GERARD DAFFY'S UBET NEWS – THURSDAY 5TH APRIL
There is little doubt that whether Tiger Woods wins or not this week at Augusta, his presence alone has generated a stack of extra business. Tiger was $41 to win the Masters many months ago when the market was first released, but even the most supreme optimist probably didn't envisage him lining up, and being one of the favourites. That is how it has all panned out however, and Tiger now has more bets, and more money, under his name than any other player in the Masters. He was $15 early this week which was claimed by many including one bet of $1000, and he has now settled at $14. Jordan Spieth showed a return to form in the Houston Open, and that saw a rush of money for him, and he is now the UBET favourite at $10 ahead of Rory McIlroy ($11), Dustin Johnson ($12), Justin Thomas ($13), then follows Tiger. There are four Aussies in the field, Jason Day ($17), Marc Leishman ($41), Adam Scott ($41) and Cameron Percy ($81), and of those, Day and Leishman have been clearly the best backed. Sergio Garcia broke through for his first Major's win in the Masters last year, and he has again attracted plenty of support at $31.
Tip: Justin Rose to win the US Masters ($15)
For the fourth week in a row only four of the NRL favourites managed to win last week, which means that they are running at a winning rate of 50%, and that is unheard of. It was hard to believe that four of the top five in premiership betting, the Roosters, Cowboys, Storm and Broncos could be beaten, and all four were beaten comprehensively. The Dragons were the one side who won again, and are now in to $7.00 to win the title. We haven't seen any real money for them as yet, possibly due to a fantastic start last season that subsequently turned into a nightmare from the midpoint of the year. They do however seem the real deal don't they? The other surprise packets have been the Warriors, also unbeaten, and in to $13 after opening at $41. The lack of interest in the Warriors going all the way is more evident with the lack of support for them, but they were so impressive last week that they must be one of the major hopes...IF they can maintain that form. The Warriors face a big acid test on Saturday in the second match of a double header in Auckland. They host North Queensland, and after opening slight $1.95 outsiders, the Warriors have moved in to $1.90, and the signs are there that there is more to come. The Warriors have actually won five of their last six matches at home against the Cowboys, and there must be some serious doubts over the form of the Cowboys on what we have seen so far.
The Roosters were trampled by the Warriors last week, so was that a fluke or are the Roosters not as good as their premiership odds suggested? That question might be answered on Friday night at Cronulla. The Sharks opened as $2.15 outsiders but the business early in the week was with them, and that saw a price move in to $2.10. The Sharks have a really good record against the Roosters having won six of the last seven meetings, including two of the last three at home, so perhaps that money might be on the mark.
Tip: Sharks to beat the Roosters ($2.10)
We are yet to come across anybody who tipped all nine winners in round 2 of the AFL. Upsets were the order of the day with only three of the nine favourites able to win, and the price for the nine winners was around $1200 for a $1 outlay...depending on when you bet, and that makes it one of the highest ever. The NRL was similar where all eight winners there (four from eight fav's) was around $1050 for a $1 outlay. The Gold Coast and North Melbourne both scored big wins as outsiders after having played in atrocious conditions in Cairns the previous week, and while both were heavily backed to win the wooden spoon before the season started, based on what we saw last week, neither is likely to win that dreaded trophy.
Port Adelaide were one of the big flag movers in the off-season ($13-$9.00), and are now in to $7.00 after beating the Swans in Sydney, no mean feat. They return home on Saturday and are $1.08 to beat Brisbane, with early money for them to cover the handicap line of -46.5 points.
Melbourne have been an enigma in the past for UBET AFL fans when they have been favourites, and they have a very tricky match against North Melbourne this week on Saturday. North Melbourne have accumulated an amazing 17 straight wins over Melbourne dating back to 2006, and that would be behind some early action on the Roos at $4.00 and also 24 points start. The line has moved in to 21.5 and the win quote at $3.30, with Melbourne out to $1.33. Melbourne are only $12 to win the flag now, if they are to be considered a true threat, they need to be putting the bad records to bed and beat sides like the Roos.
The Eagles opened at $2.05 to beat Geelong in Perth on Sunday, and they have been one of the significant early movers. The West Coast have moved in to $1.95 with Geelong out to $1.85, with the thought process being that the Cats played in that battle against Hawthorn on Monday, and the shorter break won't be doing them any favours. West Coast have won the last two home matches against Geelong, and oddly four of the last five between these two have been decided by 40+ points.
