The Sydney Roosters are the 2013 premiers, and while there was plenty of controversy again surrounding some of the refereeing decisions on the final, it was pretty clear that the better team won. Most of the exotic bet types on the game went to the favourite options with the major exceptions being the game total (under 33.5) and the 1st try scorer, which was scored by Manly’s Jorge Taufua. Taufua was one of the closing favourites at $12, but of those well in the market, he was easily the best result for TattsBet.
The Churchill Medal was a different matter however as Daly Cherry Evans landed a big plunge. Many were surprised that a player in a losing side could win, especially when they went down by 8 points, and the last player to win in a losing side was back in 1993. Cherry-Evans was at $9.00 in the market after the two final sides were know, and he was crunched into $6.00 at kick-off. He held onto favouritism all the way through the first half, and was the $4.50 favourite ahead of Jake Friend ($5.00) when betting closed at the start of the second half. Taking that into account he clearly was always going to be a chance, but the subsequent press suggests he was lucky to win.
The World Cup will be on in 3 weeks, and we are beginning to see some action with the squads being named. Australia are the $1.30 fav’s to win the World Cup and this week have attracted bets of $6000 and $3000. New Zealand are the second picks at $5.25 with the home side, England, the only other side in contention at $7.00.The will be several series exotic bet types opening in the coming fortnight.
TattsBet has also opened next year’s NRL title. It was this time 12 months ago that the Roosters opened at $19, and were cut to $13 after signing Sonny Bill Williams. The Roosters have opened at $6.00 to go back to back. But if SBW doesn’t re-sign, then their price will blow out. Manly and Souths share the second line at $7.00 ahead of Melbourne Storm who have been the best backed side in the first few days of trading at $8.00. North Queensland were one of the form sides at the tail end of this season and are next in line at $11 ahead of Brisbane, Cronulla, New Zealand and the Bulldogs all at $13. There is still a lot of player movement to come, and if SBW does return to rugby union as many suggest, then there will be some major price fluctuations in the coming weeks. We will keep you posted of any major moves.
The new A-League season is upon us and expectations are high following on from last season’s excitement surrounding high profile signings such as Alessandro Del Piero (Sydney), Shinji Ono (WSW) and Emile Heskey (Newcastle). This season they’re all back along with other big-name signings such as Harry Kewell (Heart), Kenny Cunningham (Wellington) and Sergio Cirio (Adelaide).
Crowds were brilliant last season and the addition of the WS Wanderers certainly helped. After securing the minor premiership last season they’ll look to go one better this year. Others expected to contend are last season grand final winners Central Coast plus Melbourne Victory and Brisbane Roar.
These four dominate the outright market and minor premiership betting. Of those teams Brisbane Roar has been best backed after a fantastic pre-season which have seen them win all four of their A-League friendlies.
Looking outside the front four in betting Adelaide has been backed heavily to win the Grand Final. The Reds have made some interesting signings, none less than Spanish manager Josep Gombau. He will try to bring an attractive style of play to Hindmarsh this year and if his two Spanish signings (Sergio Cirio and Isais Sanchez) can fire then anything is possible.
Sydney FC cannot be dismissed after finishing last season strongly after a poor start but a lot will rely on the form and health of champion Alessandro Del Piero. If he can get anywhere near 14 goals again the blue half of Sydney must be considered. Rounding out the league is the Newcastle Jets, Perth Glory, Melbourne Heart and Wellington Phoenix.
Newcastle has had a calm off-season and form going into Round 1 has been good. Perth has been quiet in the off season; it seems punters and bookies alike don’t know what to expect from the men in the west. Heart has made the biggest signing of all in Socceroo golden boy Harry Kewell. One punter thinks they can go all the way with bets to win $25,000 placed on them already. Wellington was last season’s wooden spooners but could improve under the tutelage of former championship winning coach Ernie Merrick.
In the individual markets, Brisbane talisman Berisha Besart is a $7 fave to be Top Goalscorer (home & away season only) and has been best backed in this market. Del Piero has also been well supported at $13. Last season’s winner Daniel McBreen is a $17 chance and will miss the first few rounds due to being on loan in China. Harry Kewell is rated a $34 chance.
After taking the NBL title across the ditch for a third straight season, the New Zealand Breakers ($4) face a monumental task to become the first team in the league’s history to win four championships in a row. The man who mentored the Kiwis throughout their title run, Andrej Lemanis, was rightfully handed the reins of Australia’s national team in the off-season, with long-time assistant coach Dean Vickerman stepping up to take the top job in Auckland. Just as big a loss is the departure of standout import guard Cedric Jackson, who was last season’s league MVP. Jackson was there for the the last two title wins and will undoubtedly go down as one of the best imports to play in the NBL. NZ has picked up Darnell Lazare, who showed some good signs as an import forward for Sydney last year, while the pressure will be on incoming American point guard Kerron Johnson who has massive shoes to fill in what will be his first season of professional ball.
