TattsBet News 13th September

RUGBY LEAGUE 

North Queensland have been heavily supported to send Manly out of the NRL title race in straight sets on Friday night. This time last week Manly were $3.25 to win the title, but a loss to the Bulldogs, coupled up with an injury to Jamie Lyon and the suspension of Steve Matai has seen punters get right behind the Cowboys. They have overtaken Manly in premiership betting at $5.75, and are now favourites at $1.87 to beat Manly ($1.95) on Friday night. Manly have had trouble scoring in the second half for several weeks now, but they did beat the Cowboys 8-6 in Townsville back in round 22.

Saturday night’s game has seen only one way traffic for South Sydney to end the dream run of Canberra. The Rabbitohs opened at $1.50, but by Wednesday had already been backed in to $1.44, and are another side who look certain to start shorter. There have been a few decent bets for Canberra, but they have never been a popular side with punters on the road. The only meeting between the two this year was back in Round 12 when Souths won 36-18 at home, but their form has been very indifferent since. A couple of interesting stats on this game have surfaced. The first is that Canberra has beaten 5 of the top 8 sides since Round 18, and the other is that Souths haven’t beaten a top 8 side since Round 8. Throw all that into the mix and you would have to say that the Raiders can defy all and make it through another week. Time will tell.

Wynnum Manly will be at home to Tweed Heads for the fourth time this year in Sunday’s Intrust Super Cup preliminary final, with the winner to take on Redcliffe in the final a week later. Tweed had to swap the second game of the year when their ground was under water, and while they go into this match unwanted at $2.75, they have beaten Wynnum twice, with the most recent of those being a 19-16 victory in a spiteful match two weeks ago. These two sides played off in last year’s final which was won by Wynnum Manly, and there is no love lost between them. While the facts and figures say that Tweed Heads can win, punters can only see a win for Wynnum Manly with the bulk of activity being on them at $1.45 as well as covering the 6.5 point line.

AFL

Two upsets in the first week of the AFL finals have thrown the flag market into disarray, and on the back of an impressive win over Adelaide, Sydney are back in to second favourites at $4.50 behind Hawthorn. The Hawks were so dominant in their win over Collingwood that they are now $1.65 to win the flag, and seem assured to start very short odds in next week’s game. Assuming they win that, they will be short odds again in the Grand Final, so the $1.65 seems about right.

The early betting trends for the games this week have been slanted towards the outsiders. That makes perfect sense as the two favourites were both beaten last week, but remember that they do have home ground advantage, and both did finish higher up the ladder than their opponents. The Adelaide v Fremantle game is shaping as a gigantic betting match, with the Dockers commanding twice as many bets at $2.30 as the Crows at $1.63. There have been numerous four figure bets for both sides, with the largest of those being $5500 for Adelaide. Adelaide defeated Fremantle in both meetings this year, but if Fremantle can start like they did last week, then the Crows are in big trouble.

West Coast thrashed Collingwood by 96 points a few weeks ago, and while that was in Perth, it is still a big psychological advantage going into Saturday night. The Eagles opened at $2.15 in this game, but that was quickly taken. They are now into $2.05 as of Thursday morning. Judging by the ratio (and size) of bets coming for the Eagles, they seem certain to start shorter. Collingwood are $10 to win the flag which is just ahead of the west Coast at $11, and there will be one punter at least looking for an Eagles win after investing $1000 for them to win the big one coupled up with the Canterbury Bulldogs at $59.

The Brownlow Medal is attracting a huge amount of interest, and this week TattsBet opened up a lot of exotic bet types as well. Gary Ablett is back as favourite at $4.50 ahead of Trent Cotchin at $5.00 and Jobe Watson at $5.50, but there have been a few moves behind them. Scott Thompson has joined his Crows team-mate Patrick Dangerfield at $8.00, while Sam Mitchell has firmed from $17 into $9.00 in the past week. Sydney’s Josh Kennedy is another mover, now $15 after spending the last couple of weeks at $21. 

GOLF

Rory McIlroy continued on his merry way by winning the BMW Championship last weekend, and victory means that he has won three of his last four starts. It was also the Irishman’s fourth PGA Tour win for the year, and he seems unstoppable at the moment. McIlroy’s win ratio over the last 12 months has been similar to what Tiger Woods had when he was dominating, and expect his odds to be a lot shorter in the future. The PGA Tour has a week off before the Tour Championship, and betting is open on that with McIlroy the $5.50 favourite ahead of Tiger Woods ($6.00), then a decent gap to Phil Mickelson ($13), Dustin Johnson and Adam Scott (both $15). The field is made up of the top 30 points scorers in the FedEx Cup, and the early money has been for the two favourites.

The Ryder Cup is only a couple of weeks away, and there are several betting options open on that. The USA have been the fave’s to win the Ryder Cup since betting opened, but are now out to their best price at $1.75 after solid support for Europe ($2.50 into $2.35), with the ‘Tie’ at $11.

Although the PGA Tour doesn’t have an event scheduled this week, the European Tour has the Italian Open, and as it will be the only main event, interest has gone up a notch. Francesco Molinari is a previous winner back in 2006, and is the opening $9.00 favourite. Nicolas Colsaerts is next in line at $12 ahead of Martin Kaymer and the well backed Thorbjorn Olesen at $19. Olesen is in from $26, and was runner-up here last year to Robert Rock. The Dane has form winning form in Italy as well having won the Sicilian Open this year, so it is easy to see why he has met with such solid support. Italian youngster Matteo Manassero’s recent form has been off a little, but does have five top 10 finishes to his credit this year. He has had his eye on winning the national title, and is another who has been well backed at $26. As mentioned, Rock won last year and has attracted a few small each way bets at $51, and the same applies to Fredrik Andersson Hed ($51) who won in 2010. 

