GERARD DAFFY'S UBET NEWS – THURSDAY 9TH MARCH
The Crusaders and the Hurricanes have been at the head of the market to win the Super Rugby since the prices went up several months ago, and they face off against each other in Wellington on Saturday. The home side has been given slight favouritism at $1.80, with the Crusaders at $2.00, and if it was in Christchurch the betting would be reversed. Our punters are devout Crusaders fans and that is where the money has gone in this match. The Hurricanes have only lost two home matches over the past 2 seasons, an enviable record, and one they will be keen to build on.
The Rebels have met with a lot of early support to beat the Brumbies in Melbourne on Friday night. The last five times these two met resulted in three wins to the Brumbies. However, a key stat is that they have averaged a game total of a low 36 points in those five matches. The Rebels have had a long trip back from Tokyo for this game, but punters have clearly cast that aside as being an issue.
And the Reds scored an ugly win over the Brumbies last week and they have been one of the best backed sides to make it two in a row against the Bulls in Brisbane on Saturday night. There might be some justification in the price move ($1.70-$1.65) with the stat that the home side has won this fixture in every match since 2004, so that says it will be a Red's win! The last five matches have seen an average of 61 points scored per game, so a similar score-line would be in contrast to the performance by the Reds last week.
Tip: Stormers +17.5 against the Highlanders ($1.95)
The round 1 markets for the start of the NRL season have been up for several months, but there are only two matches where there has been a significant move. It looks to be a really tough round as is often the case early in the season, and there only three favourites whose line is in excess of six points. The price for all eight fav's to win is around $42 for a $1 outlay, so that shows how tough it is, and historically, upsets do occur early on. There are a couple of standout games as far as betting is concerned, the first of those tonight (Thursday). It would be fair to say that Brisbane have had the wood on the Dragons for an extended period, having beaten them 14 times from the last 16 meetings, including the last four on end. The Dragons however, have assembled a pretty decent squad this year, and after opening co-favourites at $1.91, they have been smashed today in to $1.70
The last time Manly were beaten by Newcastle was back in 2012, and similar to the Dragons/Broncos match, the betting is $1.91 apiece, but the money momentum is with the home side, Newcastle. The Knights only won four of 12 home matches last year but have recruited well including Mitchell Pearce. That signing is expected to bolster Newcastle to be some sort of threat this year, so like the Dragons, they will be eager to get an important win at home.
The Cowboys have been heavily backed in premiership betting to atone for last year's Grand Final defeat to Melbourne, but they have a real danger game first-up at home on Friday. Thurston and Scott are back in business for North Queensland, but like many other sides, Cronulla have been busy in the off-season gaining some handy recruits. It will be Johnathan Thurston's 300th game for the Cowboys, and teams lift for milestone matches, but the Sharks have won their last three regular season matches against the Cowboys, including the last one in Townsville. There has been strong support for the Sharks to win, $3.00 in to $2.65, and the line has moved from 6.5 in to 5.5. The other decent market mover for the round has been Parramatta, shortening from $2.20 in to $1.91 (equal fav's with Penrith).
There hasn't been any real change to the premiership order with the Roosters at $5.00, the Cowboys at $5.50, Storm $6.00 and the Broncos at $12....and all four have cleared out from the rest in regards to money wagered.
Tip: Parramatta to beat Penrith ($1.91)
We are getting to the pointy end of the AFLW season, and the Western Bulldogs have zoomed into odds-on favourite at $1.70 to win the flag. The Lions are on the second line at $4.00, followed by Melbourne ($5.50) and Adelaide ($9.00). Adelaide will be in action Friday night and are red hot $1.27 pops to beat the Fremantle Dockers. The early signs are that those who take multis are keen on the Crows to give them a good start to the weekend. The Bulldogs do face a danger game on Saturday night against GWS and are quite backable at $1.45, given their form this season.
There hasn't been any major movement in AFL premiership betting this week, but there is still a constant flow of money for Richmond at $7.50. At the other end of the ladder, Carlton are now in to $3.75 second favourite's to finish on the bottom of the ladder after opening at $8.00. There was more for them on Monday this week at $4.00 after the Gold Coast Suns, currently the $2.75 favourites, demolished Geelong in a JLT trial match in Townsville on Sunday.
And then there were three.
