GERARD DAFFY'S UBET NEWS – THURSDAY 7TH SEPTEMBER
Either Adelaide or GWS have been flag favourites for the better part of the season, and while all AFL finals are clearly big betting affairs, tonight's (Thursday) clash has gone to a new level. There is little doubt that the question mark hovering over Rory Sloane's fitness has been behind a lot of the support for GWS. Normally an odds on favourite at home during finals would firm up in the betting, but that hasn't really been the case with the Crows as they have hovered around that $1.53 mark. Richmond supporters are up and about and they have been $2.15 in to $2.10 to beat Geelong on Friday night. Although it is a 'home' game for the Cats, this will be played in front of a sell-out crowd at the MCG, and there has been more money for Richmond to win the flag this week than Geelong.
Sydney are expected to end the fairy tale for Essendon on Saturday night, but the six point move of the line for the Swans has been surprising. After opening at -27.5, that line is now out to -32.5 with money continuing to roll in for the Swans, but it does seem a very high line for a final.
In the final match, there is a lot of multi money going through the Adelaide/Sydney/Port combination, so if the first two win, then Port will firm up from the current $1.45. They may not have been in the best of form for the latter part of the season, but we have noticed that whenever the Eagles play away from home, punters are happy to gamble against them.
There is plenty of interest in a couple of other markets that we have open for the final series, the Gary Ayres Medal as well as the Norm Smith Medal. The Ayres Medal is for the best player of the finals series and Paddy Dangerfield is the favourite there. The early trend on the Norm Smith is interesting. That medal is for the best on field in the grand final but the two best backed players have been Dangerfield at $12 and Lance Franklin at $15. There has been very little business for any player from the Adelaide Crows, who remain our $3.25 favourite to win the flag.
Tip: Port Adelaide -14.5 against West Coast ($1.85)
Are the Wallabies back? That question might well be answered on Saturday night when the Wallabies host South Africa in Perth. The venue makes it that little bit more interesting due to the closeness of South Africa. With so many ex-pats living in Perth, the Springboks will have their fair share of support in the stands. The 'home' team has won this fixture the last six times they have met, and although South Africa are currently on a five game winning streak, they have only won 2 of their last 11 away from home. The betting opened with Australia at $1.80 and South Africa at $2.00. While those prices haven't moved, around 75% of the business so far has been for the home side.
The only topical point in the New Zealand v Argentina match is the winning margin. NZ have never lost to Argentina, racking up 24 wins and a draw, so the $1.02 on offer looks about right. Argentina are not good travellers, and for that reason there is solid support for the All Blacks to cover the 29.5 point line.
Tip: Argentina +29.5 against New Zealand ($1.85)
'No Boyd, no Brisbane', is the message, loud and clear, from footy punters as we head into Week 1 of the NRL Finals. After going up at $2.10, the Broncos have been big drifters in betting to beat the Sydney Roosters tomorrow night, easing all the way out to $2.35. Money meanwhile, continues to steam in for the 'Chooks', who are $1.70 in to $1.62. Melbourne, the runaway Minor Premiers, are seen as a lock at $1.22 in the second final against the Eels on Saturday, with most rolling their money into Manly at $1.62 to pummel Penrith for the second week in succession. Cronulla vs North Queensland is the Sunday showdown and the money trail says the Cowboys, who only just scraped into the finals, will be bowing out in straight sets. Cash is coming in at a 6:1 ratio in favour of the Sharks ($1.38) at this stage. There has been some big money around this week for Storm to win the title and they've shortened from $2.00 in to $1.85. There were bets of $10,000 and $5,000 at $2.00 which was followed up by several $5,000 bets at $1.90 and the current $1.85. The Roosters however have a fan out there who weighed in with a wager of $10,000 at $5.50.
UBET has also this opened an early Clive Churchill Medal market, for the player judged best on ground in the Grand Final. We're still a month away from the decider, of course, but Cameron Smith has been installed as the $3.75 favourite, the shortest-price favourite ever at this stage of the season for the prize. Smith's mate Cooper Cronk is next in line at $7.00 followed by Billy Slater and Cameron Munster at $11, which gives you a good indication of the team we think will be there on October 1.
