Apart from the Australian GP, the Monaco GP is always the most popular betting race on the F1 Calendar with TattsBet, and this week’s race in Monte Carlo is no different. Lewis Hamilton has dominated the season to date winning the last four races after his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg won the season opener in Melbourne. Hamilton is $1.67 to win on Sunday, but there has been plenty of support for Rosberg at $2.45. The Red Bull team of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Riccardo share the next line of betting at $13, and while Vettel showed vast improvement in Spain last start, it is obvious that the Mercedes have their measure at the moment. It is virtually impossible to pass around the Monaco street circuit, and a look at the records show us that 9 of the last 10 winners have started from pole position. The only one to break that sequence was Hamilton when he won from three in 2008, but oddly enough, has failed to finish on the podium in the five races run since then.
While Marc Marquez continued on his winning way in motoGP last weekend, the Superbikes have provided several different winners and some exciting racing this season. They move to Donington this weekend for the Great Britain fixture, and Tome Sykes is the short-priced favourite to win both races. Sykes has form on the board at Donington having won both races last year, but hasn’t been as dominating this season. Jonathon Rea won both races conducted in Imola a fortnight ago and again looms as the main danger to Sykes.
The Sandown Cup for greyhounds was made famous by Bold Trease, who won four consecutive Cups in the mid to late 1980’s. A greyhound who recently changed hands for a reported 6 figure amount is Sweet It Is, and she has similar racing traits to Bold Trease, always coming from well back in the field. The Darren McDonald trained stayer has been installed as the hot $1.50 favourite, and he also has one of the $7.00 second favourites in Zipping Joe.
The BMW PGA Championship is the European Tour Event this week, and it has drawn together a very strong field. Rory McIlroy is the $12 opening favourite to win the BMW which will be played at Wentworth, Surrey, but there has been good early interest in the two players behind him in the betting, Lee Westwood ($13) and Luke Donald ($14). Donald is a two-time winner of the BMW, having won in 2011 and 2012, and was also 3rd behind Simon Khan in 2010. Khan is also in the field as a $126 chance, and is another who plays well here, as he also tied for 2nd last year behind Matteo Mannasero. Westwood is always hard to beat in Europe and did finish 2nd behind Donald in 2011. Veteran, Miguel Angel Jiminez, is another to attract early interest at $34. The old marvel won last week’s Open De Espana at his 27th appearance in the event, and can never be ruled out.
The US PGA Tour event is the Crowne Plaza Invitational, and it will be played at The Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas. Matt Kuchar shares favouritism at $14 along with Zach Johnson, and they are followed by Jim Furyk and Adam Scott at $15. As we now know, Scott is the newly crowned World Number 1, and he will be keen to get a win this week. Johnson has an impressive record in this event with wins in 2010 and 2012, but it would be fair to say he has been playing a little below his best. There are 10 Australians in the field, and while Scott is the $2.50 favourite to be ‘Top Aussie’, there has been early money for Marc Leishman and John Senden at $5.50. Senden has had a good year and Leishman returned to form when he tied for 3rd in last week’s Byron Nelson Classic.
There are a lot of key matches in this week’s Super Rugby round, and the results of last week have opened the betting right up. The Sharks defeated the Crusaders as $3.80 outsiders and are back into $4.00 equal favourites to win the title. They take on the Blues this week, and although the Blues are the favourites at $1.85 with the Sharks at $1.95, the South African side have an imposing record against their NZ counterparts. The Sharks have won the last 9 matches against the Blues including 3 on the North Island, and they should be pumped up for this after last week’s win.
The Rebels were fortunate to get a win over the Reds last week, but they will return home full of confidence this week to take on the Waratahs. The Rebels have lost 6 of 7 played against the Waratahs, but did win the corresponding fixture last year 24-22. The money has all been for the Waratahs however, as they were the first side to firm for the week, $1.45 into $1.42.
The Brumbies loss to the Cheetahs was another upset last week, and they will be keen to atone this week against the Bulls. The Bulls open as the $1.60 favourites against the Brumbies, and do come off a bye. The Brumbies defeated the Bulls in Pretoria last year in a semi-final, and in the 8 matches played there, honours are shared 4-4. This game has been bought forward 24 hours and will be played on Friday night.
Betting on the weekend of NRL matches prior to Origin is always quiet, and the upcoming round is no different. There has been a bet of $5000 on the Souths at $1.37 to beat Cronulla (now $1.33), while the only other bet to break through the 4 figure barrier was $1000 for Brisbane to beat the Tigers at $1.75. It will fire up closer to game time, but when the big names are missing, a lot of the bigger league punters take the week off.
The Origin is a different matter. The Maroons opened at $1.60 to win the series when we opened the market over 6 months ago, but are now $1.48, with NSW at $2.70. The favourite way in the correct series score option is for QLD to win 2-1 at $2.35, while a clean sweep (3-0) is $3.75. There is also a market on the most tries scored for the series and Darius Boyd and Greg Inglis share top billing there at $7.00.
Things are warming up in betting for Game 1, where Queensland are $1.45, NSW $2.85, and the line has been set at 6.5. There is always money for outsiders in Origin matches, and while over 60% of the early bets have been for NSW, the bigger money is for the favourites. Apart from the game itself, the most popular bet types are always the first try scorer and Player Of The Match. TattsBet has a special on the first try scorer market, if you back a player and he doesn’t score the first try but snares the second, you will get your money back! Greg Inglis ($9.00) and Darius Boyd ($11-$10) have been the standouts in early betting, while Jarryd Hayne is clearly the most sought-after Blues player at $13. Jonathon Thurston is the $5.50 favourite to be the Player of the Match, ahead of Cam Smith ($7.00), Cooper Cronk ($8.00) and Jarryd Hayne, also at $8.00. That market will be updated throughout the first half.
The TattsBet resident Brownlow Medal analyst claims that Gary Ablett may already have amassed 17 votes, and if so then it is understandable why there has been a rush to take the $2.00 for Ablett this week. We have Ablett on 17 followed by Joel Selwood and Josh Kennedy (Syd) on12, then Trent Cotchin, Scott Pendlebury and Paddy Dangerfield all on 10. That is the way the market is structured, and while allocating votes is a very subjective thing, it is clear that Ablettt is on track for Brownlow number 3. Realistically if it wasn’t for the fact that it seems a lot easier to be suspended in this day and age, and of course the possibility of injury, then he really would be around the $1.50 mark, or even shorter. There have been several bets of $1000 for him this week, and dozens of smaller amounts, and he is now into $1.90. Ironically the Gold Coast Suns are the same price ($1.90) to make the finals, and that seems the true price on the draw that they have to come. As far as premiership betting goes, Hawthorn didn’t play last week but drifted from $3.25 out to $3.75 with another long term injury, this one being Josh Gibson. Sydney touched $13 early in the season but are now second picks at $5.00 just ahead of Port at $5.50, then Geelong and Fremantle at $6.50.
Port will take on a depleted Hawks side in Adelaide this week, and there has been a good push for them in the betting. Port have been solid at $1.45, and even more so at -15.5 including a bet of $8000 at that line. It is quite possible that if Port do a number on Hawthorn then either the Swans or Port will be the new flag favourites next week!
The other big go for the week is the GWS to beat Richmond. The Tigers have only won2 matches from 8 games, and it would require a massive form turnaround for them to make the finals. All is not well in the Tigers camp, and the confident support for GWS this week suggests that punters think the Tigers will wield the axe at the selection table. After opening at $3.60 on Monday, GWS were into $3.35 by Thursday, but the bigger money, including bets of $4000 and $2500 was placed on them at the line which has moved from +23.5 into +19.5.