GERARD DAFFY'S UBET NEWS – THURSDAY 22ND MARCH
Richmond remain the best backed side to win the flag this year, currently $7.00 after $9.00 was available several weeks ago. The Tigers' record in the past when red hot favourites hasn't been that inspiring, but with a premiership cup in the trophy cabinet, and some impressive pre-season form, punters have been happy to anchor the Tigers at $1.20 in multi's tonight (Thursday) and now they are $1.18. Carlton have drifted out to $5.15 in this match, with the line at -29.5, and the money is with the minus.
Essendon have been a big 'go' in Friday night's match against Adelaide at Etihad. The Crows have lost Tex Walker and Brad Crouch to injury, the latter for several weeks, so that has seen the price for an Essendon win crash from $2.15 in to $1.90, with the largest bet being $12,000 at $1.94.
The Melbourne v Geelong match creates plenty of interest for a number of reasons. Both are well up in premiership betting, Melbourne at $12 and the Cats at $7.50. Although Geelong have won 12 of the last 13 matches against Melbourne, the Demons are slight $1.85 favourites, with Geelong at $1.96. However that will change if Patrick Dangerfield plays for Geelong after being injured. He says he will, but hamstring injuries are very delicate, so all eyes will be on the naming of the sides.
Dangerfield is the $6.00 second favourite to win the Brownlow Medal behind Dustin Martin ($4.75), but there is still any amount of money for Nathan Fyfe who has been $15 in to $8.00 over the past eight weeks.
In flag betting, Sydney are now favourite at $6.50 with Adelaide out to $7.00. The two 'money' sides are Richmond (biggest bet $10,000 at $8.50), now also at $7.00, and Port Adelaide close behind at $8.00. Port have been the side to attract the most individual bets, and nearly three times as much money as cross town rivals, the Adelaide Crows. It's staggering when you consider where they both teams finished last year.
Tip: Essendon to beat Adelaide ($1.90)
More upsets greeted NRL fans in round 2 with only four favourites winning again. The shock upset win to the Wests Tigers over Melbourne saw the price for all eight winners come in at around $280 for a $1 outlay (depending on when you bet).
It doesn't get much easier this week with the opening price on all eight fav's winning calculated at $46, which is nearly as high as it gets. Some of the results so far have been hard to comprehend, one of those being the loss by Melbourne to the Tigers last week. They host North Queensland tonight (Thursday) in what is a real betting duel with the Cowboys. Storm have won 15 of their last 20 against the Cowboys, including the last six, but there were some chinks exposed last week. After opening at $1.65, they have been backed in to $1.58 and the Cowboys are now a $2.40 chance.
The Tigers have never beaten Brisbane at Campbelltown in seven attempts, and have only won two of the last 13 between the two clubs. While they have failed to put many points on the board in their two wins this season, there is good support for the Tigers ($2.25) to beat the Broncos on Friday night. The Warriors, like the Tigers, are also unbeaten (who would have thought that?), and they have been the medium of a good plunge to win in Canberra on Saturday. The Raiders probably should be undefeated, but they aren't. The Warriors have looked good in both wins and have already been $2.25 in to $2.10, giving every indication there is more to come.
Parramatta were atrocious in the heat against Manly last week, and are $1.82 against Cronulla this week. After two losses, the Eels now find themselves shorter to win the wooden spoon ($17) than they are to win the premiership ($21). It has been a strange start to the season.
Tip: Bulldogs to beat the Panthers ($2.35)
The Adelaide 36'ers have been dealt a huge blow with Josh Childress ruled out for the rest of the NBL finals, and that is going to make it extremely difficult for Adelaide to win the series. Currently it is one win apiece and game 3 will be in Melbourne on Friday night. The betting on that match has Melbourne at $1.45 and Adelaide at $2.75, with the line set at 4.5 points. Series betting is similar with Melbourne at $1.50 and the 36'ers at $2.60. There will be a game 4 at least, and that will be in Adelaide on Sunday.
The Sheffield Shield has gone through another season virtually unnoticed, but the final gets under way at Alan Border Field in Brisbane on Friday. The Queensland Bulls will host the final, and they last won it in season 2011/12. While their opponents, the Tassie Tigers, won it in 2012/13 but then finished second last twice, and at the bottom of the table the past two seasons. The 'home' side have the added advantage that if the match ends in a draw they win the Shield, so Queensland are $1.40 with the Tigers at $2.90. There of course can be a draw, and in that market the Bulls are $2.65, the Tigers $2.90, and there's money for the draw at $2.80 (in from $3.25).
The third Test begins in Cape Town tonight (Thursday). Although the test coincides with the start of the AFL season, there is a stack of interest due to the animosity between the two teams, and the series being wide open. Kagiso Rabada has been the centre of attention, and with Rabada back in the third test and series, there has been a major price shift. The Aussies were $2.10 favs, ahead of South Africa at $2.75 with a draw at $4.75. However, now it is $2.20 South Africa, $2.30 Australia with the draw at $5.00.
Favourites struggled again last week in the Super Rugby, but the upcoming round looks clear cut in most instances.
