In the 12 test matches played in Perth between Australia and England the visiting side has only won once, and that was back in 1978! The Aussies have won the last 6 tests played there between the 2 nations and punters think that run will be extended to 7 this week.
England are on the ropes now, trailing 2-0 in the series, and are $26 to win the last 3 tests. The favourite way in correct score betting is Australia to win 4-0 at $4.50 but a 5-0 sweep is where punters have bet this week at $5.50. The big action however is on the 3rd test and after opening at $1.80, Australia were quickly backed into $1.70 with a flurry of big bets including one of $6000 at $1.75. England have eased from $3.25 out to $3.40 but have attracted only minimal support while the draw has been a big drifter from $4.50 out to $5.25. While all indications are that the pitch will suit the quicks it is big odds for a draw given how close the series was predicted to be. Alistair Cook has had the series from hell but he and Joe Root ($4.25 and $5.00) have been clearly the best backed to top the 1st innings hi-bat for England while David Warner ($4.25) is the standout in the Australian side.
On the domestic front the Big Bash competition gets under way next weekend and betting is open on the first round of matches. The T/20 format lends itself to upsets as well as massive swings during the matches so we are expecting live betting to go through the roof with matches shown on free to air TV. The betting to win the Big Bash final is wide open with Adelaide and the Melbourne Stars the favourites at $6.00 while the outsiders, the Sydney Sixers, are only slightly longer than that at $8.00. Markets are also available on player exotics for the series.
It appears as though the ASADA investigation into the NRL is nearing a result so we have taken the step of suspending the round 1 match between the Sharks and the Gold Coast, as well as the market for ‘most season losses’ until that information is released. Naturally there hasn’t been a lot of interest shown in the Sharks to win next year’s title at $15, and we don’t expect to see any business there until the investigation is finalised. The Roosters remain the $4.75 favourites to win the title but in the last 2 weeks TattsBet has taken a handful of bets on both Souths ($7.00) and North Queensland ($11) to go all of the way next season. The market on the Auckland Nines is also generating plenty of interest, however the bets have all been small. The New Zealand Warriors have been the best backed side at $6.00 ahead of the Tigers ($9.00) and the Broncos ($11), and the trick will be to work out who will be ling up for each side. We have seen in the past in AFL pre-season comps that sides written off as a winning hope in the season proper have been successful early in the year, and the Tigers are one side who look to fit into that category.
There has been a bit of movement in the markets to win next year’s Australian Open titles.
Close to $10,000 has arrived this week for Serena Williams to win again, and that has seen her price firm from $1.95 into $1.85. Victoria Azarenka has drifted from $4.25 out to $5.00 while third pick, Maria Sharapova, is now $9.50 after opening at $8.00. Sharapova returned from an injury enforce layoff to play in an exhibition match in Colombia last week against Anna Ivanovic, but we don’t expect to see any money for her to win in Melbourne until she appears at the Brisbane International. Serena Williams is also the only player to attract any real support in that event as well and is $1.75.
There is also some talk that recent surgery to Andy Murray may keep him out of the Australian Open and he has eased from $5.00 out to $6.00. Novak Djokovic is the one that punters are pinning their faith in as he is now $2.40 after opening at $2.60, with Rafael Nadal solid in the market at $3.00.
Tiger Woods surrendered a 4 shot lead in last week's Northwestern Mutual World Championship to go down in a playoff to Zach Johnson. Tiger entered the final round as the $1.20 favourite but punters wisely avoided the short quote.
The US PGA Tour is on a break now for Christmas, but 12 teams will battle it out this week in the Franklin Templeton Shootout which will be played at the Tiburon GC in Naples, Florida. The combination of English/Kuchar are the $4.25 favourites ahead of Dufner/Dustin Johnson at $4.75, with Poulter/Westwood at $5.00.Johnson was paired with Ian Poulter when that pair won this event in 2010, and the defending champions, O'Hair/Perry are on the 6th line of betting at $13. Kenny Perry is now in the veteran's class but excels at this format as he is a 3 time winner.
