Premiership betting has been busy this week as we close in on the end of the home and away season. It is around about this time of the year that the bigger bets start to surface as it becomes clearer as to where teams will finish on the ladder, and the 3 favourites are popular. The biggest bets for the week so far have been $5000 on Geelong at $3.50, and there has been a solid push for Hawthorn, including one bet of $4000, which has seen their price go from $2.90 into $2.85. Fremantle have eased from $8.00 out to $10, and they, along with Essendon, are the teams that punters are avoiding.
Gary Ablett has shortened again to win the Brownlow, now $1.45, with the other mover out of last weekend’s matches being Dane Swan, now $8.00 after being $11. The Coleman Medal is an intriguing race, and Josh Kennedy and Jarryd Roughead share favouritism at $2.50, but it is far from over. It would be a fantastic story if Jeremy Cameron could win the Coleman, and he is now $11 after opening at $201 before the start of the season.
There are a lot of important games on this round, and while North Melbourne should have beaten Geelong when they met earlier in the season, punters think the Cats will be too good this week. On that occasion the Roos led by 41 points only to be run over, but Geelong have been $1.33 into $1.31, are the anchor in most multi’s, and there is money for them conceding 21.5 points.
The GWS have never been favourites, and haven’t won a game this season, but the money says they will break their maiden status against Melbourne on Saturday. After opening as $2.10 outsiders, the Giants were into $1.85 favourites by Wednesday. Melbourne have lost James Frawley, but although the Giants haven’t won this year, they have been good in patches over recent weeks. This game has been surprisingly popular with punters, and while about 66% of the money has been for the Giants, there is also money for Melbourne.
If prices were done before the start of the season, the West Coast would have been $1.02 to beat the Suns, but with injuries and form, the Eagles are only $1.42 to beat the Suns ($2.90) this week. The Eagles were always a meal ticket for punters when playing at home, but they have struggled this year, and the Suns are on the improve.
All eyes will be on the Collingwood v Essendon clash on Sunday. Jobe Watson is expected to play for Essendon, but the Bombers have been hard to sell at $2.00 as more headlines this week have rocked the club. Collingwood have been scratchy the last month or so, but twice as much money has been placed on the Magpies leading into the weekend.
The Melbourne Storm hit a form slump last season but that didn’t stop them from winning the title, so it will be interesting to see how they handle the next few weeks. The Storm have now lost 5 of their last 6 matches, and are now $5.00 third picks to win the title behind Souths and the Roosters who are $3.50. Manly are into $7.00 with the Bulldogs at $11, but the availability of Ben Barba is going to be a big factor for the Bulldogs. The Warriors are the side on the up. They were $251 at one stage in May, and were $21 to make the finals, but they are now only $21 to win the title.
The Queensland sides have been copping it in the press the last few weeks as it seems as though they may all miss the finals, but mathematically they can all still make it. The Broncos will have to win nearly all of their matches, and their fans have rallied behind them this week, backing them into $2.55 after opening at $2.65. They take on Newcastle, and that will be a very difficult assignment to come away from there with the 2 points.
The North Queensland Cowboys host Souths on Saturday night, and punters have deserted them altogether. The Cowboys are a hugely popular side when playing at home, but in the first 48 hours of betting, less than $50 had been placed on them to beat Souths. The Rabbitohs opened at $1.40, are into $1.35, and look likely to start even shorter.
One of the games of the round will be in Canberra on Sunday when the Raiders host the Storm. This is shaping as one of the better betting games of the round as opinions are clearly divided on which way it will go. We mentioned Melbourne’s recent record but there is plenty of $$$ around to say they can win at $1.58, but the imposing home record of Canberra has seen just as many bets come for them at $2.40. If Blake Fergusson was to be a late inclusion for Canberra, then they will firm up, and will be hard to beat.
What an amazing 2 semi-finals of Super Rugby this year! Both matches were won by the outsiders, the Chiefs and the Brumbies, and had the Crusaders beaten the Chiefs, the Brumbies would have been hosting this week's final. It wasn't to be however, and after winning at altitude in Pretoria, the Brumbies have had to make the long trek back, and then on to Hamilton, New Zealand.
Betting on the final opened with the Chiefs at $1.30 and the Brumbies at $3.50, but all week the betting has been heavily slanted towards the Chiefs, now into $1.26. The line of -8.5 has also attracted several 4 figure bets early in the week, so most are expecting the Chiefs to make it two titles in a row. The Chiefs thumped the Sharks 37-6 in last year's final, but weren't expected to be a force again this year as they had a much younger side. The Chiefs and Brumbies didn't met this season, but the last 4 games between the two sides have gone the way of the home team. The weather is expected to be ordinary in Hamilton on Saturday, and that will suit the locals more so that the jet-lagged Brumbies. Almost all of the stats point towards a win to the Chiefs, but perhaps the most damning is that since the inception of Super Rugby (1996), an overseas side in the final has only been able to win once, and that was the Crusaders who defeated the Brumbies in Canberra in 2006.It will require a mighty performance from the Brumbies if they are to win, but that is what they had to do last week!
We are only a week out from the US PGA Championship, and only Hunter Mahan will be missing (of the major hopes) in this week's WGC Bridgestone Invitational.
