By Gerard Daffy
The money said that the Kangaroos would win the Four Nations Final by a big margin and that is exactly what happened. The bulk of the bigger bets on the match were for Australia to win at $1.25, and more so to cover the -10.5 point line at $1.90, which they did so easily in the 34-8 win over New Zealand.
The Auckland 9’s is next thing on the rugby league agenda and the betting is opened for that at UBET. Normally there is a stampede to back the Warriors when the prices open, but that hasn’t been the case this year as they have not met with much support at $4.50. North Queensland are next at $5.50, but the early money has been for Parramatta ($9), Penrith ($11), Manly ($21) and Melbourne, also at $21. Not much will happen with the market now until clubs start to say who is likely to make the trip, and that won’t happen until mid-January.
There is always plenty of news floating around in AFL circles, and there is always bets flowing through for next season, so it’s time to have a look at where the action is going.
The Giants head the flag market at $4.50, but the money has dried up for them in recent times. The Western Bulldogs opened at $15 and were into $6.50 after winning the 2016 flag, and there has been a constant stream of money for them as has also been the case with the Sydney Swans at $7. Outside of the top three in the market, the popular sides are Hawthorn ($11), Geelong at the same price, and of the ‘roughies’, Port Adelaide ($21), Essendon and Collingwood (both $26).
There has been an early move in the ‘most losses’ market. That is a re-worded version of the dreaded ‘wooden spoon’, and every single bet to date has been for the Brisbane Lions, with the price coming in from $2.50 to $2.40. Carlton are the second elect at $4.50, then follows the Gold Coast ($8) and Richmond ($11). The round one clash between the Suns and the Lions will be a good pointer to the most losses market. Currently the Suns are $1.42 in that match with the Lions at $2.85.
The Australians have made a multitude of changes to the third and final Test against South Africa, and while it remains to be seen if that works or not, the publicity has seen the betting interest go through the roof. The series is decided, but this will be a day/night test with the pink ball, so it will be no easy assignment for a new batch of players who will be under pressure to perform. Betting is very similar to when it opened last week, South Africa have attracted most attention at $2 (out from $1.90), the Aussies have been $2.75 into $2.40, while the draw has hovered around the $6.50 mark. There has been a stack of interest in the draw which is surprising given the result of the first two Tests and also the problems that the batting sides are expected to face from dusk and beyond.
It is going to be an intriguing match and UBET will have it covered ‘live’ throughout.
The World Cup of Golf starts on Thursday at Kingston Heath in Melbourne and while there only three players lining up from the World Top 10, the teams look to be a lot stronger than they were at Royal Melbourne in 2013.
Australia (Jason Day/Adam Scott) won the Cup on that occasion, and have been installed as the $5.50 with UBET to go back -to-back. Adam Scott will again be teeing off but this time he will be accompanied by Marc Leishman. Japan (Matsuyama/Ishikawa) and the USA (Fowler/Walker) share the second line of betting at $8.50, just ahead of Spain (Cabrera Bello/Rahm) at $9.
UBET will be betting live throughout the coverage and there will be a host of markets open on each day’s play.
Football punters were scratching their heads when the Brisbane Roar curiously came up $2.80 outsiders against Western Sydney Wanderers for their Round eight clash. Granted, the Roar have struggled on the scoreboard of late, but they are third on the table and did last week become the first team to take a point off competition leaders Sydney. Also, the Wanderers are hardly in imposing form, having won just once and boasting the equal worst goal difference in the league. Brisbane has since been trimmed to $2.70 and may need another haircut before the game, likewise the draw, which has come in a click from $3.60 into $3.55. At this stage, a Western Sydney win is the only easing option, out to $2.45 from $2.35.
A goal-fest could be on the cards tonight (Thursday) in the Round eight opener between the Central Coast Mariners and the Perth Glory. A whopping 18 shots have found the back of the net in their past four encounters and there has already been an early look at over 2.5 Goals at $1.55. From $2 into $1.95, the Glory have grabbed up a full two-thirds of the early bets, indicating a crushing Perth win could be in store.
On-court fireworks are assured tonight (Thursday) when the Bullets and 36ers renew hostilities in the Round eight opener at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre. Brisbane won a spiteful clash 105-87 in the City of Churches five days ago and tempers have been flaring ever since. For whatever reason, Bullets big man Daniel Kickert and 36ers mentor Joey Wright decided it was a good idea to trade barbs on social media all week about a head-butting incident from the game. Both were handed a $500 reprimand by the League for their social outpourings. Away from the online drama, the Bullets are on a three game roll and a warm $1.33 to win, which, for those playing at home, is their shortest pre-post price all season.
Glamour clubs Melbourne United ($2.05) and the Sydney Kings ($1.77) clash later in the round in what many are saying is an early championship preview. Melbourne had their pants pulled down by the Kings in Round six, but are the better backed of the two at this stage, which means an upset could be on the cards. With Chris Goulding back in the Melbourne side, the early push has been for them to win at $2.05.
Andy Murray capped off a great year by winning the Tour Final in the UK last weekend, and while that win reaffirmed his status as world number one, more importantly it was against Novak Djokovic.
That has seen a major change in the Australian Open market, so much so that Murray has joined Djokovic as co-favourite at $2.40. As we mentioned last week, the early push had been for Murray (opened at $4 after the US Open), but there has been 10 times as much for Murray as there has been for Djokovic, and we have never seen that before!
Only 12 points separates Nico Rosberg (367) and Lewis Hamilton (355) in the 2016 Drivers Championship, and that sets up what should be an exciting season finale in Abu Dhabi this weekend.
Hamilton has now won three races on the trot, and while he did win here in 2011 and 2014, Rosberg was the victor last year. Wins are worth 25 points, 2nd is worth 18 and 3rd worth 15 (4th is 12 points), so if the betting is right and Hamilton wins in Abu Dhabi ($1.60), then Rosberg ($3.00) will have to finish second or third to grab the title. So, common sense would say that Rosberg will not be taking any risks, and for that reason there hasn’t been a lot of interest in him winning the race. Nearly all of the early money has been for Hamilton, with some sort of interest in Daniel Ricciardo ($10) and Sebastian Vettel ($17) who is a three-time winner here in 2009, 2010 and 2013.