GERARD DAFFY'S UBET NEWS – WEDNESDAY 25TH JANUARY
The Perth Scorchers are the first side into the Big Bash final and they will be at home in Saturday’s final. The Scorchers disposed of the Stars in impressive fashion on Tuesday night and are now $1.75 to lift the trophy. Brisbane Heat are slight $1.85 favourites to win the other semi which will be played tonight (Wednesday) with the Sixers at $2.
The Australia Day ODI in Adelaide has generated plenty of interest even though the series has been decided. Pakistan has been competitive in spurts throughout this series and for that reason there has been some interest in them as they ease out to $3.75, but as expected, the big money is on the Aussies at $1.28.
Roger Federer is one of the most popular athletes on the planet and UBET tennis fans are certainly enjoying the ride that the ‘Fed Express’ is giving them at the moment. Federer is ageless and even though he appeared to have a tough draw coming into the Australian Open, he has been our worst result since the tournament got underway. The best price available for Federer was $26 but he is currently the $3 favourite ahead of Stan Wawrinka ($3.75) who he will line up against in a semi on Thursday.
Today (Wednesday) will see Serena Williams line up against Johanna Konta in a quarter final and naturally the result of this match will shape the betting for the women’s title. Serena has been a short priced favourite since winning her first match, but Konta has captured the attention of punters and has been very well supported to dispose of Williams today.
Few sporting events come close to the Super Bowl in terms of spectacle and even here in Australia, all the way on the other side of the world, the NFL decider is one of the biggest betting events each year. This is especially true when a well-known team lines up and New England certainly fits that bill, having somehow, in an era of salary caps, drafts and equalisation, played their way into seven Super Bowls since the turn of the millennium. Not to mention, the Patriots’ star quarterback Tom Brady is the type of athlete who transcends sport and becomes something of a pop culture celebrity.
On the field, Super Bowl favouritism is nothing new to New England, who have been the gold standard of the league for the better part of two decades. Monday week in Houston will, in fact, be the fifth time in the Brady-Bill Belichick era they have opened top pick for the big dance. After the Pats’ utter demolition of Pittsburgh in the Conference Championship earlier in the week, UBET was quick to install them as the 3-point, $1.63 favourites over Atlanta at $2.30. Matt Ryan and the Falcons were also impressive in downing the Green Bay Packers, but the Falcons do trail the ‘Tea Men’ when it comes to big game experience.
Betting on the Game Total is also big business, particularly in the US. This year, the total went up at 58.5, which is actually an all-time Super Bowl record. 57 was the previous high mark, set in 2010 when Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints played Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts in Florida. For the record, the Saints won 27-17 and Unders punters landed the cash. Under Brady and Belichick, the Pats have seen totals over 50 in three of their six Super Bowl appearances. Curiously, Under came up in all three.
The NRL All Stars match is open for betting and the Indigenous All Stars have opened as the $1.60 favourites with UBET while the World All Stars opened as the $2.35 outsiders. The line is currently -3.5 in favour of the IAS and the early money has been for them to win, as well as covering the spread. Newcastle will host this match on Friday February 10.
Whilst on Newcastle, their price has been slashed to finish with the most losses this NRL season. The Knights were $1.75 last week, but with Jarrod Mullen potentially facing a career ending stint on the sidelines, we have cut the price of Newcastle to $1.55.
Australia Day could well be an early preview of Grand Final Day in the A-League, with ladder leaders Sydney FC lining up against arch rivals Melbourne Victory. Sydney ($2.90) is undefeated after 16 rounds but both sides have been in brilliant form since the Christmas break and our bookies have actually bestowed favouritism on the hosts ($2.40) with the draw the outsider at $3.35. Football punters shouldn’t be too surprised though; Melbourne last lost a Thursday night home fixture in 2009, while Sydney hasn’t won a Thursday game on the road since 2007.
From a futures perspective, Sydney is the $3 outright favourites for the end of season silverware with the Victory next in line at $3.75, although curiously, neither side has been all that popular with punters.
