GERARD DAFFY'S UBET NEWS – THURSDAY 15TH MARCH
Is Tiger Woods back?
There is no doubt that Tiger has come back in much better shape than he has been over the past few years, and that has sent golf fans into a frenzy. Tiger finished in a tie for second behind Paul Casey in the Valspar Championship, and that has catapulted him into second favourite to win the Masters at $11, and favourite at $8.50 to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational this week. The money for Tiger to win the Masters has been around since he opened at $41, but it has gained momentum this week. There must be some hope he may even start favourite if he is on the leader board again this week. Dustin Johnson is the easing $10 favourite, and the only others that they want to be on under the $21 mark are Jordan Spieth ($13) and Jason Day ($17).
Woods has made the Arnold Palmer his own having won it on eight occasions, the last of those was in 2013 after winning it the previous year. While our golf analysts think the $8.00 is under the odds, punters disagree. Apart from Tiger, there is money for Justin Rose ($15), Rickie Fowler ($21-$17), Alex Noren ($34) and Patrick Reed at the same price. Jason Day won this event two years ago and is second elect at $13, while last year's winner, Marc Leishman, is $34.
Tip: Justin Rose to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational ($15)
Winners were hard to find in round 1 of the new season, and for those who picked all eight winners, we hope you had something on the multi which was roughly around $360 for a $1 dividend.
The price for all eight fav's to win in round 2 is around $27 midweek, but as we have seen in the past, there is often big form reversals in the second week each year. The Roosters had been best backed to win the premiership, and they went down, and the three sides backed to run last, the Tigers, Titans and Warriors, all won! The Warriors host the Titans on Saturday, and while most have been apprehensive to back them when short priced fav's in the past (and for very good reason!), the money is for them to win, and to cover the eight point handicap. The Warriors have beaten the Titans at 13 of their last 14 meetings, BUT the Warriors have also lost their last five matches at Mt Smart.
All the league talk this week has been about the Broncos. It is amazing what one defeat can do, and they have been under intense scrutiny in the press. Brisbane are rarely underdogs at home, but they are that against the Cowboys on Friday night, already $2.35 out to $2.40, and there is no sign of the usual run of big bets for them when they play at home. On the other hand the Cowboys are the flavour of the month, and even though they may be without Michael Morgan again, there is any amount of money for them. An interesting stat has emerged about Brisbane. In their 30 year history, the Broncos have lost their first two matches of the season twice (1999 and 2007), and each time finished in eighth position, and as we know, it is extremely difficult to win from the title from the bottom part of the eight.
After round 1 results, the Cowboys are the new premiership favourites at $5.00, ahead of the Storm at $5.50, with the Roosters out to $6.00.
Tip: Raiders to beat the Knights ($1.65)
There are several toss of the coin games in the Super Rugby this week, and the most intriguing of those for Australian fans is the Sunday afternoon clash between the Waratahs and the Rebels. The Waratahs lost to the Jaguares last Sunday morning and have had to endure a very long trip home from Argentina, but in a surprise, all of the early money has been for the Waratahs. After opening at $1.80, the price was trimmed to $1.75, possibly due to the overall record of six wins for the Tah's over the Rebels from seven appearances. However, this is a 'new' Rebels side who now know how to win, and they look the value proposition here.
The Highlanders have won their last eight at home, and they have also been backed to maintain that record against the Crusaders on Saturday. Although opening slight outsiders at $2.00, with the Crusaders at $1.80, we have seen a longer stream of bets for the Highlanders than the Crusaders, and that has forced them in to $1.95. The Jaguares scored an amazing try in the first 20 seconds in their 38-28 win over the Waratahs last week, and they are another side who look a completely different side to the 'easybeats' of last year. They host the Reds in Buenos Airies on Sunday morning our time, and although the Reds have racked up two wins in a row, it seems nobody rates them this week. The Jag's opened at $1.48 but that disappeared quickly in to $1.38, with the line out a point to -6.5. The Reds have only been able to win 1 of their last 17 away matches, money says that record won't improve here.
Tip: Rebels to beat the Waratahs ($2.15)
The pre-season matches are over, and there have been a few changes to the premiership market following those matches, as well as some injuries that have had an impact on flag betting. Adelaide and Sydney have both eased from $6.00 to $6.50, narrowly ahead of GWS and Richmond at $7.00. There are some doubts over the hamstrings of Paddy Dangerfield and also Gary Ablett and all of a sudden money has dried up for Geelong at $7.50. Similar to Richmond, Port Adelaide have had a good off season, remain rock solid at $8.00, and it is interesting to note that Port have attracted twice as much money as the Crows. Melbourne are now $12, but we haven't seen any decent money for them, perhaps punters just cannot see the Demons going all the way? Outside of those sides, Essendon have proven most popular at $17, and there had been interest in Collingwood at $23, but they are out to $26 with the season ending injury to Tyson Goldsack.
