TattsBet News January 10

TENNIS 

The year’s first Grand Slam is almost upon us with the Australian Open set to kick off on Monday. On the men’s side, Novak Djokovic is a short-priced favourite to defend his crown at $2.10. Brisbane International winner Andy Murray holds the second line at $3.75 with the Scot looking to make it two majors in a row after finally getting the ‘monkey off the back’ at the US Open last September. Perennial crowd and punter favourite Roger Federer is trading at $5 and is attracting solid attention. But the player with the most support – by number of bets and amount invested – is none other than Gold Coast’s own Bernard Tomic. Tattsbet have gone $151, $126, $51 and now just $41. The wild child of Australian tennis has been on winning streak through the Hopman Cup and Sydney International and punters clearly think he has turned the corner after a torrid 2012.

On the women’s side, Serena Williams has firmed from $2.35 into $1.85 after a flawless preparation that saw her win the Brisbane International. Victoria Azarenka is next in line at $4.25 with Maria Sharapova at $9. Australian hope Sam Stosur ($21 out to $29) will be dreaming of a kind draw after another horror lead-up that saw two first-round exits. Tattsbet will be betting LIVE on selected matches throughout the Australian Open.

Tattsbet have also opened up a range of ATP season specials. With Rafael Nadal on the sidelines due to continual knee concerns and former world number one Roger Federer not getting any younger, it looks a race in two between Djokovic ($1.60) and Murray ($3.25) for the year-end number one ranking. Tattsbet have Djokovic at just $17 to become the first player since Rod Laver in 1969 to claim the calendar Slam.

CRICKET

The first of the ODI's between Australia and Sri Lanka gets under way at the MCG on Friday night, and the betting on the game has been very quiet. The Aussies have copped plenty of criticism for resting players, and that has seen a push for Sri Lanka to win. The Sri Lankan's were woeful in the test series, but their best form has been in the 50 over version of the game. After opening at $2.75, the Lankan's were quickly in to $2.50, but there weren't any real big bets. Australia are out to $1.53 and there haven't been any big takers there as well. It will be interesting to see how the betting (and the crowds) compare to the recent Big Bash matches as they have been hugely popular. TattsBet will be betting live throughout the ODI matches as well as the Big Bash matches.

GOLF

Dustin Johnson won a weather interrupted Tour of Champions event last week, and even though the event didn't finish until Tuesday, this weeks Sony Open will be played at the Waialae CG in Honolulu, so at least they don't have far to go. It is also worth noting that 9 of the last 14 winners of the Sony Open played the previous week, so Johnson deserves to be the $10 favourite.Keegan Bradley is the second elect at $15 ahead of Matt Kuchar and Webb Simpson at $19. Carl Petterson and Charles Howell share the next line of betting at $21, and if you are looking for a winner, then Charles Howell may be the one. He has started in this event 11 times and has been placed on 6 occasions, a very impressive stat! John Senden is the shortest of the Australian contingent at $61, and also at that quote is last years winner Johnson Wagner.

The Volvo Golf Champions gets under way on Thursday at the Durban Country Club in South Africa. This will be played on a difficult links course, but plenty of the 'name' players here are familiar with the course. This will be the third running of the Volvo, the second time in South Africa, and the first in Durban. Branden Grace is the fourth favourite at $14 and did beat Ernie Els and Retief Goosen last year before going on to win another four events. Grace was one of the Tour's big improvers in 2012, and will be hard to beat. Tournament favourite Louis Oosthuizen ($6.00) ended 2012 in much better form than he had been showing, but punters have shunned him here. There is plenty of money for Ernie Els at $7.00, and Els is always hard to beat on his home soil.

NBL

After a red-hot start to the season, Adelaide has fallen in a big hole the past month, courtesy of four losses in as many matches to Townsville. The 36ers have now lost eight on the bounce since late November and look like missing out on the playoffs. The Sixers put up a spirited display against Sydney last weekend, but it was the Kings’ only game of the weekend and their fresher legs told in the end as the team from the Harbour City ran out four-point winners. Those outfits meet again this Sunday in Adelaide with the match LIVE on Ten, and it is probably the home side’s last chance to resurrect its season. The Kings have been unable to stop Adelaide big men Luke Schenscher and Daniel Johnson this season, with the pair combining for an average of 34 points per game against the Violet Crumbles over three encounters so far. While Adelaide has an advantage in the middle, it was Sydney’s free-scoring guard Ben Madgen that was the difference between the teams last week with a game-high 30 points, and unless the Sixers can find a way of stopping the league-leading scorer, their losing streak won’t be coming to an end this weekend. 

IRONMAN

Round 2 of the Nutri-Grain Series is on this weekend in Newcastle, and it will be a knockout series. The men's final will be cut to 10 competitors while the women's final will have 10 starters.

Shannon Eckstein and Brodie Moir were the first round winners in Perth. Eckstein started the $2.25 favourite and he is a similar quote this week, leading the market ahead of Ali Day at $3.50 and Ky Hurst at $5.50. Matt Poole is next in line at $8.00, and it is $13 or better the rest. There was more interest in the women's race in Perth in preference to the men's, and the signs are there that the same thing will happen again this week. Brodie Moir won in Perth and has been installed the $2.50 favourite this week, just ahead of Courtney Hancock at $2.75 and Jodie Mercer at $7.00. Naomi Flood was backed at huge odds ($101) prior to finishing 3rd in Perth, but her odds are significantly shorter this time at $13. Another to attract good support in the first race was Devon Halligan, the daughter of ex rugby league start Daryl Halligan. Devon was backed from $81 into $21 in that race, but the youngster finished in last place. 

MAGIC MILLIONS 

Clevadude and Assail looked sure to battle it out for favouritism in the Magic Millions 2YO Classic on the Gold Coast but that all changed at the barrier draw on Tuesday morning. Assail came up with the inside gate and was promptly cut from $3.40 to $2.70 to win the $1.6 Million event, while barrier 18 for Clevadude saw him drift from $3.25 to $4.20. Punters have been unperturbed by the fillies prohibitive odds – and the fact that trainer Clarry Conners voiced concerns about the inside draw - and she has been solid in the market ever since, but Rick Hore-Lacy’s boom galloper has been friendless. The Victorian raider has drifted further to $4.50 and punters don’t like his chances of becoming the first horse to win from a double figure gate since Mirror Mirror in 2006.

Assail was one of the best supported juveniles in the antepost markets for the 2YO Classic and plenty of backers will be happy with the $26 that they took with TattsBet prior to her easy win at Wyong.

No Looking Back – controversially stripped of the Classic last twelve months ago – is the one that punters have latched onto for the 3YO Guineas. She was rated a $10 chance by TattsBet prior to the draw but is now on the third line of betting at $5.50 after coming up with the gate three. Plenty of bets were written on the Gai Waterhouse runner at $17 following her strong win against older horses in the Carrington Stakes and should give her backers a good sight.

Group One winner and local favourite Sizzling was pushed out to $4.50 from $3 after coming up with barrier 20 but a steady stream of money has seen him back into $4.40. He was easily the best backed runner in the pre-post book, with numerous four figure bets written on him and backers can take solace in the fact that five of the past six Guineas winners have jumped from a double figure gate.