GERARD DAFFY'S UBET NEWS – THURSDAY 27TH SEPTEMBER
Tom Mitchell had been a short-priced favourite to win the Brownlow Medal for the majority of the season, so it was no surprise to see the Hawk midfielder score a runaway win. Mitchell was close to favouritism at $13 when the market opened last year, and was $1.40 when the first envelope was opened. Looking down the vote-getters it again highlighted what advantage the midfielders have, so expect the market to be littered with them when the 2019 Brownlow opens on Thursday (today).
The loss by Richmond was one of the season's biggest upsets, not by price as they were at a reasonable $1.40 quote, but it was just expected they would be in the Grand Final, and would probably win it. So now we have Collingwood and the West Coast to do battle on Saturday, and the weather forecast looks like it may suit the Magpies. Showers and a top of 13 degrees is what is tipped, so that will probably rule out a high scoring final. The early push has been for the Eagles who have been $2.40 in to $2.20 with Collingwood out to $1.70. The ratio of bets is running 2:1 in favour of the Eagles, but that is the norm in a grand final. Neither of these two sides were expected to go all the way, Collingwood were $26 before round 1, and blew out to $67 after losing their first two matches of the season. The Eagles were one of the outsiders at $51 prior to the season starting, and although they have occupied spots in the top four for most of the year, they are a good result for UBET as most said they can't travel. That is the theory anyway, but they have played twice at the MCG this year, won both, and more importantly one of those wins was in round 17 when they beat Collingwood 102-67!
Outside of the match itself, the most popular bet type on the grand final is the Norm Smith Medal, and we will also be betting live on that throughout the match. After running second in the Brownlow Medal, the betting public have got right behind Steele Sidebottom in the Norm Smith where he is the fav at $6.50, and has been clearly best-backed. There are three equal second favourites at $9.00, Elliott Yeo of the Eagles and Collingwood duo Scott Pendlebury and Brodie Grundy. Of those Grundy has been the most popular, but really you cannot rule anybody out of the Norm Smith, it is entirely different to how voting is conducted on the Brownlow, so a player from any position can win.
Tip: West Coast to win GF ($2.20) (by 15 pts)
Unlike the AFL grand final, the two NRL grand finalists have been well in betting contention all year. The longest price that either the Roosters or Melbourne Storm got to was $8.00, however, for the majority of the season the Roosters had been slightly shorter than the Storm. That isn't the case now that we close in on Sunday, for two reasons, one being Billy Slater and the other Cooper Cronk. The market prior to Tuesday night's successful visit to the judiciary by Slater had Storm at $1.85 and the Roosters $1.95. Nearly all of the business on Tuesday was for Melbourne as UBET punters confidently predicted that Slater would get off, and as we know he did. Subsequent to that news, Melbourne went back up at $1.70 but by Wednesday morning even that had gone with Melbourne in to $1.67 with the Roosters out to $2.25. The problem now for Roosters supporters who want to back their side is they want to know if Cooper Cronk is in or not, and that may not be known until an hour before kick-off on Sunday. If he plays, the prices will be close to what they are now, but if he is ruled out, then the Storm will firm-up again. The situation isn't ideal but given the impact that Cronk can have on a game, then the Roosters will be giving him every opportunity to get himself right and hopefully be in the side.
Cameron Smith and Billy Slater have been big movers in betting on the Clive Churchill Medal. Smith was $6.00 early in the week, but is now $4.50 second favourite, however with Slater back in the side, he has been a huge go, $5.50 in to $4.00 public elect now. Outside of that pair, the only other Storm player given any serious consideration has been Cameron Munster at $8.00. For the Roosters, James Tedesco is the short way there at $7.00, with Cronk a big drifter from $6.50 out to $9.00, and that is understandable. It is worth pointing out that if a player isn't in the starting 17, it is money back, so if Cronk is ruled out it will be a full refund on those bets.
A reminder that there will be live betting throughout the final on Sunday with the normal service and the Churchill Medal will also be open throughout as we bet live on that as well.
Tip: Storm to win GF ($1.67) (by 7pts)
The Rugby Championships resume this week, and there will be one match in Argentina and the other in South Africa. The Springboks host the Wallabies in Port Elizabeth early Sunday morning (Australian time), and there will be plenty of interest in the sides when they are named as there is talk that South Africa will be resting players. At the moment South Africa are $1.40 with the Wallabies $2.95, and a line of 7.5. A depleted Australian side defeated South Africa 23-18 in Brisbane a few weeks ago, and that was after they played two draws from the two matches played in the same series last year.
The All Blacks beat Argentina 46-24 in Nelson a few weeks ago, just falling short of the line on that match, and the line is a high number again this week even though the Puma's will be at home in Buenos Aires. Argentina are $6.50 in the head-to-head with New Zealand at $1.12, and the line is currently 17.5. The corresponding match here last year resulted in a big 36-10 win to the All Blacks.
Tip: Australia +7.5 against South Africa ($1.90)
Tiger is back! And hasn't there been some sort of reaction to his win in the Tour Championship last weekend! On the back of his first win in over five years, Tiger Woods is now the $9.00 favourite to win the US Masters next April, and while he had already been well-backed when the market first went up at $19 a few months ago, there have been several bets this week at the new price.
