By: Gerard Daffy

GOLF

It was always going to be interesting to see how the betting public warmed to the concept of the World Super 6 in Perth, but it actually worked quite well on Sunday. There was interest from the start of the day on individual matchups as well as the outright for the day. Local Brett Rumford was the eventual winner.

The European Tour event this week will be the Johannesburg Open and the South Africans dominate the market. Branden Grace is the $14 favourite ahead of 2014 winner George Coetzee ($17), Jaco Van Zyle ($18) and two time winner Richard Sterne at $19.

In the USA, Adam Scott will be attempting to go back to back in the Honda Classic. Scott is the $12 fav for this event and the bulk of the early money has been with the top four in betting, Scott, Sergio Garcia, Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas, with the latter trio all at $17. Garcia has been in form recently and it is worth noting he was runner-up to Scott last year.

AFL

Most were wondering whether the start of the AFL pre-season would see a drop of interest in the women’s comp, and the answer is no. Admittedly the staggered start times assisted so that most games didn’t clash, but it has become obvious that women’s football is here to stay as a betting medium. Adelaide look in the box seat now to host the final and are $2.20, but the Brisbane Lions have been the surprise packets, remaining undefeated. The Lions are second picks at $3.75 with the only other realistic hopes being Carlton and Melbourne, both at $4.25.

UBET has also opened the NEAFL and SANFL markets this week. GWS are warm $2.25 to win the NEAFL while Sturt are $4 equal favourites to win the SANFL.

SUPER RUGBY

Round one of the 2017 Super Rugby season gets under way on Thursday night and while five of the first round favourites are $1.25 or shorter, there has been plenty of early interest. The Reds have made a lot of changes, bringing in a blended mix of experience and youth, and Reds fans think they will return from the wilderness and be a force this year. Since the market opened last year, the Reds have firmed from $41 into $21 and if they can win at home this week as the betting suggests, then that price will be trimmed again. The Reds are $1.55 to beat the Sharks, but it will be a depleted Sharks side that we see as they have lost JP Pietersen and Willy le Roux.

Tonight (Thursday), the Melbourne Rebels will host the Blues, and there has been a stack of money for the Kiwi side, firming this week from $1.62 into $1.53. There are always a lot of points on offer when these two play and more often than not the home side prevails, but it has been all one way traffic for the Blues, the away side.

NETBALL

What an exciting start we had to the new netball season last weekend! It was a given that Collingwood ($1.25) would win their first match against the Vixens, but somebody forgot to tell the Vixens that as they got home 58-55. Plenty of money arrived for the Firebirds ($1.57-$1.50) to beat the Sunshine Cast lightning, but that match ended in a thrilling 56-56 draw.

This week’s matches will open later today but the game of the round will be on Saturday night at the Brisbane Convention Centre where the Firebirds will host the Magpies.

RUGBY LEAGUE

Both of the Super League sides had big victories over their Aussie counterparts last weekend, and while the win by Warrington ($5.50) was a big shock when they beat Brisbane, plenty of money was won when Wigan ($3.50-$2.75) defeated Cronulla. Plenty of experts said the Sharks were a risk; most citing they had lost too many form the premiership winning side and they were right. It sets up an enthralling first round match next Thursday between the Sharks and the Broncos. Brisbane are currently narrow $1.85 favourites, but judging by the level of interest in them at that quote it does seem likely that they will firm up somewhat.

Following on from the two World Club Series matches and the Charity Shield won by Souths, there have been some changes to the outright market for season 2017. We have new favourites, Penrith and Melbourne at $7.50, just ahead of Canberra and North QLD at $8.50, then Brisbane at $9 (out from $7.50 favourtism). As far as money goes, the three best backed sides have been Penrith, Brisbane and the Roosters ($15-$10) and the least popular have been North Queensland and Cronulla, now out to $15 from $10. UBET also now has markets available on wins under/overs for the season, with good money coming for the Dragons to win 8 matches or more, so they will want to improve on what we saw last Sunday against Souths.

CRICKET

For whatever reason, a couple of well-connected cricket punters have this week been climbing over themselves to back the draw in the first India-Australia test match. $5 into $3.50, the stalemate has been the big mover in result betting with India easing alarmingly from $1.42 to $1.70 and Australia firming slightly from $6 into $3.75. Bad weather is most often the catalyst behind big draw bets, but, in this instance, the short-range weather forecast for the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune is for hot, dry conditions, with a zero percent chance of rain. Perhaps these draw-backers believe Australia will put up more of a fight than the experts predict?

As far as series betting goes, the hosts are expected to comfortably account for the tourists on their dry, dusty decks. India 4-0 at $3.50 is the favourite way home with punters, followed by India 3-0 at $3.25 and India 2-1 at $5.50. Australia 4-0 pays $251, for all the green and gold tragics out there.

A-LEAGUE

Round 21 opens with a belter between ladder leaders Sydney FC and glamour club Melbourne City. Melbourne was very impressive last week in thrashing Wellington 5-1 across the Tasman, but at this stage there is little interest in them outright at $2.75.Punters instead seem to be finding the $2.50 about Sydney too hard to turn down. The Sky Blues rarely get out of the red these days and they will no doubt be smarting after suffering their first loss of the season last week.

If they do drop another game, the second placed Melbourne Victory will surely be ready to pounce. They line up against lowly Adelaide United this weekend and have been hammered straight up at $1.40 and through multis.

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