The Sydney Thunder finally broke through for a well overdue win on Tuesday night, and while there was some money around for the Sydneysiders at $2.75 to beat the Renegades, it was nowhere near what was invested on them in a couple of matches last week.
It has been reported in the press what a success the Big Bash has been this year since it was moved to Channel 10, and we are seeing an increase in betting activity as well with the turnover up by over 30%, but more importantly the individual bet numbers up by over 50%, with most of those coming after each game begins. There has been a mixture of favourites and outsiders with slightly more than 50% of favourites winning up until today (Wednesday), so that means if you have been backing the outsiders, you are well ahead. The Melbourne Stars have been the standouts in the competition and are now into $2.20 to win the final. Although the final two matches will be sudden death, they are certain for a home final in their semi, and will be short in that.
The second ODI will be played in Brisbane on Friday, and although England performed with the bat in the 1st match, it was their fielding that let them down miserably. Australia were $5.50 to win the series 5-0 before the first match, and that price has been slashed to $2.75 with a 4-1 series win to the Aussies slightly shorter at $2.40. There has been less than $300 wagered on England to win Friday’s match after the betting has been opened for three days, and punters are confident that Australia will get the job done as they are happy to take the $1.33.
The upcoming test series between South Africa and Australia has been opened for a week now, and there has been some support for Australia, into $3.25 after opening at $3.5. South Africa remain the faves at $1.70, with the drawn series at $5.50. The 1st Test gets under way at Centurion on February 12, and South Africa have opened at $2.15, Australia at $3.00, and the draw at $3.50.
Both the favourites to win the men’s and women’s Australian Open title have continued to firm up in betting since the markets were first opened several months ago, and now that the tournament is under way, that support hasn’t abated. Novak Djokovic was $2.50 into $1.80 prior to the first match on Monday, and Serena Williams had been $2.25 into $1.75. Betting on the women’s title has been dominated by Williams with Victoria Azarenka ($5.00) and Maria Sharapova ($13) the only other players to attract any serious support. While Djokovic has been the main target as far as the men’s title is concerned, there has been good interest in a few others including Andy Murray ($11), Roger Federer ($17) and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga $41-$26). Murray had been virtually friendless in the betting prior to his opening match but following that impressive win he did attract plenty of business, including one bet of $2000.
Apart from betting live on each of the televised matches, TattsBet has also been leaving the betting to win each title open, and that move has been well received by punters.
The Auckland Nines is fast approaching, and while betting to win that has been understandably quiet, we are beginning to see some serious money coming in for a lot of the future markets on this season's NRL. Souths are expected to again be a force and one punter has placed $9000 on them to make the top 8 at $1.20, and there has recently been two bets of $2000 on the Bunnies to win the comp at $6.50. Brisbane have been in the news this week after ditching Sam Thaiday as captain, but they remain one of the best backed sides to win the NRL title this season at $13. Looking at the bet numbers, they are currently second on the list with Souths the only team ahead of the Broncos, so fans expect them to be hard to beat. The other surprise is that punters feel Parramatta ($67) may be on the verge of finding some form as they have attracted more bets than any other side at $15+ to win the title, and in the market “most season losses”, they have been the least popular of those expected to finish at the bottom of the table. The Eels are $3.50 in that market, but nearly 100% of the money invested has gone on the Tigers ($4.50) and Canberra at $6.00.
It’s hard to enough get a win at Perth Arena on any normal Friday night, but the New Zealand Breakers head there this week with the Wildcats set to open up even more seats at their home venue as the club looks to fundraise for victims of the city’s bushfires this week. It’s set to be an emotional occasion for the West Aussies after a traumatic week but victory here will give the ‘Cats a clean sweep of the four games against the team they have lost the last two grand final series to.
Perth is undefeated in seven games at home this season and the Wildcats easily accounted for Townsville there last week 102-87, then survived a late fightback from the Crocs when the teams met in north Queensland on Sunday with the visitors getting away with a six-point victory. New Zealand is playing its fourth straight away game, but it has moved back in to playoff contention with recent victories on the road against Melbourne and Sydney. Despite those wins, the Breakers are still just 3-6 in Australia this season and they’ll find it tough on the longest journey in the competition, especially without talented big man Alex Pledger.
