Gerard Daffy's TattsBet News - February 6

RUGBY LEAGUE 

Rugby League made a return for season 2013 with the first round of Super League last weekend, but Australian fans get their first taste of league this weekend with the All Stars game to be played in Brisbane. This will be the first time the match will be played in Brisbane after spending 3 years on the Gold Coast where the NRL All Stars won the last 2 games after losing the first. There have been several changes to the initial squads that were named, and with the NRL side losing Paul Gallen today (Wed), the NRL All Stars have opened at $1.60 with the Indigenous All Stars at $2.35. The line has been set at a flat 4 in favour of the NRL All Stars, but the early money has been for the Indigenous All Stars.

TattsBet has also opened up three of the player awards for this season, and Ben Barba and Greg Inglis are the $9.00 equal favourites to win the Dally M. Barba is also equal favourite with Nathan Merritt at $11 to be the top try scorer for the season in the home and away games, while Canberra’s Jason Croker is $4.50 to be the top points scorer for the season.

AFL

The huge news in AFL circles this week has been the revelations surround the Essendon Football Club, and TattsBet has taken the step of suspending betting on practically all of the ‘futures’ options that were open. There has been a lot of talk about what can happen with the club, and with one of those trains of thought being that they could be de-licensed or have players and/or officials stood down, the move to suspend makes sense. The same applies to the round one match against Adelaide as well. That investigation and subsequent penalties will run its course, and betting will resume on those options when the picture becomes clearer.

The Indigenous All Stars will play Richmond in Alice Springs on Friday night, and TattsBet will offer a market on that game as well. Unfortunately one of the big drawcards, Buddy Franklin, has had to withdraw with a minor injury, and that will clearly be a major loss for the Indigenous side, but as yet Richmond haven’t named their side either. Betting will be available on Friday morning. 

RUGBY UNION 

The loss by France to Italy in the first round of the Six Nations will go down as one of the upsets of the year. France started the game at $1.08 or conceding 12 points start, and that loss has seen them blow out to $6.50 to win the title after being $3.00 equal fav’s with England before the three games last week got under way. The thrashing that Wales suffered at the hands of Ireland was nearly as big a shock although they were much closer in the market ($1.70), but it is hard to see the Welsh improving enough to defend their title.

That duo pair off this week, and bookmakers are of the opinion France will bounce back after posting them at $1.25 with Wales at $3.85. France have now lost their last two to the Italians, but the concern for Wales would be that they have now strung together 8 test match losses in a row!

Scotland were thrashed by England last week but return to Murrayfield to play Italy. The Scots have a great record at home against Italy having won 9 of their last 10, and have been installed at $1.60 with Italy at $2.30.

The game of the round is Ireland at home to England, and we cannot split them with both at $1.90 in the opening market. England are the $2.00 favourites to win the Six Nations overall, but this is the real danger game. Ireland were impressive last week in beating Wales, and have won 5 of their last 6 Six Nations matches at home against England.

Locally, there are more Super Rugby trials this week as the season openers draw close, and TattsBet has opened more ‘futures’ markets. The Crusaders are an easing $5.50 favourite to win the title ahead of the Chiefs at $6.50, but the money this week has been for the Highlanders ($10), the Reds ($11) and the Hurricanes at $15. The Hurricanes will have to try and get the job done without Corey Jane who is out for the season with a knee injury. 

BOXING

Quade Cooper and Sonny Bill Williams will be inaction in the ring this week, and while we don’t expect the betting turnover to get anywhere near the record breaking holds on the Geale v Mundine fight last week, there is genuine interest in both fights. Quade has opened at $1.42 in his non-title cruiserweight bout against Barry Dunnett ($2.75), while Sonny Bill has opened at $1.67 in his WBA Heavyweight bout against veteran South African Frans Botha ($2.15) 

GOLF

Charl Schwartzel is the $4.00 favourite to win this week’s Joburg Open, and while that might seem short odds in a field of 200, a look at his form around the course warrants the short quote. Schwartzel won here in 2010 and 2011, and has been one of the leading players on all tours for a few years now. This field does also lack a lot of depth, a few of the top South African’s are missing as are most of the big names from the European Tour. There has been money for Schwartzel at that quote, along with George Coetzee and Brandon Grace at $9.00, and Richard Sterne at $17. Grace is the defending champion and Sterne is also a previous winner in 2008, but he has also been in terrific form over the last few weeks. Garth Mulroy has been runner-up in this event twice, and could be one for value hunters at $31.

