 15. We lost Shes Á Fox from the field this week, but serious question marks hang over the first three in the betting. Boom horse All Too Hard is the $3.40 favourite after finishing third in his first up run last week. Prior to that we had taken close to $16,000 for him at $3.60 and $3.50, but he appears to be a horse who is always going to need his share of luck. Second favourite is Pierro at $6.00, and he is a doubtful runner, while third choice is the Victorian Samaready ($8.50) who failed badly first up on a heavy track at Flemigton last week. Several runners have firmed up in the betting, with the most notable of those being Epaulette, now $13 after opening at $31. 

GREYHOUNDS

TattsBet is the sponsor of the National Sprint and Distance finals for greyhounds, and they will be held Saturday evening at the spacious Hobart track. Hobart is a 'horseshoe' shaped track which makes for clean racing, and we have a red hot favourite in the distance race. Miata, the Western Australian champ, broke the Hobart 599 record in a trial last week, but has drawn badly in box 6. Miata opened at $1.36 to win, but solid support for both He Knows Uno ($6.50) and Irma Bale ($8.50) has seen the favourite drift to $1.38. Local hope Jethro ($10.00) broke the record at his first distance run 2 weeks ago, and if anything happens to Miata, he is the value of the race.

The sprint race will see the two main chances exit from the outside boxes. Boom Victorian youngster Fabregas has only been beaten once, and his scintillating pace has seen him installed as the $2.75 favourite, but there has been good money for Exclusive One ($2.85), one of two NSW representatives. Fabregas trialed 25.90 last week, reeling off fast sectionals, whereas Exclusive One won the NSW final at Bulli, a track similar to Hobart. He is unbeaten there, and holds the record, so if he can get a cart up behind Fabregas, it should be a great race. It is a more than handy field, but based on the box draw one of the outside two should be victorious.