Gerard Daffy's TattsBet News - April 18

RUGBY LEAGUE 

Rugby league followers had a terrific Round 6 when all 8 favourites won, but there was some respite for bookmakers when only 3 of those were able to cover the handicap line. Several of the favourites looked in trouble before going on to win, particularly the Gold Coast against Parramatta, who trailed by 14 points at one stage, but in the modern game, points can come quickly as we saw.

There will be no NRL games this week with the rep games on, and there has been a lot more interest early in the week on the test than we anticipated. Australia opened at $1.13 and one of the first bets taken was $10,000 at that quote. Another bet of $5000 has followed as well as oodles of bets around the $1000-2000 mark. On the flip side, more individual bets have been taken on New Zealand at $6.25, and twice as many bets have come for them at +16.5 than for the -16.5 on offer for the Aussies. Brett Morris is the $8.00 favourite to be the first try scorer ahead of a host of Aussies on $9.00 with best backed of those being Josh Morris and Greg Inglis.

The Country/City match on Sunday has been copping plenty of flack in the media with all of the player withdrawals, and although the betting has been quiet up until Thursday, it will fire up over the weekend. Country opened at $1.50 or -5.5 with City at $2.60, and the bets have been divided between the two.
The Channel 9 Intrust Super Cup game this week will see Easts Tigers at home to Tweed Heads. The Tigers season has been derailed over the last few weeks after a string of injuries, and both sides are coming off a bye. Prior to that, Tweed Heads defeated Northern Pride in Innisfail, and this should be a real battle in a must win game for both sides. The betting has opened at $1.90 apiece, and TattsBet will be trading LIVE throughout the match.

AFL

It is always dangerous when Richmond fans start to talk finals and premierships, but the Tigers have done nothing wrong in their wins to date. However, when any side is on the rise they eventually must face an acid test, and Richmond face that test this week against Collingwood. The Pies are coming off an ordinary loss to Hawthorn, and Richmond fans have pounced on the early odds that were available. After opening at $2.20, Richmond have been backed into $2.10, and the +5.5 has attracted big betting as well. The one thing interesting about the Tigers is that while their flag odds have continued to shorten (now $17), there hasn’t been any big money for them, but that might happen if they can win again this week. Hawthorn are now back to a $4.00 chance to win the flag, the price they opened at in the original market nearly 6 months ago, while the Swans haven’t moved, still $6.00.

There are a lot of short priced favourites this week, but the game commanding most attention (and the most bets!) has been the Melbourne v GWS game. The Giants have lost Jason Patton and Dean Brogan for this game, and that has to hurt, but twice as many bets have gone on the Giants at $2.45 as opposed to Melbourne at $1.55. There is an old adage that it is dangerous to back an ordinary side at ordinary odds and Melbourne certainly fit into that category, but they showed enough in the first have against the Eagles last week to say that they should chalk up a win this week.

The Friday night clash between the Swans and Geelong is an interesting affair, one that the bigger punters have kept clear of early in the week. We quite often see that when good sides play each other and the odds are close, so there is unlikely to be any major change from the opening market of Sydney at $1.65 and Geelong at $2.25. 

SUPER RUGBY 

This season’s Super Rugby matches have thrown up some weird results, and that trend continued last week when the Reds defeated the Chiefs and the Force defeated the Crusaders. The Force have been an enigma since they entered the competition, and they seem to play so much better when given little hope. They were 8 point underdogs against the Crusaders and it was a different side to the one that was beaten by the Rebels the previous week. Once again this week the Force find themselves as the outsiders ($5.00) when they travel to NZ to take on the Hurricanes, and while all the stats point towards a loss for them, the result depends on which Force team turns up. The Canes have won 7 of 8 against them, and while they were flat against the Blues last week, on their best form they should be able to cover the 11 point line.

The Reds v Brumbies match is the clash of the round, and with both sides returning from NZ after winning, the result will be all important for the Australian conference with these two sides occupying the top 2 spots. For the first time this season we have seen an air of confidence from Reds supporters early in the week, more than happy to take the opening $1.67, and the line of -2.5 has been the best backed option of the round. The Brumbies are $2.15, and while they have their share of support, it has been overshadowed by the Reds and it is likely that they will start a shade shorter. Whenever these two sides play they become a war of attrition, and the average total in the last 5 meetings has been a low 36 points. If that is to continue into this week’s game then it could go either way. 

GOLF

The RBC Heritage, formally the Heritage Classic, will be held at the scenic Harbour Town Golf Links in South Carolina and it will give many of those who were in contention in the Masters to get back in the winner’s circle.

Brandt Snedeker went into the last round at Augusta as the $3.50 ahead of Adam Scott at $4.00, but he had a round he would much rather forget while the spoils went to the Aussie. Scott went into the opening round as a heavily backed fourth pick ($26-$17), and while he was a loser in the TattsBet book, it was fantastic to see an Australian finally don the green jacket. It will be interesting to see how Snedeker backs up, but there has been solid interest in him at $15, and he has form here having won 2 years ago.Luke Donald is second elect at $17 ahead of Jim Furyk at $18, and he is another previous winner here (2010) who played well last week. You had to feel for Jason Day in the Masters when he got to a 2 shot lead on the last day, and he is also due to back up again and is $23. Australians have a decent record in the Heritage wit wins to Peter Lonard (2005) and Aaron Baddeley (2006), and Bads has been backed again this week at $41. One player expected to improve on recent form by punters is Boo Weekly. There has been a lot of interest in Weekly at $31 on the back of his 2 wins here in 2007 and 2008, but this is a really hot field this year.

On the other side of the world, Sergio Garcia has dashed back to Spain to play in the Open de Espana (Spanish Open), and is the $6.50 favourite. Garcia's recent form has been good, and the field does lack a lot of depth, so if he can overcome the travel, he deserves to be at the head of the betting charts. 

SOCCER

It is only fitting that the Western Sydney Wanderers and the Central Coast Mariners play off in this Sunday's A League final as they were the standout sides of the competition all season. The Wanderers have been one of sports great stories, and they were a $67 bolter before the season started. There weren't any takers then and in fact there haven't really been any all season as most waited for them to falter. But they didn't, winning the Premiers Plate and now going into the final as slight favourites. TattsBet opened both sides at $1.90 after the two playoffs, but straight away there was a bet of $9000 for the Wanderers, the first serious bet all season. They have settled at $1.80 to win the title with the Mariners at $2.00.The 90 minute form of betting has seen betting split between the Wanderers at $2.45 and the Mariners at $2.75, and amazingly there is no interest in a draw at $3.30. TattsBet will be trading live on the final, and judging by the levels of interest early in the week it is going to be a big betting affair. 

NASCAR

Punters were on the mark in last weeks Texas NRA 500 when the well backed Kyle Busch ($9.00-$6.00) was able to beat Martin Truex Jnr and Carl Edwards while race favourite Jimmie Johnson finished down the track.
This week we will see the running of the STP 400 in Kansas. The Kansas Speedway has only had 2 races scheduled throughout the season for the last 2 years, and the wins at this course have been shared amongst most of the top drivers. Johnson is the favourite at $6.00 and has a win here in 2008, while Greg Bifle ($8.00) looks a danger on the back of victories here in 2007 and 2010. Denny Hamlin won the corresponding race last year beating Johnson but is still out with a back injury while Matt Kenseth ($8.00 this week) won the race held here later in the year. 

MOTOGP

The motoGP Championship moves to Austin, Texas this week with the inaugural running of 'The Americas'. They will be participating at a purpose built venue and the layout of the track should ensure exciting racing with fast straights and tight hairpin bends. Jorge Lorenzo won the opening race in Qatar and he is our $2.50 favourite this week ahead of Dani Pedrosa at $3.00, Marc Marquez at $4.00 and the evergreen Valentino Rossi at $5.50. Rossi was runner-up to Lorenzo in Qatar 

FORMULA 1 

The formula 1's are on a quick back up after racing in China last week with Bahrain on this weekend. Fernando Alonso put his poor record in Shanghai behind him with a win over Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen, and the market was spot on as Alonso started the $2.75 favourite ahead of Hamilton at $3.00 and Raikkonen at $4.75. Alonso won in Bahrain back in 2005 when driving a Renault and repeated the dose in 2010 when it was the season opener. There was no race held in 2011 and Sebastian Vettel won last year from Raikkonen. Alonso is the opening favourite at $3.25 ahead of Vettel ($3.50), Raikkonen ($4.75) and Hamilton ($8.00), with the early interest being for Vettel. Mark Webber had more dramas in China and is a $10 chance this week.