GERARD DAFFY'S UBET NEWS – WEDNESDAY 4TH JULY
The State of Origin series is already won, but game 3 was always going to be an opportunity for Queensland to hopefully salvage something, however, it has taken a turn for the worse. Game 3 market went up with QLD at $2.10 and NSW $1.74, and around 80% of the early money was for the Maroons and that price moved in to $2.00. However key injuries to the Maroons, with the biggest being Greg Inglis, has seen the price blow out to $2.25 with NSW in to $1.65, and there are signs that the $1.65 will probably disappear.
That leaves us with four matches this weekend as the Origin series draws to a close, and the matches are on the quiet side as they normally are with many of the big names missing. Of the four matches this week, the NZ Warriors have been the standout side with UBET punters. After opening at $1.75, the Warriors are already in to $1.58, and looking through the sides they are least affected by Origin call-up. The one thing that Penrith have in their favour is that they have won their last five at home against the Warriors.
Well it happened to Canberra again last week, the Raiders look on track to miss the eight now, and they could quite easily have been well and truly in the mix. In live betting last week, the Raiders led Brisbane 16-0 at half time, with the Raiders at $1.20 and Brisbane at $4.40. Raider's fans have been burnt before when leading before going on to lose, so there was very little interest in them even though they held a massive lead.
Speaking of Brisbane, the Broncos have won seven of their last eight against the Gold Coast which includes a 54-0 thumping the last time the pair met at CBUS Stadium. This one is expected to be a whole lot closer however as the majority of early support has been with the Titans at $2.25.
Souths move in to $4.50 to win the title ahead of the Dragons and Roosters at $5.50. There are eight sides under $101, so the betting says that the final eight is set in stone, can a team come from the clouds?
Tip: Gold Coast to beat the Broncos ($2.25)
Round 15 of season 2018 will go down as the round that provided the biggest upsets ever, as far as the price for picking all nine winners was concerned. Five of the nine favourites won, but the dividend for all nine winners (based on Thursday prices) was in excess of $1,440 for a $1 outlay! Naturally the long priced wins by the Bulldogs ($5.00) and St Kilda ($6.50) bolstered that divvy, and it was capped off by Brisbane's ($4.00) impressive victory over Fremantle. The one thing that did come out of the weekend was that Richmond remains the team to beat in flag betting, now at $3.00. Collingwood have picked up some long-term injuries and while the Pies did win, they have drifted from $7.00 out to $7.50. Looking at the betting there are still 12 sides that can make the finals, so every game is crucial, as are injuries. The Tigers have been pretty fortunate now for a season and a half, but a side still has to win at least three matches to win the flag, so for the time being they really can't be much shorter than the $3.00 currently on offer.
The last time Richmond and the Crows played at the MCG was in the Big Dance last year. The Crows were backed for a stack to win the Grand Final but were on the receiving end of a nice old hiding. Looking at the betting on that game it is hard to believe that the Crows are $4.30 this week, with the line set at 29.5 points. They looked in awful trouble against an under-strength Eagles side last week, but a lot of their stars resuming from injury will be better for the run. Don't be surprised if they take it up to Richmond!
The info early in the week was that the West Coast would still be missing most of their forward line this week so they appear very short at the current price of $1.55 against the GWS. The Giants have actually won three of their last four against the Eagles and looking at the ladder, they simply have to keep winning. This is one game where the facts and figures point towards a potential upset.
Tip: GWS to beat West Coast ($2.45)
The two best-backed sides to win with UBET since we entered the Group of 16 stage and beyond have been England and Russia, and they are both still there as we enter the quarter finals. Russia were $21 for the past week since getting into the quarters, and there have been several $1,000 bets for them at that quote. England were around the $17 mark since the World Cup markets opened last year, and continue to be one of our worst results. There was a steady stream of big bets, including one of $7,000 at $7.00 before they scraped through on penalties against Colombia.
So, there are eight sides left, and England look to be in the softer half of the draw. They are equal second picks at $5.00, along with France, while Brazil are the favourites at $3.75. Oddly enough, in years gone by Brazil would be a blackout for bookies, but that doesn't appear to be the case in 2018. Belgium are at $6.50 and continue to gather support, but in contrast there hasn't been any big interest in Croatia at $7.00. We have already mentioned the money coming in for Russia, but the other two sides left in the mix, Uruguay ($15) and Sweden ($26), are pretty much friendless in betting to take the Cup. While it remains to be seen if England win the Cup, their gun striker Harry Kane is $1.28 to be the top goal scorer, it would be a major upset if he doesn't win the Golden Boot from here.
The quarter final matches are now all open with the associated markets, and the markets to win the Cup etc., will open at the completion of the matches each night. Just a reminder that the displayed markets which include a 'draw' is based on the betting at the end of normal time, therefore does not include extra time or penalties should they be required.
There were some serious upsets in Super Rugby last week when only three of the seven favourites won, but possibly the most impressive of those upsets was the win by the Chiefs over the Highlanders. The Chiefs were $2.50 underdogs but led 42-0 at the major break before going on to win 45-22. The Hurricanes suffered a shock loss to the Brumbies going down 24-12 as red hot $1.11 pops. That has seen the Canes drift to $5.00 to win the title, with the Crusaders now at $1.67.
