GERARD DAFFY'S UBET NEWS – THURSDAY 24TH MAY
The swapping of premiership favouritism between Melbourne Storm and St George Illawarra is becoming a regular occurrence, and this week it is the Dragons turn to be favourite again. Melbourne's loss to Manly was the catalyst for the moves, and they are out to $5.50, behind the Dragons who are $4.75. Very little separates the next three in the market, Penrith and the Roosters are at $8.00 with Souths at $8.50. While the Panthers are one of the form teams of the comp, there is still little interest in them winning the title.
That might change this week though if the Panthers can beat the Dragons on Saturday night. This one is shaping as a big betting game with the early push being for the Dragons who have been solid at $1.80. The Dragons have won four on the trot against Penrith, but the Panthers have won three of the last four clashes played at Penrith. Five of the last six matches between the pair have been decided by 1-12 points, and for that reason there has been plenty of interest in both sides to fall inside that mark.
The Cowboys were in shock last week when a penalty saw them edged out by Souths, and it is getting to a critical stage for the Cowboys...they need wins. They will be at home this week and take on Melbourne who will have Cam Smith back after he had to sit on the sideline last week. North Qld are the $2.30 underdogs here, and the stats make for ordinary reading if you want to be on them. Melbourne have won seven in a row against the Cowboys, and the last three of those have been by 13+. If you fancy that option this time around, Storm 13+ is $3.50.
The Origin sides will be named at the completion of the round, and there is still a lot of differing thoughts as to the makeup of both sides. The shock news last week that Cam Smith was retiring from rep football immediately saw a major reaction to the price with NSW firming from $1.75 in to $1.55 to win the series with QLD drifting from $2.10 out to $2.45. Normally Maroon supporters would pile more on as the price drifts, but that hasn't been the case this time, at least up until now, so maybe they are resigned to the fact that the Blues might well win the series?
Tip: Manly to beat Canberra ($2.15)
Richmond came back to earth with a giant thud in Perth on Sunday when the West Coast completely outplayed them in the second half to win easily. Richmond moved from $3.50 out to $4.00 to win the flag following that loss with the Eagles now second pick at $6.00, in from $9.00. The Eagles were tipped to finish closer to last than first before the season started, and were one of the outsiders at $67 to win the flag. Following a loss to the Swans in round 1, they touched $81, but that was their last loss. If they were any other side they would be close to half their current quote, but the big worry of course is their form at the MCG. Brisbane's emphatic win over Hawthorn was a shining light, and temporarily gets them out of wooden spoon discussions even though they remain at $4.25. Carlton were back to their very worst last week and are $1.55 to 'win' the spoon with St Kilda now $4.25 beside Brisbane.
GWS are out to $26 to win the premiership, and while the Giants still have a stack of players on the sideline, most of those are still some way off from being available. That makes their match this week more intriguing as they will host an Essendon side who looked like world beaters last week. The Giants are clear favourite at $1.47 with Essendon at $2.70, but close to 75% of early business has been for the Giants to bounce back.
There appears to be three terrific matches this Sunday, well on paper at least! Often we have one or two one-sided betting matches on Sunday, but there are many reasons why the three this week could be won by either side. The Eagles will be in Melbourne, but at Etihad, and even though Hawthorn went down to Brisbane last week, the betting has been split between these two sides. This will be a massive test for the Eagles ($1.68), as apart from the fact that they have lost eight of their last ten against the Hawks (last three wins by over 45 points), the Hawks have won their last 10 'home' matches against the Eagles. The last loss being way back in 2006.
The round has a host of interesting match-ups but the one that stands out for us is the Melbourne v Adelaide match in Alice Springs on Sunday afternoon. At least both sides will not have to worry about the heat in the Red Centre this time of the year, but the Crows are coming off that match against the Bulldogs which was played in heavy conditions. UBET customers finally have some belief in Melbourne as they have already been backed from $1.85 in to $1.77 in what is shaping as one of the best betting games across the weekend.
Tip: North Melbourne to beat Fremantle ($1.96)
Marc Leishman is on the cusp of breaking into the world top 10, and while beaten into second place in the Byron Nelson last week, he wouldn't have lost too many followers even though beaten. Winner Aaron Wise is another youngster who seems to have it all, and has already been well-backed to win the Fort Worth Invitational in Dallas this week. Wise opened at $34 and firmed quickly in to $31, but as we know it is hard to win two weeks in a row on the PGA Tour. Jordan Spieth is again the favourite at $8.00, ahead of on Rahm ($14) who has opted to play in the USA this week in preference to the BMW on the European Tour. Spieth has the form on the board in this event as he was in a three-way tie for second last year behind Kevin Kisner (as was Rahm), won in 2016, and finished in a tie for second in 2015 behind Chris Kirk, who is a $67 chance this year. For the record, there has been a bit of early money for Kisner who is on the $41 line, and the shortest of the Australians is Adam Scott at $31.
