By: Gerard Daffy
Betting on the first round of the women’s AFL well and truly exceeded our expectations, very similar to how the crowds exceeded what the AFL thought would occur. While three of the four matches ended in blowouts, there was one big upset when Brisbane defeated Melbourne on Sunday. This game was played in terrible conditions in outer Melbourne and the Demons firmed from $1.40 into $1.22 before being well held. They were expected to be one of the sides to beat in the eight-team comp, but they have some work to do, now $15 (out from $5). The Western Bulldogs and Carlton were arguably the most impressive of the winners, and they head the market at $2.60 and $3.25 respectively. This week’s matches were opened today (Thursday).
Paddy Dangerfield has been the first significant mover in Brownlow betting for this season. The Cats midfielder scored a runaway win in last year’s Brownlow count, and after opening at $6, he is already into $5. The other thing worth mentioning for this year is the interest in Jobe Watson. We all know what has happened with Watson and his Essendon teammates over the last couple of years, but he has already been backed to win close to $100,000 to win the Brownlow, with his odds halving from $67 into $34.
The New England Patriots will go into the history books as the Super Bowl winner of 2016/2017, but most will still be talking about the way they came back to win for years to come. All sorts of records were broken as they ran down the Atlanta Falcons, and there has been a lot of queries about what the prices were in play. Before kick-off, the Pats were $1.67 and the Falcons were $2.20, and they firmed in marginally after both teams were held scoreless in the first quarter. Soon after when the Falcons raced to a 14 point lead, they were into $1.10 with the Pats out to $6.75, but they did attract a lot of smallish bets to defy history. It wasn’t until Atlanta led by 23 points that the Pats got to their longest quote ($12), there were some takes including one of $100, but there was also money for Atlanta at $1.03. Overtime saw New England go in at $1.74, carrying momentum and also money at that stage, with Atlanta pretty much unwanted at $2.10, and that late money proved spot on.
So, can Tom Brady and company do it again next year? If you think the answer is ‘yes’, then UBET has them at $7 to defend the title. Dallas is on the second line at $10, then follows the Packers and Steelers at $11, with the Falcons at $13, but you have to wonder how much damage was done to the Falcons when they lost the unlosable Super Bowl.
The Australian test squad is currently in the UAE preparing for the upcoming series against India and while there are a few loyal Aussie fans who think that our side can break the stranglehold that India have on the Aussies on the subcontinent, most of what we have seen has been for India. They remain red hot $1.15 pops to win the best of four series, while 4-0 or 3-0 wins remain the $3.25 favourites in the ‘Series Correct Score’ market.
Hideki Matsuyama has been $4.75 into $4.25 with UBET to win a Major this year, and on recent form that might even be well over the odds. Matsuyama won the Phoenix Open in a playoff this week and he is now the best backed player to win the US Masters ($34-$11) which is less than two months away.
The AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am is the US Tour event this week and two-time winner Dustin Johnson is the $8.50 favourite with UBET. While there has been money for Johnson, the next few in the market have been equally as popular. Jordan Spieth ($9), Jason Day $13), Justin Rose ($15) and Phil Mickelson ($19) have all been backed, in particular Mickelson who has won the event 4 times, the last of those in 2012, but did also finish second behind Vaughn Taylor last year. Taylor is well down the list at $101, while Jason Day is $1.65 to lead home a big field of 12 in the ‘Top Aussie’ market.
UBET league punters got off to a good start on Saturday of the Auckland 9’s last weekend, but there were plenty of upsets on Sunday when a lot of the favoured teams failed to progress. The Roosters eventually won the final over Penrith and while it is a vastly different game to those we see in the season proper, there has been some moves in the premiership betting. Penrith was not expected to feature prominently during the Nines but their young side did, and constant support this week now has them as our $8 favourites to win the 2017 title alongside Brisbane, North Queensland and Melbourne. The Roosters are the other mover (again), now solid at $11, so they have been $15 into $11 since the market opened last October.
The All Stars game will be played in Newcastle on Friday night and while betting has been relatively quiet up until now, no doubt it will fire up on Friday. The Indigenous All Stars have won three of the six played to date, but will be looking to avenge a 12-8 loss last year to the WAS. The IAS have already moved in from $1.65 to $1.52, with the WAS at $2.55, and there is money for both sides at those prices.
Just one round remains in the most hotly contested NBL season in history and just one team is assured of playoffs action. Ladder leaders the Adelaide 36ers are locked in, but behind them it’s an absolute logjam. Due to the congested nature of the table and the convoluted nature of the league’s tie-breaking finals system, only one of the remaining seven sides, the Brisbane Bullets, is without hope. Illawarra, New Zealand, Cairns, Sydney and Melbourne all remain in contention and, naturally enough, all six need wins this weekend, not to mention a few other results to go their way too.
Of the above teams, the Taipans are treading the most treacherous tightrope. Both of their remaining games are must win. Both are against the 36ers, the first tonight (Thursday) at the Cairns Convention and Exhibition Centre. Nate Jawai re-emerged with a monstrous 22-point performance against the Wildcats last week, so the Taipans are not without a hope and the $2.15 on offer may appeal to some. That said, 90 percent of the early head-to-head money is for the 36ers at $1.70, which is about as overwhelming as it gets. Perth-Sydney on Friday is another game with finals implications. Perth beat up on the Bullets last week and enter as warm $1.36 favourites, while the one-time title favoured Kings look cooked and their $3.15 price tag reflects this.
For those residing under rocks, Sydney’s having an A-League season for the ages. Unbeaten in 19 matches, the Sky Blues ($1.42) are a team in form and they get a great chance to extend their remarkable run to 20 tonight (Thursday) against Wellington ($7.25). Multi punters in particular have taken a serious shine to the runaway ladder leaders.
Second-placed Melbourne Victory line up against the Newcastle Jets on Saturday and, once again, punters are predicting a cakewalk for home team. 75 per cent of the early bets on the match are for Melbourne, who may well start a shorter price. $2.85 into $2.50, Brisbane’s is also attracting some early money to do away with Melbourne City ($2.70), who’ll be without money man Tim Cahill thanks to the red card his picked up last week in the derby. The Roar however will be returning from a midweek fixture in China, so it won’t be an easy task to back up from that match played in freezing temperatures.