Gerard Daffy's TattsBet News - February 27

AFL

Hawthorn and Sydney were the first two in the market to win this year’s NAB Cup, but both are out of contention after round one.

That has seen a major reshuffle to the market with Collingwood the new favourite at $5.00 ahead of Carlton at $5.50, then North Melbourne and the West Coast at $6.00. Brisbane were impressive in their matches at the weekend and are now $7.00, and as is usually the case, teams that win pre-season matches are backed to win the flag for the season. Brisbane have attracted close to $1000 in bets this week which has seen a price change from $67 into $51, while Collingwood have also been targeted by punters. The Magpies have been the most popular side in flag betting since the weekend ($9.00), and also had a bet of $8000 placed on them to make the final 8 at $1.40. There has also been a move for Jack Riewoldt to win the Coleman Medal, and the Tiger forward has moved into $6.00 equal second pick with Taylor Walker behind Buddy Franklin who is the $3.25 favourite. The largest of the bets for Riewoldt was $2000 at $7.00, and while he didn’t make much of an impact in the first round of the NAB Cup, we know what he is capable of doing. Riewoldt’s team-mate Trent Cotchin has been the one wanted in Brownlow betting at $11, but Gary Ablett remains the favourite at $8.00 

RUGBY LEAGUE 

Melbourne Storm and Souths went into their respective games as well backed commodities last weekend, and punters came out well on top when both saluted. The Storm failed to cover their 4.5 point handicap but punters shied away from that line, preferring the head to head price of $1.53. That proved to be a smart move as the Storm won 18-14.

The news this week that Ben Barba has been stood down indefinitely by the Bulldogs has thrown several of the futures markets around, but they do remain at $6.50 behind Melbourne ($5.50) to win the competition. The difficulty with this is that there is no time frame when Barba will be back, or if he will be back. One thing is for certain, there won’t be a lot of interest in them until the answer is known. He was an important cog in that machine that was so successful last year. Barba was the $9.00 co favourite with Greg Inglis to win the Dally M, an award that he won so easily last year. In a reshuffled market, Inglis has been joined at $9.00 by Cooper Cronk and Jonathon Thurston, while Barba is out to $17. Akuila Uate is the $11 favourite in the most tries of the season market with Barba out to $13 from $11. He had been well supported in that particular market, but if he can hopefully return much sooner than what has been speculated, then he will still be the one to beat. 

RUGBY UNION 

The QLD Reds bounced back last week by beating the Waratahs, and they are $1.50 to beat the Hurricanes this Friday night. The Waratahs were backed for bundles in that game, firming from $2.15 to start equal favourites at $1.92, but Reds supporters have returned this week and that is the side that has been backed in early trading. The Canes were ordinary going down to the Blues last week, but boast an impressive record against the Queenslanders having won 9 of their last 10 meetings. Conrad Smith looks ok to play after taking a head knock last week, and with Suncorp likely to be on the muddy side after continuous rain this week, the Hurricanes look like they will get to very respectable odds.

The Waratahs are unbeaten against the Rebels (4 games, 4 wins), and although beaten by the Reds last week, they should chalk up a win against the Rebels on Friday. Previous meetings have seen the Waratahs average 4 tries to 1 against the Rebels, and with Berrick Barnes likely to be back, they should justify their short quote of $1.20.

Title favourite the Crusaders debut for season 2013 in the first match on Friday, and they opened as warm $1.56 favourites to beat the Blues in Auckland. They have won 3 of their last 5 at Eden Park, but have been notoriously slow beginners the last couple of seasons. The young Blues side were written off last week but outplayed the Hurricanes in the second half, and we cannot see any reason why they can’t win again. 

GOLF

Rory McIlroy defeated Tiger Woods in last year’s Honda Classic, and although both made an early exit from last week’s matchplay event, punters think that they are the two to beat this week. Tiger opened as the $8.50 with McIlroy at $13, and that duo have commanded 75% of the betting action. McIlroy has struggled this season with new clubs, but the betting public just love him. Justin Rose has been a mover, in from $15 to $13, as has Fredrik Jacobson ($31-$26) and Lee Westwood, also $31 to $26. Y.E. Yang has struggled over the last 18 months, but he could be an improver at $81 as he is a previous winner in 2009 and was runner-up to Rory Sabbatini in 2011. Jason Day has withdrawn after his impressive third last week, and that will leave 9 Aussies in the field. The shortest of those to win the Classic is Greg Chalmers at $126, and he is the $4.50 favourite ahead of Geoff Ogilvy ($5.00) to lead the Aussies home.

NBL

With just four weeks left in the season, all eight teams have a chance of making the finals so every game from here on in will have a big impact on the make-up of the top four. If the Townsville Crocodiles miss the post-season, they’ll rue throwing away leads against big guns New Zealand and Perth, as well as Cairns last weekend. The Crocs were up by 14 at halftime in the Reptile Rumble, but threw away that advantage in the third and fourth quarters as the Snakes won by three.