RUGBY UNION 

Fortunately for bookmakers there were plenty who thought that South Africa would comfortably put away the Wallabies in Perth last Saturday night, and while the Australians got the job done in a 26-19 victory, the win did come at a cost. Australia started the slightest of favourites in the game after sustained support for South Africa, so now that they have chalked up a win, there should be an air of confidence coming into this week’s game against Argentina. The Wallabies will however have to try and do it without Will Genia who was injured last week. Argentina haven’t beaten Australia since 1997, and that was in Buenos Aires, and the last time they played in Australia it resulted in a win to the Wallabies in a World Cup game in 2003. The Pumas have opened at $5.00 in this week’s match with the line set at 11.5 points, and the early betting trends have been heavily slanted towards Australia. The match will be played at Skilled Stadium on the Gold Coast, and the long range weather predictions are for rain. The Pumas were valiant in defeat going down 21-5 to New Zealand last week, and that game was also played in wet, windy conditions.

South Africa travel to Dunedin to play the All Blacks indoors, and while it took the better part of the match for the Kiwi’s to put Argentina to rest last week, they have opened hot $1.11 favourites this week. The line has been set at 15 points, and while South Africa haven’t won in NZ for four years (last time at Carisbrook), the All Blacks will still be without kicking ace Dan Carter. The big minus for South Africa is that they have travelled to Argentina, back to Perth, then across to Dunedin, but they do have the defensive game to stay within that 15 point line. 

FORMULA 1 

Lewis Hamilton returned to the winners circle in Monza at the weekend, and is back in to $4.25 to win the Driver’s Championship. Hamilton is still 37 points behind leader Fernando Alonso who grabbed more points himself when finishing third to Hamilton. Alonso is now $1.55, and while the Ferrari’s copped plenty of criticism before the season started, Alonso has done a magnificent job with a car that is clearly not the fastest. Sebastian Vettel is a couple of points behind Hamilton and is now at $6.50, but the aero-efficient Red Bulls will be more at home when racing resumes in Singapore in two weeks’ time.

NASCAR

Clint Bowyer was the NASCAR winner at Richmond last weekend, and he went around virtually unwanted at $17. The win by Bowyer has seen his Sprint Cup Championship odds cut to $19, but Jimmie Johnson still holds on to favouritism at $3.50. It is a real logjam at the top of the points table with Denny Hamlin leading by 3 points from Johnson, Tony Stewart and Brad Keslowski, while Greg Bifle is only 3 points behind that trio.

This week the racing moves to Chicago for the Geico 400. Johnson is the $6.00 favourite ahead of Hamlin at $8.00. Stewart ($10.00) won last year defeating Kevin Harvick, and also won in 2007, so looks hard to beat. Jeff Gordon must be a strong chance as well being a winner here in 2006, and placed in 2009 and 2010, and is also at $10.00. 

SUPERBIKES

Max Biaggi found form at the weekend when qualifying fastest for race 1 of the Superbikes in Germany, and went on to win that race. Biaggi was installed as the $3.00 favourite after gaining pole position, but punters showed a preference for Marco Melandri ($3.25) and Carlos Checa at $5.50. Biaggi defeated Eugene Laverty and Chaz Davies, with Davies going on to win the second race as a $13.00 chance when betting was reopened after race 1.

With only 4 races to go (2 in Portugal and 2 at Magny-Cours), Biaggi heads the title on 318 points, but is the second pick at $2.20. Melandri sits on 308.5 points, but remains favourite at $1.65, with the only other realistic chance being Tom Sykes (291.5 pts) who is out to $13. 

MOTOGP

The intriguing battle to win the motoGP title moves to San Marino this week, and for the first time this season, Dani Pedrosa has been installed as favourite.

Pedrosa won the recent Czech GP defeating Jorge Lorenzo, and that saw Pedrosa close the title gap to 13 points. Lorenzo is still the favourite at $1.38 with Pedrosa at $2.90, but a win this week would close the gap even further. Punters seem to disagree with the TattsBet assessment however as the early betting has been for Lorenzo at $2.00 in preference to Pedrosa at $1.85. Lorenzo won the corresponding race last year defeating Pedrosa, and he finished second the previous three years, once to Pedrosa (2010), and twice to Valentino Rossi when the Italian was dominating the sport. Andrea Dovizioso is the third pick at $15, but there is no interest outside of the two favourites, and recent form endorses that. 

V8 SUPERCARS 

Enduro racing returns to Sandown in Victoria this Sunday with the running of the Sandown 500, and this will be a very good guide to Bathurst. The lead up to Bathurst has been held at Philip Island for some time, and the combination of Craig Lowndes and Mark Skaife won there the last two years. Skaife has finished with driving the V8’s, and his replacement will be Warren Luff in Car 888. The Lowndes/Luff combo is the $3.00 second favourite in the opening market for Sandown, with Car 1 (Whincup/Dumbrell) rated at $2.60. Lowndes went on to finish second at Bathurst last year, and won in 2010 after winning at Philip Island, and while Sandown is a different shape, whoever wins will certainly firm up in Bathurst betting.