GERARD DAFFY'S UBET NEWS – THURSDAY 26TH APRIL
Both ANZAC Day NRL matches were won by the heavily backed favourites, and that certainly bucked the trend so far this season. On the back of impressive wins by the Dragons and Storm, there has been a reshuffle in the premiership market with those two sides well and truly entrenched at the head of proceedings. Melbourne are now $4.50, ahead of the Dragons at $5.50, with the Roosters (one of the best backed sides before the season started), out to $7.50. Losses to Penrith ($10), New Zealand ($12) and Wests Tigers ($17) over the last seven days has seen interest in that trio dry up, but there has been money this week for North Queensland at $11, despite only racking up two wins.
The Cowboys have been a mover in Saturday night's clash in Townsville against Canberra. After opening at $1.45, the Cowboys are already sitting at $1.40, and would need to win, and easily, if they are to justify the backing for them to win the title. North Queensland have won their last nine at home against the Raiders, and that record should see them get the two points here.
The Sharks were valiant in the win over Penrith last week, and there is an early push for them to win at the Gold Coast on Saturday. After opening at $1.80, Cronulla are in slightly to $1.74, with the Titans at $2.10. The Sharks have won three of their last four 'away' matches against the Gold Coast, but the Titans have a knack of showing up when the bookies rate them as outsiders.
Parramatta landed the biggest plunge of the year so far when they smashed Manly last week, and many of those punters have returned again this week. The Eels were $2.25 on Monday to beat the West Tigers, but that price didn't last long as they moved in to the current quote of $2.05. They are still the outsiders with the Tigers at $1.80, but the signs are there that the $2.05 might not last either, so maybe the Eels can grab another win?
Tip: Parramatta to beat the Tigers ($2.05)
The ANZAC Day match between Collingwood and Essendon turned out to be a fizzer when the Magpies took control in the latter part of the first quarter and from there on in it was a procession. Collingwood have now entered Grand Final calculations at $13, hard to believe it after their form of just a few weeks ago. Essendon on the other hand have blown out to $26, and given there was so much hype around their chances this year before the season got under way, they now face a battle to even get into the finals let alone win it. Richmond were the best-backed side to win the flag before the season opener and lead that market now at $5.00, ahead of Adelaide and Sydney at $7.00, with Geelong and GWS next in line at $7.50.
The Cats will be at home to Sydney on Saturday, and those who snapped up the $1.77 Geelong early in the week when Joel Selwood had to face the tribunal would be very happy with the current price. Selwood got off on appeal as we know, but the Swans copped a double whammy when they lost Franklin and Hannebury for the match. That catapulted the price for Geelong in to $1.42 with the Swans out to $2.90. Sydney have won three of their last four 'away' matches against Geelong, but they face a difficult task on Saturday.
Collingwood vs Richmond is the talking point of the weekend, and we get to see exactly where the Pies are at, even though they come in on a slightly shorter back-up. Collingwood were $2.85 to win this game before ANZAC Day, and are now $2.60 and there is plenty of money for them, particularly on the line of +12.5. Richmond have won four of the last five against Collingwood but they have been a much better side over the past two seasons, and while they did a demolition job on Melbourne at the MCG on Tuesday night, nothing would surprise in this one, also at the MCG, on Sunday.
Tip: North Melbourne to beat Port Adelaide ($2.50)
The four Australian sides fared poorly last week with all being beaten, and two of them were clear favourites! It doesn't look like getting much better this week the three that are down to play, the Reds, the Rebels and the Brumbies, all lengthy outsiders.
The Reds will be at home to the Lions, who were really impressive thrashing the Waratahs in Sydney. The Reds are $4.75, or getting 11.5 points start at the line, but their inability to score points has seen all of the money with the Lions, even to cover the line.
The Brumbies also have a home fixture against the Crusaders, and are also rank outsiders at $5.75, with the line at 14.5 points. The Brumbies were no match for the Jaguares last week, so it is hard to put up a case for them here. The Crusaders are on a seven match winning streak against the Brumbies, but if you are looking for an exotic bet, the game total may be of interest. The last three matches between these two sides has seen an average of 56 points scored.
The Hurricanes and Crusaders continue to dominate the betting to win the title at $2.50 and $3.25 respectively.
