GERARD DAFFY'S UBET NEWS – THURSDAY 10TH MAY
League fans shot the lights out last week when all eight favourites won, the first time that has happened this season. Those results have seen some significant changes to several of our futures markets, and there is a new favourite to win the premiership. For the first time St George Illawarra are at the head of proceedings at $4.50 thus overtaking Melbourne Storm who are out to $5.50 after the loss to the Dragons last week. Apart from the Dragons, the only sides that punters have shown any interest in this week have been the Roosters at $7.50 and Brisbane at $12. There is a good battle going on at the other end of the ladder where the Titans are slight $3.75 favourites in our 'most losses' market, narrowly ahead of the Bulldogs ($4.00), Manly ($4.25) and Parramatta ($5.50).
Kalyn Ponga (Newcastle) has been receiving all the accolades so far this season, and he is clear favourite at $6.00 to win the Dally M, with second elect, Gareth Widdop at $8.00 (Dragons), the only other player wanted this week. If the Knights are to beat Penrith this round they will be looking for Ponga to be the difference, and they have been very well-backed early, now $2.30 after opening at $2.45. Penrith have won six of their last seven over Newcastle, but the big concern for the Panthers is their injury toll.
For those who may not be aware, while Melbourne and Manly are listed as the 'home' sides, both of the matches will be played in a double header at Suncorp on Saturday night. The Gold Coast Titans scored an upset win over Brisbane at Suncorp earlier in the season, but they are rank outsiders at $5.00 to beat Melbourne, who will be smarting after that loss to the Dragons last week. Brisbane are $1.53 to beat Manly, and punters are right behind them at that price. The Broncos have won their last four against Manly at Suncorp, and in three of those, the winning margin has been by 13+, which would explain money for that option at $3.00.
Tip: Tigers to beat the Cowboys ($1.90)
Favourite backers also had a good time of it in the AFL last week when eight of the nine favourites saluted, although only five of the nine were able to cover their handicap lines. The one thing that is becoming apparent is that there is no reason at all why Richmond can't win back-to-back flags, and they are now $3.75 and clear favourite. It is doubtful that they can get much shorter before the finals come around, at the end of the day you still have to win three games during the final series, and of course they have had a terrific run of not incurring any main injuries. Adelaide are in to $5.50, and there has been money for them this week at that price. There has also been money for them to win the Showdown and if they win that then the $5.50 will disappear. The West Coast are right in contention now at $11 but that price is based on form, there hasn't been any interest in the Eagles to win the flag as yet.
Fremantle were thrashed by Richmond last week, but it seems as though most were in agreeance that Nathan Fyfe was the best on ground. We opened Fyfe as the $4.75 third favourite to win the Brownlow Medal on Monday morning, but the Dockers midfielder has firmed in to $4.25 equal fav with Dustin Martin, with Tom Mitchell close behind at $4.50. Melbourne big man Max Gawn has come from nowhere to be $21 in Brownlow betting, and that would be good news to one UBET customer who placed $50 on Gawn pre-season at $251, then came back with another $60 at $201.
There are some potential season defining matches this week, and perhaps the two that standout are the Friday night clash between Hawthorn and Sydney, and of course the Showdown on Saturday.
Hawthorn have won their last three matches against the Swans, and each of those have been decided by a goal or less. It looks like Sydney will again be without Buddy Franklin and Dan Hannebery, and that has seen the early money sit with Hawthorn who have been backed from $1.85 in to $1.72, with the Swans out to $2.15 in a big betting game.
Port Adelaide were poor against the Eagles last week, and the money says that Port will be right up against it playing Adelaide this week. The Crows are $1.55, but with over 75% of the money sitting with them already, it suggests that the current price will disappear. The Crows are building quite an impressive record in the Showdown, having now won five in a row, and it seems as those most think they will be improving on that record.
The abysmal record that the Aussie sides have against the New Zealanders in Super Rugby continued last week, and the number of losses now sits at 38. The Waratahs did go in as favourites against the Blues, but those who follow the stats were happy to stick with the Blues, and they came away with the cash.
That record looks certain to become even worse this week with the Waratahs being an $8.50 pop against the Crusaders, the only Australian side up against a Kiwi side. The opening line of -19.5 in favour of the Crusaders didn't last long, quickly moving in to -20.5. The Crusaders will be looking to improve on a fabulous home record...they haven't lost there in nearly two years.
The Brumbies v Rebels match has created plenty of interest. The Brumbies sit at $1.53, and these sides have alternated wins in their last six meetings, with that sequence pointing towards a Brumbies win here. The Rebels started the season well winning four of their first five games, but the wheels have fallen off, they have now lost their last five and by an average of 22 points.
In title betting, the Crusaders have joined the Hurricanes at $2.50, and it really does appear as though one of that pair will lift the trophy.
Tip: Sunwolves to Beat the Reds ($2.95)
The Sicilian Open has only been played on three previous occasions, last year, in 2011 and 2012, and two of those winners are in the field this year, and both have been backed to win this week. Alvaro Quiros won last year and is $29 to go back-to-back, while the 2012 winner (wasn't played 2013-2016), Thorbjorn Olesen, has been the best-backed at $15, and that puts him on the second line of betting behind Andy Sullivan who is the $13 favourite.
