The words ‘promoter’s dream’ have been aptly used to describe the first week of NRL finals, and what a beauty we have on Friday night.
Canterbury won the minor premiership, but opened as the outsiders at $2.15 to beat Manly. Both have a victory (away from home) over each other this year, but there has been a concerted push for the Bulldogs to win. Three times as many bets have been placed on the Bulldogs as opposed to Manly, and even the $2.10 for them now looks certain to disappear. Ironically they have been neglected in premiership betting at $4.50, with punters preferring Manly ($3.25) and Melbourne ($4.00), as well as the two Queensland sides.
Melbourne have won 13 of their last 15 starts against Souths, but again we have seen more money for the outsider in this game. The betting hasn’t moved with Melbourne at $1.65 and Souths at $2.25, but there hasn’t been any big bets to report.
Brisbane have a fantastic historical record over the Cowboys, but the North Queensland side won both encounters this year, and really do come into this elimination final in better form. Brisbane fans are a very parochial breed however, and aside from close to $10,000 in premiership bets coming this week at $17.00, they have met with solid support at $2.75 to win this game. On the flip side, the Cowboys have been the best backed favourite of the round, including an early bet of $6000 at $1.45, and are sure to start warm favourites.
Canberra doesn’t have the best record when they are favourites, but they have opened at $1.60 to end Cronulla’s season on Sunday. The Raiders have come from nowhere to grab a home final, and while they did beat the Warriors 42-22 last week, the major concern we have is that they were behind 22-6 at half time. It seems as though punters view them as a risky proposition as we have noticed a lot more betting for the Sharks at $2.35, and the line has moved in half a point to +4.0. A reminder that TattsBet will be betting ‘live’ throughout the matches, and premiership betting will be updated at the completion of each game.
The QRL finals series continues this week, and Wynnum Manly are $1.52 to put an end to Norths final charge. Wynnum Manly were shock losers to Tweed heads last week and will be at home again, but the Devils have a strong looking side made up of a lot of Broncos players. While they did get into the final 5 in a photo finish, it is worth pointing out that Wynnum Manly won the final last year coming from 6th position (changed to a final 5 this year).
The Channel 9 game on Sunday will see the winner of the Redcliffe v Tweed Heads game progress to the Grand Final. Redcliffe have had a week off and lost their last two matches of the regular season, but they had already wrapped up the minor premiership. The early money has been for them at $2.75 as well as to cover the line of 6.5 points. In the two meetings this year Redcliffe won by 20 then 36 points, so all indicators are that they will be the team to progress. TattsBet will be betting live on this game as well.
The first round of final’s matches in the AFL opened on Sunday night, and as is normally the trend, there has been plenty of money for all favourites.
Hawthorn opened at $1.42 in Friday night’s clash with Collingwood, and be late Wednesday had already been backed in to $1.31. The biggest of the early bets was $5000 at $1.35, but the Hawks have attracted dozens of early bets between $1000 and $2000, and have been anchored up in all of the big weekend multis. They have beaten Collingwood in both previous meetings this year, but lose Guerra this week, and there must be a doubt over the fitness of Luke Hodge. The line has been set at 22.5 points, and we are also seeing money for the Hawks to beat that handicap.
The first bet of the week was $3000 for Adelaide at $1.67 to beat Sydney, and while the Crows have firmed up marginally to $1.65, we are now seeing money for them as well as the Swans at $2.25. This is shaping as the best betting battle for the weekend, and while Adelaide did beat the Swans in Sydney by 5 points in round 6. Adelaide have been right up there in premiership betting for several months now, and another big bet came in this week for them to win the big one. The punter has placed $10,000 on the Crows at $6.50, and that has seen their price cut to $6.00.
Fremantle have quietly made their way into the finals series, and while they are a lengthy $3.35 to beat Geelong on Saturday night, the recent form of the Dockers is hard to ignore. They have come from $3.50 into $3.35 but that was only on the back of Geelong losing Steve Johnson, and Geelong have eased out to $1.33. The wide open expanses of the MCG suit Fremantle, and we will be looking for them to at least cover the line of 21.5.
North Melbourne are completely unwanted in Sunday’s match against the West Coast, and if it wasn’t bad enough that they have to travel to Perth and play in the heat of the day, their performances the last two rounds have left a lot to be desired. The Eagles opened at $1.22, and while all of the big multis start with Hawthorn, nearly all of those finish with the Eagles. The Kangaroos are out to $4.45, and even the line of +26.5 hasn’t been tempting to punters. The Kangaroos weren’t completely embarrassed when going down by 25 points to the Eagles in Perth in round 6, and were valiant 2 point losers in round 15.
