GERARD DAFFY'S UBET NEWS – THURSDAY 11TH JANUARY
The Ashes is over, the Big Bash keeps rolling along, and the ODI series between Australia and England begins at the weekend. The Big Bash continues to see a mixture of favourites and outsiders winning, but really the pre-match betting doesn't really matter much, as the larger portion of interest is 'in play', and the nature of T/20 lends itself to massive price swings.
Unfortunately Chris Lynn is again on the sidelines courtesy of injuries, so he will be missing from the ODI series. That didn't really force a change to the series price, Australia remain at $1.42 with England at $2.85. The interesting market is the correct series score. The favoured way is Australia to win narrowly 3-2 at $2.75, yet a clean sweep (5-0) is a lengthy $9.00.
Tip: ODI - England to win game 1 ($2.50)
Justin Thomas won both events in Hawaii last January which was the start of a fabulous 2017 for him. While Thomas was never in the hunt in last week's Tournament of Champions won by Dustin Johnson, he is well in the betting at $9.00 to win this week's Sony Open to be played at Waialae. Jordan Spieth is the opening fav at $6.00, ahead of Thomas ($9.00), then follows Marc Leishman ($15) and Brian Harmin ($23), who both played well last week. This field is nowhere near as strong as last week, and UBET punters have been focussing on those up near the head of the market. Jimmy Walker is a two-time winner of the Sony Open (2014 and 2015), and there has been a sprinkling of money for him at $67.
The European Tour resumes this week with the BMW SA Open. South Africans dominate the market with Brandon Grace going in as the $7.00 public elect, just ahead of Charl Schwartzel at $8.00. Schwartzel was runner up here to Andy Sullivan in 2015, and Sullivan is a $41 chance this week.
Tip: Jordan Spieth to win the Sony Open ($6.00)
The early casualty list for this year's Australian Open is at an all -time high, and there are still question marks hovering over several players in both the men's and women's titles.
With Andy Murray the most recent withdrawal from the men's, Roger Federer is now a warm $2.50 chance, and the betting public are happy to take that. Rafael Nadal has at least made it to Australia and is second pick at $5.50, followed by Novak Djokovic, unwanted at $7.50. Alex Zverev ($11) and Grigor Dmitrov ($13) are next in line, and have been backed at longer quotes, but the interesting player is Nick Kyrgios. The Australian public have all of a sudden fallen in love with the 'bad boy' of tennis, particularly since he won the Brisbane International, and subsequent to that win has come in from $17 to $13. Can he keep it all together for seven matches of the Australian Open? That's the big question.
With Serena Williams a withdrawal from the women's draw, we now have the most wide-open Open of all time! Simona Halep heads the betting at $7.00, narrowly ahead of Garbine Muguruza, Karolina Pliskova and Elina Svitolina, all at $8.00. Outside of those, there has been huge interest in Angie Kerber ($26-$12) and Caroline Wozniacki ($41-$15).
UBET will open the first round matches in both the men's and women's as soon as the draw is finalized. There will be live betting available on practically every match, with dozens of bet types available on each as well.
Tips: Aus Open Men - Rodger Federer ($2.50)/ Aus Open Women - Angelique Kerber ($10)
As we mentioned a couple of weeks ago, there is always something happening in AFL betting and another big premiership bet lobbed over the weekend. Adelaide and Sydney have been sharing flag favouritism since Grand Final day in 2017, but there hadn't been a real surge of interest in either. Both are out to $6.00, as there has been money for Geelong, Port Adelaide and Richmond behind them, but a $6,000 bet has come for Sydney at the $6.00, the first decent bet we have seen for the Swans to date. One interesting sidelight to the flag betting is the complete lack of interest in the Giants, now $7.50. Turn the clock back 12 months and they were clear favourites to win in 2017, their squad is still intact, so surely they can only be better this year?
The Magic Millions is now one of the biggest racing events on the Australian calendar, and it continues to grow each year. The 2018 version of the 2YO Millions is possibly one of the most open ever. While the focus has been clearly on the first three in the betting, on the form we've seen so far, some very handy 2yo's are going to go around at big odds. Ef Troop has been all the rage with Queensland punters since he burst on the scene, and although drawn out in gate 18 (will start from 13), that hasn't really proven much of a deterrent as he is still the money horse at $4.00. The Tony Gollan-trained youngster has been impressive in both starts, and it is worth noting that Houtzen won last year's race from a horror draw, so it can be done. Sunlight was equally impressive in winning at the Coast last Saturday, and along with Ef Troop, Sunlight has commandeered most of the betting attention this week. After touching $4.20 early in the week, Sunlight eased slightly to $4.40 after drawing barrier 15 (likely to start from 10), but is now the new favourite at $4.00 after a big bet of $5,000 took the last of the $4.20 on Wednesday. Unbeaten colt Jonker fared best of the favourite's drawing barrier 3. That saw a price move from $5.00 in to $4.50, but he has been clearly the least popular of that trio.
UBET will have money back second and third for the first five races at the Gold Coast, along with the 2yo Millions (T's and C's apply), and if that isn't enough, there is also a massive $1.5 million Guaranteed Quaddie Pool for the last four races on the program.
Tip: Magic Millions 2YO classic - Crocket EACH-WAY ($26win/ $7.25place)
* Prices are correct midday Thursday.