GERARD DAFFY'S UBET NEWS – THURSDAY 7TH DECEMBER
The second test is behind us, and Australia travel to Perth for the third test beginning next Thursday leading the series 2-0. Historically Perth has been a 'paceman's paradise' although the past few years the pitch there hasn't been as volatile as it was a decade ago, and it is hard to believe that the Aussies have only won one of the past four tests played there. Having said that though, it will definitely suit the Aussie pace attack, and for that reason Australia has been installed as clear $1.60 favourite, ahead of England at $4.25 and the draw at $5.00.
The Women's Big Bash comp begins on Saturday with a double-header, and there will be live betting on these matches throughout the tournament. The Sydney Sixers head the outright market at $4.50 but the best backed side has been Brisbane Heat at $6.50.
Speaking of Brisbane Heat, they are now $6.00 second picks to win the Men's Big Bash. After opening at $9.00, news that both Chris Lynn and Brendan McCullum would be good to go after surgeries has seen a constant stream of bets arrive for the Heat. Fingers crossed that both have no ongoing injury issues as they are huge drawcards. Perth Scorchers remain the favourites at $5.50 ahead of the Heat, but as you would expect, all sides have their fair share of support, that is the nature of the game.
Tip: Most wickets for AUS - Josh Hazelwood ($3.25)
It is less than a week until Jeff Horn defends his World Welterweight Title in Brisbane, and we are beginning to see some serious money roll in. Horn did touch $1.23 at one stage but is solid at $1.15 now. Judging by the bigger bets coming in, that price will probably disappear very soon. The largest bet in the past seven days was $8,500 at $1.17, and there has also been several four-figure bets on Horn to win by KO ($2.40-$2.25) in the 'method of result' market. Whichever market we look at, all the interest is now in Horn. While most of those supporters would have lapped up the $4.00 plus in his last fight against Manny Pacquiao, they are now more than happy to take the much shorter odds against Gary Corcoran.
The big news this week was the return of Tiger Woods in the Hero World Challenge, and what a return it was! Tiger finished in a tie for ninth behind Rickie Fowler, and that has created a surge of interest in him to win the US Masters in 2018. We had already seen a lot of smallish bets for Woods at $81. The Hero Challenge was his first performance in nearly a year and that has seen his price collapse to $21, which some are happy to take.
Following on from the exciting finish to the 2017 Supercars season in Newcastle a couple of weeks ago, UBET have opened the market to win the Drivers' Championship in 2018. We have three equal favourites at $4.25 - Jamie Whincup, Shane Van Gisbergen, and of course Scott McLaughlin who unbelievably 'lost' the title in Newcastle when he all but had his hands on the trophy. There has already been some betting around that trio as well as Chaz Mostert ($7.00) and Fabian Coulthard ($10). If the racing this year was any indication, we will be in for some excitement plus in 2018.
Australia have added the World Cup to the trophy cabinet, and it was an epic battle before they edged England out 6-0. The big news to come out of the final was Cooper Cronk's announcement that he was stepping down from all rep games, and that has seen a change to the betting for next year's Origin Series. Cronk joins Johnathan Thurston on the retired list, but the good news for Maroon fans is that Billy Slater will be going around again. New South Wales were $1.80 to win the 2018 Series prior to Cronk retiring, and are now $1.77 with Queensland right where they want to be as $2.05 outsiders.
As far as premiership betting is concerned, the signing of Cronk by the Sydney Roosters has elevated them into outright favouritism at $5.50, now ahead of North Queensland ($6.00) and Melbourne Storm ($6.50). The big move for the week was Newcastle, now $26 after being $41 this time a week ago. The signing of Mitch Pearce was the catalyst for the move, not a money push, however we have seen a sprinkling of bets come through at the new price of $26.
Boxing Day in Australia is famous for two things, the first day of the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne, and the start of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race. UBET has fired out of the blocks with a market on the Sydney to Hobart where Comanche has opened favourite at $1.80 ahead of Wild Oats X1 ($2.10), Black Jack ($6.00) and Infotrack ($7.50). Wild Oats X1 has failed to finish the last two years, and in fact didn't get very far at all last year, but her overall record says she has to be well in the betting. Comanche took the 2015 line honours, and has the services of master yachtsman Neville Crichton, and we have already seen several bets come through for Comanche. Black Jack has had a name change from Alpha Romeo, line honours winner in 2009. While Infotrack is in fact Perpetual Loyal which won the race last year in record breaking time.