With Dangerfield having a niggle, and hopefully nothing worse, we have moved him out from equal $5.00 Brownlow Medal favourite with Dustin Martin, to $6.50. Nathan Fyfe is still best backed, and the worst result at $9.00, with some interest this week in Patrick Cripps of Carlton ($41-$26) and Melbourne's Clayton Oliver ($41-$34). The West Coast's Josh Kennedy looks like he might miss a couple of early matches as well and has eased from $3.00 out to $3.25 to win the Coleman Medal. Joe Daniher has been a big mover there, now $6.50 after opening at $9.00.
Tip: AFLW - Bulldogs to beat Melbourne ($1.90)
The NBL Grand Final series finally gets under way on Friday night, and Melbourne United go into Game 1 as the $1.60 favourites to win the series over the Adelaide 36er's at $2.35. This is a best of five series, being H/A/H/A/H, so Melbourne will be keen to get that first win. They are $1.50 in game 1, with the line set at -4.0, but there has been good early support for Adelaide at $2.60. The 36'ers haven't won a title since 2002 although, they were runner-up's to Perth in 2014. One surprising stat is that the old Melbourne Tigers had never won a title, even though they did finish second on several occasions. While this is a new franchise, I think most would identify Melbourne United with the old Tigers outfit.
In the US, the Golden State Warriors are currently $1.90 to win the title, and that is the best they have been since the market was first opened. Their form has been indifferent recently, and the same applies to the Cleveland Cavaliers, now out to a best priced $10. The big mover has been the Rockets, currently on the second line at $3.50, and while their form suggests they probably should be even shorter, we haven't really seen any big interest in them.
Tip: NBL finals - Adelaide +4.0 against Melbourne ($1.90)
There clearly is no love lost between the South African and Australian cricket sides. With the series now level, and Kagiso Rabada missing from the next two tests, it is game on. South Africa have levelled the series 1-1, and there is now a week's rest until the third test in Cape Town. In that test, Australia have opened at $2.10, South Africa at $2.55, with the draw at $5.00. Australia are still the favourites to win the best of four series at $2.25, a drawn series is $2.75, and South Africa seem attractive odds at $3.75.
Like most elections these days, the South Australian election is on a knife-edge. Betting has been very interesting since the first market opened with UBET when very little separated the three main parties. Since then the Liberal Party has spent most of that time as favourites, getting as short as $1.80. However, a surge in the early part of the last week of the campaign now has the incumbent Labor Party the $1.67 fav's, with the Libs out to $2.15. Having said that there is continued support for both sides at those prices. The one thing that has become apparent is that the SA Best party, led by Nick Xenephon, is likely to fall short. They have drifted from an opening $2.90 all the way out to $21, with very few takers now.
Losail, Qatar, will host the season opener for the motoGP's this week, and while Marc Marquez is the ruling $1.75 favourite to win the title, he hasn't had a flash record in the first race of the season over the past three years. Marquez won this race in 2014 but in the three races since, he finished third on two occasions and fourth in the other. That form line potentially opens it up for the rest, in particular Andrea Dovizioso who is on the second line to win the title at $6.50. Dovizioso isn't a prolific winner on the motoGP circuit but is always thereabouts. He finished second the last three years in Losail and has opened $2.25 to win this week, ahead of Marquez at $4.00.
The exceptional racing continues this week as we head to Rosehill for the Group 1 feature, the Coolmore Classic. You'll be traveling well if you can pick the winner, as there's plenty of value on offer in such an open field. There aren't many early betting leads and the Waller-trained, Egg Tart, heads this market at $6.00 (in from $6.50) but hot on her heels is the Guy Walter Stakes winner, Dixie Blossoms at $6.50. Outside of that pair, we have Silent Sedition and Raiment (that copped a torrid run in the Guy Walter Stakes but still came second) both at $8.50. Daysee Doom is next in line at $9.00 as is Alizee that was the beaten favourite in the Group 1 Surround Stakes a fortnight ago. Other stellar races on the card include the Ajax Stakes and the Phar Lap Stakes, both run over the 1500m.