The Houston Open this week will be the last chance for those not currently in the Masters field to sneak their way in with a win on the PGA Tour, and the field has plenty of depth this year. Rory McIlroy makes a surprise appearance and is the well backed $10 favourite ahead Dustin Johnson ($15), Henrik Stenson ($17) and a host of players on $23 including Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia. Mickelson had to withdraw from last week’s Texas Open with back problems, but has won this event before (2011) as a lead in to the Masters.
The withdrawal of Tiger Woods from the US Masters wasn’t totally unexpected due to his injury, and that has paved the way for Adam Scott to perhaps go back to back. Scott has joined Rory McIlroy as the $8.00 favourite, and while he has been backed as is normally the case, Mickelson ($13) and Jason Day ($15) are the other two players backed to win big amounts. What is surprising is that both Mickelson and Day are under injury clouds and have been in doubt to start. As was the case with Tiger, if you back a player and he withdraws before the tournament starts, it is a full refund.
The Mercedes pair of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg dominated last week’s Malaysian Grand Prix, and they look set to do the same again this week in Bahrain.
Hamilton was the fastest qualifier in Sepang, and defeated Rosberg with Sebastian Vettel finishing in 3rd place. The Red Bull car of Vettel improved a lot from Melbourne, and he did qualify 2nd fastest, and while he is a $7.00 pop to win this week, he has won the last 2 F1 races held in Bahrain. It hasn’t been a good venue to either of the 2 Mercedes drivers as Hamilton is the only one to finish with a place to date, and that was 3rd in 2010. Unfortunately for his Australian fans, Daniel Ricciardo has been relegated 10 spots on the grid for what happened in the pits in Malaysia, and is $61 to win this week.
Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes won all of the V8 events in Tasmania last week, and the betting on race 1 at Winton Raceway this week would suggest that they will be in the winner’s circle again.
Whincup won 2 races and Lowndes won the 3rd race at Symmonds Plains, and it is Whincup who has opened favourite at $2.65 this week ahead of Lowndes at $3.50. Lowndes has easily been the most popular at that quite, and they are followed by Scott McLaughlin ($8.00), Shane Van Gisbergen ($13) and James Courtney also at $13. Betting for race 2 will open shortly after the completion of the first race on Saturday.
The Crusaders have won 9 of their last 10 against the Lions, including the last 2 in Johannesburg, but the Crusaders are a team under pressure and there has been good support for the Lions to beat them this week. Although they are the outsiders at $2.40, the Lions are on track to make the finals, and the Crusaders have been poor this season, and have a growing injury toll.
The Reds will be at home again on Saturday night, and although warm $1.36 favourites to beat the Force, they have no wins from their last 3 matches against the Force, 2 in Perth (one was a draw) and 1 in Brisbane. The Force have won their last 3 matches, and have never won 4 in a row, but plenty think they can as there has been good support for them at $3.10, and also with 6,5 points start.
The Waratahs opened as slight outsiders ($1.95) against the Stormers on Saturday night, but if Israel Folau is cleared to play, expect those odds to tumble. The Waratahs have lost on their last 3 visits to Cape Town but they get a good opportunity to win this week as the Stormers are returning from a loss in Brisbane,they have an ever growing injury list, and they have a few issues off the field as well. It all points towards a Waratahs win!
Australia have been bundled out of the T20 World Cup, and while they were heavily backed into $3.75 favourite before the event started, the other well backed side was Sri Lanka, and they are now the $3.35 second elect behind India at $2.80. As is often the case in T20 it has been a spinners tournament with 9 of the top 10 bowlers being spinners, perhaps it is time for Australia to have a look at that?
TattsBet will continue the live betting coverage with the semi finals due to get underway tonight (Thursday). Sri Lanka go into that match as the $1.77 favourites to beat the West Indies ($2.05) while India are $1.62 to beat South Africa ($2.30) on Friday night.
If you use the NRL favourites as a guide for tipping there is a strong chance that you will be languishing at the bottom of the tipping table!
After 4 rounds, only 13 favourites have been able to win from 32 matches (40.6%). That is the worst start in NRL history, and it is worse for those who back favourites to cover the line, with only 6 of 32 (18.75%) covering so far. As the season progresses there is always a lot more consistency in the results, but it appears as though on any given day, any side can win or lose. Another interesting betting angle is that there have been 10 home sides to date five start on the line ( a + start), and all 10 have covered their line. Three sides fit into that category this week, Cronulla (+4.5), the Dragons (+3.5) and the Tigers (+6.5), so we will see how they go.
Canterbury had a big win over Melbourne last week in Perth, but the travel, as well as Sonny Bill Williams coming back into the Roosters side has seen the Roosters one of the best backed sides of the round. They are currently $1.41 to win head to head, and have been the popular side in NRL multi’s for the weekend. Parramatta lifted a notch last week to thrash Penrith, and surprisingly there has been more bets for the Eels to beat Brisbane this week than the other way around. Maybe that is because Brisbane are the $1.35 favourites, the first time they have been favourites this season. The worry for Eels supporters is that they have racked up 21 losses in a row away from home, and they are taking on a side who probably should be unbeaten.
Souths have blown out to $8.00 to win the title after being the favourites after winning in round 1. They play St George Illawarra at the SCG this week, and if there had been betting on this match prior to round 1 then the Dragons would have been despised outsiders. That is not the case however as they have attracted 3 times as much support than Souths have, and if Josh Dugan is a definite starter, then they may well firm in betting
There has been plenty of movement on the AFL betting after 2 rounds with the Eagles into $11 (from $26) and Port another firmer, now $13 after also opening at $26. On the flip side, Sydney’s quote has doubled from $5.25 prior to round 1, now $11 as they seek their first win. Fremantle momentarily were lone flag favourites at $3.75 early in the week, but a couple of suspensions this week as well as Michael Barlow being ruled out for a month has seen the Dockers ease out to $4.00 where they are now equal fav’s with Hawthorn. Nathan Fyfe was the second favourite for the Brownlow Medal at $8.00 before he was given a 2 week suspension on Tuesday, so the ‘Brownlow Curse’ has struck early once again. Gary Ablett is expected to get amongst the votes this week as he has been $6.50 into $6.00, including one bet of $1000. Fremantle big man Aaron Sandilands is approaching the veteran stage of his career but he is off to a good start, and there will be plenty hoping that he can keep going. Sandilands opened at $251 to win the Brownlow, and there are plenty of bets on him at that quote including one of $40 each way, for a win of $12,500. Sandilands is now $21.
Betting on Friday night’s Grand Final rematch did an about face on Tuesday when Fremantle lost 2 players to suspension, and then the news of Barlow’s injury. Fremantle opened at $1.75 to beat Hawthorn, and the first for the week was $5000 for them at that quote. The betting has reversed now with Hawthorn into $1.71 from $1.75 late Tuesday, while Fremantle are now out to $2.15.
There is a lot at stake at the Adelaide Oval on Saturday as Adelaide and Sydney try and chalk up their first win of the season. The Crows are the $2.17 underdogs but there has been twice as many bets for them as there has been for Sydney at $1.70, so clearly punters think the Crows will bounce back from the thrashing they suffered at the hands of Port Adelaide. They have played the Swans 18 times in Adelaide and hold a 11-7 winning record.
The ‘Q Clash’ will be played at Metricon Stadium Saturday afternoon, and history has been created as the Suns will be favourites for the first time in 7 meetings. They have beaten the Lions only once from 6 attempts, and that was in their very first match when they started the game as $4.85 chances. After a quiet few days early in the week, the Suns are starting to firm, now into $1.65, and command about 80% of the money wagered so far.