GERARD DAFFY'S UBET NEWS – THURSDAY 26TH OCTOBER
There isn't much we can say about Winx that hasn't been written already. The champion mare is $1.15 to win her third Cox Plate, and while that price is perhaps a little short for most punters, we have added some additional markets on the Cox Plate. The 'Winx Out' market has been hugely popular, and for those who may not be aware of what that market is, it is pretty self-explanatory. Basically it is a market excluding Winx...if she wins, then it will pay on whichever runner finishes second, and if she is beaten (surely that is unlikely?), then it will be on the winner of the race. Best backed in that market has been recent Cranbourne Cup winner Folkswood at $4.60 closely followed by the 3YO Royal Symphony at $4.20. Markets will also be available on the winning margin as well as some head-to-heads with the shift away from Winx, so there should be something there for everybody.
Friday night will see the running of the Manikato Stakes in what is shaping as a monster 24 hours for Moonee Valley. This year's running is arguably one of the best, and Vega Magic, an unlucky second in the Everest, has been heavily backed from $2.30 in to $2.20 to atone on Friday night. In Her Time won on the same day as the Everest in faster time, but there has only been moderate support for her, while the 'People's Champ', Chautauqua holds his place at $7.00, and is again the medium of big support.
Tip: Manikato - Hey Doc each way ($21win/$4.80pl)
A quick update on 2018 flag betting after trade week was completed.
Port Adelaide arguably finished the week well ahead of any other side, and that has been reflected in the betting to win next year's flag. Port were $13 after this year's Grand Final, but heavy support now has them as an $8.00 chance, nearly half of what they were, and close up behind Adelaide and Sydney, the $5.50 equal favourites.
The Sheffield Shield started today (Thursday), and with the Ashes looming, we will all be interested to see how several players fare as most of the Test squad, and fringe players, will be in action. The NSW Blues have named a strong squad full of test players, and they were $1.50 to win in Adelaide. The Blues will naturally have most of those players missing apart from the first two or three Shield games, and for that reason have been neglected at $5.00 to win the Shield. The WA Warriors are the $3.50 favourites as it appears they will be able to keep most of their squad intact, but there has also been money for the Tasmanian Tigers, even though they are the outsiders at $9.00.
Just on the Ashes, there hasn't been a lot of business as yet on the first test at the Gabba where the Aussies are $1.75, but there has been a heap of interest in series betting. Australia have been $1.60 in to $1.45 to win the Ashes with England at $4.00 and a drawn series at $8.00. Most of that money for Australia has come over the past few weeks on the back of the news that Ben Stokes will probably be ruled out of the series for England. The series 'correct score' market has created a lot of interest. The favourite ways are for Australia to win 3-1 or 3-2 ($6.50) but most betting has centred on Australia to clean sweep the series 5-0 at $9.00, a repeat of what we saw last time the English visited our shores.
The US PGA Tour will again be in Asia this week for the WGC-HSBC Championship at the Sheshan GC in Shanghai, China.
Dustin Johnson is a previous winner in 2013 and he opens as our $10 favourite ahead of last year's winner, Hideki Matsuyama at $12. Next in line are the Aussie duo of Jason Day and Marc Leishman at $17, and naturally Leishman has a lot of support this week after being beaten in a playoff by Justin Thomas last week in South Korea. Outside of those mentioned, surprisingly there is very little interest in Jon Rahm ($19), but there is for Brooks Koepka ($21) and Ross Fisher ($29). Daniel Berger, a $34 chance, is another who punters are getting behind. Berger did finish in a tie for second last year behind Matsuyama.
The US Tour also has the Sanderson Farms Championship on this week, to be played in Jackson, Mississippi. With low prize money, all of the big names are either having the week off or are in Shanghai, so it is a wide open event with Chesson Hadley the favourite at $21. Cody Gribble won this event last year and is $21 to go back-to-back.
Tip: Marc Leishman (who else?) - WGC-HSBC Championship
With only two meetings remaining in Auckland and Newcastle, the race for the 2017 driver's title is still wide open after the Gold Coast last weekend. Jamie Whincup ($2.40) leads the series on 2,580 points, 17 ahead of Fabian Coulthard ($3.40) and a further 10 points away is Scott McLaughlin ($2.40 equal fav) who won Sunday's race on the Gold Coast. Chaz Mostert (2,454 points) and Shane Van Gisbergen (2,391) are mathematically still in the mix but they need wins and other results to go their way. Punters are actually sticking with McLaughlin for the present, and he will be well up in the betting when those markets for Auckland open up next week.
With a win in Texas last week, the 2017 Drivers Championship is all but done and dusted. Lewis Hamilton won by over 10 seconds in Austin, and has opened a warm $1.70 to win in Mexico on the quick back-up this week. Sebastian Vettel finished runner-up last week and is the second pick again at $3.75 with Max Verstappen (3rd last week), behind Vettel at $6.00. The Mexico City track has only been used the last 2 years, and Hamilton did win here last year, so the track should not present any problems for him as he tries to wrap up the title.
