Gary Ablett is $1.55 to win this year’s Brownlow Medal, and at that price he is the shortest ever player during the home and away season. In this day and age it is rare to get an odds on favourite before the finals start as it is definitely a lot easier to get reported and suspended, but Ablett has been in scintillating form this year. The Suns have won 6 games, their best year to date, and Ablett has featured in all of those wins. Jobe Watson won the medal last year with 30 votes, it is quite feasible that Ablett is already close to that number. The last time that there was a short priced favourite before the season concluded was in 1999. Shane Crawford was $1.65, and as history shows, he went on to win!
Hawthorn have firmed up in flag betting, now $3.00 after last weekend’s results. The loss by Geelong has seen the Cats ease to $4.00, and they share that line of betting with the Swans. Fremantle are $9.00 but there are no takers at that quote, and the same applies to Essendon ($13), and the reasons for the lack of support in the Bombers is obvious. They take on Hawthorn at Etihad on Friday night, and this is shaping as one of the bigger Friday night betting games for the season. Hawthorn have been backed from $1.40 into $1.38 early in the week, but Essendon have plenty of support at $3.05, and in particular with the line start of 18.5.
The Brisbane Lions can mathematically still make the finals, but punters think that their chances will be all but killed off at AAMI on Sunday. The Lions have had some good wins recently but do have injury concerns, and while Port Adelaide have a couple themselves, they appear to have returned to the form that saw them win their first 5 games this year. Port opened at $1.45 but quickly firmed into $1.41, and the signs are there that may disappear as well.
Richmond have booked a ticket to the finals, and while they face a big task in Sydney on Sunday, there are plenty who think they can win. They actually have a good record over the past couple of seasons against the Swans, and have been the best backed of the ‘roughies’ this week apart from Essendon. After opening at $4.75, the Tigers were cut to $4.30 by the middle part of the week, and there have been twice as many bets for them at the line start of 25.5 than the Swans.
The NRL returns to some sort of normality this week with the State of Origin series over for another year. Long term, Souths have probably been the worst affected by Origin with the injury to Greg Inglis, and it didn’t take long for that to show up. Souths were shock losers to St George Illawarra on Monday night, and that was after leading 18-6. That loss has seen a reshuffle in the premiership betting with Souths out to $3.75 (from $3.25), and they have been joined at the head of betting by the Roosters. Melbourne are just behind them at $4.35, with Manly the only other side under double figures at $7.00.
The Queensland sides are all under pressure to make this year’s finals, but the loser of the Friday night clash between the Cowboys and the Broncos can probably start planning for something else to do late September. There is always plenty of betting activity when these 2 meet but it has gone to another level with it all on the line this week. Most of the early betting has been for Brisbane, into $2.50 after opening at $2.60, but the Cowboys are commanding a good deal of money now at $1.53.
The Roosters held a team scoreless for the 5th time this season last week, but in a fabulous betting game on Sunday, there are plenty who think they will be beaten by Newcastle. The biggest early bet of the week was $10,000 on the Roosters at the line of -6.5 ($1.90), but there has been a really good push for Newcastle subsequent to that and several other bets coming through for the Roosters. As far as the head to head is concerned, The Roosters are $1.46 with the Knights at $2.75, but the line has moved in to 6.0 flat, and there is money for the Knights at that line.
The Crusaders have had to do it the hard way to make the semi finals of the Super Rugby title, but not only have they had to play an extra game than the Chiefs, but they are now short priced favourites to win the title. The Chiefs may have finished atop of the table but the Crusaders are now $2.50 ahead of the Chiefs at $3.00, the Bulls are on the third line at $3.50, with the Brumbies the outsiders at $8.00.The Crusaders opened at $1.65 in this week's match against the Chiefs, but that quickly moved into $1.60 with the Chiefs out to $2.30. These sides met in Christchurch back in round 19 where the Crusaders started 5 point fav's and belted the Chiefs 43-15. They did meet in Hamilton in round 15, and on that occasion the Chiefs won 28-19, but the Crusaders have won 6 of the last 9 meetings, with 4 of those wins in the north island, so it wont hold too many fears for them. On the plus side, the Chiefs did beat the Crusaders in a semi last year, and in Hamilton, so that will hold them in good stead.