The Perth Wildcats ($3.50) have gone down in the decider the past two seasons, and they should be there and thereabouts again this season. The Wildcats’ starting five is as good as any in the league, but their bench lacks depth. Perth suffered a big blow on the court with American Kevin Lisch leaving after four seasons in the west, while after missing out on the Boomers job, veteran coach Rob Beveridge quit the ‘Cats with former Townsville and Melbourne boss Trevor Gleeson taking over. Speaking of Melbourne, the Tigers have been absolutely floored before the season even starts with impressive import Stephen Dennis suffering a season-ending Achilles injury, while Chris Goulding – who spent some time in the NBA Summer League over the winter – is also out for the immediate future with an ankle injury. Former import Ayinde Ubaka has joined the team as a replacement for Dennis. The Tigers were amongst the favourites and started at $5 but they’ve been pushed out to a juicy $21 given their heaving casualty ward.
On paper Adelaide ($5) looks strong again, but that counted for little last year as the 36ers had one of the worst seasons in their proud history. Former league MVP Gary Ervin heads to the City of Churches, but despite his obvious on-court ability, the word out of Townsville suggests he won’t be missed greatly. The Crocodiles are in a rebuilding stage after the club almost collapsed in the off-season and at $26 are given little hope of even vying for the postseason, but their northern neighbour, the Cairns Taipans, could well be the value bet for the championship. Import one guard Jamar Wilson is back for his third year at the club, while the recruitment of Stephen Weigh and Matt Burston are both shrewd moves. The second import spot has been an issue the past couple of seasons, so if they can get quality minutes out of well-credentialled guard Demetri McCamey then they could be the team to really step up. At $8 the Snakes look like the value in the Futures market.
If the Taipans earn a spot in the finals, then Wilson should be well and truly in the mix for league MVP. It’s tough for first-year imports to win the award, but one to watch out for this season is Wollongong Hawks guard Rotnei Clarke. His lack of height meant he wasn’t picked up in the NBA draft but he has been one of the best three-point shooters in college basketball over the past few years and he played his final season under new Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens at Butler University. The Hawks have had some gun American guards the past few years, but Clarke has the potential to be a real scoring machine. The Hawks tip off the season with a real acid test against the Breakers on Thursday night. New Zealand lost just one match in Auckland last season, although that came when they unfurled their championship banner in round 1 against the Wildcats. Lightning might strike twice but the Kiwis should be too strong at home.
Jamie Whincup and Paul Dumbrell (Car 1) are the defending champions at Bathurst, and having won the first of the endure races at Sandown last month, the pair are the well backed favourites to win at the mountain on Sunday. Car 1 was the opening favourite at $2.90 after Sandown, and several bets, including one of $7000 saw that price come in marginally to $2.80. Car 888, driven by Craig Lowndes and Warren Luff is considered the main danger at $4.00, and while there haven’t been any large bets on them to date, there are 3 times as many bets for Car 888 as there has been for the favourites. Lowndes has an impeccable record at Bathurst having won 5 times, and this duo were second at Sandown, so clearly are the team to beat. Car 5 (Mark Winterbottom and Steve Richards) is on the next line of betting at $6.00, and not too much can be taken from their 6th place at Sandown as they stalled at the start, and also had pit stop issues. Of the other cars in the race, the best backed has been Car 22 ($13) driven by James Courtney and Greg Murphy. The pair finished 5th at Sandown, but have plenty of experience around Mount Panorama where Murphy has been victorious on 4 occasions. Courtney had been out of the winners list for nearly 2 years but won a race at Winton in August, so a good time to finding some form.
There are a host of options open for betting on Bathurst, and these will all close when the qualifying sessions take place and re-open soon after they are over. TattsBet will also be betting live throughout the race on Sunday.
The Portugal Masters is the event on the European Tour this week, and the early money has been for 3 out of the top 4 in betting. Martin Kaymer heads the market at $13, and has been best backed, ahead of Nicolas Colsaerts and Joost Luiten at $19 who have also met with early support. Bernd Wiesberger is on the same line of betting at $19, and that group are followed by Ross Fisher and Shane Lowry at $21. Lowry is the defending champion after winning last year with a score of 14 under, and there have been several bets struck for him early, and also a few for Tom Lewis ($51) who won in 2011. There are only 2 Australians in the field, Richard Green ($101) and Andrew Dodt ($251), with Green being another previous winner in 2010.
The Frys.Com is the US PGA Tour event for the week, and nearly all of the big names are missing after having played in the Presidents Cup. This will be the 4th time that this event has been played at the Corde Vale Golf Course in San Martin (California), and the 3 previous winners are in the field. Jonas Blixt ($23) won last year, Bryce Molder ($34) won in 2011, and Rocco Mediate ($201) won in 2010. Mediate has been out of form since then and has been given no hope by punters this week, but the other 2 have been quite popular in early betting. Tournament favouritism is shared by Billy Horschel and Gary Woodland at $19, with Blixt and Hideki Matsuyama on the next line at $23. The shortest of the Aussies is Marc Leishman ($31) and he is really popular this week after a terrific performance for the Internationals in the Presidents Cup.