Tip: Lewis Hamilton to win the Mexican Grand Prix ($1.85)
He didn't have it all his own way but Marc Marquez was in front when it counted most at Phillip Island last Sunday....when they hit the finish line! That win along with the unplaced effort by Andrea Dovizioso has all but given the title to Marquez, all he has to do is stay out of trouble for the remaining two races. The bikes will also be on the quick back-up in Malaysia on Sunday, and this is always a tricky race with humidity a factor, and always the possibility of rain. Marquez has finished down the track the past two years but did win in 2014, and will be a warm favourite for this week's race ahead of Dovizioso.
Tip: Marc Marquez to win the Malaysian Grand Prix ($2.50)
The Wallabies landed a big plunge when finally beating the All Blacks last Saturday night in Brisbane. After opening at $5.50 a few weeks beforehand, the Wallabies were $3.75 at kick-off, with a bet of $5,000 taken at that price. Naturally there was money for New Zealand at $1.30, including one bet of $9,000, but Wallabies fans were finally rewarded following on from a couple of matches they could have won. The opening line of 15.5 was also smashed in, starting at 12.5. Australia will play a Barbarians side on Saturday night and have opened at $1.33 with the line set at 8.5, but subsequent to that, the Wallabies have firmed into $1.22 with the line now 12.5. After that, both Australia and New Zealand will travel to Europe, and hopefully the Australian side can maintain the form that we saw in Brisbane.
The 2018 Super Rugby market is open and reigning champions the Crusaders head that market at $4.25 from the Hurricanes ($5.00) and the Lions ($7.00). The Brumbies look to have a good side on paper and are also high up at $9.00.
Tip: Barbarians +12.5 ($1.95) against Australia
The Topguns (sprint and distance) will be decided at the Meadows on Saturday night, and the rivalry between Fanta Bale and Burn One Down will be ignited again in the Stayers Topgun. Fanta Bale has had the edge of recent times, and the multiple Group One winner returns to the track where she won the Australian Cup over the sprint journey as well. Fanta Bale is $2.25 ahead of Burn One Down ($2.70) but there has also been money for veteran Ring The Bell ($6.50) which has been campaigning in New Zealand, and also South Australian stayer Bogie Bekim at $16.
Reigning Melbourne Cup champion Ando's Mac has come up with the red box in the Sprinters Topgun and was immediately installed as the $2.60 favourite. While getting on in years, Ando's Mac has been winning races recently in fast times, but the only niggling doubt this week is there is a lot of pace in the race. Raw Ability is coming off an emphatic win in the Adelaide Cup and has the necessary pace to overcome box 4.
Tip: Topguns Sprint - Aston Dee Bee ($3.50)/Stayers - Burn One Down ($2.70)
Things went from bad to worse for Sydney in Round 3 and their championship price took a beating in the process. A week after they lost star player Kevin Lisch to a long term injury, the Kings were blown out of the water in both their games. They're now $15 for the title and even that seems under the odds. Adelaide hammered Sydney in the opening game, improving to $5.50 on the third line of betting in the process. The 36ers also added well-known import Josh Childress to their roster this week, so things are looking up in the City of Churches. Given the 36ers were at one stage second favourites for the wooden spoon, it's clear our trader underestimated Joey Wright and his troops.
Favourite backers finally had a winning week last week in the NFL with the just two underdogs staging upsets and 10 of the 15 fancied teams covering lines. New England finally justified their $5.00 favouritism for Superbowl 52 by trouncing the Atlanta Falcons 23-7 in the Superbowl 51 rematch, firming to $4.50 in the process. Philadelphia also improved their futures position from $9.00 to $8.00 with a resounding 34-24 win over Washington in Monday Night Football. Young quarterback Carson Wentz threw four touchdowns in the victory. He and his Eagles are certainly the team to watch.
Week 8 markets are open on ubet.com and there has already been a strong early look at the Baltimore Ravens to cover the 3.5 handicap against the Dolphins in the Thursday Night Football, played mid Friday morning Australian Eastern Standard Time. Miami's offense has been a dumpster fire this season under veteran shot-caller Jay Cutler so it's no surprise to see the Ravens -3.5 firm to $1.81 already.
The World Cup begins on Friday night, and while Australia dominate the outright Cup market at $1.20, punters keep chipping away at Tonga, now $15 after opening at $101.
The Kangaroos are Winx odds, $1.15, to dispose of England in the first match, and not surprisingly that is where all of the money is going as well as the line of -15.5, so that line may well disappear come game day. There has been some movement in a couple other round one matches, namely Fiji and Tonga, both at the line. Fiji opened at -24.5 against the USA, and has been backed into -32.5, while the Tonga line has moved from -24.5 to -30.5 against Scotland. With a lot of the favourites at short odds to win their matches, we expect to see massive interest in the lines, and history shows that once they move, the money normally continues to come. Most of the 'futures' markets will open back up at the completion of play for the day.
Tip: Australia -15.5 World Cup against England ($1.90)