Jason Day was back in the winner's circle last weekend when he won the Wells Fargo, and it was certainly a timely win for the popular Aussie to return to winning form. Day was $16 and equal favourite with Justin Thomas but is now $15 and clear favourite to win the Players Championship this week. Speith is now second favourite at $16 with Mcllroy and Thomas both at $17. The Players, often referred to as 'the fifth Major', has understandably drawn together all the big names, and aside from winning last week, Day also won this event in 2016, so that has given his supporters a degree of confidence. The best-backed players apart from Day are Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler ($21) who won here in 2015. Paul Casey sits at $34 and Tiger Woods (a two-time winner of the Players Championship) is at $41, while the other main Aussie hope appears to be Marc Leishman at $51.
Tip: Players Championship - Rickie Fowler ($21)
Lewis Hamilton won his first race of the 2018 F1 season in Azerbaijan last start, but it is Sebastian Vettel who is the UBET opening favourite for the Spanish GP this week. Vettel is rarely ahead of Hamilton in our markets, but he is $2.25 ahead of Hamilton at $2.50. Then follows Valtteri Bottas, Kimi Raikkonen, Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen who have all been listed at $10. Hamilton has won the Spanish GP on two occasions, last year and also back in 2014, while Vettel has only been victorious once in 2011, but did finish second to Hamilton last year. Ricciardo was third in the same race, and as we saw by Ricciardo's win in China two races back, he is more than capable of mixing it up with the best.
Tip: Sebastian Vettel to win the Spanish Grand Prix ($2.25)
The Superbikes will be in action at Imola, Italy this week, and while Jonathan Rea is in to $1.25 to win the Riders Championship, this is a course where Chaz Davies has excelled over the past couple of seasons. Rea will open favourite to win race 1 on Saturday with Davies second elect, but Davies has won both races held on this circuit in 2016 and 2017, so he cannot be ruled out. As the price suggests, Rea is the form rider this season and comes to Imola on the back of a win and a second in the Dutch round a couple of weeks back, and did finish second in each of those four races that Davies won here the last two years.
The Rafael Nadal juggernaut just keeps rolling along, and at $1.40, Nadal is now the shortest price he has ever been before a French Open. That is amazing given his age and also the injuries he has had over the past few years. He is arguably in the best form of his career (on clay at least), and several of his main opponents are either out of form or injured. Punters view it the same way as Nadal has been $1.50 in to $1.40 over the past month, and is the anchor in practically all French Open multis coupled up with the women. Dominic Thiem is second favourite at $9.00, ahead of Novak Djokovic at $13, but there has only been scattered interest in both. Those who have met with solid support are Alex Zverev ($17), David Goffin ($34) and Marin Cilic ($34), but nowhere near what we have seen for Nadal.
The money to win the women's title has been spread across more than 20 players, so it does look one of the toughest Major's ever. Simona Halep remains the favourite at $6.00, ahead of Serena Williams, Garbine Muguruza and Elina Svitolina all at $9.00, but practically every name down to the $51 line has attracted several bets, and no doubt there will be many changes to that market as the women get deep into the clay court season as a lead up to the French.
Melbourne Victory won the A League title in rather controversial circumstances last Saturday night, so we now look forward to the European titles before the World Cup gets under way in a little over a month's time. The market is up for the Champions League final, and in 'normal time' betting, Real Madrid are $2.20 ahead of Liverpool at $2.90 with the draw unwanted at $3.90. While the 'outright' market has Real Madrid at $1.70 with Liverpool at $2.15.
The betting for the winner of the EPL for next season is also up and while Man City were the tearaway winners this season, they are very short at $1.67 to win again. There has been some early money for Liverpool at $5.50, and at that price they are second pick's ahead of Man United at $6.50.
Germany and Brazil share $5.00 favourtism to win the World Cup ahead of Spain and France at $7.00, but of that quartet, nearly 70% of the early money is with Germany. Outside of those four sides, there is solid support for both Argentina ($10) and England ($17), with Poland ($51) the best backed of the 'roughies'. There are a host of futures markets open on the World Cup as well as the Group matches, so we will have a closer look at those as the opening matches draw closer.
Queensland takes centre stage this Saturday with the running of the Doomben 10,000. It's no doubt one of the best days of the Winter Racing Carnival and we get to see two superstar sprinters, Redzel and In Her Time, battle it out in this prestigious event. The popular Queensland filly Houzten is a $19 dollar chance and has drawn wide so will most likely go forward to make sure the race is run at a solid tempo. Last year's winner and proven weight-for-age performer, Redzel, has drawn a lovely gate and is the favourite at $2.25. Judging by his recent form, he's the one they all have to beat. The talented mare In Her Time is second favourite and has been backed by punters early ($3.80 in to $3.60). She's drawn barrier 8 and if she can get some cover, she's a real threat to storm over the top of them late. There's a big jump to the Kris Lees-trained Le Romain and the Victory Stakes winner Impending, both at $11. The next runner in the market is Care To Think and although drawing wide cannot be discounted. The early doors agree and he's been supported from $19 in to $14. There has also been some early support for the roughie, Monsieur Gustave, $101 in to $51.
Tip: In Her Time ($3.60)
* Prices are correct 5pm Thursday