Melbourne United are through to the NBL Grand Final after dispensing with the NZ Breakers in two matches, although the second match on Monday went to overtime. Melbourne now have the big advantage of a decent rest, as opposed to Adelaide and Perth, who don't have their second match until Friday night. Melbourne are now $1.65 to win the title, which seems pretty reasonable odds. In game 1 of the Adelaide v Perth series, Adelaide belittled the Wildcats winning 109-74. It is worth noting however, that getting towards the tail-end of the season there was a weekend where both sides defeated the other at home by around 20
points, so Perth can turn it all around as $1.80 favourites on Friday. UBET punters think they can, as there are plenty who say they will take the series to game three.
Tip: Friday - Adelaide to beat Perth ($2.08)
The Terrence Crawford v Jeff Horn WBO Welterweight Title fight is still five weeks away, but interest is growing and there are now more bet types open. The prices at the moment have Crawford at $1.12, with Horn at $6.00 and not surprisingly, there are a stack of bets locally for Horn but the bigger players want to be on Crawford. There have been several four-figure bets for Crawford recently including one on Monday of $7,000 at $1.13, and he is a warm $1.75 favourite to win by KO in the 'Method of Result' market. In that option, a win either way for Horn is $11, and there is also some interest in the 'draw' at $26.
The Commonwealth Games get underway in five weeks' time, and UBET will be offering a market on every gold medal, as well as individual matches/races in several sports. We expect the match betting to be extremely popular in the netball, hockey and rugby 7's and there is already plenty of early interest in those gold medal markets. The women's rugby 7's gold medal race looks a dead set race in two between Australia and New Zealand, and while they are closely priced together (Australia at $1.80 and NZ at $2.05), there is plenty of early action on Australia. The men's 7's appears a more wide open affair with the well-backed South Africa heading that market at $2.75 and the Aussies are on the fifth line at $7.50.
Shiv Chawrasia has won the past two Indian Open's in Delhi, and was runner up in 2015 to Anibarn Lahiri, so there really couldn't be a much better form line coming into this week's event. Chawrasia has a few ahead of him in the betting but given his record there are several who think he can win again, and are happy to take the $23 on offer. Shubankar Sharma is the $13 favourite, ahead of Joost Luiten and Lahiri at $15, with Lahiri being the most popular of that trio.
Phil Mickelson returned to the winners list after a five year hiatus on the US Tour last weekend in Mexico, and Mickelson has been elevated to $15 to win the upcoming US Masters. He was $41 when that market opened last year, and on the back of some solid recent form (without winning), he was in to $26, but the win in Mexico has certainly spurred his fans on. Dustin Johnson remains the $9.00 favourite to win at Augusta, and there is still bets coming through for Tiger Woods at $21.
The US Tour event this week is the Valspar Championship which will be played at Copperhead in Palm Harbor, Florida. Jordan Spieth is the UBET favourite at $9.00, ahead of Rory McIlroy ($15), Sergio Garcia ($17), and Justin Rose along with Henrik Stenson at $21. Spieth is a previous winner of the Valspar, having won back in 2015, and Adam Hadwin, a $34 chance, is the defending champion. Tiger Woods goes around again this week at $29, and Adam Scott and Cameron Smith are the shortest of the Aussies at $41.
Tip: Valspar Championship Paul Casey ($26)
It's a gargantuan weekend of racing! The racing will certainly sort the wheat out from the chaff and I certainly don't envy the bookie in charge of the future markets.
It's a star-studded line-up in the Randwick Guineas and the favourite is the Godolphin-trained Kementari at $2.60. It's hard to see his rivals turning the tables on him here. Next in line is D'Argento at $4.60, Pierata at $6.50 and there's a bit of money around for Peaceful State on the quick back-up ($10-$8.00). Also on the same day we have the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes and this is wide open. Clearly Innocent goes well second-up and just sneaks into favouritism at the $5.50 quote, with both Happy Clapper and Global Glamour next best at $5.50.
The Newmarket Handicap and the Australian Cup are the feature races at Flemington. The 3yo colt Merchant Navy is the favourite for the Newmarket ($4.00-$4.60) and the Black Caviar Lightning winner, Redkirk Warrior, is next at $6.00. Brave Smash has drifted out from $5.50 to $7.00 and there's been support for both Thronum ($16-$12) and Rich Charm ($8.00-$6.50). In the Australian Cup market, Gailo Chop is on top at $2.60 (out from $2.40), next is Almandin at $6.00 and there's been some support for The Taj Mahal ($7.50-$7.00), Hartnell ($12-$8.00) and the roughie Devise ($26-$19).
Did I mention we also get to see the best of the babes in the crucial lead-up races to the Golden Slipper? That's the Reisling, Todman (both at Randwick) and the Sires' Produce Stakes (Flemington).
* Prices correct at 4pm Thursday.