Tip: Brumbies +16.5 against the Crusaders ($1.90)
The US PGA Tour event this week will be the Zurich Classic in New Orleans, and for the second year in a row, this will be a team event. Punters definitely have a preference for the match play format, but there will be plenty of business on this one as our very own Cameron Smith will be back to defend the title he won last year with Swede Jonas Blixt. That pairing was big odds last year, and they are again at $34, with the favourites Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson at $8.00. There has been early money for that combo, but several others have also attracted support, including Ryan Palmer/Jordan Spieth at $13, and Matt Kuchar/Bubba Watson at $15.
The Chinese Open is the European Tour event for the week, and Alexander Levy heads that market at $11, and looking at his form-guide it is easy to see why. Levy won in Morocco last week, so he is in form, but he is also a two-time winner of the China Open, having won in 2014 and also last year when he won at the same course that will be in play this week. Li Hao Tong won here in 2016 and he shares the second line of betting with Joost Luiten at $15.
Scott McLaughlin was able to repeat what he did in 2016 when he won both races at Phillip Island on the weekend, and has now moved in to clear favourite to win the Drivers Championship. McLaughlin was the top elect when the market first went up several months ago, but has moved in to $1.90, ahead of Jamie Whincup and Shane Van Gisbergen at $3.75. The next meeting will be in Perth the weekend after this, and the market for race 1 will open in the coming days.
Daniel Ricciardo burst back into the winners list in China last start, and plenty think he can go back-to-back in Azerbaijan this week. Not only would it be back-to-back wins for the popular Aussie, but he also won this race last year, so it is easy to understand why UBET F1 fans have been keen on him at $10. Lewis Hamilton is the ruling favourite at $2.10, but his Mercedes clearly has issues and punters have been giving him a wide berth. That has seen a solid push for second elect Sebastian Vettel at $2.65, and also Max Verstappen at $10.
Tip: Vettel to win the Azerbaijan Grand Prix ($2.65)
Netball was one of the more popular betting events during the recent Commonwealth Games, and while there was a major shock when England defeated Australia in the Gold medal match, there appears to be a bigger focus on this season's Super Netball competition which gets under way this weekend. The Sunshine Coast defeated the Giants in last year's Grand Final, but it is Collingwood who head up the market at $3.50, ahead of the Giants ($3.75) and then follows the Sunshine Coast ($5.00). All three have met with good support, as have the Firebirds ($7.50) and the West Coast Fever ($15). Collingwood did open as favourites last season but struggled early on. They play cross town rivals the Vixens on Saturday, and all four round 1 matches will open later today.
We are at the semi-final stage of the A-League, and while Sydney FC are expected to brush aside Melbourne Victory and progress to the grand final next week, opinions are divided on Friday nights clash between Newcastle and Melbourne City. Newcastle did open slight $2.40 favourites in the 'normal time' market with City at $2.75. However, City have overtaken the Jets as favourites and are now trading at $2.55, ahead of the Jets at $2.60 with the draw unwanted at $3.50. Melbourne City is undefeated in their last four clashes with the Jets (three wins and a draw), and the Jets did start to stumble at the end of the season before thrashing the Mariners 8-2 in round 27.
All and sundry think that Sydney FC will eliminate Melbourne Victory on Saturday night, and they are priced accordingly at $1.72 to win in 'normal time'. The Victory travel north knowing that the last eight A-League clashes with the Sky Blues have resulted in seven wins, and a draw, to the Sydneysiders. There is a sprinkling of money for a Melbourne upset at $4.40, but all of the bigger money, particularly through multis, is all with Sydney. As soon as this match is decided, next week's Grand Final will be opened.
Manchester United and Chelsea were two of the top picks at $7.00 when the original FA Cup market opened last year, and in a promoter's dream, both have made their way through to the final which will be played later in May. Manchester United have opened slight favourites at $1.85 to win the Cup, with Chelsea at $1.95, and the early money has been for Manchester United.
The spotlight is shining brightly on Queensland this week for Victory Stakes day, as the Winter Racing Carnival really starts to heat up.
We get to see last year's Stradbroke winner, Impending, back in action in the Group 2 Victory Stakes. He faces seven opponents and is the one they all have to beat. Next in line is Supido at $3.80, who has been in good form down in Melbourne and no knock on I Am Excited, who is third pick at $6.50. Havasay ($61-$34) and Monsieur Gustave ($21-16) have both been spec'ed early and at big odds.
Other highly anticipated races on the day include the Dalrello Stakes (race 5) for the 2yo's, the Bracelet (race 7) at the set weights and the competitive Gunsynd Classic (race 9).
Victory Stakes Market: