GERARD DAFFY'S UBET NEWS – THURSDAY 21ST JUNE
Can Queensland bounce back in game 2 of the State of Origin to level the series? The Maroons have done so before, as recently as last year, but there just isn't the big push this year for Queensland to repeat the dose. They are again big odds at $3.10 with the Blues at $1.38, and the prices have remained that way for well over a week. It has been quiet up until this stage but there has been a lot of other sport on including the US Open and the World Cup, but with the Origin match being a stand-alone this week, we are expecting things to really warm up now as the weekend approaches. Queenslanders love it when they get the underdog status, and the ratio of bets is running 5:1 in favour of the Maroons but there aren't any big ones in amongst that batch. Even the player exotics are dominated by Blues players, with four of the top five in the '1st Try Scorer' market being players from south of the border. Not surprisingly, the most popular of those is Josh Addo-Carr who is also the $8.00 favourite, while the shortest of the Maroon's players is Valentine Holmes at $11, and he is also the best-backed of the Queenslanders. The NSW betting domination is even more evident in the 'Player of the Match' market where they provide seven of the first eight in betting with James Tedesco heading that market at $8.00. Cameron Munster is the shortest of the Maroons at $11 but the most popular Maroons player has been Greg Inglis at $21.
Souths have run into some good form clocking up seven wins in a row and now find themselves the stand-alone $5.00 favourite to win the NRL title. The Bunnies were $31 after round 2, but have been steadily climbing ever since, and there is genuine interest in them now. The Dragons and Roosters are just behind them at $5.50 with Melbourne at $6.50 and Penrith next in line at $7.00, but there is a long way to go. The next round of matches are open for business as are the various international matches that are on this weekend.
Tip: NSW to win ($1.40) and by 6 points!
All six favourites won in the AFL last week, and looking at the prices for round 14, the same thing may happen again this week. The most open betting match as far as prices is concerned is the Friday night clash between Port and Melbourne where Port are $1.54 with the Demons at $2.50. Although Melbourne have won their last two matches against Port, the early money is with Port, and they are running back into form.
The Eagles host Essendon tonight (Thursday), and although hot favourites at $1.20, they will have to get the job done without gun forward Josh Kennedy. The Eagles are already missing Jack Darling, but the last three matches between this pair have been decided by 50+ points, so real blowouts, with two of those being won by the West Coast. The line is currently 25.5 points (in from 31.5), but most of the interest there being for Essendon with the handicap.
The Giants are another side running into some form and they fly to Brisbane as warm $1.28 fav's in their Saturday night match against the Lions. GWS have won their last five against the Lions, and need to keep winning, and in all seven matches between the two, the winning margin has been in excess of 30 points, and the money here has been for the Giants to cover the line of 23.5 points.
Although they had a big win last weekend, Richmond eased out to $4.25 to win the flag on Monday, but several bets, including one of $5,000 has seen the price move back in to $4.00. Sydney have now moved into second pick at $5.50 with the Eagles out to $6.50 after their loss to the Swans last week. Finals for Adelaide this year now appear to be a dream only as they are out to $81 to win the flag and $7.00 to even make the finals, a similar price to what they were to win the flag before round 1!
Tip: Brisbane +22.5 against GWS ($1.90)
Formula 1 racing returns to France this week for the first time since 2008. The Circuit Paul Ricard is where the race will be held, so there is no real form-line to go on apart from what we have seen elsewhere this season. Sebastian Vettel won in Canada defeating Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen, with Aussie Daniel Ricciardo finishing fourth just ahead of Lewis Hamilton. Vettel started fav in that race but pre-qualifying this week he is on the second line at $2.60, just behind Hamilton at $2.40. Mercedes haven't dominated this season as was expected, and even this week the interest in Hamilton is only lukewarm, with UBET punters preferring Vettel along with Ricciardo and Verstappen who are both $8.00. Hamilton is now out to a best priced $1.72 to win the Drivers Championship, ahead of Vettel at $2.15, with a huge gap to Ricciardo at $34.