The Brownlow Medal is the most open in years, and anyone of a dozen players could win without surprising. Gary Ablett and Trent Cotchin are the ruling $4.25 favourites ahead of Paddy Dangerfield and Jobe Watson at $6.00. There will be a host of extra Brownlow options, and they will open over the next 7 days.
The Wallabies have a terrific record against South Africa, but you wouldn’t think that looking at the betting on this week’s Rugby Championship game. In the first 36 hours of betting, the bets coming through TattsBet were in favour of the Springboks 2-1 even though they were the outsiders at $2.20. The Wallabies and coach Robbie Deans have been copping it in the press, and they have been hard to sell at $1.67. Australia have won 6 of the last 7 encounters between the two sides, and that included a quarter final of the World Cup in Wellington which went to the Wallabies 11-9. Tries have been a premium when they play, and we expect another low scoring affair in Perth. The likelihood of a strong South African representation in the crowd will work in favour of the visitors as well, and the major concern that fans (and punters) continue to have is the amount of Waratahs in the side, and a failure to score against New Zealand two weeks ago hasn’t helped. In years gone by, punters would be tripping over themselves to back the Wallabies at home, but not this time.
The other match will see Argentina travel to Wellington to play New Zealand, and while Argentina were probably a shade unlucky not to get all of the points when they played out a 16 all draw with South Africa last start, this week they face a daunting task. The All Blacks are $1.02 to win, and while there haven’t been any early takers at the short odds for them to win head to head, the line of -26.5 has been popular. The only recent clash between the two was in last year in a World Cup match at Eden Park which saw the All Blacks win 33-10. A reminder that there will be ‘live’ betting throughout both of these games.
The Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, Indiana will host the BMW Championship this week, and with the field limited to the top 70 FedEx points scorers making up the field, there will be no cut for the weekend. This will be the first time that the BMW will be played at Carmel, so while it is hard to use previous form in the event as a betting guide, Rory McIlroy deserves to be the $7.50 favourite. McIlroy has won two of his last three starts, including a solid performance last week in the Deutsche Bank Championship. Tiger Woods shot four sub 70 rounds last week, and in a return to some sort of form he has been backed this week at $8.50. Adam Scott is the shortest of the five Australians going around at $19, while Steve Stricker, a wild card pick in the upcoming Ryder Cup, has been popular at $31.
In Europe, the KLM Open, formerly the Dutch Open, will be played at the Hilversumsche Golf Club. This course has been used the last two years, and was also in use prior to 2006, and Simon Dyson is $26, and there has been money for him at that quote to win again after having won on this course last year. Nicolas Colsaerts is the favourite at $16 ahead of Martin Kaymer at $18, and Kaymer also has form here having won in 2010. David Lynn and Jamie Donaldson are next in the market at $21.00, and Lynn is another who has been targeted by punters. He finished second to Dyson last year, and is a winner here back in 2010. Ross Fisher has been a firmer from $41 into $31, and he wasn’t far away in 6th position last year, it is worth noting that he did have an opening round of 66 prior to having an ordinary second round of 74.
Green Bay let a 15-1 season record go to waste last year when they were eliminated by eventual Superbowl winners the New York Giants, and the Packers will go in to season 2012/13 as the $6.00 favourites. The New England Patriots are right behind Green Bay at $7.00, and they are followed by Houston ($10), San Francisco and Philadelphia (both $13), and New Orleans and Baltimore at $15. Both San Francisco and Baltimore have firmed in betting, but prior to this week’s kick-off, it has been the Houston Texans who have commanded most attention at the $10. Houston were prominent last season until losing quarterback Matt Schaub after 10 games, but he has shown by his form in the pre-season that he is over the foot injury that put him out.
The New York Giants will be at home to Dallas in the first game of the season, and while Dallas have been backed from $2.80 into $2.65, the Giants will be trying to add to the impressive record of the home side winning 8 years in a row in the first game. Jacksonville are the 150/1 bolters to win the Superbowl, but there has been really good support for them to beat Minnesota first up on Sunday night. Jacksonville opened at $2.90, but that was taken as well as the +4.5 point line, with the head to head price now $2.70 and the line in a point to +3.5.