Phil Mickelson led all the way to win the Phoenix Open last week and is the $8.00 opening favourite to win at Pebble Beach this week.

The AT & T Pebble Beach Pro Am is one of the more popular events on the tour, mainly because of the celebs that play as well as the scenery. It is played on 3 courses, so the cut isn’t made until after the third round. Mickelson was well found last week by punters at $17 and most have returned this week, and looking at his record in this event, it is easy to see why. He has won it on four previous occasions including last year, and tied for fourth (with Tiger Woods) when the US Open was played here in 2010. Dustin Johnson is also popular at $9.00, and he is another multiple winner having won in 2009 and 2010. Hunter Mahan finished second to D.A. Points 2 years ago and has firmed from $34 into $29, while Jason Day is again the shortest of the Aussies at $34 just ahead of Aaron Baddeley at $41. Baddeley finished fourth behind Mickelson last year after finishing 6th the previous year, so clearly likes the course.

NBL

Given its injury toll, Wollongong should by all rights be thinking about next season. But a cracking start to their NBL campaign means the Hawks are still in finals contention, despite season-ending injuries to import Lance Hurdle and starting point guard Rhys Martin, while a knee injury forced the club's greatest ever player, Glen Saville, in to an early retirement.

Imports that come in mid-season traditionally don't help their teams a great deal, but the Hawks may have found a gem in Malcolm Grant. The 24-year-old is an ex-college teammate of Hurdle's at the University of Miami, and while he's not as athletic as his close friend, he has shown he is a better ball-handler and shooter; he went four of five from three-point land in the Hawks' win over Adelaide last weekend.

He'll need to be at his best on Friday night when the Hawks host the Melbourne Tigers at the Sandpit. The Tigers have only won two games on the road this season, but one of those victories came in Wollongong on New Year's Eve. They are a better team now than they were then, as former NBA player Jonny Flynn comes to the fore as Melbourne chases a top-four position. A win over Wollongong would see the Tigers and Hawks level on the ladder, but with plenty to play for, the home side might just sneak home in a thriller with the rabid 'Gong crowd behind them.

NASCAR

The Daytona 500 is only a few weeks away, so it is time to have a look at the betting to win the NASCAR Sprint Championship title.

Jimmie Johnson is the opening favourite (again!), and although Johnson was narrowly beaten by Brad Keselowski last year, he has dominated of recent times, winning the title five years running from 2006 through to 2010. Keselowski is $11 to defend his title, while Tony Stewart, winner in 2011, is well in commission at $11 as well. The early money has been for Johnson, as well as Carl Edwards ($13), Joey Lagano ($51) and Aussie Marcos Ambrose, also a $51 chance. 

V8 SUPERCARS 

Jamie Whincup has won four of the last five V8 Drivers title’s, and is $2.75 to win again in season 2013. Whincup won the last two driving for Holden, and won in 2008/09 when in a Ford, but this year Nissan and Mercedes have also come into the competition. Craig Lowndes is second pick at $5.50 ahead of Mark Winterbottom at $6.50, while Lee Holdsworth is the shortest of the Mercedes team at $23 and Rick Kelly the top pick for Nissan at $26. One driver to meet with early support has been Shane Van Gisbergen at $29. Van Gisbergen ‘retired’ at the end of last season from Ford but re-surfaced a few weeks later in a Holden. That move has sparked a lot of controversy, and looks headed for the courts. There are still several drivers yet to be confirmed, once they are named, TattsBet will open up a market on the first of the season’s races in Adelaide.

NFL

Baltimore Ravens are the Superbowl Champions for 2012/13, and they certainly defied the odds in the race to win the title. The Ravens were $4.50 underdogs in their previous two matches against Denver and new England, and on each occasion their opponents were favourites to win the Superbowl for that week. After the two finalists were know, San Francisco opened at $1.45 with Baltimore at $2.75, but the Ravens were heavily backed into $2.40 in the first few days of trading, with the 49’ers out to $1.58. The market remained that way until the day of the game, with the late money coming for San Francisco, who started at $1.52 with Baltimore out to $2.55. The ‘in run’ betting was interesting with Baltimore touching $1.05 when leading by 22 points (San Fran $8.00), yet they were slight outsiders at $2.10 when the 2 minute warning was sounded. The 49’ers then were the favourites for the first time during the game ($1.70), but the Ravens repelled the San Francisco attack to win by 3.

Next year’s Superbowl market is open with New England the $7.50 favourites ahead of the Denver and the 49’ers at $8.00, followed by Green Bay and the Ravens at $10.