The Brumbies scored a hard fought 15-13 win over the Cheetahs last week, and now have to front up in Pretoria to take on the Bulls. It is never easy playing at altitude, and the Brumbies have lost on their last 3 trips to Pretoria, the last of those being in 2012. The pair met once this season, and that was back in round 7. That resulted in a narrow 23-20 win to the Brumbies in Canberra. The Bulls are red hot favourites at $1.23 to progress to the final with the Brumbies at $4.00, and while most of the early betting has been multi's through the Bulls, there has been some support for the Brumbies at the line of +8.5.It is hard to go past the home side as the likely finalist, they haven't lost at home to an Australian side since 2007, and in that time have racked up 13 consecutive wins against Australian sides. If the Crusaders beat the Chiefs, the Bulls will be playing for a home final, if the Chiefs win, then the winner of the game in Pretoria will have to travel to NZ for the final.
Phil Mickelson was one of the best backed to win the British Open before it got under way, and while he was always close enough to the leaders to threaten, punters didn’t really warm to him after the opening round. Mickelson firmed from $26 into $16 pre-tournament, with most of that money coming after he won the Scottish Open the previous week. Tiger Woods was the easing $10 favourite, and while there were a host of players backed to win big amounts, the 2 bets backed apart from Mickelson were Adam Scott and Jason Day. Scott momentarily hit the lead on the last day, only to be over-run.
The week after a Major normally is quiet as most of the big names take a break, and this week is no different. The European Tour will feature the Russian Open, which will be played for the first time at Tseleevo Golf and Polo Club on the outskirts of Moscow. Sweden’s Mikael Lundberg has won the Russian Open twice (on different courses), but is a $67 chance this week, while Simon Dyson is the $11 favourite. Players to meet with early support have been Tommy Fleetwood at $26, David Horsey and Robert Rock (both $29), and Scott Hend ($41), one of 3 Australians in the field.
The PGA Tour event is the Canadian Open, this year to be played at the Glen Abbey GC in Oakville, Ontario. The last time the Open was played at Oakville was in 2009, and the winner was Aussie Nathan Green. Green has been out of form for a long time, and is $201 to get back into the winners circle this week. Chez Reevie won at this course the previous year and also is healthy odds this week at $67. Brandt Snedeker us the $13 favourite but the preference has been for Hunter Mahan ($19), Charl Schwartzel ($21), Luke Donald ($21) and Dustin Johnson, also at $21. Mahan finished 6 shots behind Mickelson in The British Open last week, and was a realistic winning chance before a final round of 75. The shortest of the Australians is Matty Jones at $67, and he is just ahead of Geoff Ogilvy and John Senden at $81. Whilst Ogilvy is another who has been out of sorts for a couple of years now, he did make the cut in the Open last week so hopefully he is returning to something like his best.
Australia is now down 2-0 in the Ashes series, and now face the daunting task of winning all 3 remaining tests to win back the urn. England are now into $1.02, the drawn series at $17, and the Aussies out to $41. The way they played the 2nd test they will be lucky not to avoid a 5-0 whitewash, and that is now into $4.50, with a 4-0 win to England the favourite way at $3.50. To add further salt to the wounds of the Aussies, fast bowler James Pattinson has been ruled out of the rest of the series with a back injury. Australia will play a tour match before the 3rd test at Old Trafford next week, but there has been a good deal of betting done on that test already. Amazingly there have been more bets for Australia at $5.50 than England at $1.75, but a couple of astute cricket followers have been keen on the draw, now $3.15 after opening at $3.50. Although the Australian batting line-up has been under attack in the press again, betting is opened on it with Michael Clarke the favourite to top the runs in the first innings at $3.75. A lot of names have been thrown into the mix to be in the side, but if you have a bet with Tattsbet and your player is not in the starting eleven, your bet is refunded.
The Sprint Cup Series had last weekend off, but returns this week to Indianapolis. New Hampshire was the venue 2 weeks ago and that race was won by $51 bolter Brian Vickers, who defeated Kyle Busch and Jeff Burton. Busch has firmed up a little into $5.00 to win the title, but Jimmie Johnson remains a firm $2.75 fav. Johnson is once again the opening favourite this week, but at a shorter than normal quote of $4.50. His record at Indianapolis is fantastic with 4 wins over the past 7 years including last year. Busch and Matt Kenseth are the second favourites at $7.00, but Tony Stewart ($13) could be one to keep an eye on. He has been good in patches this season, but did win here in 2005 and 2007.
