GERARD DAFFY'S UBET NEWS – THURSDAY 31ST MAY
State of Origin game 1 is not far away, and while Queensland are the $2.40 outsiders in the first game, that hasn't proven to be much of a deterrent to their fans, if anything it is the opposite. Queenslanders love it when they are the underdogs, they wear that tag so well, and it has proven hugely successful in the past. It seems that the exodus of many of the old brigade is the reason for the price, which then moved dramatically from $2.10 to $2.40 once Cam Smith also pulled the pin. The irony is that many of the experts think there is a query on the side with so many changes, but then the Blues come out and do exactly the same. Will they get stage fright, will the combinations gel? Who knows, but we are of the opinion that those questions can be asked of both sides, so we are happy to stick with the Maroons to score another win against the odds. Most of the exotic options are already open, and there has been solid interest in the game total being UNDER 34.5 points, and Josh Addo-Carr to score the first try at $9.00.
The four matches this week have been quiet up to date, but that is always the case when Origin players are out. They all look tough, all could go either way, but the two money sides for the week are Cronulla ($1.90-$1.57) and Parramatta ($1.60-$1.55). The Sharks have won three of the last four against the Bunnies, still look to have a good side on paper, and they are in form. It is hard to put up any sort of argument for the Eels being so short, but the Knights were terrible last week. Newcastle have won eight out of their last 10 against Parramatta including the last three when the Eels were the home side, so we haven't written them off at all this week, they look to be the value team of the round.
Tip: Manly to beat North Queensland ($1.73)
One thing emerged from the results in the AFL last week, both the West Coast Eagles and Melbourne are the real deal! Both have shortened up in flag betting this week with the Eagles $6.00 in to $5.00, while the Demons came from $9.00 in to $6.50, but that has now gone. Melbourne have been the most popular side for the week in flag betting, including one bet of $2,750 at $6.50, and now the $6.00 is being taken. Richmond are out to $4.00, but that is where the money dries up, there is very little interest in any other side at the moment. We have highlighted several times already this season how well North Melbourne have been going, and all of a sudden they are $1.60 to make the final 8 and in to $26 to win the flag.
The upcoming round looks predictable beforehand, apart from one game. The price for all nine favourites to win based on prices mid-week was only $7.58 (for a $1 outlay), the shortest for the season, and in that mix we have Hawthorn v Port Adelaide which looks the tough one. Both sides opened at $1.90 but constant support for Port has seen them move in to $1.86 clear of Hawthorn at $1.95. Dreamtime at the G is one of the highlights of the season, and both Essendon and Richmond seem to rise to the occasion, and there can be an upset. A month ago the form of the Bombers would have seen them as despised outsiders in this game, but their last two wins, and a slight doubt on Tiger star Jack Riewoldt has seen good money for Essendon at $3.50 win the game, and even more so to get within the line of 22.5 points start.
Tip: Essendon +19.5 against Richmond ($2.00)
The South African teams get a bye this week, and with a mini resurgence in the form of the Aussie teams, there is a good deal of interest in the upcoming round.
The Reds have not beaten the Waratahs since 2013 (eight match losing streak), but they get an opportunity to correct that this week. Kicking let the Reds down last week when they lost 18-15 to the Highlanders, and they will be getting a Waratah side who are returning from South Africa. The Reds are $2.85 to win the match, and there has been good early money for them with 5.5 points start at $1.90. While their record against the Waratahs may not be that good on paper, it is worth mentioning that the last two matches played in Brisbane between the sides did go to the Waratahs, but only by two and three points respectively.
The first match on Friday night creates plenty of interest. The Highlanders host the Hurricanes, and while they are the $2.45 outsiders, there is money for them. The Canes have won the last three meetings, but they were all in Wellington. The one stat in favour of the Highlanders is that they have now won their last 11 home games in Super Rugby, and the Hurricanes will still be reeling from a loss to the Crusaders last week, a game that most thought they would win given the depleted Crusaders side that lined up.