Townsville takes on an undermanned Sydney Kings outfit on Sunday afternoon LIVE on Ten. Shane Heal’s side has now lost eight on the bounce, and the Kings will struggle to make the finals without point guard Corin Henry who is gone for the season with a wrist injury. Perth showed just how fragile Sydney is without a specialist playmaker last week, cruising home by 26 points on the back of some suffocating defence. The teams split the two games in Townsville earlier this season, and they meet again in the final week of the regular season. Townsville has won just twice away from home this season – both times against Adelaide – but if the Kings can’t stop Crocs import Gary Ervin, the visitors will be one step closer to qualifying for their seventh straight finals series. 

V8 SUPERCARS 

The most significant change to the V8 Supercar series in 2013 is the inclusion of Nissan and Mercedes. It will be interesting to see whether they can be competitive or not, but both manufacturers have recruited some experienced drivers. Rick Kelly (Nissan) and Lee Holdsworth (Mercedes) are the shortest priced drivers for the debuting cars in this week’s Clipsal 500, but neither have attracted too much interest in the TattsBet opening market of $23 for each. Jamie Whincup is the $3.00 favourite to win the Championship again, and is the same price to win race 1 in the Clipsal series. Both races this week will be conducted over 250 kms apiece, and Whincup did win the corresponding race last year before winding up in fourth position in Race 2. Craig Lowndes has been popular in early trading at $5.00 as has Will Davison at $7.00. Davison won race 2 last year after finishing runner-up behind Whincup in the first event, so on that form alone he looms as the one to beat. 

SUPERBIKES

Carlos Checa was the well supported $3.00 favourite to win race I of the Superbikes at Phillip Island last Sunday, but unfortunately for the popular veteran he came to grief early in the race, also taking second elect Marco Melandri out as well. The race went to $15 chance Sylvain Guintoli who staged a battle royal with Eugene Laverty. Checa was unable to compete in race 2, and Guintoli went in as the $3.00 fav ahead of Michel Fabrizio ($3.75) with Laverty at $4.50. Laverty was able to make it a double for Team Aprilia, and he easily defeated Fabrizio and Guintoli. The Superbikes have nearly 6 weeks off now before the next meeting in Aragon. 

HARNESS RACING 

All eyes will be on Menangle on Sunday when the 2013 Inter Dominion will be run, along with a host of other Group races. Tattsbet has fixed odds available on all races, but clearly the big one is the Inter Dom final, and the barrier draw has opened the race up to some degree. The final has a field of 14 which means there will be a second row (4 runners), so tactics are going to play an important part. Terror To Love has been an easing favourite at $3.50 after drawing 7, while there has been good solid support for Im Themightyquinn ($4.20-$4.00) since he drew just inside the favourite in 6. The other big mover has been Caribbean Blaster, now $4.50 after being $6.00 prior to drawing well in barrier 2. The general consensus is that Caribbean Blaster will lead and be the one to beat, but he has raced ungenerously in the past when left in front. The big question is will he hand up, and if so, what to?

The Chariots of Fire will be on the same program, and there has been a concerted push for Christen Me ($2.70-$2.20) since he impressively beat Im Themightyquinn in a trial at Menangle on Tuesday. Smolda ($3.60) and Restrepo ($3.80) are considered the dangers as far as the betting market is concerned, but there has been good support on an each way basis for Im Victorious at $15. 

GREYHOUNDS

The Australian Cup for greyhounds will be held at the Meadows on Saturday night, and it has drawn together a terrific field after some very fast heat wins last week. The fastest of those was Hello Good Bye, a recent acquisition to the Kel Greenough kennel. Hello Good Bye came to notice with a scintillating 29.09 win at Sandown before making the final of the Perth Cup, and looks the one to beat after drawing box 2. Spud Regis has had a colourful career after being involved in a car crash before the final of the Adelaide Cup last year, and is the $3.00 favourite after drawing the red box. Spud Regis has a real cult following as he is named after AFL commentator Danny ‘Spud’ Frawley, and is always well supported each time he runs. Queensland warrior Glen Gallon has made another big race final, and was probably the most impressive of the heat winners after striking trouble on the way to a win in 29.81. While many may think he is poorly drawn in box 4, he does have a better record from the middle boxes than anywhere else, and is going to be very hard to beat.

WA champ Miata will be a certain nomination for ‘run of the year’ after winning her heat of the Super Stayers run last week, but she will need a bit of luck to take out this week’s final after drawing out in box 8. Not surprisingly most of the early betting has been focussed on Miata at $1.80, and while she did come from 15 lengths behind with 300 metres to go last week, the leader (Xylia Allen) was paddling at her first distance run, and the race time was only fair. Destini Fireball is the second favourite at $3.00 and did run nearly 7 lengths faster in his heat, but there does appear to be several winning chances if Miata gets too far back.