Tip: St Kilda +20.5 against Adelaide ($1.90)
The Reds have beaten the Brumbies the last two times they have met, and there is little doubt the Reds have improved this year, so do they seem a good price in Canberra on Saturday night? Many would say 'yes' as there has been early money for the Reds at $2.30 in preference to the $1.62 for the Brumbies, who did struggle against the Waratahs last week. The Reds do struggle away from home, but appear to be a different side under Brad Thorn, and this should be a good test of where they are at. Speaking of the Waratahs, they will be in Tokyo on Saturday afternoon to take on the Sunwolves, and while the Sunwolves also appear to have made some steady improvement, they are yet to beat an Aussie opponent from six attempts, and are $6.00 to do so here. There has been a spattering of interest in the Sunwolves with the14.5 point start. The Jaguares will be at home to the Crusaders this week, and although they have won two of their last three at home and the Crusaders have lost three of their last 'away' games, the early shoppers expect the Crusaders to have a big win here. The opening line of -14.5 in favour of the Crusaders was taken as soon as it opened with the price moving in to $1.85.
Tip: Blues +9.5 against the Chiefs ($1.90)
Although he finished second in the season opening Grand Prix in Melbourne, Lewis Hamilton has opened as the clear $1.80 favourite to win in Bahrain this weekend. Sebastian Vettel won that race in Melbourne, although many concede he may have been fortunate to beat Hamilton, and he has been installed as the second pick at $3.75, followed by Valtteri Bottas at $6.50. Daniel Ricciardo had little luck in Melbourne again, and opens at $11 along with Max Verstappen. Vettel has won in Bahrain on three occasions including last year, while Hamilton has won there twice (2014 and 2015).
Tip: Lewis Hamilton to win the Bahrain Grand Prix ($1.80)
Andre Dovizioso won the motoGP season opener in Qatar, but second placegetter Marc Marquez is the short $1.65 favourite to win in Argentina this week. Ironically, both failed to finish this race last year, but Marquez did win here in 2016 and Dovizioso has been placed here before. The race last year was won by Maverick Vinales who looked unbeatable early last season, but his form tapered right off later in the year, and he was virtually unsighted in Qatar. Vinales is on the fourth line of betting for Sunday, with Valentino Rossi inside him at $8.00. The popular Italian has been runner-up here the past two years, and we have noticed plenty of early money for him as well.
The Supercars are in Tasmania this week where two races will be held, one of 50 laps on Saturday then race 2 will be of 84 laps on Sunday. Symmonds Plains is always one of the more popular events on the calendar, and race 1 is open where Scott McLaughlin is the $3.25 favourite ahead of Jamie Whincup and Shane Van Gisbergen at $3.75. Van Gisbergen won race 1 here last year defeating Whincup, while Fabian Coulthard won race 2 over the longer trip, and there has been early interest in him at $9.00 for Saturday's race.
The Games are underway on the Gold Coast, and it is an opportunity to update all on what we will be doing. Prices will be available on most Gold Medals, but it is the team events where we expect to see most business, as well as the swimming and athletics. In all likelihood there will be markets available on some of the semi's in both swimming and athletics if they look competitive from a betting perspective, and betting on 'teams' events will be available on every match in basketball, netball, hockey and rugby 7's. Some of these will naturally be one sided events but that is where we expect to see plenty of action on line and totals betting.
The big news that the IPL will be shown live on Fox Sports this year went pretty much unnoticed last week with all the other news surrounding cricket being concentrated on what was happening with the Aussie team. The IPL begins on Saturday night Australian time, and from then onwards there will normally be two games each night with the early one starting at around 8.30pm AEST which is ideal. There will be live betting throughout each match, and with plenty of Aussies in the tournament, betting should be frantic. The Mumbai Indians head the market at $4.50, ahead of Bangalore at $6.50, but all sides have been backed, with Kolkata attracting the most individual bets, possibly due to them having Chris Lynn in their side.
The Crème De La Crème take centre stage on day 1 of The Championships at Royal Randwick. There are four exciting Group 1 races on the card, the Doncaster Mile, Australian Derby, TJ Smith and the Sires' Produce. In the prestigious $3M Doncaster Mile event, the top four clearly take up all the market percentage. The talented Randwick Guineas winner, Kementari, is favourite at $3.40, with in-form Happy Clapper next at $5.00, the Rosehill Guineas winner, D'Argento, is $7.00 and Humidor at $8.50. It's a competitive Australian Derby this year and Ace High heads the market at $5.00. We know he can stay the trip and if he gets a better run than he did in the Rosehill Guineas, he'll be hard to hold out. The Kris Lees-trained, Furore, is on the next line of betting at $7.00 and the only other chances under double figures are Vin De Dance and Belfast, both at the $9.00 quote.
Tip: Ace High to win the Australian Derby (Race 7) ($5.00)