Tip: Manly -4.0 against Penrith ($1.90)
New England kick-starts the season proper tomorrow against Kansas City and the Superbowl 51 winners are, of course, well backed, short-price favourites. With the evergreen Tom Brady calling the shots and big Rob Gronkowski back from injury to torment opposition defensive units, the Pats went up $1.28 to start their title defence in style and were quickly backed down to their current $1.26 quote. Kansas, by comparison, was $3.80 first call, but is now trading at $3.85. New England has won 12 of their last 13 season-openers and 11 straight games against AFC opponents. There are very few football punters that can see them surrendering here. Indeed, the bulk of the early action on this game is for the Pats to cover the line, which opened at 7 points but is out to 9 already.
We have to wait until Monday morning our time for the majority of the other Week 1 games. Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons line up against the Chicago Bears in their first real hit-out since their Superbowl 51 choke. Ryan was a broken man after said contest, but the early action says he can come back bigger and better and lead the Dirty Birds to a big Week 1 victory. Green Bay-Seattle is another opening round highlight, with the Packers favoured at $1.58 and the Seahawks listed at $2.40.
Tip: Patriots -9 against Chiefs ($1.95)
Justin Thomas has made a huge impact on the golfing world this year, and he again lined the pockets of his fans with a win in the Dell Technologies earlier in the week. Thomas held Jordan Spieth and Aussie Marc Leishman at bay down the final nine holes to beat Spieth by three shots with Leishman a further shot adrift. There is no PGA tour event this week but the Fedex Playoff's continue next week in the BMW Championship in Illinois.
Alex Noren is the UBET $11 favourite to make it back-to-back Omega Masters wins on the European Tour this week. The Omega is played at the beautiful Crans Sur Sierre course in Switzerland at the foot of the Alps, another event where we see a lift in betting due to the scenic course. Noren defeated Scott Hend last year, and Hend is in again and rated a $67 chance. Outside of Noren, Matthew Fitzpatrick ($29) has attracted a lot of attention. It is also worth noting Fitzpatrick finished second here to Danny Willett two years ago.
Valentino Rossi will be missing from the San Marino motoGP this week as he recovers from an operation to repair several fractures in his leg after a fall. While the popular veteran will be missing, the Riders Championship is probably out of reach for Rossi, but it is an intriguing battle. Andrea Dovizioso won the British GP last start, and has now moved in to $2.75 behind Marc Marquez at $1.70, and ahead of Maverick Vinales at $5.00. Marquez is the $2.50 favourite to win in Misano this week but there will be plenty of interest in Vinales ($3.25) and Dovizioso ($5.00).
Tip: Marquez to win the Misano motoGP
The start of the three race Enduro part of the Supercar season will be held at Sandown on Sunday week, and UBET have opened the market on that event. A reminder again that as this is a team event (two drivers), betting on these races is done by 'car number' to avoid confusion. Car 88 (Whincup/Dumbrell) is always the opening favourite, and punters have got right behind that combo since betting opened. Others to meet with early support have been Car 97 (Van Gisbergen/Campbell) at $4.50 and the ever reliable Car 888 (Lowndes/Richards) at $9.00.
With the first round of nominations for both big Cups dealt with, there have been a few changes to those markets. Hartnell is the $6.50 favourite to win the Caulfield Cup, and he has been the standout with punters this week, attracting one third of all monies invested. Hartnell made his name last year due to being the regular bridesmaid behind Winx, but he has gone to another level this time around, and of course he has been dodging the champion mare. It was hard to miss the run of Gingernuts in NZ last weekend, and he is the equal second pick with Humidor at $13.
Almandin won last year's Melbourne Cup and on the back of a terrific return this campaign. Almandin is now the $14 favourite with UBET, ahead of a couple of the well backed overseas runners. Admiral Deus is second pick at $15, and that stayer drew a big bet recently of $6,000 at $23. Francis of Assisi is on the next line at $16, just out marginally from the $15 that was taken with two bets of $2,000 about a month ago.
Winx remains $1.50 to win the Cox Plate. Although the champ has unbelievably had a few detractors from her two wins this time in, there is no interest being shown in any runner to stop her from making it a three-peat in the Cox Plate.