Tip: Vettel to win the French Grand Prix ($2.60)
Scott McLaughlin and Dave Reynolds were the two race winners in Darwin over the weekend, and the markets are already up for race 1 at Townsville in a few weeks' time. McLaughlin opens at $2.50 there ahead of Jamie Whincup and Shane Van Gisbergen at $5.00, with McLaughlin now a $1.50 chance to win the drivers' championship ahead of Van Gisbergen at $3.50. UBET have opened up a Bathurst market even though it is several months away. Car 17 and Car 1 are our opening favourites at $4.00, with McLaughlin in car 17 along with Alex Premat, while Paul Dumbrell will be partnering Jamie Whincup in Car 1.
We did point out last week that although Brooks Koepka was the defending US Open champion, he hadn't received the support that we expected prior to teeing off this year. Koepka was probably the least popular of those well in the market with UBET, drifting from $19 in the original market to be a $26 chance when play started. Most of the in-play betting focussed on Dustin Johnson who was as short as $1.70 at one stage, but he was found wanting during the last round when the conditions were tough.
The irony of all of this is that Koepka will be going around again this week in the Travelers Championship to be played in Cromwell, Connecticut, and he is clearly the least popular of those under $26. It is common place for players who back-up after a win in a Major to struggle, but they do normally attract plenty of support, but that isn't the case this time around. Justin Thomas is our $13 favourite, ahead of Rory McIlroy at $15, followed by Koepka and Jordan Spieth at $16. Then comes Jason Day, one of several big names to miss the cut last week, well in the betting again at $17. Marc Leishman won the Travelers back in 2012, and is $29.
Tip: Jordan Spieth to win the Travelers Championship ($17)
Victorian Tornado Tears smashed the Albion Park Distance record when he won the UBET Gold Cup there last Thursday night, and he lines up in the Superstayers again this Thursday night (tonight). Tornado Tears lost a couple of lengths in the run last week, so it will be interesting to see what he can run this week if he finds the lead early. This week he will only have three opponents but he did open at a backable $1.50 which was quickly snapped up and he is now $1.40. Litter brother Rippin' Sam found plenty of trouble when placed behind Tornado Tears last week and he is the second pick at $4.20, ahead of local star Jalapeno at $4.60 and Champagne Sally the bolter at $41. There is also a market available on what time the winner of the race will run with most expecting the winning time to be similar to what it was last week.
Tip: Superstayers (R8 Albion Park Thursday) - Tornado Tears ($1.40)
The Black's A Fake will be run at Albion Park on July 21 and after last weekend's racing we have seen an alteration to the market. Prior to an impressive win at Melton on Saturday night Soho Tribecca was the $3.50 equal favourite with My Field Marshal, but with the latter beaten at Menangle on Saturday night, he has drifted to $3.60, while Soho Tribecca moved in to $3.00 then $2.80 on the back of some solid support on Monday of this week. There is plenty of interest in Hectorjayjay at $8.00 even though he is returning from retirement. Hector has trialled impressively in Victoria over the past two weeks, and adds another element of mysticism to what should be a cracking race.
The final Group 1 race of the season is the Tattersall's Tiara and it's on Saturday at Doomben. This race has promised to be something special from the outset and we have certainly not been disappointed with this final-field. From a punting perspective, it's tricky as we have many classy fillies and mares, all in fantastic form. Our favourite at UBET is the Bjorn Baker-trained filly Champagne Cuddles ($5.50). This talented 3yo is certainly deserving of a Group 1 crown this campaign and she gets her chance here from the good draw. Prompt Response is second favourite in the market at $6.50, after a brave effort in the Dane Ripper Stakes when trapped wide and could easily go one better. There are a few others around a similar quote, Savanna Amour is at $8.00 and having her first crack at a Group 1, with Moss Trip and Super Cash both at $9.50. Pedrena from the Mick Price stable is also not without claims and looks good each way value at the $12 quote. It's a stellar 9-race card this Saturday at Doomben and UBET are running the hugely popular 'real' money back promotion again on races 1-4.
Tip: Pedrena to win the Tatt's Tiara ($12)
* Prices are correct 2pm Thursday