The Ryder Cup is on in Paris this week, and while Europe have won 8 of the last 11 Ryder Cups, they go into Friday as the $2.25 second pick. The USA are $1.82, and we have the 'tie' at $13. Strangely we have seen more early interest in the tie than in Europe, while the bigger money is with the USA. Dustin Johnson is the $6.00 favourite to top the points for the Americans, but it has all been Tiger this week, and he is third pick at $7.50. The money on the top Euro points scorer is more wide-spread with the most popular players being Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy at $6.00, Tommy Fleetwood at $9.00 and Francesco Molinari at $10.00. Most bet types will be updated daily.
Tip: Ryder Cup - Europe ($2.25)
The Russian Grand Prix will be run this weekend in Sochi, the fifth running after a break of 100 years. Lewis Hamilton won the first two in 2014 and 2015, Nico Rosberg won in 2016 and Valtteri Bottas won last year. Hamilton won the last race in Singapore defeating Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel. That means that Hamilton has won four of the last five GP's conducted, with Vettel the only other winner in Belgium. There isn't a lot of difference price-wise between Hamilton ($2.10) and Vettel ($2.20) this week, but the bulk of the early business has been with Hamilton.
Tip: Hamilton to win the Russian GP ($2.00)
The JLT Cup continues on this week and into the weekend, and we expect this series to get busier once the footy grand finals are out of the road this week.
The first test in the UAE between Pakistan and Australia gets under way on Sunday week but there is already plenty of interest in it. The Aussies have a depleted side and after opening at $3.25, Australia shortened in to $2.90, now back out to $3.00. Pakistan got as big as $2.00 but have been backed in to $1.85, while the draw is completely unwanted at $4.50.
The Adelaide 36'ers won the pre-season Blitz at the weekend, and while it can be dangerous putting too much emphasis on trial form, they did go through the series undefeated, the only team to do so. The 36'ers went down to Melbourne in a best-of-five grand final series earlier in the year, but are still one of the outsiders to win the 2018/19 title at $13. Melbourne and the Sydney Kings share the top of the market at $3.25, with the Kings out from $3.00 after some indifferent form during the Blitz, and some negative comments from Andrew Bogut on that form. The season opener is now less than three weeks away.
RACING (by Nicole Thomas)
We are looking forward to a smorgasbord of group 1 events over the weekend. The action kicks off on Friday night at the Valley with the running of the Moir stakes over 1000m. Weir has a strong hand in this race with three key chances including the favourite Nature Strip ($2.20), with his other two hopefuls Brave Smash ($11) and Voodoo Lad ($12). The Qld mare Houtzen is the second favourite at $6.50, followed by Viddora at $9.50 and the rest of the sprinters are all double-figures.
We then head to Royal Randwick on Saturday for the Flight Stakes (R6), The Epsom Handicap (R7) and the Metropolitan (R8). The Flight Stakes is a 1600m race for the talented 3yo fillies. The Tea Rose is the key lead-up race here and there were some hard luck stories from that race. The winner was Miss Fabulass and she is the $2.00 favourite. Pretty In Pink ran a gallant third and has been supported from $6.50 in to $6.00 early. The Anna Kournikova of the racing scene, Oohood ($11-$9.50), had a very tough run as she over-raced while caught wide. Maid Of Heaven ($11) also ran well in the Tea Rose and don't dismiss Futooh ($23) at the juicy odds! This filly came from well-back, got held up and then powered to the line once clear.
There's not much between the top three runners in the Epsom. D'Argento is marginally the favourite at $4.00 and has been backed in from $4.40. Unforgotten is second pick at $4.40 and Pierata is at $4.80 but looks a genuine query at the mile. There is daylight to the rest of the field with Siege Of Quebec the closest-priced runner at $13 and there has been some good spec'ing for Hartnell ($23-$16). Out of the top three in the market, Unforgotten looks the stand-out. The Waller-trained mare won the Chelmsford Stakes in impressive style and with the nice little freshen-up, she looks ideally placed.
The Metropolitan is the prestigious staying race (2400m) and looks a wide-open affair, on paper anyway. You should look for value in this race as favourites have a shocking historical record. The Kingston Town and the Colin Stephen tend to be the best guide to performance. Brimham Rocks ($5.00) is favourite and ran an excellent second in the Kingston Town (winner Avilius not contesting the race). Miss Admiration ($6.00-$7.00) won the Colin Stephen and is second favourite, with Chris Waller's UK import, High Bridge ($11-$8.50), well-found in the early market. Despite Big Duke ($11) running fifth in the Kingston Town, it was a terrific run without much luck and there's a big watch on the import Midterm ($15), who improved markedly at his third Australian race start.
Not only do we have the NRL grand final on Sunday, we also get to watch the weight-for-age Underwood Stakes at Caulfield. Grunt is the top selection at $3.00, Humidor is next in the market at $3.80 and the English-trained runner, Blair House, has been backed from $5.50 in to $5.00 by the early-doors. Keep an eye on Homesman ($8.00) too, he ran a superb second behind Night's Watch in the Dato and will appreciate the extra 200m.
Flight Stakes - Futooh each-way ($23) / Epsom - Unforgotten to win ($4.40)
* Prices correct 2:30pm Thursday 27th September 2018