It is nearly two years since the Crusaders lost at home (15 game streak) and they will be in action first up on Friday night. The Crusaders are $1.33 (or -8.5) to beat the Highlanders in Christchurch, and on the form the Highlanders showed last week, that should happen. The Reds v Rebels game will follow that one and while the Rebels were narrowly beaten by the Waratahs last week, they travel to Brisbane as $1.55 favourites and the money says they should win as well.
The Jaguares are on a winning run of seven matches now, and although they have beaten the Bulls in two of their three meetings (the last earlier in the year by 30 points!), the Argentinian side are the $2.00 outsiders in that match to be played in South Africa Saturday night.
Tip: Jaguares to beat the Bulls ($2.00)
The Supercars are slowly making their way down south after competing in Darwin a few weeks ago, and will be in action in Townsville this week. Race 1 in Darwin went to pre- race favourite Scott McLaughlin and he subsequently finished second in race 2 behind Dave Reynolds. Townsville has two races, one Saturday and one on Sunday, both of 70 laps. McLaughlin is our clear $2.50 favourite to win race 1, ahead of Jamie Whincup and Shane Van Gisbergen at $5.00. McLaughlin and Whincup won the two races held last year, beating each other into second place in both races, so the early support for both this year is easy to understand.
Tip: Race 1 - Scott McLaughlin ($2.50)
The British Formula 1 at Silverstone this week will be the last of the week-to-week back-ups for the season, and although Lewis Hamilton failed to finish in Austria last week, he has been installed as the $1.90 favourite to win on Sunday. Hamilton had engine issues in Austria as did Daniel Ricciardo, with the race eventually going to Max Verstappen in a mini upset. Hamilton has a superb record at Silverstone having won there the last four years, and it appears as though punters expect him to stretch that sequence to 5 in a row. Sebastian Vettel is the second elect at $4.00, then follows Valtteri Bottas at $6.50 and Ricciardo and Verstappen at the same quote of $7.00.
Tip: Hamilton to win the F1 British Grand Prix ($1.90)
Jonathan Rea defeated Chaz Davies in both races held in the USA at the last meeting, and Rea will again be the favourite to win both races in Misano this week. The title is all but decided with Rea now $1.01, and on the form shown this season he should justify the short odds in race 1 at least. Davies and Tom Sykes will be the two behind Rea in the betting and it would be a major surprise if the winner came from outside that trio. While Rea failed to win a race in Misano last year (he did get two podium placings), he won both races in 2016 and shared the spoils with Sykes in 2015.
The Irish Open will be played at the Gullane Golf Club, Donegal, for the first time this year, and it has drawn together a very good field. Naturally Rory McIlroy will be attempting to win his national title and he is the UBET favourite at $7.50, narrowly ahead of Jon Rahm at $8.00. Although played at different courses to this, McIlroy won the Irish Open in 2016 and Rahm won it last year.
The Greenbrier is the US PGA Tour event for the week and an in-form Bubba Watson is the $17 favourite there, narrowly ahead of Tony Finau and Phil Mickelson at $17 with Wade Simpson at $19. Xander Schauffele is the defending champion and there has been early interest in him, as well as Brian Harman at $31. The bigger Aussie names are missing this week, so Matt Jones is the shortest of the Aussies at $101, and it is worth noting he has been placed here before. Robert Streb ($151) is another who must have some hope as he was runner-up last year and also finished in a tie for second behind Kiwi Danny Lee in 2015.
Le Bron James has a healthy pay packed for the next four seasons after signing with the LA Lakers this week. The move has been the talk of NBA circles for several weeks and caused the Lakers to be backed from $51 in to $13, but now they are solid $7.00 pops on the third line of betting. The Golden State Warriors were busy this week as well signing De Marcus Cousins, which saw the price for the Warriors crash from $2.35 in to $1.70, and that was after opening at $2.50 after winning the 2017/18 title. With Le Bron gone, the Cleveland Cavs have gone from $13 out to $101, and even that is probably under the odds!
TOUR DE FRANCE
The farce surrounding Chris Froome has gone up a few levels this week, and it now appears as though controversial Froome will take his place on the tour, for the moment at least! We have now opened the market to win the TDF with Froome at $2.50 ahead of Richie Porte ($4.50) and Nairo Quintana ($7.50). You cannot blame punters for not really entertaining the $2.50 as there is still some chance that he may not compete as the organizers have reportedly said they want him out. So that has seen a stack of money for Richie Porte as the second pick at $4.50, as well as Quintana and Geraint Thomas at $13.
The Queensland Winter Carnival continues with the Winter Cup at Albion Park on Thursday night, and for the third week in a row we saw a track record lowered last week at 'The Creek'. On the back of Tornado Tears breaking the distance record two weeks in a row, Victorian Mepunga Blazer lowered the 520 record when he won a heat of the Winter Cup. That was only his second run since being retired to stud in February, so it has been a wonderful performance to get him back to where he is by Jeff Britton, younger brother of Robbie who of course trains Tornado Tears. Mepunga Blazer is $1.80 in the UBET fixed odds market but the best-backed runner has been Jury, drawn in the red box, which has been $8.00 in to $6.50.
Next week we will see the first running of the Origin series for greyhounds at Albion Park. There will be a sprint and long distance race containing four runners each from QLD and NSW, and a match race over the 520 as well with one runner from each state. The box draw will be streamed live on the UBET Facebook site at 10am on Monday morning and betting will open a few minutes after the draw.
Tip: Winter Cup - Mepunga Blazer ($1.80)
* Prices correct at 3pm Wednesday