The Crusaders still have a big injury list, but will go into Friday night's match against the Bulls as $1.06 favs, with the line set at -19.5. The Bulls led at half time against the Chiefs last week, and while beaten 41-28, they were in the hunt with 10 minutes to go. They definitely look value here at the start.
The Rebels have never beaten the Sharks, although they did draw 9-9 last year. Having said that, as we know the Rebels are a new outfit this season and they find themselves $1.42 fav's to beat the Sharks in Melbourne on Friday night. They have won both home games this season and the money says that punters think they will win again.
The Hurricanes have only lost one of their last 15 matches at home, and have opened at $1.52 to beat the Highlanders ($2.55) on Saturday. The Canes are statistically the best defensive side in the comp, conceding an average 16 points per game. Both have beaten an injury riddled Crusaders side the past two weeks. While the winning margins were similar, the Crusaders were probably the more impressive winners, and that is where the money has gone on this match.
And how about the Queensland Reds? They defied a huge betting drift ($2.65-$3.75) to win in Argentina last week, but due to some issues with travel arrangements, they have had to take the long way around to play the Stormers in Cape Town on Saturday night. The Reds have only conceded 31 points in their last three games, but they find themselves as $4.75 outsiders (12.5 points at the line) to beat the Stormers. Can they defy the odds again?
Tip: Bulls +19.5 against the Crusaders ($1.90)
The 2018 F1 season begins in Melbourne on Sunday, and as is usually the case, motor racing fans are keeping their powder dry until later in the week. Most tend to sit back and see how the practise and qualifying sessions go on Friday and Saturday, as it is so important to be at the front of the grid come race time on Sunday. Lewis Hamilton is currently the $2.00 favourite, ahead of Sebastian Vettel at $4.00, Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo at $7.00, and Valtteri Bottas at $8.00. Clearly we are seeing money for Ricciardo, but Melbourne has not been a popular venue for the Aussie in the past. Hamilton has won two races in Melbourne (2008 and 2015) and Vettel has also racked up a double in 2011 and last year. Hamilton is $1.75 to win the Drivers' Championship, and Mercedes are $1.50 to win the Constructors Championship. There has been a bet of $6,000 for them at $1.55 in that market and along with a $3,000 bet for Hamilton to win the Drivers title.
Tip: Sebastian Vettel ($4.25)
In a first for the Supercars, they will race for Championship points in Melbourne this week, and that changes the whole dynamic of the four races that will be run and won. The format will see a race of 25 laps on Friday, then a race of 13 laps, followed by another of 25 laps on Saturday, and finish off with 13 laps on Sunday. The tight Albert Park circuit makes it near impossible to pass, so it will be more important than ever to qualify in the top two or three for each race. Scott McLaughlin is our $3.00 favourite to win race 1 on Friday, ahead of Jamie Whincup and Shane Van Gisbergen at $4.25. Fabian Coulthard had the best form here last year with two wins and a second, and there has been money for him at $13.
Tip: Melbourne 400 race 1 - Scott Mclaughlin ($3.00)
Jonathan Rea won both Superbike races in Thailand 2017 and also in 2015, and sandwiched between those years he won one race in 2016 and finished second in the other behind Tom Sykes. Based on those stats it would be fair to say he loves racing in the humid conditions that so often is an issue in Thailand, and although beaten in both races in Australia, he has been installed as the favourite ($1.55) to win race 1 on Saturday. Veteran Marco Melandri ($5.50) wound the clock back to beat Rea in both races at Phillip Island, and looms as the main danger again this week along with Chaz Davies ($5.50).
The racing is top shelf on Saturday at Rosehill with five Group 1 races. The competition is set to be fierce, as aside from the world's richest 2YO race, the Golden Slipper, we also have the George Ryder, Ranvet, Rosehill Guineas and the Galaxy. Two horses dominate the Slipper market at a pretty similar quote. The talented filly Sunlight heads the betting at $4.20 after her Magic Night Stakes win and the unbeaten colt, Written By, is at $4.60 after his victory in the Pago Pago. Seabrook is on the next line of betting at $8.00 and received plenty of support early in the week after the final-field was announced. However, punters have consistently steamed into Sunlight in the early markets. She opened up a whopping $126 last year and I would like to swap places with one punter who spotted her early and placed $120 on the win ($126) and $50 on the place ($29). If she is victorious on Saturday, it would be a disaster for the book but a fill-up for UBET punters. Others in the market include Santos ($9.00), Performer ($10), Sandbar ($12), Estijaab ($13) and flying the flag for Queensland is Ef Troop ($18).
Winx takes on five competitors in the 1500m George Ryder and she's moved in from $1.12 to $1.11. The biggest bets we've taken on her today (Thursday) are $10,000 and $20,000, both at the $1.11 quote. It's not just the big players that have launched either, we've also layed $13 each-way at $1.11 and $1.02 the place, for an overall collect of $1.69. The 'Winx out' market is popular with Kementari the fav at $1.70 but that's not where the interest lies, it's all about Happy Clapper at the $3.20 quote. UBET are also taking no commission out of the win and place tote-pool for race 5 on Saturday.