GERARD DAFFY'S UBET NEWS – THURSDAY 29TH MARCH
It's footy season, and I bet that Cricket Australia could never have predicted that the South Africa v Australia test series would be in the news, but such has been the backlash to the events of the third test that you would barely know that there is footy on this week! With three players out of the Australian side at the time of writing, the national side is $4.50 to win the fourth test in Johannesburg, and less than $50 has been placed on them, and that is unheard of. There has been an avalanche of money for South Africa, $1.58 in to $1.50 and the draw is also unwanted at $5.50. South Africa only have to draw (or win) to wrap up the series in their favour, and it seems that most UBET customers think that will happen.
Tip: South Africa to beat Australia ($1.50)
AFL fans shot accurately on the opening round this season when seven of the nine favourites won, the only two outsiders being the Gold Coast and Geelong, and both were engaged in 'toss of the coin' games. Four of the round 2 favourites will be playing away from home, but there have been some interesting early trends. Adelaide host Richmond tonight (Thursday) in a rematch of last year's grand final, and even though Richmond are the outsiders ($2.25-$2.05), there has been a stack of support for them. They have attracted twice as many bets in comparison to the Crows, and the bigger bets are with them as well. No matter which side wins, it will cause a shakeup to flag betting.
Fremantle were very ordinary against Port last week, and although they return to Perth on Saturday, most expect them to go down to Essendon. The Bombers have been one of the best-backed teams this week, and the current $1.57 will probably disappear if their side remains unchanged at the selection table.
Aside from Thursday night's match in Adelaide, there are a couple of blockbusters up on Sunday and Monday to look forward to.
Sydney have won five of their last six matches against Port Adelaide, and have won seven of their last eight against Port in Sydney, but Port looked good last week and big things are expected of them...and the Swans are returning from the west. That has created a terrific betting match even though the Swans are $1.40, there are plenty who say that not only will Port get within the 16.5 points start ($1.90), but might also win at $3.00.
And then on Easter Monday we have the traditional clash between Geelong and Hawthorn. Both won last week, but the Cats will be bolstered by the return of Patrick Dangerfield, and that has seen good money come for them to win at $1.60. Geelong have won the last four encounters against Hawthorn, and while it is clearly early in the season, a win to either side is very important.
Tip: Richmond to beat Adelaide ($2.05)
For the third week in a row, only four of the NRL favourites were able to win last week but some of the outsiders that were victorious were very well backed, including the Bulldogs. After being backed from $2.45 in to $2.25, the Bulldogs barley managed to hang on and defeat Penrith by two points, and all of a sudden Penrith, Parramatta and Canberra, three of the sides tipped to win the title this year, are under enormous pressure. It doesn't get much easier for the Panthers tonight (Thursday) as they head to Townsville to play the Cowboys who have won their last five at home against Penrith. That is reflected in the betting with North Qld $1.25, and punters are keen on their -10.5 line as well.
Souths have been a 'go' in the first of the Good Friday matches against the Bulldogs. UBET opened the market here at $1.90 apiece, but there has been a good rally for Souths, now $1.75 on the back of a big win over Manly last week.
Parramatta are winless, and the Tigers could easily have been unbeaten, and that sets up what should be an intriguing battle on Monday at ANZ stadium. The Tigers seemed well priced at $2.20 outsiders last Sunday night, but sustained support for them has their price currently at $1.87 and now they are favourite over the Eels ($1.95). The Tigers have lost five of their last seven at ANZ and lost four of their last five against Parramatta, but they have displayed some new found tenacity this season, and punters expect them to be very hard to beat on Monday.
Tip: Tigers to beat Parramatta ($1.87)
The Houston Open often attracts several of the big names even though they will be lining up in The Masters the week following, and that is the case again this week. Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose and Jordan Spieth head the Houston Open market at $12, ahead of Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson at $15. Like those above him in the betting, Mickelson is in form at the moment, is a previous winner of this event, and punters are warming to him again. Russell Henley is the defending champion and is a $29 chance, while Aaron Baddeley and Matt Jones are the shortest of a five-man Aussie contingent, but well down the market at $151. It is worth noting that Jones did win the Houston Open in 2014, so we have seen a handful of bets for him to repeat the dose even though he hasn't been in that sort of form.