Sebastian Vettel and has won 2 of the last 4 F1 events run this year, and goes into this week’s Hungarian GP as the $2.40 favourite. Budapest hasn’t been all that kind to Vettel in the past as he is yet to win there, but has been placed on a couple of occasions. He did win the German GP at his last start, defeating Kimi Raikkonen, and the Raikkonen is the second pick this week at $4.75. Raikkonen is a previous winner, but that was back in 2005. The money has been spread around for this race, with most of the early bets coming for Fernando Alonso at $6.00, but he is another yet to win in Hungary. Lewis Hamilton ($7.00) is the driving with the most imposing record at the course with wins in 2007,08,09 and 2012, and understandably he has been quite popular. Mark Webber ($9.00) has been thereabouts in recent races and again has admirers, and did win in 2010 after starting from 2 on the grid behind Vettel. Jenson Button has attracted support to win at $101, and that would be as a result of wins in 2006 and 2011, but he has been well off the [pace this season. Nico Rosberg has won 2 of the last 4 races (Monaco and Great Britain), but surprisingly is virtually unwanted at $11.
The V8 Supercars return to racing following a few weeks off after Darwin, and the opening market for race 1 at Ipswich this week is one of the most open we have had this year.
Jamie Whincup, Mark Winterbottom and Craig Lowndes won a race each at Hidden Valley, and that trio head the markets this week. Of the three, Lowndes has the most impressive record around the Ipswich circuit, and won 2 races there last year. Whincup is the opening favourite at $3.50, but in early action, Lowndes has been the most popular at $4.50, and he is followed by Winterbottom at $6.00. Will Davison (($8.00) got pole position in race 1 last year but hasn’t done so since, and hasn’t really recaptured previous form this season, while there has been early money for both Shane Van Gisbergen ($11.00) and Garth Tander at the same quote. There will be 3 races conducted at Ipswich, and the first of those will be on Saturday. That race is of 40 laps, but will have a half time interval at the 20 lap mark. The break is 15 mins, and then racing will resume with the positions at the end of 20 laps. The 2 races on Sunday will be the normal format, each of 32 laps.
Tattsbet opened the market this week to win the 2013 Melbourne Cup, and it didn’t take too long for punters to react. The first couple of horses backed were last year’s winner Green Moon at $31 along with Kiwi hope It’s a Dundeel at $18, but one punter came in over the top of both of those runners with a bet of $10,000 on Cup favourite Puissance De Lune at $7.00. The ex French stayer impressed at the tail end of last year’s carnival with an emphatic win in the Bendigo Cup, but it was his win in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes that had people take notice, particularly after jockey Glen Boss said he would win the cup this year. Some, including trainer Darren Weir, claim that $7.00 is too short so far out, but clearly one punter disagrees with that. The Gai Waterhouse trained Fiorente is the $10 second pick to avenge last year’s 2nd in the same race, while Mount Athos, one of the favourites last year, is next in line at $15.
Tattsbet will have fixed odds on the 2 Group races from The Meadows on Saturday night, and both races have drawn together fantastic fields.
The Distance Championship will see multiple Group finalist Proven Impala try and add to an already imposing record. Proven Impala is adept at any distance but has blossomed over the longer journey now that she has become more seasoned. Drawn favorably in box 2, Proven Impala has been installed as the $1.90 favourite, and should she lead, that may well be the end of the race. Tassie Champ Bell Haven ($3.85) was all at sea last week, and is sure to be giving Proven Impala a big start, and will need luck from the middle. If there is to be an upset, it might be the red runner, the aptly named Dashing Red ($11). Dashing Red had no luck at all last week and can take up a forward position from the draw.
The Maturity is the other feature on the card, and the Graeme Bate trained Schroder Bale is the $2.50 favourite after drawing well in box 2. He was impressive in his heat win, and that was following some terrific runs recently including a second in the Peter Mosman Classic. He should either lead or be camped up behind Hoover Jack (box 1). Perth visitor Dyna Nalin is owned by the Wheeler family who also own the favourite, and he is the ruling Perth Cup champion. Dyna Nalin put up an enormous performance to win his semi in a sub 30 seconds run, but is again going to need a lot of luck form the awkward 4 alley.