GERARD DAFFY'S UBET NEWS – THURSDAY 23RD MARCH
Gun three-year-old Star Turn is down in the weights and ideally drawn so profiles exceptionally well to take out his first ever Group 1 in the William Reid Stakes tomorrow night at Moonee Valley. However, the punters aren’t steaming in to the $4.40 favourite just yet, with more money being held on Sheidel, his closest rival. Sheidel will no doubt try to lead the race but may be tested from the wide gate. This hasn’t deterred UBET punters at this early stage, as she has been $5.00 in to $4.60. The big watch is on the Western Australian visitor Rock Magic ($9.00) who is a model of consistency, goes well fresh, and wouldn’t be coming over just for a holiday.
Across the border, Jameka, Tavago and Humidor all went up $4.40 favourites for the Group 1 BMW at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday but UBET punters only have eyes for Our Ivanhowe. The Freedman-trained 8-year-old certainly put the writing on the wall with his first-up run and is now on the seven day back up, which some punters find an attractive proposition. But only being his second start this prep, that run would surely have taken the wind out of his sails. Early shoppers didn’t agree and the Ranvet Stakes winner was backed from $4.60 all the way in to $3.80 favourite. The Ciaron Maher trained Jameka ($4.40) has remained solid and might be one to keep an eye on closer to race day. She’s rock hard fit, covered more ground than any other runner in the Australian Cup and is one from one on a heavy track.
The other Group 1 race on the Rosehill program is the Vinery Stud Stakes and last start winner Foxplay is the $3.50 Favourite ahead of New Zealand filly La Bella Diosa ($4.80) and Dawn Wall ($5.00).
Tip: Jameka to win the BMW ($4.40)
The 2017 AFL season starts tonight (Thursday) with the clash between traditional rivals Carlton and Richmond. Both teams will come into the match full strength and recent contests suggest an edge to the Tigers winning the last four of five matches against Carlton by an average margin of 12 points. Early support has been for Richmond who opened $1.50 and are now in to $1.40 and with most forecasters predicting the Blues will finish somewhere near the bottom this season, you would expect Richmond to get the job done here.
There are often upsets in all codes early on in the season and it is interesting to see that five of the home sides this week go in as underdogs. Another, St Kilda, did open as the $2.00 outsiders against Melbourne when the market went up several weeks ago but they have been a huge go, now in to $1.74 favourites with the Demons out to $2.10. I’m not sure how they managed to start favourites as St Kilda have beaten Melbourne 14 times in a row and Melbourne have lost the last 10 games at Etihad Stadium so the Saints still look value at the price. Both teams are expected to be the big improvers in 2017, both coming off terrific pre-seasons and this should be one of the best matches of the week.
Rory Sloane and Tex Walker have been on the doubtful list for Adelaide in their match against premiership favourites GWS on Sunday. The sides are not being named until tonight and it is set to be an absolute blockbuster. All money so far is for the Giants, suggesting punters think one or perhaps both of the Crows stars will be missing. Adelaide are coming off a brilliant season opener displaying their attractive attacking style having won eight of their last ten matches at home. Even though GWS have come undone previously at Adelaide oval (winning only once in four visits) they have endless reserves of talent and the Adelaide injury concerns just might be enough to get GWS over the line. The Giants are now rock solid $1.62 favourites and are also $4.50 favourites to win the flag.
Tip: North Melbourne +16.5 ($1.95) & St Kilda ($1.74)
Sides often come out and win after sacking their senior coach i.e., Leicester City in the EPL this season, even so, the market has low expectations for Wests this Sunday. Unfortunately for the Tigers, who knifed Jason Taylor at the start of the week, their opponents are Melbourne Storm the $6.00 premiership favourites and they are being backed almost to exclusion at the six-point line.
A bit like the weather in Sydney this week, money is pouring in for the Sydney Roosters to maintain their unblemished start to the season tonight in Thursday Night Footy. Interestingly though, the $1.45 favourites have lost five of their last six ‘wet weather’ games, so it could pay to take another look at Souths at the juicy $2.80 quote.
Brisbane currently sit ninth on the ladder, but could have easily been top of the table. Early support sees them $1.60 from a $1.65 opening price. Punters are keen to see Brisbane roll the Raiders tomorrow with one punter especially keen, outlaying $13,000 at the $1.60. Corey Oates and Raiders winner Jordan Rapana are also very popular 1st Try Scorer selections.
Seven of the eight favourites won last week in Super Rugby, but only four of the eight covered the line when some of the underdogs went down narrowly. The Sharks were $1.01 to beat the Southern Kings and got the biggest fright of all when they edged the Kings out 19 points to 17.
There has been little movement in the title betting where the Hurricanes are $3.75 ahead of the Chiefs at $4.00 followed by the Crusaders at $4.50. The Lions are the shortest of the non-Kiwi sides at $8.00 but the quiet achievers have been the Jaguares who are now in to $21 after some impressive victories. Last year the Jag’s were sensationally backed to win the title but never threatened, however the form of the Argentinian side this year warrants plenty of respect. They look like chalking up another win this week at home where they are a red hot $1.20 chance to beat the Reds.