The US Tour event this week is the Farmers Insurance Open which will be played at Torrey Pines in San Diego.
The big drawcard will be Tiger Woods who has recorded multiple wins here over the journey and it was also where he won his last Major back in 2008. Tiger had the one start last year in his own event and did show a return to form, but he has again had a few months off the scene. There has been early money for Tiger at $34, but most of the money invested has been at the top of the betting board. Jason Day and Dustin Johnson share favouritism at $10 ahead of Hideki Matsuyama at $14. Day won in 2014 and finished in a tie for 2nd the previous year, but clearly has had some injury concerns over the past 12 months. Brandt Snedeker is a $26 chance and it is surprising there has been very little interest in him as apart from being the defending champion, he also won this event in 2012.
Adelaide import Jerome Randle has been almost impossible to guard this season and a quick look at the betting suggests the star 36er is almost unbackable to take out the NBL MVP. UBET certainly believes the 36ers superstar is a ‘good thing’ to receive the Andrew Gaze Trophy next month, so much so, our bookies have opened a’ Favourite versus the Field’ market, whereby punters can literally back the other 110 or so other players in the league combined against the Chicago native. Even so, the 29-year-old remains the red-hot $1.33 favourite with ‘Any Other Player’ listed at $3.25, which says plenty about how dominant his season has been. Randle averages 22 points per game, his team has been beaten just once since late November and all the money so far is for him, so the $1.33 actually does look over the odds. The NBL will announce the MVP next month.
Round 17 tips off on Thursday with the resurgent New Zealand Breakers hosting the Cairns Taipans. Swing man Thomas Abercrombie is expected back from injury for the NZ club, who go in warm $1.55 favourites.
The emphatic win by Richie Porte in the Tour Down Under has seen a surge of money come for him this week to win the Tour de France. Porte was $8 to win the TDF prior to his win in Adelaide, but support has continued since the weekend and the Aussie is $6 behind Chris Froome ($1.75) and Nairo Quintana ($5).
The NNL, the new Australian domestic competition, is only a matter of weeks away, but before that the Aussie Diamonds will be in action in the Quad Series beginning this weekend. Australia, New Zealand, England and South Africa are the four nations involved, with 3 matches to be played in Durban, South Africa on Saturday and Tuesday, then the next three of the round robin matches are due to be played in Liverpool and London next week. That is some sort of schedule to deal with and while the Diamonds will be favourites to take the title, it will not be easy. UBET will cover all matches for the series.
New Zealand champ Lazarus is the $1.50 fav for Saturday night’s Hunter Cup after running second to this year’s Interdominion winner and stablemate Smolda in last week’s Ballarat Cup.
Smolda is not in the Victoria Cup and that leaves the obvious danger as Hectorjayjay, now the second elect at $4.60 after the barrier draw. Although Hectorjayjay has drawn the second row, he is behind a good beginner in Major Crocker so should get a good run through early, so cannot be ruled out completely. There is a fair bit of speed inside Lazarus (gate six) which should mean that he may have to work a little for the lead so he must be some risk at the short quote, particularly in light of the tough run he had last week.
The South Australian Sprint Championship was postponed last Thursday night when there were weather issues at Angle Park, so it will hopefully be run and won this Thursday night. Mrs Bubbles, an $8 chance, has been scratched form the race, so that should make the task for local champ Worm Burner ($1.50) a little easier.
Warragul will host its Cup meeting on Saturday night, and a terrific field of speedsters has been assembled for that. Champion trainer Jason has four of the eight runners, Sleek Master ($8), Aqua Cheetah ($17), Aston Bolero (equal fav at $3.50) and track record holder Aston Dee Bee ($5) drawn out in box eight. The fastest heat winner however was Queensland sprinter Zabdon Ferrari ($3.50) who was most impressive leading all the way, and although drawn awkwardly in box five, he looks the one to beat.