There have been plenty of AFL headlines around this week, and some of those have had a big impact on the betting. The game concerned is Essendon v North Melbourne, and punters cannot see any result other than a win to the Kangaroos. North opened at $1.57 on Monday, and one of the first bets to come through was $8000 at that quote, and when it was revealed that coach James Hird and others had been charged with bringing the game into disrepute, that created another wave of support for North. The betting has settled at $1.42 for North and $2.85 for Essendon, but the Bombers seem well over the odds if the comments attributed to Jobe Watson are any indication. Watson basically said that the events of this week had taken a lot of the players shoulders and that would seem to suggest that they might be back to their best this week.
One of the better clashes for the season should take place on Saturday night when Hawthorn meet Collingwood at the MCG. Collingwood have gone to another level since Dayne Beams returned from injury, and although they have been a drifter in this game, there is plenty of support for them in what is shaping as one of the bigger betting games of the year. Hawthorn are back into flag favourites at $3.25 and have firmed from $1.65 into $1.60 for Friday night. Collingwood have been the big flag mover, into $9.00 (from $17) after last week’s win over the Swans. The Magpies might have another Brownlow Medalist in their mix as well as Dane Swan is equal $7.00 second pick with Joel Selwood while Scott Pendlebury is in demand as well, now $13. Gary Ablett may not have polled the last couple of rounds and has eased from $1.50 out to $1.65.
It was only three weeks ago that we were wondering whether Melbourne Storm were suffering from ‘post Origin hangover’ again but they have dispelled that with 2 outstanding performances, and there has been a big reaction to the premiership market. The Storm touched $5.50 3 weeks ago, and were $3.50 prior to the Bulldogs being beaten on Monday night. That loss saw Melbourne’s price come in slightly to $3.35, and they have easily been the best back side this week. The largest best at $3.35 have been $4000 and $2000 but there have been dozens of smaller bets as well as several coupled up with the major AFL chances in the ‘premiership double’ option.
Melbourne have a tricky game against Newcastle this week but punters have taken the $1.43 for them to win, the biggest early bet being $6000. The Raiders v Bulldogs game has big implications, and Canberra have been backed from $1.90 equal favourites into $1.82. Their form out home was outstanding up until the 64 point drubbing to Melbourne, and there is a strong chance that Terry Campese will be ruled out with an eye injury. On the flip side, the Bulldogs were terrible against the Titans on Monday night, so there are plenty of reasons why either side can win or lose.
Money would suggest that punters thing Greg Inglis and John Sutton will return for Souths on Friday night against Manly. This game will be played in Gosford as Souths have taken their home game to the Central Coast, and after opening at $2.10, sustained action saw the price crumble to $2.00. If Inglis is a confirmed starter, Souths may even start favourites as Manly have been hard to sell, and will be missing Anthony Watmough. The result will have a big bearing on premiership betting as well.
The ITM Cup (New Zealand) gets under way tonight (Thursday), and Canterbury are the $2.25 favourites to win the Cup Premiership and Hawkes Bay the $3.50 favourites to win the Cup Championship. Tattsbet will be betting live on all of the televised matches kicking off with the Counties Manukau v Wellington with most of the support for Counties at $1.36.
The Rugby Championship kicks off Saturday night with the clash between Australia and New Zealand also double as the first Bledisloe Cup game. Dan Carter has been ruled out of the All Blacks which saw Tattsbet alter the market slightly with the Wallabies coming into $2.75 from $2.85, and although there has been a sprinkling of interest in them it seems as though punters want to see them win one under new coach Ewen McKenzie before committing. The All Blacks on the other hand have been the side attracting most of the money, particularly to overcome the line of 5 points. The stats all point towards a win to the Kiwi’s as they have won the last 3 matches played in Sydney, and have won 13 of the last 15 matches between the two sides.
The other Championship game will see South Africa at home to Argentina. Betting suggests this will be one sided with South Africa at $1.10 or conceding 15.5 points start in the handicap betting.Argentina ($7.00) are yet to beat South Africa from 15 attempts, but did draw with them on home soil in Mendoza last year. The South Africans have won their last 6 matches against all teams, their last loss being to New Zealand in October last year, so it looks like a big win to the Springboks.
