GERARD DAFFY'S UBET NEWS – THURSDAY 10TH AUGUST
Sydney is back into $4.50 after a convincing victory over Geelong and are now equal second favourite in flag betting along with GWS. However, if the Swans cannot secure a top four spot the $4.50 does look skinny considering they'll have to win four games straight in the finals series. The value appears to lie with the Giants. With key players returning each week they're looking to secure a top two spot and possibly two home finals, which potentially could give them an armchair ride to the grand final. Adelaide, after destroying Port, have shortened again and are now $3.25.
Despite missing five matches Josh Kennedy is back as favourite for the Coleman medal at a current quote of $1.90. During Kennedy's injury period he drifted as far as $8.00 to win the medal. Joe Daniher, who is currently leading the race by two goals, is the second favourite at $2.10
Round 21 shapes as a pivotal round to determine how the top eight will look come finals time. Essendon, West Coast, Melbourne and St Kilda are all sitting on 40 points. Melbourne and St Kilda play each other in what is a huge clash and Essendon are a clear outsider against Adelaide. That leaves West Coast, who are $1.16 to beat Carlton this week and are in the box seat to be back in the eight at the completion of the round.
The Bulldogs winning streak continued, however, it was an unconvincing victory over the Lions last week. The 'orange tsunami' returned in full force last week as the Giants destroyed Melbourne with an eight goal burst in the first quarter and reminded the competition how dangerous a team they can be. The last two matches between these sides have been thrilling clashes with a margin of six and two points respectively with both teams sharing one win each. The Giants are $1.74 favourites, but the Bulldogs are a tough side to beat at Etihad and have won eight of their last ten matches there. This should be a highly entertaining match and you can expect a close contest.
Geelong fielded their youngest side for the season last week and lost Josh Selwood early with an ankle injury, which proved too much for the Cats as they were no match for Sydney. Meanwhile, the Tigers comfortably accounted for Hawthorn, and the Tiger bandwagon is now getting bigger by the minute! The Cats get Dangerfield back this week, but of course, have lost Selwood and also Hawkins and Duncan with tribunal penalties. Geelong has a dominant record over Richmond winning 19 of the last 20 contests between the two and the last 12 in a row. In fact, the last time Richmond beat Geelong was in 2006! So tread carefully if you're thinking of backing the Tigers ($1.65) as favourites this week.
The 'Q Clash' sees an improving Brisbane face off against the Gold Coast in a battle that is likely to have zero care factor for anyone outside of Queensland. Of course this week saw the sacking of Rodney Eade after three years at the helm of the Sun's. Historically a coaching change generally generates a positive response from the team involved. However, the Sun's week got worse with gun forward Tom Lynch ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury, and there's now a big doubt about Gary Ablett lining up. Brisbane's young side are performing well and they have won four of the last five contests between the two at the Gabba. So you can see why they have been on the receiving end of some solid support from punters, backing them from $1.90 in to $1.60.
Tip: Western Bulldogs to beat GWS ($2.10).
Debate has been raging at UBET headquarters this week about the premiership price of the Melbourne Storm. Some of our in-house experts believe the $2.20 on offer is unders, pointing out a serious injury to the likes of Smith, Cronk or Slater could derail a tilt at the title. Others are of the opinion the $2.20 is generous, one prominent commentator even declaring the ladder leaders should be odds-on. For what it's worth, punters seem to be siding with the latter, with bets continuing to roll in for the Craig Bellamy-coached side no matter what price we put up. One fan in particular is supremely confident the Storm can go all the way, splashing out with a $16,000 bet on them at $2.25.
More immediately, the Brisbane ($1.45) versus Cronulla ($2.85) clash on Friday night is generating plenty of early interest, not just because it could have a huge bearing on the make-up of the top four. Brisbane was red-hot last week against the Titans and, even though the Gold Coast look cooked for the season, punters feel that form will stack up. At this stage, money is pouring in at a 5:1 ratio for the Broncos. $1.45 in to $1.35 and firming, the Storm has also been subject to an early look in their top of the table clash with the Roosters ($3.25). While the Raiders ($1.40) are the other decent early 'go' of the round to roll the Warriors ($3.00) and with the stakes as high as they are for the 'Green Machine' and the way New Zealand has been playing of late, you can understand why.
Tip: Melbourne Storm -8.0 against the Roosters ($1.90).
The Canterbury Crusaders secured another Super Rugby trophy with an emphatic win over the Lions in Johannesburg on Saturday night. While we would normally have the market open already for next season, we can't as nobody is sure of the make-up of the competition!
While that story is bubbling along, the first of the Bledisloe Cup matches will take place in Sydney on Saturday week, and the betting has been quiet on this even though it has been open for several weeks. The Aussie sides were terrible in the Super Rugby season, and all failed to beat a New Zealand side, so not surprisingly the Wallabies are big outsiders at $7.00. The line might be attractive here at +16.5 ($1.90). After all, it is on home-soil, and no doubt the side should be primed for the first match in the Rugby Championship. Just on that, the All Blacks are $1.16, South Africa $8.00, the Wallabies $10 with Argentina again the bolters at $81.
