GERARD DAFFY'S UBET NEWS – THURSDAY 21ST DECEMBER
The Ashes is back where it belongs, and although the third test in Perth ended up being a comprehensive victory to Australia, the betting didn't suggest that outcome on Day 1. At the end of the first day's play Australia were the $3.75 outsiders with the draw at $2.10, and that continued on from the first two tests where England were favourites at different stages, so while they have been pummelled, they have been in a winning position according to the betting.
So, it's on to the Boxing Day test. It won't be the same with the series already wrapped up, and the Aussies have opened as red hot favourites, but that won't affect the popularity of it. Australia will be keen to press on and get a 5-0 series win, and are $1.53 to win in Melbourne. There has been some support for the draw, now in to $4.50 and England have drifted out ever so slightly to $5.25.
The Big Bash got under way on Tuesday night, so we are in for some frantic action (and betting) for the next month. Betting to win the Big Bash final is always wide open given the nature of the competition, and the Heat, Renegades and Scorchers went into game 1 as the $5.50 equal favourites. Both the Scorchers and the Heat are bad results for UBET. The Perth Scorchers have won three of the last four finals with the other one going to the Sydney Thunder who this time around are the $11 equal outsiders with the Hobart Hurricanes. Already we have seen a big lift in live betting on the first couple of matches, and no doubt that will continue.
Tip: Fourth Ashes Test - Australia to win ($1.53)
Of all the games this holiday weekend, the Melbourne Derby is probably the pick. Following their 2-1 win over the Roar last week, Victory go in as narrow $2.55 fancies, ahead of City at $2.65 and the Draw $3.45. Money is evenly split at this stage in what, on paper at least, appears to be the toughest game to tip in Round 12. City actually won the corresponding clash back in October, but not a whole lot has gone right for them since. Sydney FC, meanwhile, were smashed at $1.60 (now $1.55) to roll lowly Wellington to increase their already commanding lead atop the ladder and take another step toward to back-to-back Minor Premierships. Phoenix is $5.50 to cause what would be a monumental upset, but like the Draw at $4.25, they're essentially friendless at the quote.
Tip: A-league round 12 - Melbourne City to beat Melbourne Victory ($2.65)
Favourite backers were the big winners last week as top picks went a perfect and 14-0 across Round 15. Amazingly, there wasn't a single upset all round, which has only happened twice in the NFL since 1970. For the record, a 14-leg 'all-favourites' multi would've paid $8,884 for a $10 outlay!
Of the all the fancies who filled wallets over the weekend gone, the Jacksonville Jaguars were perhaps the most impressive in victory, torching the Texans 47-7 at home. Jacksonville has had the best defence in football for some time now, but what has really turned them from a brash upstart into a bona fide title contender is the surprising form of their quarterback, Blake Bortles, who has, out of nowhere, become the hottest dart slinger in the comp. In his first three seasons in the league, Bortles threw 51 interceptions and 69 touchdowns. In the last three weeks, he has completed 72 percent of his passes for 903 yards, seven touchdowns and zero interceptions. If he and his Jaguars can maintain the rage, the $15 about them winning Superbowl 52 could be immense value.
The markets are open for the Brisbane Internationals which get under way on December 31. Rafael Nadal is one of the most popular sportsmen on the planet and he has attracted a heap of early support to win the men's final at $2.75. Grigor Dimitrov won last year's title and is second elect at $5.00 along with Andy Murray. It will be interesting to see how committed Nick Kyrgios will be, and punters have been cautious, not overly keen on the $8.00 on offer. There has been some interest in Milos Raonic (won two years ago) at $8.00 and also Kei Nishokori ($12) who was runner-up last year to Dimitrov.
In the women's draw, last year's winner Karolina Pliskova has opened as the $3.75 favourite ahead of Garbine Muguruza ($4.50) and Elina Svitolina ($5.50). Outside of that trio there has been interest in Johanna Konta ($10) and local hope Ash Barty at $13. All of those players mentioned have also been supported to win the Australian Open where Serena Williams heads the market at $5.00. Although Williams has been on the sidelines after giving birth, she has lodged the necessary paperwork to play in the Australian Open so must be well on track for a comeback.
Roger Federer remains the $3.75 favourite to win the men's title in Melbourne, and is clearly the best-backed. Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal follow him in the market at $4.50, but with so many of the men's players having had injury interrupted seasons, there will be a lot of movement leading into the first round of matches in mid -January.
The Big Boat Challenge, one of the main lead-ups to the Sydney to Hobart, is normally dominated by Wild Oats X1, but the dash around Sydney Harbour provided a different winner this year. Black Jack won that race and has firmed marginally from $6.50 in to $6.00 to win the race to Hobart while Wild Oats X1 has eased from $2.40 out to $2.50.Comanche is still a firm favourite at $1.95 with Infotrack the other boat in the market at $7.50. Outside of the obvious, there has been scattered interest in Beau Geste ($34 in to $21). There is a market now available on 'first out of the heads'. This proved hugely popular last year as it was part of the Channel 7 coverage. It is very similar to the line honours market with Comanche at $2.25, Wild Oats X1 at $3.00, Black Jack $5.00 and Infotrack at $5.50.
It was hard not to be impressed by the performance of Ef Troop at the weekend, and the youngster has been elevated to clear favourite to win the 2yo Magic Millions on the Gold Coast. The flying Ef Troop is sired by Spirit Of Boom who is off to a fantastic start to his stud career, and is in the all -powerful Tony Gollan yard. Ef Troop has now won both starts, and has been the best backed this week at $4.50. Bondi was the $8.00 favourite prior to the weekend but has eased slightly to $9.00, Terminology next in line at $8.50 followed by Jonker also at $9.00. Jonker was another impressive winner on debut and subsequent to that win has drawn a lot of support, as has the unraced Terminology. Terminology is in the Gai Waterhouse/Adrian Bott yard and will make his debut in the Wyong Magic Millions today (Thursday). After being $26 last week, Terminology is likely to firm up even further from the $10 if he wins at Wyong and is expected to do so.
The Hobart 1000 is the only Group 1 race on the Apple Isle, and was actually the first greyhound race to be given Group status in Australia, so it carries a lot of tradition. Victorians dominate tonight's (Thursday) final with recent Melbourne and Ballarat Cups finalist Kouta Mayhem the $2.50 favourite after coming up with the red box in the final. Kouta Mayhem has an abundance of early pace, and while that is a big advantage it will also pave the way to give the much improved Blue Gum Hill ($4.00) in box 2 a nice run through. The other main hope appears to be Print The Money ($5.00), the fastest heat winner who has also drawn where it wants to be, out in box 8.
Fanta Bale was responsible for one of the biggest runs of the year when she won a heat of the Sale Cup on Sunday night, and was quickly installed as the $2.60 favourite to win the final on Boxing night. The champ will be lining up in her eighth Group 1 final, and has won all seven she has contested, over all distances, so she will go down as one of our greatest ever chasers. It might not be all plain sailing however, as there is a stack of pace inside her, which may present a problem as it isn't a long run to the first turn. Chasin' Crackers finished second in the Melbourne Cup recently and was impressive in the heat leading all of the way and running a fast time.
Tips: Greyhounds - Kouta Mayhen $2.30 (Hobart 1000) & Fanta Bale $2.60 (Sale Cup)