While all of the cricketing focus has been around the start of the Ashes series this week, there is cricket going on elsewhere are bets are rolling in on those as well.
India host the West Indies in a best of 3 ODI series, and while the West Indies were thumped by India in the recent test series (2 tests), the shorter the form of the game, the better they go! One punters disagrees however as he has placed $13,000 on India to win the series at $1.28, and there has also been a bet of $5000 come for India to win the 1st match at $1.33 shortly after betting opened on Tuesday.
But back to the Ashes…..
There look to be so many twists and turns ahead in the first test that it is hard to know what to do. The weather for Friday, Saturday and Sunday is predicted to be stormy and wet, and that has seen the draw come from $3.50 last week to be now $2.80 a day out. The records at the Gabba point towards a draw anyway, so any lost time would make that closer to a reality. Then there is a train of thought that cloudy conditions will suit the swing bowlers from both sides, so all of a sudden we have a big betting contest. England touched $3.30 on Tuesday of this week but were back into $3.00 on Wednesday morning after a steady stream of bets, while Australia have hovered around the $2.60-$2.80 mark for most of the duration. It is hard to believe that England are the outsiders after winning the Ashes at home 3-0.
TattsBet will bet live throughout the test, and will also bet live on the hi-bats for each innings. With so much conjecture over who should be in the side, as well as injury concerns, this would be one of the most open hi bat options we have ever had for Australia, and that has meant that the likely top 7 in the batting have all been backed. On overall form, Michael Clarke is probably over the odds at $4.00, but will his back problems flare up? Then we have Shane Watson ($4.50), capable of a big score, but another with injury problems. Test debutant George Bailey ($6.00) has actually been the player to attract most individual bets, narrowly ahead of Steve Smith ($9.00), so that only goes to enforce how hard it is to predict who will fire and who won’t.
The betting on the English 1st innings total has been a bit more predictable, with Alistair Cook the $4.00 favourite ahead of Ian Bell ($4.50) , Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen, both at $5.00. Cook and Trott have been the best backed, and Cook does have the form on the board to support that. The last time he played at the Gabba in and Ashes test was in 2010, and he scored 235 not out in the second innings. It has been noticeable that Pietersen has local cricket followers offside. Pietesen is always one of our worst results in high-bat markets when playing for England, but they have dropped right off him this week after he made a few controversial comments about Brisbane. It is very short odds that he will be getting a very frosty reception when he appears on the ground.
The Wallabies made it 2 wins on the trot last week, but that return to form has been overshadowed by more off field dramas. Coach Ewen McKenzie has taken the step of standing down several players from this week’s side to play Scotland, and the rest will be missing the week after against Wales. That has meant that the Wallabies will not be as short as they would have been but are still $1.20 to beat Scotland ($4.50) with the opening line set at 9.0 points. There have been a handful of early bets for the Scots to cover that line, but the betting has been relatively quiet. Scotland were hopelessly outclassed against South Africa last week, but oddly enough they have a decent record against Australia having won their last 2 encounters, 9-8 in 2008 and 9-6 in 2012. Those score-lines would suggest that the best chance the Scots have is to strangle the game and keep it defensive, but their form this year says that they will have a battle to do so.
It is hard to believe that France only scored their second win for the year when beating Tonga 38-18 last week, and that was after a bad start to 2013 when they finished at the bottom of the Six nations table. While it doesn’t get any easier this week for them when they will be at home to South Africa. A win can do wonders for a team’s confidence, and France do have a good record against the Springboks having won the last 4 times they have met in France. South Africa have opened at $1.35 to win this match with the French at $3.20, and a line of 6.5 points.
Adam Scott’s wins over the last 2 weekends have been music to the ears of punters, and they are back for another go this week!
Scott and Jason Day pair up to represent Australia in the World Cup which will be played at Royal Melbourne, the course where Scott won the Masters last week. Not surprisingly the Aussies are a warm $2.50 to win the Cup, and they have been the standout side with punters. The USA are next in line at $7.50 ahead of Ireland ($11), Italy ($13) and Sweden ($13), with the best backed of those sides being Italy. The Italians will be represented by Francesco Molinari and Matteo Manassero, , and Molinari did win the World Cup in 2009 in China when he played with his brother.
The ‘individual Winner’ market has been the most popular betting market, and while Adam Scott has been really well supported at $4.00, plenty of the visitors have been backed as well. Graeme McDowell ($15), recent Turkish Open winner Victor Dubuisson ($21)and veteran Miguel Angel Jiminez ($41) are in that group, and there has also been solid support for Molinari at $26. The one big surprise out of this market is that Matt Kuchar ($7.50) is friendless, staggering when you consider how well he played when runner up to Scott last week. The ‘Top Aussie’ market is creating interest even though we only have the 2 starters. Close to 80% of the bets have gone on Adam Scott at $1.50 but there is also genuine support for Jason Day at $2.55.
The NSW Open returns to the Sydney metropolitan are this week when it will be played at Castle Hill. Nick O’Hern and Nathan Holman head the betting at $13 ahead of Jason Scrivener and Steven Bowditch at $15. This would be the weakest filed that O’Hern would have met in a long time, and Holman played extremely well in last week’s Masters, so they are entitled to be at the top of the betting. That market will be updated at the end of each day’s play as will the World Cup market.