Dani Pedrosa was the unlucky rider in the last race held in Aragon, and he will no doubt be out to avenge his bad luck this week in Malaysia.
Pedrosa and Marc Marquez were in a battle behind race leader Jorge Lorenzo when they unfortunately brushed, which saw Pedrosa part company with his bike. Marquez went on to win the race, much to the delight of punters as he started as an odds on favourite. That win was the 6th for the season for Marquez, and he is again favourite this week in Malaysia. The opening quote is $1.90 ahead of Lorenzo at $3.00 and a gap to Pedrosa at $6.00.
Pedrosa won at Sepang last year, defeating Lorenzo and Casey Stoner, and he also finished 2nd behind Stoner and Rossi in 2009 and 2008. There have only been 4 races conducted at Sepang, the other in 2010 also won by Rossi, with Lorenzo finishing 3rd. The race was abandoned in 2010 due to the unfortunate death of Marco Simoncell early in the race.
The Korean Formula 1 GP went according to plan when Sebastian Vettel led practically all of the way. Vettel went into the race a red hot $1.25 chance, and his followers may have had a few concerns raised when the safety car was used twice, but in the end he was simply too fast. That was the 4th win on end for Vettel as well as his 3rd in a row in Korea. Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean filled the podium placings, while Mark Webber again had problems before his car caught on fire. With his 10 place penalty on the grid, it was always going to be impossible for Webber, but he showed enough in qualifying to say he may get another win before he leaves the sport at the end of the season.
The F1's are on the quick back-up this week in Japan, and Vettel is at his shortest price this year in an opening market. Vettel is $1.55, and so he should be given his domination this year as well as his form in Japan. Vettel has won 3 of the last 4 races in Suzuka, and was placed 3rd in the other in 2011, so all points towards him chalking up win number 9 for the season. Lewis Hamilton has a win here in 2007 and is the second pick at $6.50 ahead of Raikkonen (won 2005) at $8.00, then Fernando Alonso (wins 2006,2008) at $9.00. Raikkonen was impressive when finishing 2nd in Korea and must be a major hope of a podium finish.
The Sprint Cup Chase continues for the Nascar's, and there was another upset win in Kansas when Kevin Harvick won. He defeated Kurt Busch and Kevin Gordon, with pre- race $5.00 favourites, Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth finishing 6th and 11th respectively.
The action continues this week in Charlotte, and betting to win the race is very similar to what it has been each week. Johnson is the $5.00 favourite ahead of Kenseth at $5.50, with Kyle Busch just behind that pair at $6.00. It is hard to win 2 races in a row in Nascar but Harvick must be given a chance at $11 after his win in Kansas as he won in Charlotte earlier in the year and also won a race here in 2011. Kenseth won the other race in 2011, but it is Johnson who has the most impressive credentials around the circuit including winning both races held in 2004 and repeated the does in 2005. It didn't end there as he also won in 2009 and needs a win to fend off both Kenseth and Kyle Busch in the race for the Sprint Cup.
TattsBet will be betting fixed odds on 3 Group races this week, the Adelaide Cup, the Gold Coast Cup at Albion Park (both Thursday) and the Sydney Cup at Wentworth Park on Saturday night.
South Australian youngster Ernie Bung Arrow will be the $3.50 equal favourite to win the Adelaide Cup after drawing perfectly out in box 8. Tomac Bale was recently runner up in the National Sprint Title and has drawn the inside box, which will suit, and he is also $3.50. Victorian trainer Robbie Britton has 2 runners engaged, but both have drawn horribly. Farmor Las Vegas ($7.00) recently broke the Geelong track record, and was the fastest heat winner, but is poorly drawn in box 5, while Iona Seven ($4.50) was a fraction slower than her kennelmate last week but is also drawn poorly on box 3. It is a tough race but the box draw favours Tomac Bale.
Queensland champ Glen Gallon failed to qualify for the Gold Coast Cup but trainer Tony Brett will still be represented by the flying Jetta’s Girl who cleared out to win easily in 29.79, easily the fastest. She has drawn well out in box 8, and will make it hard for race favourite Punch One Out who has drawn the white box, but does have a couple of risky beginners drawn inside of her.
Victorians were to the fore in the heats of the Sydney Cup, but local hope Smart Valentino has come up with the red box. Robbie Britton has a big hand in the Adelaide Cup on Thursday, but he also could take the Sydney cup with his American bred stayer Lucy Wires. She had no luck at all in the heat, and should get a good rails run after drawing box 3 in the final.