GERARD DAFFY'S UBET NEWS – THURSDAY 31ST AUGUST
With this week being a rest week ahead of the first round of finals next week, we thought things would be relatively quiet, but Adelaide's Rory Sloane soon changed that. Sloane was rushed to hospital on Monday to have his appendix out, and that must place him in extreme doubt for next Thursday's clash with GWS. Eddie Betts had the same problem earlier in the season and returned for the next game, but on that occasion the Crows had a bye in between so it was two week break, not nine days like this time around. The Crows were $1.50 but are out to $1.55, with the line moving in to 11.5 from an opening 14.5. Adelaide remain flag favourites at $3.25 ahead of Sydney ($4.25) and the Giants ($5.00), but if the finals run the way the prices suggest, then Geelong get a nice run through and for that reason we have seen money for them at $5.00.
Each year we seem to say that this is 'the shortest Brownlow favourite ever', but in 2017 that is a very accurate call. Dustin Martin's task has been made easier by the ineligibility of Paddy Dangerfield, and after being $1.22 going into the final round, the star Tiger is at Winx odds...$1.11, and he looks a good thing. With Martin dominating that market to win the medal we are expecting a surge in most of the other exotic markets. Betting has been opened on groups from each club, and there is already plenty of interest in those. There will be a multitude of markets opening up in the next week or so, and several of those will feature players who are ineligible to win the medal, but for betting purposes we can include them in other markets.
One week remains in the regular season and the major talking point on the eve of Round 26 is who will make the final eight. Four teams (Sea Eagles, Panthers, Cowboys and Dragons) are walking the finals tightrope, with three spots up for grabs. Based on any number of possible outcomes, the list of permutations of who stays and who goes is as long as your arm and certainly too convoluted to go into here, but the bare fact is one of the aforementioned sides will be hitting the showers for the final time this season. To cater for the interest in this sideshow, UBET will be keeping the final eight market open all weekend, so footy punters can wager on who they think will make the eight at the conclusion of each game. As it stands, Penrith is rated the best chance at $1.14, followed by Manly at $1.33 and the Dragons and Cowboys at $1.36. Of course, comprehensive, up-to-date markets for each Round 26 game are also available online and in our retail outlets. The biggest move for the upcoming final round has been for the Roosters to beat the line against the Titans. After opening at -16.5, the line has blown out to -21.5, and even that big number hasn't deterred many as it's in to $1.80.
Tip: Newcastle +9.5 against Cronulla ($1.90)
The All Blacks were expected to thrash the Wallabies last weekend, or at least by the rugby critics, but UBET customers ran in the opposite direction. The Wallabies were backed to win just under $250,000 with us, firming from $17 into $9.00, and those punters can consider themselves very unlucky not to be collecting. Strangely there wasn't a similar rush of money for Australia with the line start, in fact it went the other way from -27.5 out to -28.5.
So, are the Wallabies 'back' or not? There were some good signs, but that question might be answered next weekend when they host South Africa. The betting is up already with the Wallabies slight favourites at $1.80, ahead of South Africa at $2.00. New Zealand are expected to win easily against Argentina with the price similar to the Wallabies game. New Zealand opened at $1.02 (now $1.03) and the line has been set at -29.5.
We're getting down to the pointy end of the footy season here, but on the other side of the world, in the U-S of A, the action is just about to begin. Week 1 of the NFL season is just seven sleeps away and for the exponentially expanding number of American sports fans in Australia, that means locking in a few long-range futures bets. As far as Superbowl 52 is concerned, defending champions the New England Patriots are the current title favourites at $5.00, the only team in single figures and the best backed by double. Green Bay and Seattle are next in line at $11, followed by the Pittsburgh Steelers at $12 and the Dallas Cowboys, who may or may not be without Ezekiel Elliot for six weeks, at $13. 2016/17 runners-up the Atlanta Falcons are priced at $15, which could be overs for a team who had the Vince Lombardi trophy all but won but for the final two minutes of the entire season.
All the pre-season week 4 and regular season week 1 game markets are, of course, also available along with a host of other regular season specials.
The Dell Technologies Championship (ex Deutsche Bank) is the US PGA Tour event this week, and after an exciting start to the Fedex titles last week, Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth head the markets this week at $7.50 and $9.00 respectively. It is hard to believe that Spieth handed up a five shot lead last week after being in the box seat from the start, but that is what happened, and most of the early money this week has been split down the middle on that duo. Jason Day, Rickie Fowler and Hideki Matsuyama share the third line of betting at $17, and although Rory McIlroy was disappointing when finishing in a tie for 34th last week, he did win this event last year and there has been some support for him at $19.
The European Tour event is the Czech Masters where Thomas Pieters is the opening $9.00 favourite with UBET. Pieters was runner-up behind Paul Peterson last year (he is $67 this year), and won in 2015. So on top of that form at the course, and a terrific 2017, Pieters is clearly the one to beat.
Tip: Jordan Spieth to win the Dell Technologies Championship ($9.00)
Lewis Hamilton held Sebastian Vettel at bay to win the Belgium GP last week, and not surprisingly that pair head the market for this week's Italian GP which will be held at Monza. Hamilton has opened at $1.55 and is a three time winner here having won in 2012, 2014 and 2015 before Nico Rosberg won last year. Vettel has also racked up three wins here in 2008, 2011, and 2013, and on his form displayed this season, some think the value lies with him as he has been popular at $3.75. Valtteri Bottas is next in the market at $5.00 but is yet to attract much interest, while there has been a solid stream of bets for Daniel Ricciardo at $34 following on from his podium finish in Belgium last week.
Tip: Lewis Hamilton to win the Italian Grand Prix ($1.55)
Well we had been saying for weeks that the Mayweather/McGregor fight would be one of the biggest betting events of the year, and that is exactly how it turned out. The betting smashed all records globally on a fight, and there were some incredible numbers at UBET as well. This one attracted three times the business that we saw on the Pacquiao v Jeff Horn bout, and the total number of head-to-head bets was more than ALL three State of Origin matches added together from 2017. The result? It went the way of UBET as the support for McGregor was relentless. He got in to $3.25 just before the start with Mayweather getting out to $1.33, but there were also some big five figure bets for him as well. It looks like we won't get a rematch of that one as Mayweather has said that is it, and the Paquiao v Horn bout Mark II is also now in some doubt.