Tip: Highlanders to beat the Hurricanes ($2.45)
Much to the delight of UBET customers, Daniel Ricciardo led all the way to win the Monaco GP on Sunday, but the win wasn't without its drama's. Ricciardo's Red Bull car lost a lot of power early on in the race, but a masterful drive from the popular Aussie saw him limp home with the win, and this circuit was probably the only one on the tour where he would have been able to do that. As pointed out last week this was his big opportunity to get back on the winner's list, and while there was plenty of money for him prior to qualifying at $4.50, not many were deterred by the $1.40 on offer (in from $1.45) after he qualified fastest. However that win hasn't changed much as far as title betting is concerned where Lewis Hamilton is still the clear favourite at $1.45, ahead of Sebastian Vettel at $2.75, then a huge gap to Ricciardo at $21.
Marc Marquez doesn't have the best of records in the Italian motoGP, but he will be a warm public elect when the markets open up for this week's race. Marquez did win at Mugello in 2014, but in three subsequent races he has only finished on the podium once, and that was a second to Jorge Lorenzo in 2016. However, there is no doubt that the Spaniard is back to his best and does come to Italy this week after another impressive victory at Le Mans a couple of weeks ago. On that occasion Italian Danilo Petrucci finished second with Valentino Rossi third, and it is worth pointing out that Petrucci did finish third here last year behind Andrea Dovizioso, another Italian, and he will also be among one of the major hopes this week.
Jeff Horn will be on his way to Las Vegas this week for his much anticipated WBO Welterweight title fight against Terrence Crawford. The Crawford camp have started the trash talking over the past few days, but it is like water off a duck's back for Horn, and it certainly hasn't put any of his fans off taking the big odds on offer. Currently Horn is $5.25 with UBET, and he has attracted ten times as many bets as Crawford has at $1.15, so there are some similarities there with the bout between Horn and Pacquiao last year. There is one trend that stands out in the 'method of result' market, and that is that the fight is not expected to go the distance. The two options that have clearly attracted the most business have been Crawford to win by KO ($1.85), and also for Horn to win the same way ($7.00).
Francesco Molinari scored a timely win the BMW in Surrey last week, and the Italian is the UBET opening favourite at $12 to win the Italian Open this week! Molinari has a terrific record in this event having won it twice before, albeit at a different course to the one that will be used in Brescia this week. Molinari won the Italian Open two years ago and also back in 2006, and although he spent several years struggling with his game, judging by what we saw last week, he is back to his best.
There will be seven Australian's teeing off in The Memorial on the US tour this week, and one of them, Jason Day, is on the second line of betting at $15, along with Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. The favourite in the tournament is Justin Rose now in to $13, who is coming off a win in Fort Worth last week. Rickie Fowler is a $21 chance and was runner-up to Jason Duffner in this event last year.
Tip: The Memorial - Justin Rose ($15)
The quality racing shifts to the Sunshine Coast this week, with the headline act The Group 2 Pat O'Shea stakes over the 2200m. There is nothing wrong with Egg Tart's form coming in to this race but she's a short $1.60 pop! Others in the market include Tradesman ($6.00), Man Of His Word ($8.50) and Gallic Chieftain ($9.50). One Foot In Heaven is next in the market at $11 and has won Group 2 races in France, loves it soft so might be a sneaky chance at double-figure odds.
There's another Group 2 on the program, that's the UBET Moreton Cup over the 1200m. The stakes are high here, as the winner gets a free pass into the Stradbroke. There are plenty of chances in this competitive race and the favourite is Handsome Thief at $4.00, then The Monstar at $4.60 and Calanda at $4.80. Keep an eye on Platinum Angel ($5.00) from the Weir camp, she's drawn perfectly and carries very little weight.
There are also five listed races on the card, The Phoenix (1600m for the 2yo's), Oxlade Stakes (1200m for the 2yo's), Lightning Handicap (1000m dash), Helen Coughlan Stakes (1200m race for the girls) and the Spear Chief Handicap (1400m).