GERARD DAFFY'S UBET NEWS – THURSDAY 1ST FEBRUARY
All four matches of the opening round of AFLW are open, and already the interest in these matches, as well as to win the final, looks on target to better last year's popularity.
There has been a big move for Carlton to win the flag, $5.50 in to equal $4.50 favourites with Adelaide and Melbourne. The Blues have already been $1.55 in to $1.50 to beat Collingwood on Friday night. The early push has also been on for the Western Bulldogs at $1.50 to beat Fremantle, and that would be supported by news coming out of the west that Fremantle are struggling with injuries. Most will be looking forward to Saturday night's match in Adelaide where last year's Grand Finalists will do battle. On that occasion, the Crows got home although the game was played on the Gold Coast at Metricon. Adelaide will have a huge advantage at home in front of a big crowd. It appears as though most think they will justify their $1.42 quote.
Tip: Carlton to beat Collingwood ($1.45)
The betting trend with UBET for Superbowl 52 has been along similar lines to what we normally see in the finals, plenty of bets for the underdog but the bigger wagers normally with the favourites. After opening at $2.85, the Philadelphia Eagles are now in to $2.65 with the New England Patriots out to $1.50. The line opened at -5.5 in favour of the Pats, and that has also moved, now trading at -4.5. Looking back at the 'futures' book, the Patriots have been favourites since the market was released last February. They were $7.00 then, got in to $5.00 before the season started, and although they were beaten in round 1, they remained at $5.00 and have continually firmed in the market since then. The Eagles were $41 before the season started, got as short as $4.50 in November, but were $15 when the playoffs began. There are a million stats around on these finals, but two are hard to dismiss. Of the ten matches played during this finals series to date, nine of the outsiders have covered the line, and several won, so it has been a series belonging to the underdogs so far. And the other is really interesting. The Pats under Bill Belichick have played in seven Superbowls since 2002, winning five and losing the other two. However in all seven matches, they have failed to score in the first quarter of any! There are several options that fall into that category that might be worth a look at for Eagles fans.
Tip: Eagles to win the Superbowl ($2.65)
Jeff Horn is locked in to defend his WBO Welterweight title against Terence Crawford at Madison Square Garden, New York on April 14 (US time). With that date now official, the market is open, and it is very similar to the one that was posted when Horn fought Manny Pacquiao to win the title. On that occasion Horn opened at $6.00 and this time around he was $5.25, but that was quickly snapped up, moving in to $5.00. The signs are already there that he will firm significantly as Aussies are getting right behind him as they did against Pacquiao when he was $6.00 in to $3.00 on the day of the fight. The other exotic bet types will open in the coming weeks.
The Big Bash semi's get under way today (Thursday) when the Perth Scorchers will host the Hobart Hurricanes, and the Adelaide Strikers host the Melbourne Renegades tomorrow. The Scorchers are clear $1.55 fav's over the Hurricanes. While they do enjoy possibly the best home ground advantage in the Big Bash, they also had a victory at home over the Hurricanes less than two weeks ago. The Scorchers have been at the head of betting to win the final since the BBL started, and are now $2.50. So assuming they win through to host the final, they seem destined to be pretty short. In the other semi, the early money has been with the Renegades, $2.00 in to clear $1.75 favourites, which has seen the Strikers drift to $2.10.
The T/20 Tri Nations series between Australia, New Zealand and England begins on Sunday when the Aussies play New Zealand at the SCG. Very little separates all three sides to win the final with NZ the $2.70 favourite ahead of England at $2.80 and Australia also now at $2.80 after shortening in from $2.90. The Kiwis were beaten by Pakistan early in the week but the nature of the game means that results can turn around quickly. At this stage, punters have been happy to stick with Australia at the $2.85 even though they lost the ODI series against England.
Tip: Scorchers ($1.45) and Renegades ($1.78) to both win their Big Bash semi-final
Jason Day finally got back into the US PGA winners list after going 20 months without a win. Although Day was well up in the betting at $23, it has been noticeable that his Aussie fan base have dropped off to some degree, but not doubt they will be back now as the Masters approaches, where he has firmed from $15 in to $12.
Day will be having a rest from this week's Phoenix Open, but it still looks a very good field. Hideki Matsuyama and Jordan Spieth started as co $10 favourites but Jordan Spieth has been supported in to $9.00 and Matsuyama drifted out to $11. If you look at the form guide of this tournament it makes for interesting reading. Matsuyama not only won last year but also in 2016, and that followed a tie for second behind Brooks Koepka in 2015. Naturally he has met with solid support this week, but so have a handful of others in Spieth, Jon Rahm ($11), Justin Thomas ($17-$13), Marc Leishman ($31) and Tony Finau ($41) who was well in commission for most of last week's Farmers Insurance Open where he did finish in the top 10.
Henrik Stenson is our $8.00 favourite to win the Malaysian Championship this week which is the European Tour event.
Tip: Hideki Matsuyama to win the Phoenix Open ($11)
The history books have been updated and Roger Federer and Caroline Wozniacki go in as the winners of the 2018 Australian Open titles. Federer's win was no big surprise as he had been clear favourite since well before Christmas, mainly due to form but also with so many of the other main hopes under injury clouds, and that is exactly how it panned out. It was pretty similar in the women's part of the draw with the two big pre-Christmas movers being Angelique Kerber ($26-13) and Wozniacki, who had been $41 in to $15 in the months leading up to the start of the Open.
With the first Major of the year behind us, the markets are up for the French Open. Rafael Nadal will be back on his preferred surface and has gone up at $1.90 ahead of Novak Djokovic at $6.00. Federer is $13 but it is worth pointing out that he did bypass the French last year to rest up for Wimbledon, and now he is a year older, surely the same may happen again? Serena Williams should be back for Paris and she heads that market at $6.00 ahead of Simona Halep ($7.00), while Wozniacki is at $26.
* Prices are correct 2pm Thursday.