The Nelson Mandela Championship will take on a different meaning this week when it is played in Durban, and the starting day has been moved forward to Wednesday so that participants can take part in the services planned after the passing of Mandela, which will be held on Sunday.
This will be the second running of the Championship, which has been moved to the Mount Edgecombe course in Durban. Scott Jamieson won the inaugural event last year after it was shortened to 36 holes due to rain, and has met with support this week at $41.The field is mostly made up of South Africans and Branden Grace is the $15 favourite ahead of George Coetzee and Darren Fischardt at $17.
One big South African name who will be missing from that event will be Charl Schwartzel, and he is the $4.50 equal favourite with Henrik Stenson to win the Thailand Golf Championship. There has been plenty of interest in this event as it does have a very good list of entrants. Next in commission are Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose at $7.00, and that duo are followed by Bubba Watson ($11) and Ricky Fowler at $15.00. There are a number of Australian's in the field and the shortest of those is Marcus Fraser who is $41 in the opening market.
The two big events on Boxing Day are the start of the 4th Ashes cricket test and the time honoured Sydney to Hobart yacht race. Wild Oats has dominated the Sydney to Hobart of recent times having won 6 of the last 8 running’s, but this year there appears to be a few genuine contenders. Wild Oats won the last of the lead up races, the ‘Big Boat Challenge’, on Tuesday around Sydney Harbour, and that was her second win on the trot after replacing a mast. The interrupted program hasn't deterred punters as the first bet on the race when betting opened was $4500 at $1.80. Perpetual Loyal won the race back in 2011 but this year the crew will be racing in a rebuilt yacht, and will have a ‘celebrity factor' again with television host Larry Emdur as part of the crew. Loyal is the $2.25 second pick ahead of Ragamuffin 100 at $7.50. There has been a little specking for other yachts at big odds including one bet of $300 for Beau Geste at $31.
Other options will open on the race as Boxing Day approaches.
One of the oldest feature races on the calendar, the Hobart 1000, will get under way in Hobart this Thursday night. Six heats will be conducted and most of the nation's óne turn' speedsters will be contesting the series.
The big draw card will be recent Melbourne Cup winner Black Magic Opal, with the champ drawing box 1 in race 9. Black Magic Opal has also smashed several track records recently and should justify his $1.10 quote with an easy win for Victorian trainer Jason Thompson. The Pearcedale mentor also Ronan Izmir engaged and he is $1.20 to win the 4th heat after landing the Ballarat Cup last week.
Tasmania has several strong rep's this year including Buckle Up Wes, Hellyeah Bolt and Varcoe but the Victorian’s looks likely to provide the winner of the final with the Thompson pair leading the charge.
Prior to week nine of the NBL, Adelaide was hot on the heels of competition leader Perth. The Sunshine Swing proved to be the 36ers’ downfall last week as they dropped back games against Townsville and Cairns with the visitors running out of gas in the final term of both match-ups. The Sixers don’t have to wait long to exact revenge on the latter with the Taipans heading to the City of Churches for Sunday’s LIVE game on Ten.
Adelaide Arena is turning in to the fortress it used to be in the glory days of the Sixers storied history. They’re five from five at home this campaign, and that run includes Perth’s solitary loss this season. The Snakes and 36ers have split their two games so far but both of those were in far north Queensland. Cairns had lost seven on the trot prior to last week’s 98-78 blowout of Adelaide but with such a congested ladder the Taipans aren’t far out of the playoff race a third of the way through the season. The Snakes had the benefit of taking on the Sixers on the back end of an away double, and with Cairns battling it out with Townsville in the Reptile Rumble on Friday night, Adelaide should be able to keep its unbeaten home record alive on Sunday. Based on their imposing record at home, the Sixers go into Sunday’s match as the warm $1.35 favourites.