Things are really warming up with the Masters now, and Rory McIlroy is the $11 favourite, but he has several players breathing down his neck. Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas are on the second line at $12, narrowly ahead of Jordan Spieth and Tiger Woods at $13. Bubba Watson bounced back into form winning the Match Play last weekend, and that saw a price move from $26 in to $17, with Jason Day at $16.
Tip: Houston Open - Justin Rose ($12)
Sebastian Vettel probably scored a lucky win the Australian GP at the weekend, but he goes down in the record books as the winner, and those who took the $5.00 have been paid! Already Vettel and $1.45 race favourite Lewis Hamilton look set to dominate again, so much so that the prices to win the Drivers Championship have remained the same (Hamilton $1.50 and Vettel $4.00). The next race will be in Bahrain the weekend after this, and markets will be up later in the week.
It was a strange mixture of results in the four Supercar races held in Melbourne as part of the Formula 1 weekend, but it was obvious that the four sprint races meant a lot more this year with the races counting for title points. In the new market to win this year's title, Scott McLaughlin and Shane Van Gisbergen are the $3.00 equal favourites, ahead of Jamie Whincup at $5.50. David Reynolds now moves into fourth pick at $9.00 after winning a race on Sunday. There will be two races in Tasmania on April 7/8 and race 1 will be open on Saturday of this week.
The Commonwealth Games are less than a week away, and while it has been extremely difficult to gather information from around the world on various events, the sports that are currently opened have generated a lot of interest. We suspected that the 'team' events like Rugby, Netball, Hockey and Basketball would be some of the more popular sports, and that is the case with the Gold Medal markets on those events. Australia, with Laura Geitz back, have been the best backed to win gold in the Netball, currently at $1.40 after opening at $1.60. While in the men's Rugby 7's market, UBET punters are all over South Africa and Fiji at $3.00 and $3.25 respectively. Keep an eye on the UBET and RadioTAB Twitter accounts (@UBET or @RadioTABAus) to get updated markets and market moves.
With Steph Curry still on the sidelines for the Golden State Warriors, and no clear time-frame for his comeback, it is getting to the stage where the Houston Rockets might overtake the Warriors as favourites to win the title. The word is that Curry might miss the first round of playoffs and then be back, but with no real clarity, the Warriors are out to $2.25, and not surprisingly, there are very few takers. The Rockets are close behind at $2.75, and while there hadn't been any real support for them early in the season, there is now. Cleveland have had their issues as well, but have shortened up from $11 in to $8.00 over the past week.
The deciding match, Game 5, of the NBL season, will be played in Melbourne on Saturday evening. The trend in the previous four matches of the final series has been a win for the home side, and Melbourne United have been priced accordingly as $1.47 favourites. The Adelaide 36er's are more than capable of taking it right up to Melbourne, and we have seen really good support for them at $2.70. The line has been set at -5.0 points, but not a lot to report there in early action. There was a lot of spite between the two sides in the first match last weekend, so it will be interesting to see what happens this week, as neither side can afford for their stars to be in foul trouble.
Tip: Melbourne to win the NBL decider at home ($1.47)
The big racing continues at Rosehill this week and the feature race on the card is the $1.5M Kia Tancred Stakes (formerly known as The BMW). The talented 7yo, Gailo Chop, will be backing up quickly from the Ranvet and is the current favourite at $2.30 (out from $2.20). He looks to be a much better proposition over 2000m, so may be under-the-odds. Next in the market is the Melbourne Cup champion Almandin and he's been trimmed from $3.60 in to $3.30. The big shortener is the serious contender Auvray ($14-$9.00) whose ideal distance is 2400m. Another main player is Single Gaze ($8.00-$6.50) and keep a close eye on the ex-Japanese runner, Ambitious ($16). It's a huge 9-race program, with the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes also on, as well as plenty of other competitive Group races.
Tip: Auvray to win the Kia Tancred Stakes ($9.00)