The Tony Brett trained, and aptly named, Fast Times is our $2.90 favourite to win Thursday night's Brisbane Cup after coming up with box 8. Fast Times tired badly over the last 100 metres in the heat, but we have seen him make vast improvement in the past after what seemed an average performance. The black sprinter has run super-quick times around the Albion Park circuit, and it isn't really a surprise that early shoppers are keen. Off And On ($9.50) has the coveted rails draw, and will be very hard to beat after flying home for second behind Slick in the heats. Off And On won the Darwin Cup a few months ago, and is definitely suited drawn in the rails box.
The Ballarat Cup will be run on Saturday night, and recent Melbourne Cup winner Aston Dee Bee has again drawn the red box and was quickly installed as the $1.90 favourite for the Seona Thompson kennel. Four of the Melbourne Cup finalists are in the Ballarat Cup including another of the Thompson kennel in Bewildering ($4.80) but he has again come up with a horror draw in box 5. It is a quality field, and if there is to be an upset it might come from Kouta Mayhem ($8.00), a speedy beginner drawn out in box 8.
Tip: Brisbane Cup - Off And On ($9.50)
Friday's Interdominion Final is the last of a three year span at Gloucester Park as it heads back east to Melton, Menangle and New Zealand for the next three years.
After the draw, Lazarus is the main beneficiary coming up with barrier 2, he is the only pacer good enough to sit parked and win. Lazarus opened at $1.90 after the draw, and while it is shaping as a terrific betting race, it looks like he will hold his place at around that quote.
A massive stat that the other drivers should be well aware of is...Lazarus has never been beaten in his whole career when leading from the bell or earlier.
Chicago Bull ($4.50) is the lone runner on the back line and looks to get an economical run and can dive bomb late if there is a lot of speed on up front, which can often be the case in these finals.
Tiger Tara ($4.50) drawing gate 1 may not be as good as it looks on paper. If he holds up he is likely to cop plenty of early pressure, if he hands up he virtually gives up his chance of winning and can really only collect minor prize money.
Soho Tribeca ($7.00) and Lennytheshark ($12) have to chance their arms and go forward at the start from their tricky draws. It is sure to be an intriguing race.
Tip: Lazarus to win the Interdominion ($1.90)
Minnesota were the big movers in futures betting this week, following their 14-9 victory over Atlanta on Monday. $10 in to $7.00 to take out Super Bowl 52, the Vikings must now, on the back of eight straight wins and seven straight covers, be considered a serious threat for the title. Defence continues to be strong suit for the NFC conference leaders, but they're also looking surprisingly silky with the ball in hand. In the absence of first-choice slinger Sam Bradford, hand-me-down quarterback Case Keenum is making every post a winner, while Adam Thielen is also in the midst of a breakout year, running fourth in the league for receiving yards. Still, heading into Week 14 of the competition, it's tough to go past the Patriots at $3.50 for back-to-back bowls. New England covered yet another double-figure line against the Bills last week and, with evergreen shot caller Tom Brady playing like a man half his age and the AFC appearing especially weak, the Pats are seemingly on a straight path to the big dance.
Our football traders have been busy this week opening up a suite of futures markets for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, including Top Goal Scorer, Group Betting as well as a host of other Outrights. Unsurprisingly, Brazilian whiz Neymar and Argentinean maestro Lionel Messi head the Top Goal Scorer market at $9.00 with Portuguese champion Christiano Ronaldo next in line at $13. Outside of them, perhaps Timo Werner represents the best value at $15, given Germany are $5.50 co-favourites to secure the silverware.
Australia, meanwhile, faces an almighty task to even make it out of their group and their odds reflect this. Drawn to face France, Peru and Denmark, all top 12 teams in the world, the Socceroos have come up as $17 rank outsiders to win Group C and $4.25 underdogs to simply progress. Given this, it's clear whoever ends up being appointed to coach the Socceroos has their work cut out for them.
* Prices are correct 4pm Thursday.