GERARD DAFFY'S UBET NEWS – THURSDAY 22ND FEBRUARY
For a side that allegedly struggle overseas, Australia actually have a very good record in South Africa, and there has been plenty of money to say they can win the First Test starting tonight (Thursday). The pitch in Durban has a history of being spicy, but the indications are that the 'Green Mambo' may not be as green as it has been in the past. That would explain the interest in the 'draw' option which was $5.50 a week ago but is now $5.25. South Africa opened as the $2.20 fav's in the original market but are out to $2.25, while all the betting momentum is with the Aussies, currently $2.25, in from $2.50. There has also been a big move for Australia in the series betting. The Australians were $2.75 early this week to snare the best of four series, but are now clear $2.25 favourites ahead of South Africa ($2.10-$2.45), with a drawn series at $4.75. Initially there was a rush for South Africa to clean sweep the series 4-0 at $15, but that money has dried up with the big push for the Aussies. The best-backed of the Australian options has been 2-1 at $7.25
If we learnt one thing from the JLT Community Series trial matches last week, then it was that many think Richmond can go all the way again in 2018. We did mention a couple of weeks ago that there had been a big bet of $10,000 on the Tigers at $8.50, and in the interim there was still money for them at $8.00 before they played Essendon last weekend. Essendon had a few big names out, as well as a bout of gastro through the team, so the betting was heavily slanted towards Richmond, the $1.50 favourites. They won as expected, and easily, but that has seen another wave of bets for Richmond this week, all at $7.50.
Dermott Brereton single handedly created another wave of betting on the Brownlow this week. 'Dermie' was commentating on the Fremantle match, and with Nathan Fyfe starring, he said that Fyfe should be the Brownlow Medal favourite. Fyfe had already been heavily backed from $17 in to $12, but the tip from Brereton has seen a stream of money force the price in to $10, and punters are still happy to take that. Fyfe is a fabulous player, his record speaks for itself, but can the Dockers, a $61 outsider to win the flag, win enough games for Fyfe to win the Brownlow?
Tip: AFLW - Melbourne to beat Brisbane ($1.74)
Mexico City will this week host the WGC Mexico Championship for the 2nd year in a row, and while Dustin Johnson is the $7.00 favourite with UBET, cashed up Justin Thomas fans have come back again this week at $9.00. Thomas won the Genesis Open last week in a playoff from Luke List, and as mentioned then, he is currently one of the most popular players with punters due to his consistent form. Johnson won this event last year from Tommy Fleetwood who is a $17 chance this week, and another player who UBET golf fans have really warmed to. Jon Rahm and Jordan Spieth occupy the third line of betting at $12, with Marc Leishman the shortest of a 4 man Aussie contingent at $51.
Tip: Mexico Championship - Justin Thomas ($5.50)
The 2018 season opener is only seven days away, and the serious money is starting to arrive for not only round 1, but a lot of the UBET 'futures' markets.The money sides in round 1 have been Brisbane ($2.00-$1.90), Cronulla at +6.5, Souths ($1.60-$1.50), and Parramatta ($2.20-$2.05). Of those, it would appear that the Eels are likely to firm again shortly.
In premiership betting, the order hasn't changed for a while, with the Roosters heading the market at $5.00, narrowly ahead of North Queensland at $5.50. Then follows Melbourne at $6.00. Melbourne were clearly the best-backed side last week after their win in the World Club Challenge over Leeds, and that has continued this week. Parramatta were impressive in their trial match at the weekend and there is money for them at $13, and the same applies to Souths ($17-$16) after winning the Charity Shield again.
The usual suspects lead the way in Dally M betting, and the action has been divided between $9.00 favourite Cam Smith, Johnathan Thurston ($10) and Cooper Cronk ($13). One newcomer to the top of the market is James Tedesco who will be lining up for the Roosters, and there has been plenty of support for him at $13, along with Penrith's Nathan Cleary at $15. The UBET punters only want two players in the Top Try Scorer market, Josh Ado-Carr from the Storm ($9.00), and Alex Johnston ($13) from Souths.
Two races will be held in Adelaide this weekend as the 2018 Supercar season gets under way. There will be one race on Saturday with the other on Sunday, each of 78 laps around the streets of Adelaide, and there will be a Top 10 Shootout conducted each day. There are several debutants this season, but UBET Supercar fans have been happy to stick with the drivers they know. One big difference this season is that Scotty McLaughlin has been the standout in Championship betting. McLaughlin is the $4.00 equal fav with Jamie Whincup and Shane Van Gisbergen, but it seems he has picked up a bigger batch of fans after last year's controversial finish.
