GERARD DAFFY'S UBET NEWS – WEDNESDAY 2ND MAY
Winning favourites was back in vogue in the AFL last week with eight of nine saluting, and of those, eight covered the lines. There has been a bit of movement at the top in flag betting with Richmond now in to clear favourite at $4.50, ahead of Sydney at $6.00, with the only other side to meet with any support this week being Port Adelaide at $10. At the other end of the ladder Carlton are now in to $1.75 to win the wooden spoon, and they are ahead of Brisbane at $2.35, with St Kilda now entering calculations at $8.50.
Dustin Martin is in to $3.50 to go back-to-back in the Brownlow Medal, but Hawthorn's Tom Mitchell is close behind at $4.00 after another day out of 40+ possessions against the Saints. North Melbourne's Ben Brown leads the way in the goal kicking and now finds himself leading the Coleman Medal market at $2.25, ahead of Buddy Franklin at $2.75. It looks like Franklin will be missing from the Swans line-up again this week, and oddly enough they actually play the Kangaroos. Sydney had no right to beat Geelong last week with their 'outs', but they maintained that amazing record of three wins over Geelong in Geelong...the only side to spoil the amazing record Geelong have at home. North were poor against Port, and the Swans are hot $1.16 favourites here, with the line set at nearly six goals.
There are a lot of short priced favourites ahead in round 7, but we have a close one in the west where the Eagles host Port Adelaide. Both are coming off a win, but the travel factor may not be such a big issue for Port as they have beaten the Eagles in Perth the last two times they have flown across. The Eagles have been supported from $1.78 in to $1.74 and Port has drifted to $2.10. Charlie Dixon has been used in the ruck over the past few weeks for Port, but with Paddy Ryder expected back into their side this week, there might be some value around for Dixon to kick the first goal...as he's kicked a total of eight goals the last two times they've played.
Tip: Port Adelaide to beat West Coast ($2.10)
Another round of NRL is behind us, and amazingly only four of the eight favourites won...again. Of the eight rounds played so far, four favourites have won every week apart from round 5, where five won. So the 50% favourites winning record remains and is the worst record since betting became official on rugby league in 1993. As a result, we have noticed a huge upturn in money for outsiders, even when the stats and results say they cannot win...they do!
Melbourne Storm and St George Illawarra have cleared out both price wise and money wise to win this year's title. The Storm are in to $5.00, narrowly ahead of the Dragons at $5.50, then there is a decent gap to the Roosters at $8.00. On the back of two wins in a row, Parramatta have moved right away from wooden spoon favouritism (they were $3.00, now $6.50) and are in to $26 to win the comp...and there is some money for them at that quote.
Ironically, the Storm and Dragons face off this Sunday, and after the match opened at $1.90 apiece, the Dragons have moved into slight public elects at $1.85 with Melbourne out to $1.95. If the match was in Victoria the Storm would be clear favourites, but it isn't, so the Dragons get a chance to improve on their home record of five wins from their last six over in Melbourne. Whoever wins will be title favourite this time next week.
Many have been saying since the season started the Cowboys were too slow and it looked like other sides had worked them out, and following a shock loss to Canberra last week, they are really in a 'must win' situation when they travel to Penrith on Friday night. There isn't much separating the two sides in the head-to-head market, with Penrith at $1.85 and the Cowboys at $2.00. While the Panthers have a pretty decent injury toll that is doing them no favours, early support has been with them. These two faced off back in round 4 when the Panthers belted the Cowboys 33-14 in Townsville, and on that occasion James Maloney scored 21 of Penrith's 33 points. Maloney has been a star since coming across to Penrith, and should be the difference again.
Tip: Penrith to beat the Cowboys ($1.85)
There were a couple more big upsets in the Super Rugby last week when the Reds and Jaguares won their matches as outsiders. The other four favourites won, but only one, the Stormers, were able to cover the line. The Reds were $5.00 underdogs to beat the Lions, which they did 27-22, while the Jaguares came from behind to beat the Blues 20-13, and they were the $2.85 outsiders in that match.
The Waratahs will be playing at Brookvale on Saturday night, so that in itself is a little bit different as they prepare to take on the Blues. The Waratahs are warm $1.53 favourites in this match, but the alarm bells go off as we point out that it is 36 matches since an Australian side has beaten a New Zealand side in Super Rugby, but the Blues are really struggling. The other worthwhile stat here, and no doubt the reason for early money for the Waratahs, is that the 'home' team has dominated these meetings winning seven of the last eight matches.
The Jaguares have now won three away games in a row, and while they are clearly the most improved side in Super Rugby this season, they face a huge test on Friday night in Rotorua. The Chiefs will be hosting the Argentinian side, and although they have only met once before in 2016, which saw the Chiefs win narrowly 30-26, the Chiefs are extremely short at $1.18 with the line set at 12.5. The Jaguares are not expected to win but there has been some interest in them with 12.5 points start.