Rory McIlroy will be in England for the BMW where he is the $9.00 favourite with UBET. McIlroy is a previous winner at Wentworth in this event having won in 2014, while equal second favourite Alex Noren ($15) is the defending champion.
Tip: Fort Worth - Jordan Spieth ($8.00)
Real Madrid and Liverpool will do battle in Kiev on Saturday night to decide this year's Champions League winner. Real Madrid were one of the top picks when the market opened last year, $6.00 as an opener before touching $8.50 in January. Liverpool on the other hand were down the betting somewhat, opening at $26, before touching $34 in December. Their EPL form was much improved this season and there had been money all the way along for them to win the CL. Now we are down to two sides, we really need them in preference to Real Madrid. Most of the money for the Spanish side has been for them to win in normal time, including bets of $20,0000 as a multi for a payout of $75,000 with Atletico Madrid in the Europe League (who won last week), and several other four-figure bets including one early this week of $8,000 at $2.15. There is also another huge multi containing real Madrid that only has two legs to run. That punter just needs Real Madrid to win the Cup into Golden State warriors to win the NBA title, the last two legs of a bet of $30,000 that is worth $138,000 should the last two legs salute.
Tip: Champions League - Draw after normal time ($3.65)
Jonathan Rea is a near unbackable $1.10 pop to win the Superbikes title this season, but with the two races due to be held at Donington in the UK this week, he may not have it all his own way. Rea won both races at the last meeting in Italy, and will be the opening favourite with UBET for race 1 at Donington, but there could be an upset on the cards. Tom Sykes has an amazing record at the course having won all six races from 2014-2016, and won race 1 last season before finishing second to Rea in race 2. Sykes will be value on Saturday, and must be rated highly to improve on his already impressive record on this circuit.
Tip: Race 1 - Tom Sykes
Apart from the Australian Grand Prix, the Monaco GP is always the most popular on the F1 circuit each and every year. Apart from the amazing scenery, the tight street circuit makes for exciting racing, and we often see some form reversals from those races already held each season. Lewis Hamilton is back in form having won in Azerbaijan and Spain, but the experts maintain that the long wheel base on his Mercedes will make it hard for him to win in Monaco, a fact that Hamilton has already conceded. That is visible in the betting with Hamilton at $4.00, the longest price he has been this season pre-qualifying. Race favourite is Sebastian Vettel at $2.75, and the other two drivers right in contention are Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen, both at $4.25. That is around half the price that Ricciardo and Verstappen would normally be, but the track will suit both and it is worth noting that Ricciardo should have won this race last year.
Tip: Monaco Grand Prix - Vettel ($2.75)
The racing is phenomenal at Doomben on Saturday. There are eight Group races in total (nine race card), with the two Group 1 features being the Kingsford-Smith and the Queensland Oaks. That's not all, we have the running of the Sires' Produce for the 2yo's (looking toward the JJ Atkins), the Glenlogan Park Stakes, the Grand Prix Stakes, Premier's Cup, Lord Mayor's Cup and the Fred Best Classic. UBET are also running the popular 'real' money back promotion again on races 1-4.
Now that Champagne Cuddles is lining up in the Kingsford-Smith, it really spices things up. She was impressive when winning the Gold Coast Guineas, breaking the track record but doesn't draw the inside this time. She will most likely get back from barrier 10 and be storming home late. Punters were very happy to partake in the $7.00 offered up initially, now in to $4.80. Le Romain ran around at big odds in the 10,000 and it was a brave effort to stick on after a tough run. Punters are keen and have crunched him in to $3.40 (was $4.00). Impending finished with a wet sail in the 10,000 and is currently a $4.30 chance and the extra trip should play right into his hands. The Doomben 10,000 winner, English ($5.00), is again jumping from barrier 1 and might just get that dream run in transit again. Whatever you do, don't discount the talented Care To Think who is currently $8.00 in the market.
While there are plenty of features coming up in Queensland over the next eight weeks, the focus for greyhound followers is firmly on Sandown this Thursday night with the running of the Sandown Cup. The Sandown Cup has a deep history with the most famous winner being Bold Trease which won the race a staggering four times, and barely missed on qualifying for a fifth final in his last year of racing. This year is a little different as we have two potential superstar stayers contesting the final, litter brothers Tornado Tears and Rippin Sam. Both are trained by Robert Britton who also has Benali and Quick Jagger in the final, a wonderful training performance. Tornado Tears nearly broke the track record held by the great Miata at his first distance run a few weeks ago, and while he may look over the odds at $1.80, there is a lot of pace in the race and he may have trouble getting across in the run to the first turn. Rippin Sam ($3.20) has a different racing style getting back in the field, he will get back, and will be the one storming home. It will be a terrific race!
* Prices are correct 2pm Thursday