There are a couple of decent games on Australian soil this week with the first of those in Melbourne on Friday where the Rebels host the Waratahs. Both sides have lost four of their last five games and while the Rebels have only beaten the Waratahs twice from 11 starts, only one of those was in Melbourne. The other thing for those thinking they can win this week, they weren’t entirely hopeless when going down 27 to 13 at home last week to the Chief’s. The NSW side come off an ordinary loss to the Brumbies, so the value may well be with the outsiders.
Speaking of the Brumbies, they will be at home to the Highlanders on Saturday night. The Brumbies scored a gritty win over the Waratahs last week and while the Highlanders were well beaten by the Hurricanes, they do start to get some injured players back for this round and for that reason I have installed them as slight $1.80 favourites. One stat worth noting though is that in the last four meetings between these two sides (the Brumbies have won three of these), the average game total is only 38 points, so it might pay to check out what total is posted on Saturday.
Tip: Jaguares at the -13.5 ($1.80)
After their controversial last-minute loss to Adelaide last week, Brisbane will no doubt be keen to bounce back with a big win over Melbourne Victory at home. Our Bookies reckon the Roar will go close and have them $2.35 favourites for the Suncorp Stadium showdown, with the Victory at $2.85 and the draw the outsider at $3.50. Melbourne Victory have three of their best players out on international duty so it’s going to be a near impossible task for them to beat the Brisbane Roar at Suncorp.
A win over in Perth on Sunday will see Sydney ($2.12) all but secure the Premier’s Plate and punters are pretty keen on their chances, with the Sky Blues attracting 11 times more individual bets at $2.15 than the hosts. Perth is friendless at $3.00 at this early stage and some small interest is in the draw but punters think Sydney FC will be far too good for the Glory.
Tip: Brisbane Roar to beat an understrength Melbourne Victory ($2.15)
Tip: New Zealand Warriors to beat St George Illawarra ($1.91)
The 2017 F1 season gets under way in Melbourne at Albert Park on Sunday, whilst Lewis Hamilton remains the $2.00 favourite to win that race, there is plenty of money around to say there could be an upset. Nico Rosberg won this race last year from team-mate Hamilton but of course Rosberg is now retired after winning the 2016 Drivers Championship. Hamilton did qualify fastest last year and Team Mercedes are again the team to beat. Valtteri Bottas has replaced Rosberg and he is solid in the market at $6.50 but splitting that pair is Sebastian Vettel ($3.25) who has been one of the most popular drivers with UBET punters and Ferrari has been particularly impressive in the off season testing. The other driver compiling a lot of bets under his name is our very own Daniel Riccardo who is at $9.50. Whilst Riccardo failed to finish on the podium last year, it is worth noting that he did drive the fastest lap throughout the race.
Tip: Sebastian Vettel ($3.10)
It will be a big weekend for motor racing enthusiasts as the MotoGP season also begins with the Qatar GP in the early hours of Monday morning. Marc Marquez will be favourite there and while he also remains the $2.50 favourite to take the title, there has been plenty of money for Maverick Vinales who is a close second pick at $2.75. Marquez won the title last year while Vinales wasn’t that far away in fourth position and it is great to see Suzuki back as a force in the big league. Vinales will be second favourite to win in Losail with Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo also well in contention. If there is to be an upset (it can happen in the humid conditions in Qatar) then it might well be Andrea Dovizioso who finished second here behind Lorenzo and Rossi.
Tip: Valentino Rossi to win the Qatar GP ($5.00)
Marc Leishman returned to the winners circle in spectacular fashion when he was crowned the victor of the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Monday morning Australian time. It was Leishman’s first win on the PGA Tour in 5 years and was timely as he is now in the US Masters field and also gets an exemption moving forward. UBET priced Leishman at $51 for the Masters and it wasn’t any real surprise to see a raft of bets come for him, particularly given his good form at Augusta. Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth share favouritism at $8.00 to win the Masters, narrowly ahead of Dustin Johnson at $8.50.
Tip: WCG Dell Match Play - Hideki Matsuyama ($26)
Australia salvaged a draw in the third test in Ranhci and that sets up a blockbuster in the fourth and final test which will begin in Dharmasala on Saturday. For those who are not aware, Dharmasala is close to the border and you can actually see Mt Everest from there so the test will be played at altitude. You would think that would suit the Aussies but as this is the first time this venue will be used in a test, nothing is known about the wicket. The best of series is level with a win apiece and even if the Aussies come away with a draw in the fourth test, they will be considered big winners out of the tour. India opened $1.77, with the draw at $4.20 and Australia firming from $4.10 in to $3.75
The Sheffield Shield final also gets under way on Sunday morning. While Victoria won the right to host the final against the South Australian Redbacks, the match will be played in Alice Springs. Five days is set aside for the Shield finals and if it plays out into a draw then the ‘host’ side, in this case the Vic’s, win the final. For that reason they are $1.27 with the Redbacks at $3.75 and there will also be a market opened later in the week which will include the draw option.
Tip: Australia to beat India ($3.75)