It is a little bit similar in the betting for race 1 on Saturday where McLaughlin is the $4.00 favourite ahead of Van Gisbergen and Fabian Coulthard at $6.00, with Whincup just behind them at $7.50. The corresponding meeting last year saw Whincup finish down the track in sixth place in both races, and that might explain the lack of early confidence in him this weekend. Van Gisbergen won both races, and while his form did slip later in the season, many think he can come back and win this weekend.
Tip: Race 1 - Scott McLaughlin ($4.00)
It seems like an eternity since the NBL season proper finished, but the gap was unavoidable with the World Cup qualifiers on. In any case, it is back to business this week with a best of three finals series. Melbourne United finished on top of the ladder and they will play the fourth placed New Zealand Breakers. Although the outsiders, there has been a good push for the Breakers who have firmed from $3.50 in to $3.20, with the line now in to 6.5 after opening 7.0. The Adelaide 36ers (second placed) v Perth (third placed) match will follow the game in Melbourne, and it is all one way traffic...for the home side. The 36er's have been really well-backed at $1.51, and more so at the line of -4.0 points. Based on their last win at home over the Wildcats, they should get the job done, but it is a final! Game 2 in both series' will be available first thing Sunday morning.
This time every year we all become movie experts, and betting on the Academy Awards has now become a very big deal around the world. Naturally all of these awards are subjective, and for those who may not be aware, anybody who has won an Oscar before gets to vote. So over 6,000 people will get that opportunity. UBET have a host of categories open for betting, and most are dominated by red-hot favourites, but the one that isn't one-sided is the 'Best Picture', and that has been really competitive. Current favourite is 3 Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri, trading at $1.83, and only recently displaced The Shape of Water at the head of betting. The Shape of Water was as short as $1.75 a fortnight ago, and although now $2.25, it is still engaged in a pretty good betting duel with 3 Billboards.
The Group 1 Australian Cup will be run at the Meadows on Saturday night, and while there were plenty of upsets in the heat, it has still drawn together a quality field of Sprinters. Raw Ability has opened our $2.80 favourite, and is clearly the one to beat despite drawing Box 4. Raw Ability has plenty of that and is already a two-time Group 1 winner having won the Adelaide Cup (also from box 4) and recently added Paws of Thunder to the trophy cabinet. Queensland will have two representatives with the aptly named Slick ($5.50) in box 1 and Opal Nera ($8.00) trained by Tony Brett out in box 6. Star youngster, Hecton Bale ($5.00), should get a nice cart across from box 8 and should be hard to hold out.
The Super Stayers final is on the same card, and all eyes will be on the champ Fanta Bale. Box draw doesn't really matter much to Fanta Bale as she is always up near the lead, but after drawing in the red box, she has been installed as the $1.80 favourite, just ahead of kennel-mate Rippin Sam ($2.10). If Fanta Bale wins, she will become the richest stake money earner of all time at over $1.3 million, a phenomenal amount for a greyhound.
Tip: Australian Cup - Hecton Bale
The Australian Guineas at Flemington is a wide-open race this year. The two favourites, Cliff's Edge ($4.00-$4.20) and Grunt ($6.00-$5.50), went toe-to-toe in the Group 3 Hayes Stakes and have both drawn out wide here. After copping a tough run in the Hayes, Cliff's Edge looks a big chance to turn the tables on Saturday. Next in line is the 3yo filly Aloisa at $7.00 (one of only two fillies in the race) who came through the Vanity form-line and Addictive Nature is next at $10. There has also been some spec'ing at odds for Main Stage ($17-$15) and Villermont ($21-$17).
Not that I need to tell you this, but Winx is back this week! It will be great to see the superstar mare return in the Chipping Norton Stakes at Randwick on Saturday. She's currently a rock-solid $1.08 chance and unsurprisingly, there is a huge jump to the rest of the field with Stampede next best in the market at $17. Also at Randwick on Saturday is the Surround Stakes for the fillies. This set-weights race has been newly elevated to Group 1 status and the top chances in the market have all come through the Light Fingers Stakes. On that occasion, Alizee beat Shumookh home but Shumookh copped a torrid run first-up. Alizee is the deserved favourite here at $2.10, Shumookh is next at $4.80, followed by Frolic ($10) and Melody Belle ($11). There has also been some early interest in the Waller-trained Unforgotten ($13-$11), who is first-up after two trials.
* Prices are correct 4pm Thursday.