Both the PGA and European Tour events this week have drawn together very good fields, and although Tiger Woods and Adam Scott will be missing, most of the other big names will be in action.
The European event is the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, and Rory McIlroy is the opening $6.50 favourite after spending some time on holidays in Australia. McIlroy hasn’t won this event but was placed second in 2011 and 2012 and that was after a third in 2010. He did show a welcome return to form prior to Christmas, so it will be interesting so see how he goes in Abu Dhabi. Henrik Stenson has been backed early in betting at $8.00 along with Sergio Garcia at $11, but the one player well in the market who has been ignored has been Martin Kaymer at $15. It would be fair to say that Kaymer's form has been ordinary for nearly two years but he has a terrific record here with ins in 2008, 2010 and 2011 as well as a second to two-time winner Paul Casey in 2009. Last year's winner was Jamie Donaldson and he has had some early specking at $26 while the shortest of the Australian's is Marcus Fraser at $101.
Zach Johnson and Webb Simpson head the market for the Humana Challenge on the US PGA Tour. This tournament was formerly known as the Bob Hope Classic, an event played over three courses at La Quinita in California, and was renowned due of the amount of celebrities who played in the pro-am. Both of the favourites have met with support as have Keegan Bradley ($18), Harris English ($19) and Bill Hass ($26). Haas won this event back in 2009, and last year's winner, Brian Gay, is another to attract some money at $41. Gay won a 3 man playoff in 2013, defeating Charles Howell 111 and Swede David Lingmerth. Both of those go around again at $31 and $126 respectively. One player to keep an eye on may be Scott Stalling, $126 in the opening market. Starling had this event in his keeping last year when he went into the last round five shots clear but was overhauled. He clearly knows the course, and must be given an each way hope.
The Melbourne Cup is still a long way off but with a few of the main hopes either trialling recently or expected to resume racing shortly, we are seeing a lot of activity in that market. There are currently four equal favourites at $17, and two of those have been well backed in the last week or so. Fiorente won last year’s Cup impressively and has had close to $5000 invested on him at $17 to go back to back, while Polanski, impressive winner of the Victorian Derby, is the other horse at $17 which has proven quite popular, including a bet of $2000 this week at the current quote. Outside of the favourites, punters have chimed into Mount Athos ($26) again with close to $3000 arriving in a series of bets.
After another disappointing run in New Zealand last Friday night, Christen Me has been displaced as the favourite to win the upcoming Interdominion. Not only has he been displaced, Christen Me has moved to the 4th line of betting ($8.50) after being around the $6.00 mark. He remains the best backed runner to date, but there has been little or no interest in him since the weekend. Tasmanian Beautide is the new favourite at $6.00, but it is the next 2 in the market that have been attracting most attention this week. Recent Victoria Cup winner For A Reason is now on the second line of betting at $6.50, narrowly ahead of I’m Victorious ($7.50), and impressive winner at Gloucester Park last Friday night. I’m Victorious is the opening favourite for this week’s WA Pacing Cup to be held on Friday night, and if he wins as expected, he might well overtake Beautide as Interdom favourite.
The Paws of Thunder will be conducted at Wentworth Park on Saturday night, and while there were several shocks in the heats, the biggest was when Black Magic Opal failed to run a place after missing the start.Victorian Veyron Bale was the fastest heat winner and has drawn box 1 in the final, but is still a $5.50 chance as he doesn't always begin like he did last week. NSW speedster Double Twist has come up with box 3 and will go in as the $3.00 favourite after another powerhouse performance to win her heat in 29.56.There have been 2 early scratchings from the final, both Victorians, Allen Malik and National Time, and those scratchings have paved the way for track record holder Punch One Out and Peter Rocket to make their way into the field. Punch One Out was a very good run when second in the heat at her 1st run back from injury, and will be hard to beat if she goes into box seven.
The Summer Distance Plate over 720m will also be run on Saturday night's programme, and Victorian trainer Robert Britain holds the key to the race with the 2 favourites, American bred Lucy Wires, and Born Ali. Lucy Wires came out brilliantly in her heat and was only .01 outside of Miata's track record, so although drawn in box five, she looks the one to beat.