Gerard Daffy's TattsBet News - February 13

RUGBY LEAGUE 

The money was on the mark when the Indigenous All Stars thrashed the NRL All Stars last Saturday night, and that now paves the way for the World Club Challenge as well as the Charity Shield before the season proper gets under way.

The Indigenous All Stars firmed from an opening $2.35 into $2.20, and their supporters never really had too many concerns. Despite all of the headlines coming into the game being about the dramas in sport both on and off the field, the betting turnover was just as popular as it had been on previous matches in the All Stars game. The World Club Challenge will be played in the UK next week, and although the Melbourne Storm picked up a couple of injuries in a trial played in Geelong last weekend, they are likely to go into this match against Leeds as the favourites after the Rhinos were beaten by Huddersfield at the weekend. Melbourne remain the $5.50 favourites to win the NRL title this year but there is plenty of money rolling in for most of the main sides in the betting. In the last 2 weeks there has been solid support for North Queensland ($11-$10), Cronulla ($11), the Roosters ($15) and Parramatta ($26) as well as a bet of $5000 for Manly to make the final 8 at $1.40.


RUGBY UNION

The Super 15 starts this Friday night, and it will be a split round with the two matches this week being played in Australia.

The Rebels host the Force on Friday night, and while the Rebels do not have a fantastic record when favourites, it is hard to argue against them being around the $1.36 mark. The Force have lost several big names from last season, but always seem to play above themselves when written off. These two have played each other four times before, and while the average game total has been a high 56 points, three of those matches have been decided by 1 point with the other by 3 points. Perhaps there may be some value with the Force receiving the start.

The Brumbies have been one of the best backed sides to win the Super Rugby title, and after opening at $1.70 to beat the Reds this week, but with James Horwill out of the Reds side, the Brumbies were cut to $1.65 with the Reds at $2.25. The last four matches between these two sides have been decided by 7 points or less, with the Reds winning on their last two trips to the nation’s capital. Both would be aware of how important it will be to start the season with a win, particularly the Reds who cost themselves dearly last season. All matches in New Zealand and Australia will be covered ‘live’ in the run by Tattsbet.


AFL

The off field dramas will be temporarily put on hold this week when the NAB Cup, the AFL pre-season competition, gets under way. The format will be the same as last year with 3 teams playing a round-robin series to see who progresses. Naturally these type of competitions make it difficult to assess the prices as some teams leave big names out, and tend to rest others in the second match of the round. Apart from the head to head betting, lines will normally be available on the day of the games along with a couple of other exotic bet types, and the second and third games will close while the first is in progress. The embattled Essendon will feature in the first game against the Western Bulldogs on Friday night. The Bombers are warm favourites at $1.45, and it has been difficult to try and work out how much of a negative affect the past two weeks will have on them in these games. They are in a group with Collingwood, and while both Essendon and Collinwood are $13 to win the NAB Cup, Collingwood have been more popular with punters.

Geelong are another side who have met with solid support to win the Cup at $21, but it appears as though the Cats will be sending a slightly under-manned side to Perth to take on Fremantle and the West Coast on Saturday. They will struggle over there as it appears as though both WA sides will be naming a near full strength side. The Eagles are rock solid at $8.00 to win this year’s Premiership and are the same price to win the NAB Cup.


NBL

When 2013 began, the Sydney Kings looked like almost a sure thing of making their first finals appearance since 2008. Six losses on the bounce have halted their progress, and things went from bad to worse this week when import point guard Corin Henry was ruled out for the remainder of the season after injuring his wrist in the overtime loss to New Zealand last weekend. The Kings desperately need Aaron Bruce to recover from a hamstring problem which kept him away from the trip across the Tasman last weekend, otherwise coach Shane Heal may as well suit up because seldom-used bench guard Luke Martin is the team’s only other ball-handler.

Sydney’s opponent on Friday night, the Cairns Taipans, also went down in a thriller last weekend. The Snakes’ double-overtime loss to arch rival Townsville could come back to bite them at playoff time, but considering the Crocs are 8-2 in their last ten, to stretch them that far at home shows Aaron Fearne’s team isn’t too far off the mark. Their away form this season is scratchy losing five of their last six on the road. They did beat the Kings in Sydney in round 3 by 20 points, but Heal’s men then won both matches in the far north. There are some quality big men in this clash that cancel themselves out, but unless Sydney can find someone to stop Cairns import guard Jamar Wilson, the Kings’ losing streak will continue. 