Tip: Lions +13.5 against the Hurricanes ($1.90)
Marc Marquez returned to his very best to win the Americas GP last start, his fifth win in a row in that race. The Spaniard is now in to $1.33 to win the Riders Championship and will go around at a short quote to win on home soil this Sunday. Oddly enough Marquez hasn't won in Jerez since 2014, but has finished on the podium the last three years with two seconds and a third. Dani Pedrosa won the Spanish GP last year but hasn't recaptured that form this season, while Valentino Rossi won in 2016 and Jorge Lorenzo was the victor in 2015. Maverick Vinales is another who has struggled early on this season after tailing right off in the latter part of last season, so Marquez should justify his short price and win this week.
Tip: Marc Marquez to win race 1
Scott McLaughlin won both races held at Phillip Island a couple of weeks ago and is now in to $1.90 to win the title, ahead of Jamie Whincup and Shane Van Gisbergen at $3.75.
Barbagello in Perth will be hosting the Supercars this weekend with race 1 over 50 laps on Saturday and race 2 over 83 laps on Sunday. Not only is McLaughlin in form with those two wins on the Island, he returns to Perth having won both races last year. Holdens occupy the next four positions behind McLaughlin in title betting, but one stat worth noting is that Fords have provided the last seven pole positions at Barbagello. McLaughlin is clearly the one to beat in that market to be fastest qualifier. The evergreen Craig Lowndes will have his fair share of support this week, as he just loves this course and he has won there on 16 occasions.
Tip: Perth Supersprint Race 1 - Scott McLaughlin ($3.25)
The opening round of the Super Netball season was really busy, and there is little doubt that the popularity of netball in the recent Commonwealth Games had something to do with that. Round 1 took on some similarities to last year with Collingwood going in as favourites to win the title but were beaten 59-58 by the Vixens. The Thunderbirds and Giants won their matches as favourites and while there was an upset of some sorts in the last match, the Swifts did land a mini plunge in beating the Firebirds 54-53. The Swifts opened at $3.75 when the market went up on Friday but were backed all the way down to $2.85 before the start.
The Giants are the new favourites at $3.25 this week to win the title, ahead of the Vixens at $4.00 with Collingwood out to $4.50. This week's markets will be up on Friday morning.
It is hard to believe that Sydney FC will be missing when the A League Grand Final is played this week, but that is the case. After dominating the competition all season, and being odds on for several weeks, it took just one hiccup at the hands of Melbourne Victory and now they will be watching on from the sidelines. The Newcastle Jets disposed of Melbourne City, and look on track to make this a fairy-tale ending to the season. The Jets were $21 equal outsiders with the Mariners at the start of the season, and were given little hope, but here they are and $1.75 top pick to win the title with Melbourne Victory at $2.05. That is the market to win at any stage, in normal time, extra time or a penalty shootout. The prices for betting in normal time have the Jets at $2.40, Melbourne Victory at $2.85, and the draw is at $3.45. The stats for the season point towards a win for the Jets. These two have met three times to date, with the home side winning each time. The Jets won 4-1 at home back in round 8, in round 13 the Victory won 2-1 in Melbourne, and the Jets returned home in round 19 to win 2-0.
Tip: Melbourne Victory to beat the Newcastle Jets in normal time ($2.80)
There's some sensational racing in both South Australia and Queensland this Saturday. The two big Group 1 races at Morphettville are the Australasian Oaks over the 2000m and the UBET Classic (aka Robert Sangster Stakes) over the 1200m.
We also head down to the picturesque Gold Coast for Hollindale Stakes day. The feature race is of course the Hollindale Stakes, which is a middle distance (1800m) Group 2 weight-for-age affair. Runners contesting this race will no doubt be looking toward to the Doomben Cup over an extra furlong in a fortnight's time. It's a bumper program with two Group 3 races as well. We've the Ken Russell Memorial Classic over 1200m and the Gold Coast Guineas also over the six furlongs. The listed races on the card are the UBET Silk Stocking over 1200m for the fillies and mares and the Gold Coast Cup over 1400m. Don't forget about the thrilling 900m Bat Out Of Hell scamper for the speedsters.
The time-honoured Warrnambool carnival started on Tuesday and reaches its peak on Thursday with the running of the Grand Annual Steeplechase and of course the Warrnambool Cup! In early betting the favourite for the Cup, Kiwia, has been supported from $3.20 in to $3.00. Next in the market is Yogi ($7.00), then Berisha ($8.00) and Gallic Chieftain ($9.50) is the only other runner under double figures.
* Prices are correct 1pm Wednesday