Gerard Daffy's TattsBet News - April 4

AFL

Don’t feel disheartened if you didn’t pick all 9 winners in the opening round of AFL. The multi price for all 9 winners was a staggering $1351 for a $1 outlay, and that all came about when only 3 of the 9 favourites were able to win. That was the worst start to a season by favourites ever, but many of them look clear cut in Round 2. The opening price for all 9 fav’s to win this week is $16.60.

The game of the round will be the last game played in Perth on Sunday. Barring a draw, either the West Coast or Hawthorn will be winless after 2 rounds, and if the Eagles get the money, then Hawthorn will be displaced as flag favourites for the first time since betting opened. The Eagles still have several players on the injury list, and although the Hawks are coming off a 6 day back up, the early betting has been their way including one bet of $6000 at $2.05. They still remain friendless in the flag betting, now out to $5.75, just ahead of Collingwood ($6.25), and at $7.00 we have the Eagles, Sydney and Geelong. Sydney’s good draw will see them go into Saturday’s game against the Suns at around the $1.10 mark, but with rain coming in the latter part of the week there has been money for the Suns with 38 points start.

Port Adelaide are $1.14 to maintain a perfect start to the season against the Giants, and have been the most popular side through multis. Their cross town rivals the Crows travel to Brisbane, and both of those sides will be looking for wins after unexpected opening round losses. The Lions were the biggest ever round 1 ‘go’, starting $1.33 after opening at $1.85 against the Bulldogs, and they copped a nice flogging. There is nowhere near the support for them this week as the outsiders at $2.10, but with this game due to be played in the afternoon, they will be more suited to the humid conditions than the Crows.

The clashes between Collingwood and Carlton often throw up strange results, but punters think this week it will be a win to the Magpies. The $1.42 has been solid in betting, more so once it was confirmed that Eddy Betts and Sean Hampson were out of the Carlton side. That leaves them light on for forwards, and if Collingwood win as expected, they might well be the new flag favourites next week.

We cannot add anything to what has already been written about Gary Ablett’s performance for the Suns last week. That best afield effort has seen his Brownlow odds cut to $6.00 from $8.00, and if the Gold Coast can win half a dozen games, then the little champ is going to be awfully hard to hold out. Trent Cotchin ($11-$8.00) justified the backing for him before the season started with a potential 3 vote game against Carlton, while Joel Selwood has firmed from $26 into $15 after getting Geelong home against Hawthorn. 

RUGBY LEAGUE 

The gap between the ‘have’s and the ‘have not’s’ has opened up early in the NRL this year, and although a couple of the stragglers (Warriors and Dragons) were able to win last week, there are probably at least 5 sides already well out of contention for a title win. Melbourne have firmed into $3.75 ahead of Souths at $5.00, but this week the 2 most popular sides have been the Roosters and Newcastle. The Roosters put 50 points on the Eels and are in a fraction to $10, while one bet of $5000 was lumped on Newcastle at $12 to go all of the way. Both sides are away this week, and probably are involved in games that they could drop, but a win to either or both will see them firm up again. The Roosters task has been made easier with Blake Ferguson out of the Canberra side, and that saw a move from $1.52 into $1.48 for a Roosters win.

The Gold Coast are one of the big improvers this season, and on current form deserve to be favourites at home against the Broncos. The Titans opened at $1.65 but have been cut to $1.55 after Brisbane’s Sam Thaiday was unsuccessful at the judiciary. Now that the betting has settled the Titans are attracting about 80% of the money, so clearly Brisbane’s fans see this as a real danger game.

The game of the round will be Canterbury against Manly, and while Manly have firmed slightly from $1.85 into $1.82, it is a terrific betting game with opinions divided. The Bulldogs were heavily backed to beat Souths last week but cam up 5 points shy, however Ben Barba will be all the better for that game and this is a legitimate toss of the coin game. On current form the Cowboys look short against Penrith, but Penrith were so poor in their loss to the Titans last week that punters view this game as one sided. The Cowboys opened at $1.30 and attracted the first big bet for the week, $6000 at that quote, and have continued to shorten into $1.22. The line of -11.5 didn’t last long either and quickly moved to -12, and if the North Queensland side are to be considered a serious threat to the big names this year, then they will be looking for a big win. 

SUPER RUGBY 

Cooper Vuna is expected to come back into the Melbourne Rebels side this week as the Rebels return from a disastrous trip to South Africa. The Rebels will be in Perth to take on the Force, and while they are the $2.85 outsiders they must be given some hope as they did beat the Force 30-23 in round 1. On that occasion the Rebels were 7 point favourites so role are nearly reversed this time with the Force at -5.5, and stats over the last few weeks point towards them winning, they have had trouble scoring points. On the flip side, the Rebels defence has been letting in an average of 34 points this season, so it will be interesting to see what happens.

The best 2 games of the round will be played in South Africa with the Sharks hosting the Crusaders and the Cheetahs at home to the Stormers. The Crusaders scored a good win over the Stormers last week as $2.60 outsiders and will again go in as the underdogs against the Sharks at $2.15. The Sharks are coming off a bye and have only won 2 of their last 16 against the Crusaders although they have won 2 of the last 3 in Durban. The Crusaders have a big injury toll and will be without Carter, Read, McNichol and Owen Franks, so that has spurred punters into action as most of the early money has been for the Sharks.

The Cheetahs have lost their last 7 matches to the Stormers, but they will not get a better opportunity to put an end to that run this week. The Cheetahs have strung together 4 wins in a row, and although they opened at $2.50, there could be big value there as the Stormers have been forced to sit several players out from training this week after a bruising encounter when they went down to the Crusaders. There is little doubt that the Cheetahs are the most improved team in the competition and a win here would have them well on track for an unlikely finals berth. 

GOLF

The Texas Open will be the last chance for Rory McIlroy to find some form before next week’s Masters, and although it will be his first start at the Oaks Course in San Antonio, he is once again the public elect at $10. Each week he has been the worst result in the Tattsbet book, but it seems as though his fans think sooner or later it will all come together with his new equipment, but his good rounds lately have been few and far between. Charl Schwartzel is the second favourite at $11, just ahead of Matt Kuchar at $14, and that trio have completely dominated the early betting. Next in the betting is Fredrik Jacobson at $23, and looking at his record around this course, he looks very hard to beat. This will be the fourth running of the Texas Open at the Oaks, and in the previous 3 running’s, Jacobson has finished 2nd (last year), a tie for 5th in 2011 and a tie for 18th in 2010. Ben Curtis is the defending champion and he is $81 to go back to back, while Aaron Baddeley is the shortest of the Australians at $67. The course has had a lot of changes made to it over the last couple of years but there has always been a view that it is suited to the Aussies as evidenced by the win of Adam Scott in 2010, so perhaps one of the 11 Aussies in the field will be victorious again this week?

NBL

For the second season in a row the New Zealand Breakers and Perth Wildcats meet in the best-of-three NBL grand final series. Both teams steamrolled their way past semi-final opponents Sydney and Wollongong, and there is no doubt the two best sides in the competition are here at the business end of the season. Perth suffered a major blow in game two of its clean sweep of the Hawks with point guard Damian Martin tearing his Achilles tendon. In a shock move Perth has brought back in veteran guard Brad Robbins, who retired mid-season, to give the Wildcats extra depth in the backcourt. He’s a harassing-type defender like Martin, which is just what Perth needs against Breakers ball-handler Cedric Jackson who was recently named league MVP.

Perth won three of the four contests between the teams this season, but one of those was in the final round in an inconsequential game where both teams cleared their benches. Both teams only lost one game at home all season, and the Breakers solitary loss came against the ‘Cats in round 1. They romped through the rest of the regular season and pumped the ‘Cats by 17 last time Perth travelled across the ditch. Both teams are well rested after the first round of the playoffs, but we expect New Zealand to take the series in three on the back of home court advantage. The Breakers are $1.50 to take the title with Perth at $2.60. 

MOTOGP

The first motoGP race of the season is on this week in Qatar, and it looks like being a battle between the factory Yamaha’s and the Honda’s. Valentino Rossi returns to Yamaha to team up with arch rival Jorge Lorenzo, and although Lorenzo is the opening $275 equal favourite with Dani Pedrosa, there is plenty of money for Rossi to bounce back at $4.50.

Lorenzo was the main reason Rossi was forced to go to Ducati 3 years ago, and now they are team-mates! Another little sub plot is the addition of reigning Moto2 champion Marc Marquez to team up with Pedrosa at Honda. Marquez is brash and quick and will not willingly play second fiddle to Pedrosa, and he is the other major contender in betting at $5.00. Judging by the testing over the past few months, Marquez will win races this year and will be in the mix in Qatar. All four of these riders have topped the daily timesheets in winter testing at one stage or another and there doesn’t look like much between the 4 bikes.

Lorenzo has a terrific record at Losail having raced there 5 times in the top class and not missing a podium whilst winning last year. Rossi won in 2010 and finished second in 2009 whilst Pedrosa has a few minor placing’s in Qatar to his credit without ever winning. Marquez won here last year in Moto2 on his way to the Championship. Best of the rest looks to be the ever improving Cal Crutchlow ($21) who impressed last year in his maiden season, and 2011 Moto2 champion Stefan Bradl ($41),who also had a terrific first season last year in the premier class. It won’t be the same without Casey Stoner, but it does look a very competitive season ahead. 

V8 SUPERCARS 

Symmons Plains, Tasmania, will host the V8 Supercars this week, and there is a change to the make-up of the way races are run. Race 1 on Saturday will consist of two halves of 25 laps with a break in the middle, while there will be 2 races of 42 laps on Sunday, but those will have their own qualifying sessions before the first of those races is run. It appears as though the Supercars are trying different things throughout the season to make the racing more competitive, and that can only be a good thing.

Jamie Whincup is again at the head of betting for race 1, and is a $3.50 chance. Craig Lowndes has a strong affinity with the Tassie circuit having won there on six occasions, and has been well supported at $4.50 as has Shane Van Gisbergen at $5.00. Van Gisbergen qualified fastest in both races held in Adelaide, and was successful in race 2, and will be hard to hold out this week. Whincup and Will Davison ($9) won the 2 races held here last year, but neither was the quickest qualifier, with those honours going to Mark Winterbottom and Lowndes. Fabian Coulthard is well in the betting at $9.00 as well, and a win by him would not be a total surprise. While Lowndes has a great record here, Garth Tander has an even better one with 7 wins (including 4 poles), and if there was to be a blowout, he could be the one. 

NASCAR

Nascar racing returns this week after the Easter break, and Jimmie Johnson looks the one to beat at Martinsville, Virginia. More often than not Johnson is the opening favourite in these races, and his record at Martinsville is second to none having won 6 times in the 14 races held there over the last 7 years. The most recent of those wins was in the latter part of last season, and the only driver who even comes close to that record is Denny Hamlin, who unfortunately is out of action with a fracture in his back. Johnson is $5.50 ahead of Brad Keselowski at $7.50 and Kyle Busch at $9.00.