The second race of the motoGP season, The Americas GP, will be held in Austin, Texas this week.
Marc Marquez won the season opener in Qatar from Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa, and is the $1.70 favourite to win in Texas. Jorge Lorenzo is the second pick at $4.00 with Pedrosa next in line at $6.00, while Rossi is the only other rider considered a winning chance at $11. Marquez won the corresponding race last year from Pedrosa, and looks to be over the injury concerns he had coming into Qatar.
Mercedes were left to fight it out again in Bahrain last week, and although Lewis Hamilton started the second fav at $2.05, he carried more money than race favourite Nico Rosberg at $1.77. The pair started at the front of the grid but it was Hamilton who had the superior pace to win. The Chinese F1 is the next race on the calendar in 2 a fortnights time, and Hamilton has opened at $1.80 with Rosberg at $2.80. Daniel Ricciardo outdrove his Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel to finish 4th in Bahrain, an enormous performance considering he had incurred a 10 spot grid penalty. Amazingly Ricciardo and Vettel are on the same line of betting for China ($15), with Vettel really struggling at the moment.
There has been a long break between the first round of Superbikes at Phillip Island and this week’s second round in Aragon, and although he could only finish with a third in Australia, Tom Sykes remains the $2.50 favourite to win the riders title. Sykes doesn’t have a very good record at Aragon either, failing to win a race there over the past few seasons but is the favourite to win race 1 on Sunday. Chaz Davies won both races here last year and is at $8.00 to win race 1, while Marco Melandri looks hardest to beat ($4.00) as he has won races in Aragon in the past and did finish 2nd to Eugene Laverty in the season opener at Phillip Island.
The withdrawal of Tiger Woods from the US Masters hasn’t had any dramatic effect on the event from a betting perspective, and punters have got right behind Australia’s 2 main hopes, Adam Scott and Jason Day. It is easy to understand the support for Scott as apart from the fact he is so popular, he is the defending champion. Day on the other had has been close a few times, but comes into the Masters still carrying an injury to his thumb. That is common knowledge but the betting public have cast that info aside as Day has been backed to win close to $100,00 with TattsBet in the 48 hours leading up to tee-off. Rory McIlroy remains the 410 favourite ahead of Scot ($11) and Day ($13), and then it is Phil Mickelson at $14, another who has had injury problems. Matt Kuchar was beaten in a playoff in the Houston Open by Matt Jones, and he is another in the market ($21) who has attracted huge support. Of the others, Jason Dufner ($34), Angel Cabrera ($51), Harris English ($51) are others to meet with really good support, while Marc Leishman ($81-$67) and John Senden ($126-$81) are other Aussie contenders who have also been backed to win over $100,00 this week at the longer odds. The markets will be updated as soon as each round is completed, and where possible, most of the major group markets will also be re-opened.
Perth disposed of Adelaide 92-85 in the first of the best of 3 NBL final series, and travel to Adelaide for game 2 on Friday night. James Ennis continued with his good form sinking 30 points for the Wildcats, but the 36’ers have beaten Perth in Adelaide already this season. The betting has opened with both sides at $1.90, and the early money has been for Adelaide to take the series to a decider on Monday night in Perth. TattsBet will be betting live throughout the finals series.
The Reds will go into Friday night’s match against the Brumbies as outsiders, and that is a rarity at Suncorp. The betting is close however with the Brumbies at $1.80 and the Reds at $2.00, and it may surprise many that the bulk of the support has been for the Brumbies. The Reds have lost 3 of their last 4 matches, and in the corresponding match last year, the game ended in a 19-19 draw.
The Force have won 4 in a row, but they will again be the outsiders ($2.55) when they hosts the Waratahs on Saturday night. The Waratahs have already been backed from $1.52 into $1.50, and travel to Perth having won at all 6 previous visits, but this Force side is playing very well. The Waratahs will have Israel Folau back, and it is worth remembering that these 2 sides have already met this season with the Waratahs winning 43-21 in Sydney.
The Sharks and the Chiefs are the $3.75 favourites to win the title, and the Sharks are ‘away’ to the Lions this week, and short at $1.33. There has been money for them at that quote as well as conceding 7.5 points start. The Sharks have had a terrific draw to date, 5 of their first 6 games at home, with 2 byes in the first 8 weeks as well, but are expected to win again after beating the Lions back in round 4 in Durban.
Favourites again struggled in the NRL last week when only 3 of the 8 won, with only 2 of those covering the line. That brings the season tally to 16 of 40 favourites winning, but it is decidedly worse for line favourites with only 8 of 40 covering the spread. It was the Friday night fav’s who again disappointed with the Roosters and Brisbane both going over, and that has the season tally sitting at 9 upsets from the 10 Friday night games to date. The one that did win was the Roosters who scored a very fortunate win against Brisbane back in 3.
All of those stats only enforce what we already knew, it is a difficult competition. A look at the ladder provides a clue as well, the Gold Coast are on top, but the Titans’ for and against is in the minus (-9). It doesn’t get much easier this week with several matches closely priced together, but there have been a few early moves. Oddly enough, both Friday night fav’s (Souths and Brisbane) have shortened up in the betting to beat Penrith and the Gold Coast. Brisbane have won 8 of the last 9 matches against the Titans, and the Titans are coming into this game off a quick back up.
The biggest early league bet for the week was $6000 on Manly at -9.5 ($1.90), and that was enough to move the line against the Sharks to -10.5, which punters are still happy to take. It has been 6 years since Cronulla won at Brookvale, but they were very good against the Warriors last week with Robson back in the side, and there have been a few issues off-field at Manly since their defeat at the hands of the Tigers. All of the records point towards a Manly win, but the way the results have been going, who knows what will happen!
Hawthorn put on a dominant display when thrashing an under-manned Fremantle last week, and the Hawks have been the side most wanted in flag betting this week.
The price for the Hawks to make it back to back opened at $3.50 on Sunday night, but several big bets, including one of $5000, has seen that price cut marginally to $3.40. Fremantle were equal $4.00 favourites last week but have blown out to $5.00 while Sydney were cut from $11 to $8.00 following their first win of the season against Adelaide. Gary Ablett is into $4.25 to win the Brownlow, and it wouldn’t come as a surprise that Ablett, along with Joel Selwood ($7.00), have been the 2 targeted this week.
There are quite a few short priced favourites in the upcoming round, and while all of those have already been taken in most of the bigger multi’s for the weekend, there is a bit of singles activity around some as well. Bets of $5000 and $4000 have arrived early for Carlton to beat Melbourne at $1.12, and Geelong have had a bet of $7000 placed on them to beat the West Coast at $1.33. The Eagles will be missing a few players and have only 1 win to their name in Geelong since 2000.
There are a few good match-ups this round but the 2 standouts are Richmond v Collingwood and Fremantle v Essendon on Sunday evening.
Richmond will have to try and break a 6 game losing streak against Collingwood without Brett Deledio, and for that reason 80% of the money has been for Collingwood at $1.60, with Richmond unwanted at $2.35. The Tigers can never be written off when outsiders, and Collingwood did play in a really tough game against Geelong last week.
Essendon have been a big firmer in the betting to beat Fremantle. Essendon were impressive in their big win against Carlton, and who will ever forget their win against Fremantle in Perth last year? The Bombers won on both trips to Perth last year, one of the very few sides capable of doing that, and have already been $2.20 into $2.00 to do so again. While there haven’t been any big premiership bets recorded against Essendon’s name, they must now be considered a serious threat on the form shown so far.
$7,000 on Geelong at $1.33
$6,000 on Manly -9.5 ($1.90)
$5,000 Hawks to win the flag at $3.50