Tiger Woods is the $7.00 favourite for the PGA, and the $5.00 favourite to win this week. There has been money for Tiger although he was beaten in the British Open, but he has won the Bridgestone a staggering 7 times before, the most recent in 2009. Mickelson will be returning to the USA having won the British Open, and he, along with Adam Scott, have been clearly the best backed to beat Tiger. Both have firmed from $15 into $14, and Scott did beat Luke Donald at Firestone in 2011. The others to meet with support have been Jason Day ($26), Dustin Johnson ($26) and Lee Westwood ($29) who led going into the last round of the British Open.
The Reno-Tahoe Open is also on this week, and for the second year running this event will be a modified stableford points format. JJ Henry won last year’s event, defeating Alezandre Rocha, and while Henry is the opening equal $26 favourite with Padraig Harrington, it would be fair to say that this type of format isn't popular with punters.
Karrie Webb scored another win last week in the European Masters, and is the $17 second favourite to win the Ladies British Open this week. Webb is clearly in form but favourite Inbee Park ($6.00-$5.50) has dominated this year an looks very hard to beat.
The 4th test at Old Trafford is due to begin on Thursday, and while England hold a commanding 2-0 lead in the best of 5 series, Australia has come from 2-0 down before and won. The only problem was that it was back in the mid 1930's, and Don Bradman was in the side! The Aussies have now lost 6 tests in a row, and that has only happened once before. The last time that there was an Ashes Test at Old Trafford was in 2005, and that was famous draw as Brett Lee and Glen McGrath blocked out the final 4 overs with 9 wickets down. The only problem this time is that a draw isn't really much good to Australia.
The long range weather forecasts were tipping rain on the Friday and Saturday this week, and that saw an early push for the draw. After opening at $3.50, the draw got into $2.70, but as the conditions appear to be more favourable, it is back out to $3.20. The talk is that the wicket will take spin, and although the Australian spinning ranks are very light on, Australia have been the best backed, into $5.25 after opening at $5.50. Punters must be banking on the fact that Australia are due to win a match as there have been 4 times as many bets for them as there have been for England, who remain odds on at $1.80.
Much conjecture still surrounds the batting line-up for Australia, but Michael Clarke remains the solid $3.75 favourite the top the runs in the first innings.The other player to attract a lot of attention has been David Warner at $5.50, and I think we all look forward to seeing what he can produce if he is put back in the side. A reminder that if you back a player in the first innings options of hi-bats and most wickets and your player doesn't get a run in the starting eleven, then your bet is refunded. In the case of a multi, it then excludes the refunded player.
Ryan Newman scored an upset win at $21 in Indianapolis last weekend defeating heavily backed favourite Jimmie Johnson. Kasey Kahne continued on with his consistent recent form finishing in third place just ahead of Tony Stewart. The 3 drivers who finished behind Newman were the most popular with punters, but for the second race in a row the fav's were upstaged by one of the lesser lights.
Racing returns to Pocono this week, with Johnson again the $4.50 favourite having won here earlier in the season. Khane is on the second line of betting at $6.00 along with Kyle Busch, and both have a win and placing’s around the circuit. Stewart is another who has good recent form, and with a win (2009) and several placing’s at Pocono Raceway, he looks value at $13.
The F1s have a summer break and return for Belgium on the weekend of August 25rd. The Hungarian GP was an interesting betting affair with fastest qualifier Lewis Hamilton starting as a $9.00 chance even though he had chalked up 4 previous wins in Budapest. Hamilton himself talked down his winning chances but punters were not deterred as he went in as the worst result for TattsBet, along with race favourite Sebastian Vettel who started at $1.78. Kimi Raikkonen ($5.00) finished second, just ahead of the fast finishing Vettel, but Vettel has firmed into a red hot $1.18 chance to win the drivers’ championship even though there are still 9 races to go.
The motoGP season is also in recess until August 19, and that will be good news for both Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa as they recover from broken collarbones. Marc Marquez has won the last 2 races (Germany and USA), and that makes it season tally 3 wins. Marquez is now $1.80 to win the title in his debut season, but a lot will depend on how Pedrosa ($3.50) and Lorenzo ($4.00) come back from their falls.
Silverstone will be the venue for the Superbikes this week, and the industry will still be mourning the loss of Andrea Antonelli from the WSBK race in Moscow. Antonelli unfortunately crashed in the wet conditions, tragically losing his life, which meant that the 2nd of the Superbike races was called off. Race 1 was won by Marco Melandri, but several riders fell, and the bike of race favourite Tom Sykes caught fire.
Sykes had won all 4 races from the previous two meetings at Imola and Donington, and putting aside the race in Moscow, deserves to be the $2.50 favourite in race 1 this week. Eugene Laverty is second elect at $3.00, with a gap to Melandri ($5.50) and Sylvain Guintoli at $6.50. Guintoli won a race here last year, but he was one of the riders who crashed out in Moscow and he dislocated his shoulder, so there must be a few question marks hanging over him this week.
A special offer for all account holders (internet and apps) - $2 Geelong to beat North Melbourne in Friday night AFL. Promo period is from 7pm to 7:30pm AEST Friday 2 August or until max cap reached. Max bet per customer of $25.
$10,000 at $3.50 Geelong to win 2013 AFL Premiership
$4,000 at $2.90 Hawthorn to win 2013 AFL Premiership (now $2.85)
$6,676 at $1.90 Roosters -12.5 v Panthers in Round 21 NRL
$5,200 at $1.38 Souths to beat Cowboys in Round 21 NRL (now $1.35)
$4,000 at $1.90 North Melbourne +21.5 v Geelong in Round 19 AFL (now $1.85)