HARNESS RACING 

The Inter Dominion kicks off on Saturday night, and the new format has certainly caused a lot of conjecture.

Five heats will be conducted in New Zealand and Australia in a two hour window, and while a couple of the heats have failed to attract big numbers, there is genuine interest in all of them. The first heat has been the most topical as only 3 runners, including Inter Dom favourite Terror To Love, will do battle. The tactics will be interesting, but Terror To Love has eased from $1.45 out to $1.55 with support for the other 2 runners. The Gold Ace is solid at $2.60 while the bolter of the field, Sir Lincoln, is a firmer from $9.00 to $7.00.

I’m Themightyquinn was favourite to win the final for several weeks, but eased out to $7.00 after a couple of defeats in Perth. That changed this week however as he has firmed from $7.00 into $4.80 led up by bets of $2000 at $7.00 and another of $2000 at $6.00. The WA champ is $1.40 in his heat, and punters are now happy to take the $4.80 to win the final. Caribbean Blaster is $2.20 to win the Victorian heat, but betting has been quiet on that one, while Excell Stride ($3.30) and Mah Sish ($1.50) are the favourites for the two heats at Menangle. 


GOLF

The Queensland PGA Championship will be played in Toowoomba, and it has drawn together a handy field. Michael Hendry has had a good summer and is the $15 favourite ahead of Jake Higginbottom, Brad Kennedy and Matthew Griffin all at $19. While the betting on this event hasn’t reached any great heights, the money has been for Higginbottom, Griffin, Daniel Nisbet ($21) and Gareth Paddison at $26.

The Australian Ladies Open is part of the LPGA Tour, and the $1.2 million prize money has meant that a terrific field will tee off at the Royal Canberra Golf Club on Thursday. Yani Tseng has won the Australian Open twice before but as this is the first time it will be played in Canberra, she is an unknown at the course, but we wouldn’t imagine it would present too many problems. Stacy Lewis is the second pick at $10 ahead of Karrie Webb ($12) who is coming off a record 8th win in the Australian Masters at Royal Pines. There has been interest shown in all players under $23 including the 15yo Lydia Ko ($15) who won on New Zealand last week.

Louis Oosthuizen has won the last 2 Africa Opens, but as he and several of the other big names in South African golf will be missing this week, favouritism has gone to Thomas Aiken at $15. Aiken does have form at the East London Golf Club having been runner up to Charl Schwartzel in 2010, so that warrants him being at the head of betting. The early betting has seen a few players targeted, namely Garth Mulroy ($16), Tommy Fleetwood and Jby Kruger (both $23), Robert Rock ($31) and David Drysdale at $34.

In the USA, Phil Mickelson is the $14 favourite to win the Northern Trust Open, and with two wins and two seconds from his last 6 appearances in this event, punters are happy to take that price. Mickelson was beaten in a 3 way play-off last year by Bill Haas, and Haas has also been backed to win again this week at $34. Australians have had a good record in the past in this event with Aaron Baddeley winning it 2 years ago, Adam Scott in 2005 and Robert Allenby in 2001. Scott is a $21 chance this week with Baddeley at $34, while Allenby is a $201 outsider. 


IRONMAN/IRONWOMAN

There were two upsets in the fourth events of the season last week, and with only 2 rounds remaining, there will be plenty of interest in this week’s meet at Coolumn.

Kendrick Louis was a $10 chance last week at Surfers Paradise, and had to come from last to win. He defeated Ky Hurst and Shannon Eckstein, and while Eckstein is on track to win the title, Hurst grabbed his first podium finish of the season. Eckstein is the opening $2.25 favourite to win at Coolumn ahead of Ali Day at $3.50, with Kendrick in marginally at $8.00 after his win last week.

Courtney Hancock looked on track to chalk up win number one of the season last week before her board was smashed in half by a big wave on the second lap. Hancock had been well backed at $4.50 to beat race favourite Brodie Moir ($2.10), but the winner was one of the outsiders of the field, Maddy Dunn, who was a wildcard entry. The youngster upstaged her more seasoned rivals and was at the huge odds of $101. Moir will be the opening $2.50 favourite this week, but Hancock may take some holding out at $3.50. 


BIG BETS 

$30,000 at $2.20 New South Wales to beat Queensland in Ryobi Cup (WON)
$5,000 at $1.40 Manly Top 8 NRL Premiership