The Rugby League World Cup semi -finals will be held this weekend, and there aren’t any real surprises with who is left in to battle it out for the title.
The ‘Big 3’, Australia, New Zealand and England are still there, and they will be joined by Fiji, who were always around about the 4th pick (albeit at $101) to win the final. The betting to win the Cup hasn’t altered that much since the tournament began with Australia now $1.38 ($1.33 pre- tournament), New Zealand $3.25 ($3.75), England $13 ($9.00) and Fiji at $61 ($101). The bigger bets early in the week have been for the Kangaroos including $5,000 and $4,500 at $1.38.
Betting is opened for the semi’s, and New Zealand are $1.33 to beat England ($3.35), with that line set at -8.5, while the line in the Australia v Fiji game has opened at -36.5. There are a couple of distinct early trends in both games with the early trading on the New Zealand game heavily slanted towards them to win and also cover the line, while the money has been for Fiji at the big plus in the other game. Those who have been backing the ‘plus’ on the lines have had the carnival of carnivals with 17 underdogs covering the line from the 25 matches played, and 3 of the 4 quarter finals going the same way.
TattsBet will be betting live throughout the Cup final itself, and that will coincide with the move to open 24x7, news which I am sure will be well received by all.
There has been a smattering of NBA talent in in Australia’s National Basketball League over the past couple of years and another highly regarded American hit our shores this week with former Memphis Grizzlies swingman Sam Young signing with the Sydney Kings. Known for his athleticism and strong work ethic, Young will certainly add a different dimension to the Kings line-up which has come together well after an off-season upheaval under coach Shane Heal, with Australian centre A.J. Ogilvy showing why he was once touted as a potential first round NBA draft pick during his college days.
To add Young, Heal made the choice to cut import point guard Jesse Sanders. It creates a balance issue with two players who aren’t natural ball-handlers – Ben Madgen and Charles Carmouche – set to run the offence. One team you don’t want to have a hesitant one guard against is the Perth Wildcats, given Damien Martin’s abilty to harass opponents up and down the court. The ‘Cats are purring along at 8-0 and have been simply dominant on their home court ahead of Sunday’s clash with the Kings, LIVE on TEN. Perth, the $1.95 fav’s to win the title, has already beaten Sydney twice this season and 12 straight since the Kings were readmitted to the league. Sydney’s main hope will be Perth getting in to a physical encounter against the 36ers in Adelaide two night before. Even so, Perth managed to beat the Kings in Sydney 82-72 at the end of October when they were coming off a trip across the Tasman, so backing up doesn’t seem to be an issue for Trevor Gleeson’s team. Given the changes at the Kings, expect a lack of cohesion and Perth to take full advantage at their fortress, and should cover the line of -8.5 with a double-figure win.
Sebastian Vettel won his 8th race in a row when winning the US Grand Prix last weekend, and what a win it was. Those who took the $1.28 never had cause for any concern as the only time that Vettel wasn't in front was when he made a pit stop. It was another emphatic win, with Romain Grosjean finishing second and Mark Webber filling the podium.
This week’s season finale in Brazil takes on another dimension as Vettel strives to equal the record of 9 wins in a row set in 1952/53. He already equalled the most consecutive wins in a season last week, and although he has been installed as the red hot $1.33 favourite, Mark Webber ($3.75) will take some holding out. Webber has been competitive for most of the latter part of the season, and this will be his final F1 race. Webber has a terrific record in Brazil having won in 2009 and 2011, and was runner up to Vettel in 2010. There is no love lost between the two, and it will be a race well worth watching. Grosjean is on the third line of betting at $12 ahead of Lewis Hamilton ($17).
With only 5 races to go in this year's V8 season, the title is still wide open. Craig Lowndes ($2.45) leads Jamie Whincup ($1.70) by 6 points, but both Mark Winterbottom and Will Davison can still win as well. Racing moves to Phillip Island in Victoria this week where 3 races will be decided before the final round in Sydney where are another 2 races will be held. There have been 17 different race winners so far this season so nobody can predict what will happen, particularly as there were problems with the resurfaced Phillip Island track recently when the motoGP was held there. Saturday will see one race of 120km's and there will be another 2 races on Sunday over the same distance. Jamie Whincup is the $3.00 favourite to win race 1 and he has commanded half of the money wagered so far, with Lowndes also popular at $4.50. Outside of that pair, there has been money for James Courtney ($11) and Shane Van Gisbergen ($31-$23), but both would have to improve on recent form.
The richest greyhound race in the world will be held at Sandown Park in Melbourne on Thursday night, and Black Magic Opal is the $1.70 favourite to add the $350,000 prize money to his already impressive CV.
The Jason Thompson trained sprinter showed all of his customary pace to lead all the way in the fastest heat, breaking the first split record, and that was on a track that was on the heavy side. Prior to that he had broken 3 track records, and clearly looks the one to run down this week. He is well drawn in 2 with youngster Shifty Sticka ($3.75) drawn the coveted red box. If there is too be any trouble in the race the experience Hawk Alone ($15) could be the one to capitalise as he can win from anywhere in the field even though drawn badly in box 5.