GERARD DAFFY'S UBET NEWS – THURSDAY 19TH APRIL
Dustin Martin outplayed, and outscored, the Brisbane Lions last weekend, and that best afield performance has the reigning Brownlow Medal champ back in to favouritism to win again. Tom Mitchell was favourite last week but Martin is now $3.75, ahead of Mitchell at $4.25, followed by Nathan Fyfe ($7.50) and Paddy Dangerfield ($8.00). After kicking six goals last week there has even been a smattering of money for Martin to win the Coleman Medal at $51. Buddy Franklin leads that market at $2.25, ahead of Ben Brown and Jeremy Cameron at $5.00
As far as the flag is concerned, naturally the money for Adelaide and Port has dried up this week following their losses in round 4 with the Crows at $8.00, just ahead of Port at $8.50. Sydney is currently at the top of the market at $5.50, ahead of the Giants and Richmond, both at $6.00. However, the market changes each and every week on the back of the upsets we are seeing.
The Swans host Adelaide at the SCG on Friday night, and on last week's form, and some injuries, the Crows are the neglected $3.25 outsiders here. There is also money for the Swans to beat the line handicap of -17.5 points at $1.90, and that has subsequently moved out to -19.5.
The Port Adelaide v Geelong clash is probably the game of the round. While Port does return to Adelaide, there must be concern over their last two matches, as they scored a lucky win over lowly Brisbane and lost to Essendon. The money however is with them to get back on track at $1.55, even though Geelong has a great record against Port, having won 13 of their last 14 clashes.
The ANZAC Day match between Collingwood and Essendon is one of the biggest matches of the season, and with both coming in off the back of upset wins, there is plenty of early interest. There have been many upsets in this fixture down through the years, and while Collingwood are the slight $1.80 favourites, the early money is with Essendon at $2.02.
Tip: Essendon to beat Collingwood ($2.02)
The upsets continue in rugby league with only four of the eight favourites winning again last week, maintaining the 50% win rate of them for the season, the worst in betting history. A shock loss suffered by the Roosters has seen them deposed as premiership favourites, and it is now the Dragons who head proceedings at $5.50, ahead of Melbourne ($6.00) and then the Roosters ($5.50-$7.00). Penrith have been the quiet achievers so far and while they are in to $9.00, there are no takers, and the same applies to the Wests Tigers who are currently $15. The big story is at the other end of the table though where Parramatta (fourth favourite to win the premiership pre-season) remains winless, and are $3.00 to win the wooden spoon!
Back in round 2, the Eels were flogged 54-0 by Manly, and while that form-line would suggest Manly would be certain to inflict more pain on the Eels this week, that isn't the case. Manly were terrible last week against the Tigers and have more off-field dramas so that has seen money for Parramatta ($2.40 in to $2.35).
Brisbane got back on the winners list against the previously unbeaten Warriors last week, and their fans are on them this week to beat the Storm in Brisbane. In a spirited betting affair, the Broncos have been backed from $2.35 in to $2.30, and the trail of bets coming for them suggests that the price might get even shorter. The stats men are saying this should go to the Storm however, as Melbourne have beaten Brisbane in Brisbane the last seven times they have met, an amazing record.
Tip: Parramatta to get on the board against the Sea Eagles ($2.35)
After what seems like an eternity, the A League finals get under way this week. Sydney FC wrapped up the Premiers Plate with Newcastle Jets finishing in second position. That means that those two sides get the benefit of the first week of finals off. Melbourne City host Brisbane Roar on Friday night, and all of the early interest is for City to win inside normal time at $1.70. The other elimination final will see Melbourne Victory host Adelaide on Sunday night, and while Victory are favourite at $1.98, there has been a good spread of money to say that the Reds can win in Melbourne ($3.75).
Sydney FC remained odds-on for months to win the title and remain that way at $1.67, with the Jets at $5.00.
There were also upsets in Super Rugby last week, and that is fast becoming the norm for that competition as well. The one thing that doesn't change much is the title betting which is completely dominated by the Kiwi sides. The Hurricanes remain at $2.50 ahead of the Crusaders at $3.25. While the Highlanders and Chiefs are there at $7.50, the interest is firmly focussed on the two favourites. The Waratahs are $11, but that is really by default, as they look certain to win the Australian Conference which gives them a path to the finals.
The Waratahs get an opportunity to show us all how good they are when they host the Lions in Sydney on Friday night. The Waratahs are favourite at $1.70 with the Lions at $2.15, and the money is with the home side. The 'home' side has won on the last five occasions these two sides have met and another useful stat is that, in the last six meetings the average total has been 65 points, so look for plenty of points.