On the eve of the English Premier League, football punters are speaking and the message is loud and clear that only six teams can win; Manchester City, Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham. $3.60 into $2.70 with UBET, Man City will start the 2017/18 season as top elects and, at this stage, the Sky Blues are also the favourite way home with punters. Pep Guardiola has spent up big ahead of his second season in England and, judging by the money trail, expectation is high. Chelsea is next in line at $4.50 but, strangely enough, the 2016/17 champions are the least supported of the top six sides. The Blues played precisely zero European football last season, which in turn allowed them to focus entirely on the EPL, so perhaps their pending return to the UCL grind is weighing on punters' minds. Manchester United is as popular as ever at $4.75, despite their well-documented shortcomings and much maligned $230-odd million off-season spending spree, while Tottenham ($9.00), Arsenal ($10) and Liverpool ($12) are all attracting their fair share of investments. Of the those three, perhaps the Hotspurs represent the best value, given they went on a 12 to1 run to finish last season and have arguably the most settled, team-oriented squad in the league.
Tip: Manchester City to win the EPL ($2.75)
Well there is no sign of the support stopping for Conor McGregor in his upcoming bout against Floyd Mayweather. McGregor is now $4.50, and that seems certain to disappear as the ratio of bets, both big and small, is heavily stacked his way. Mayweather is now back out to his equal best price at $1.20, but the only decent bet this week has been $5,000 and he seems destined to drift even further. The stats say he should win, and probably by knockout, but that has been the least popular option in the 'method of result' market at $1.73.
Closer to home we are just waiting for confirmation of the rematch between Jeff Horn and Manny Pacquiao, and the all-important date as it ties into the regulated betting rules around the fight.
The US PGA Championship is always the quietest of the Major's, and there has been a lot of price movement on the PGA this week as tee off time approaches.
Rory McIlroy is currently the $8.50 favourite ahead of Jordan Spieth at $9.00, but the next two players have been the big movers. Hideki Matsuyama is now third pick at $12 (in from $19) after a runaway win in the Bridgestone Invitational last week. There has been plenty of money to say that Matsuyama will break his maiden Major status this week. One player who UBET golf fans do NOT want to be on is Dustin Johnson. Favourite at $8.00 a couple of months ago, Johnson is now out to $13, and there are very few takers. Rickie Fowler is another who punters have taken a liking to, and he has been $21 into $17 this week. Jason Day is the shortest of the seven Aussies in the field at $26, with Adam Scott next down the list at $41 and Marc Leishman at $51. A similar trend is occurring here in line with what happened in the British Open with a distinct preference for Leishman, and of course he was the best finish by an Aussie in the British Open. UBET will be trading live throughout each day's play.
Tip: Jordan Spieth to win the USPGA ($11)
Marc Marquez scored a win in the Czech Republic GP last weekend and is the $2.50 favourite to repeat that dose again this week in Austria. Marquez defeated Dani Pedrosa and Maverick Vinales, and Vinales is $3.00 this week, ahead of Valentino Rossi at $5.00. The Austrian motoGP only returned to the calendar last season after several years off, and last year's race was won by Andrea Iannone who is currently $15 to win on Sunday.
We are deep into the second week of the UBET Nationals, and with Queensland hosting the finals this year at Albion Park, the series starts a week later (tonight). Champion sprinter Outside Pass makes her distance debut in race 2, and has been installed as favourtie ($1.75). She will be up against the pin-up girl of Queensland, Cyndie's Magic who is a $2.25 chance. Cyndie's hasn't been quite at her best the last few times she has been around, but the small field will suit.
Thursday night will see other finalists decided in Victoria (sprint), South Australia (both). While both NSW and WA reps will be decided at their meetings on Saturday night, with Queensland to run their state finals next Thursday night. As soon as the box draw is known, the markets for the two finals will be up with UBET.
The Spring Carnival is just around the corner, and that means the Melbourne Cup is not that far away. As expected, a lot of the interest to date has been focussed on the Internationals, and Red Cardinal is the ruling favourite at $13 ahead of Francis of Assisi at $14 and last year's winner Almandin at $17. When the market opened last November, Francis of Assisi was at the top then at $15 ahead of Almandin at $17 and Red Cardinal at $41. Naturally the trick with the Internationals is to back one that will actually be making the trip, but in this day and age there is a terrific amount of information in the media, as well as Radio TAB, that plots the likely path of these horses. English trainer Charlie Appleby took Australia by Storm last spring and again in the autumn with his Godolphin horses and one of those (Polarization) has attracted a decent bet this week to win the Cup. Polarization won the 'second running' of the Sydney Cup in the autumn, and this week there was a bet of $1,000 at $41 for him to win the Melbourne Cup. Admire Deus, owned and trained by the same interests of the ill-fated Admire Rakti, is expected to be making the trip from Japan to Melbourne after we also took a big bet of $6,000 at $23 for a win payout of $132,000.
* Prices are correct midday Thursday.