Denny Hamlin won the NASCAR race in Atlanta last week as a $13.00 chance, and he is $5.00 to repeat the dose this week in Virginia. The Federated Auto Parts 400 is the event due to be run at Richmond Raceway, and it is the second race this season to be run there. Kyle Busch won back in April, and won that event back in 2009, and he is the equal $5.00 favourite. Hamlin has a fantastic record at Richmond as well having won this event in 2009 and 2010, and has been placed here as well, so all points towards one of that duo being the winner. Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson are next in the betting at $8.00, followed by Jeff Gordon at $9.00.
Marco Melandri has displaced Max Biaggi as favourite to win the Superbike title, and has moved into odds on at $1.65, with Biaggi out to $2.30. Melandri won race 2 in Moscow a fortnight ago, and that was after finishing second in race 1 behind Jonathon Rea. This week the racing will be in Nurburgring, Germany, and Carlos Checa is the favourite at $3.00 ahead of Melandri ($3.50), and a decent gap to Biaggi at $7.50. Checa and Tom Sykes won last year, while Rea won a race on 2009 and then did the same again in 2010.
Jenson Button went into the Belgium GP as the $2.30 favourite last Sunday, and his task became a lot easier when there was a huge crash on the first turn. Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen filled the placings, but the news of the race was the crash that involved Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton. With neither gaining any points, title leader Alonso has drifted out to $2.10 ahead of Vettel at $3.25, then Raikkonen and Hamilton at $7.00. Mark Webber finished sixth in Belgium and remains at $10.00.
There is a quick backup with the next GP race in Monza, Italy this week, and Hamilton is the well backed $3.50 favourite in early betting. Raikkonen has been a steady improver this season and is second elect at $5.00 ahead of Button ($5.50), with Vettel and Alonso on the ne3xt line at $6.50. Aside from Hamilton, there has been money for Vettel, and he won this race last year as well as in 2008. Alonso is a two-time winner as well having won in 2007 and 2010, while Button has been runner-up in Monza the last three years. The McLarens were quick last week, so they look on track to provide the winner again.
Betting is open on who will win this seasons NBL title, and Perth and New Zealand share favouritism at $3.50. There is still expected to be some player movement over the next couple of weeks, but there has been support for the New Zealand Breakers as soon as betting opened. Cairns look like they will have a good roster this season and are next in line at $6.50, while the Sydney Kings are the outsiders at $21.00. Wollongong ($13.00) could be a rapid improver this season after impressively winning both of their pre-season games against the Melbourne Tigers last week. With the new TV and internet deal brokered by the NBL, we are expecting a huge surge of interest this season.
Pakistan and Australia, as well as England and South Africa, are currently each having a best of three T20 series as a lead in to the World Cup. While T20 matches have been slanted in favour of spinners since that form of the game began, the results from the pitches used recently in Sri Lanka have shown a leaning to seam bowling, and that does open up the market. India are the current favourites at $5.00 ahead of South Africa and the West Indies at $6.00, then at $6.50 we have Australia, England and Sri Lanka. The West Indies have easily been the best backed side, having firmed in from an opening $11.00, but their fortunes will rest on one set of shoulders-Chris Gayle.
$10,000 at $6.50 Adelaide to win AFL Premiership (now into $6)
$6,000 at $1.45 North Queensland to beat Brisbane NRL Finals (remains $1.45)
$5,000 at $1.35 Hawthorn to beat Collingwood AFL Finals (into $1.31)
$5,000 at $1.31 Hawthorn to beat Collingwood AFL Finals
$600 at $12 Hawthorn-Souths AFL/NRL Premiership Double (into $11)
$400 at $11 Hawthorn-Souths AFL/NRL Premiership Double
$300 at $32 Geelong-Bulldogs AFL/NRL Premiership Double (remains $32)
Winning six-leg multi:
$201 at 120/1 returning $24,256
St Kilda -2.5 v Carlton R23 AFL $1.93
Port Adelaide +44.5 v Richmond R23 AFL $1.97
Bris/Bris/Bris/Bris Quarter by Quarter v Bulldogs R23 AFL $1.65
Canberra -4.0 v Warriors R26 NRL $1.90
NthQld/NthQld Half time/Full time double v Sharks R26 NRL $3.75
StGeorge/StGeorge Half time/Full time double v Parra R26 NRL $2.70
Winning four-leg multi:
$2 at 1180/1 returning $2363
Port Adelaide Magpies 40+ v West Adelaide SANFL $13
South Adelaide to beat Nth Adelaide SANFL $2.30
Collingwood 25+ v Essendon R23 AFL $1.52
Geelong 33-34 Exact win margin v Sydney $26