The Reds return home on Saturday night, and while they have shown some improvement this season, the betting says that they shouldn't provide too much resistance to the Chiefs. The Reds are $5.50 with the Chiefs at $1.13, and the line is a 13.5 point start. The last three times they have met, the Chiefs have won by big margins (21 points or more), and in those three matches the Reds have only averaged eight points per game. Those figures will be nowhere near good enough against the Chiefs.
Tip: Highlanders -7.5 against the Blues ($1.85)
Edoardo Molinari won the Trophee Hassan 11 in Morocco last year, but he has been sadly out of form ever since, and goes into that event this year as one of the outsiders at $126. Paul Dunne (last year's runner-up) heads the market at $9.00, ahead of George Coetzee ($16), Joost Luiten ($23) and Thomas Pieters ($21), with Pieters the most popular of that trio. Brett Rumford showed some sort of return to form last week in Spain, and is a $101 pop this week.
The Valero Texas Open is the US PGA Tour event this week, and Sergio Garcia is the UBET opening fav at $16 in a wide open betting event. Matt Kuchar follows Sergio at $19, then Charley Hoffman ($21) and Luke List ($23). Hoffman won the Texas Open two years ago before Kevin Chappel won it in 2017, and Chappel has attracted a fair swag of money to win again at $31. Adam Scott is also a previous winner (2010) and is the shortest of the eight Aussies in the field at $31.
Tip: Texas Open - Brandt Snedeker ($34)
The clock was turned back several years when Craig Lowndes won the second race at Symmons Plains a fortnight ago, and that came on the back of Jamie Whincup winning race 1. It just goes to show that the Supercar racing is still wide open, and on any given day, any driver can win. Phillip Island hosts the Supercars this week and we might see some big form reversal, as this track is built for pure speed, and for that reason Scott McLaughlin has been installed as the UBET favourite at $3.50, ahead of Jamie Whincup and Shane Van Gisbergen at $3.75. McLaughlin won both races here in 2016 but failed to feature on the podium last year, where the wins went to Fabian Coulthard and Chaz Mostert. There will be two races this week, one on Saturday the other Sunday, and both over 57 laps.
Tip: Phillip Island Race 1 - Scott McLaughlin ($3.50)
Marc Marquez has won all five GP's of America held in Austin, Texas, and although he hasn't won a race so far this season, that terrific record has seen Marquez open very short this week at $1.65. Andrea Dovizioso won the season opener in Qatar and he is second pick at $4.00, ahead of Valentino Rossi at $7.00. Rossi finished second to Marquez in Texas last year, and is always a major threat. Jack Miller was the surprise packet in Argentina after qualifying fastest. The Aussie couldn't capitalise on pole position eventually finishing fourth, and is $26 this week.
Daniel Ricciardo chalked up his sixth career win in F1 in Shanghai on Sunday, and there were plenty of loyal supporters cashed up afterwards after taking our $26. Ricciardo was simply too good coming from well back in the field, and the win has raised some serious question marks on where Mercedes' are currently at. Lewis Hamilton is an easing $1.90 favourite to win the Driver's Championship, ahead of Sebastian Vettel at $2.10, with Ricciardo now in to $21.
The clay court season is in full swing with Monte Carlo hosting the men this week, and that means the French Open is not far away. Although Rafael Nadal had injuries last year, he has been the dominant force on clay for over a decade and is the $1.70 favourite to win in Paris, and punters are happy to take that. With so many players ether out of form or injured, Dominic Thiem finds himself on the second line of betting at $8.50, ahead of Novak Djokovic ($10) who has returned for Monte Carlo. The availability of Andy Murray is still in question, and is well down the list at $34, a price he shares with the well-backed Marin Cilic.
The women's title looks wide open as close to 20 players have already been met with good support. Simona Halep is the standout (and favourite) at $6.50, ahead of Serena Williams, Garbine Muguruza and Elina Svitolina, all at $9.00. Darya Kasatkina has been a big mover, ($51-$17), along with Naomi Osaka who was $151 in the opening market but has been backed all the way down to $23.
This Saturday at Randwick we have a stellar nine-race card which includes the two Group 1 features, the Champagne Stakes and the All Aged Stakes.
The All Aged Stakes is a proper weight-for-age contest over the 1400m and the favourite, Trapeze Artist, is the one they all have to beat after winning the TJ Smith in impressive fashion ($2.60 in to $2.30). There's a big jump in the market to Brave Smash and Le Romain, both at $8.00, followed closely by Hartnell ($9.00) and Tom Melbourne ($10).
The Champagne Stakes is a more open affair and the two-year-olds are stepping up to the mile after running in the Sires Produce a fortnight ago. Not A Single Cent and Seabrook are equal $5.50 favourites, with Outrageous (arguably should've won the Sires) supported from $7.00 in to $6.00, then Long Leaf at $7.50 and the Sires winner, El Dorado Dreaming, next at $9.50.