Jason Dufner won the US PGA Championship for this year, and he was always well in the betting. Tiger Woods went in as the $5.00 favourite, but Dufner was one of a group of players around the $31 mark who was well supported before the tournament started. Ironically although Dufner was always in contention he didn’t attract a lot of support over the weekend, and was eventually a good result for Tattsbet. Prior to the last round getting underway, Dufner was the equal $4.00 favourite with Henrik Stenson and Jim Furyk, with punters preferring the other two, as well as Adam Scott ($7.00), ahead of Dufner.
The European Tour has another week off following the PGA Championship, but the US Tour moves to North Carolina for the running of the Wyndham Championship. Sergio Garcia is the defending champion, and is on the 5thd line of betting at $19 behind favourites Brandt Snedeker and Webb Simpson at $14. Garcia played erratically (again) during the last round of the PGA, and although he doesn’t win out of turn, coming back to a course he has won on must be an advantage. Snedeker has a couple of top 10 finishes at Greensboro, but Simpson and Zach Johnson ($15) look hard to hold out. Simpson won here in 2011 while Johnson has had a couple of top 10 finishes in Majors this year.
Aussie Marcos Ambrose blotted his copybook when crashing out of last weekend’s race at Watkins Glen. Ambrose started a warm $2.75 favourite having won the Watkins Glen road race the last 2 years, but crashed into a barrier with 6 laps to go when in a winning position. The race was won by Kyle Busch who eventually started second pick in the market at $6.50 with Brad Keselowski and Martin Truex Jnr filling the placing’s.
Michigan International Raceway will host the Nascar’s this week, and although Jimmie Johnson is the opening favourite at $5.00, there appear to be a host of chances. Greg Bifle ($9.00) won the race held in Michigan earlier in the season, and also won there in 2012 and back in 2005. Dale Earnhardt Jnr ($13) is another with good form around the circuit having also won there in 2012 and 2008, while the Busch brothers, Kyle ($7.00) and Kurt ($15) have been in good recent form and have also recorded wins at the track. While Marcos Ambrose isn’t really at home on the oval tracks it is worth noting that he did qualify fastest in one of the races in 2012, so must be rated some chance of an upset.
The motoGP’s have had a summer break and return this week in Indianapolis. Marc Marquez has won the past 2 events in Germany and Laguna Seca, but his task was made easier by collarbone breaks to both Dani Pedrosa and Jorje Lorenzo. Both have now had a few weeks to heal so we can expect marked improvement on their last couple of starts. Marquez defeated Stefan Bradl and Cal Crutchlow in the US GP with Pedrosa finishing 5th, just ahead of Lorenzo. That has seen Marquez open up a 16 point lead in the title and he is $1.80, with Pedrosa ($3.50) currently in 2nd place, 10 points ahead of Lorenzo ($4.00).
Marquez has to be the favourite this week, and he is at $2.50. Punters agree has he has attracted most of the early business with punters preferring to sit back and see what Pedrosa ($3.25) and Lorenzo ($3.75) do in the qualifying sessions. Both have good form at Indianopolis where Pedrosa has won 2 races with a 2nd over the past 3 years while Lorenzo won in 2009 but has been placed several times including runner-up to Pedrosa last year. Valentino Rossi ($7.50) and Cal Crutchlow ($9.00) cannot be completely ruled out, but it does seem as though one of the top three in the betting should be victorious.
Victoria is the only state remaining to run their State finals of the Nationals, and they will be run on Saturday night with the National Final’s there the following Saturday. Very little separated the winners of the distance heats, and while Irma Bale will be the sentimental favourite, any one of the 8 finalists can win. Major League was beaten in his heat by Irma Bale but had a chequered run throughout, and looks the one to beat. Destini Fireball, another crowd favourite, struggled in his heat but has a knack of improving when in big finals.
The sprint is an interesting affair with Xylia Allen drawing well in box 1. Xylia Allen is one of 5 representatives in the race for the Wheeler family, but she hasn’t really always displayed her best form around the Meadows. The first 2 home go into the National Final, and if Xylia Allen is one of those two, then Queensland Champ Glen Gallon will go into the final although beaten at Albion Park, based on his rating. Tomac Bale ran a scintillating 29.67 to win his heat but has drawn in box 5, and could be in early trouble with Paw Licking trying to get across from box 8. The red box is always a big advantage in any final, and that gives the nod to Xylia Allen.