By Gerard Daffy
The Kangaroos have been big firmers in the betting to win the Four Nations title after demolishing New Zealand in a test in Perth. The Aussies opened at $1.60 but are now into $1.53 and there is little interest in either New Zealand at $4 or England at $5.25. Scotland has been written off as the $151 outsiders. The Scots face Australia in the first match on Saturday morning (Australian time), and the line has been set at 44.5 points. While the initial rush was for Australia at the minus, there has been a rally for the Scots to get within that start. New Zealand have opened as $1.68 favourites to beat England ($2.20), and in a spirited betting game, most of the early support has been for the home team.
Trade week produced some interesting moves that not many saw coming, and that has also seen a bit of movement in betting for the 2017 flag.
The Giants remain at $4.50 from the Western Bulldogs at $6.50 and Sydney at $7. Hawthorn have lost Sam Mitchell and Jordan Lewis as we know, and have eased from $8 out to $9. There has been money for Port Adelaide at $21, but the side that is on the move is Melbourne, now $26 after opening at $41. Now that it is clear who has signed who, and we have the round one draw completed, a lot of the other ‘futures’ markets as well as the Brownlow Medal will open in the coming weeks.
Most of the big names in golf will be in Shanghai this week for the WCG-HSBC Champions Tournament. The event will be held at the Sheshan International, a course where it has been held for many years apart from 2012 when held at Mission Hills. Russell Knox is the defending champion and is a $41 chance this week, but there hasn’t been much interest shown in the Scot. Rory McIlroy is the $6.50 favourite with UBET, narrowly ahead of Dustin Johnson (winner in 2013) who is at $7.50. While that pair has attracted the normal stream of bets and money there is also plenty of interest in Hideki Matsuyama ($21), Adam Scott ($23) while Paul Casey at the same quote, and Justin Thomas at $26. Thomas comes to Shanghai with a win in last week’s CIMB Classic in his keeping, winning as the defending champion, so he is in great form.
The first Test in the best of three series against South Africa will start in Perth next Thursday, and while we haven’t seen the arrival of any serious money as yet, there are clearly plenty out there who think South Africa will win the first one and, also the series. When the series betting opened several months ago, South Africa was $5, but have firmed into $3.75, and there is continued support at that quote. Australia has eased from $1.50 out to $1.60, with the drawn series neglected at $5.50. The trend is similar on the first Test with South Africa now $3.25 after opening at $3.50 with Australia an easing $1.80 favourite and the draw out to $4.75, but given the infrequency of draws in Perth, that lack of interest in that result is understandable.
Sepang in Malaysia will host the MotoGP this week after an exciting meeting at Phillip Island. Marc Marquez lined up as a red hot $1.40 pop after qualifying fastest, but unfortunately for his supporters Marquez had to watch most of the race from the sidelines after crashing out. Cal Crutchlow started from second on the grid and was also second pick at $5.50, and he went on to win the race from Valentino Rossi.
Marquez will again be a warm favourite in Malaysia, and while he did win here in 2014, it is worth noting he did crash out last year. Dani Pedrosa is the ‘form’ rider around the circuit having won three of the last four years, so he may well be the value this week. Malaysia is the second last meeting for the season.
The final Superbike meeting of the season will be held in QATAR this week, and with Tom Sykes having a stranglehold on the riders title and Chaz Davies in terrific form, the racing will be very interesting. Davies has now won the last five races on the calendar, beating Sykes and Jonathan Rea in the two races held in Spain a couple of weeks ago. That trio will dominate betting on the races to be held this week, but there were two upsets at the corresponding meeting last year when the title was also wrapped up.
Lewis Hamilton got back into the winner’s circle in the US Grand Prix last weekend, and he has opened at $1.90 to win on the quick back-up in Mexico City this week. Hamilton started favourite in Texas, and the podium was filled in market order when Nico Rosberg finished second and Daniel Ricciardo finished third. That is the way they are priced again this week with Rosberg at $2.20 and Ricciardo at $9, and there isn’t any real interest in any driver outside of those three. This will be the second race in Mexico since they returned to the calendar after many years on the sidelines. Rosberg won here last year defeating Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas finished in third place.
Sacred Elixir has been the clear favourite to win Saturday’s Victorian Derby since winning at Moonee Valley, backed from $4 into $3 in the 24 hours after that race. Now that the field has been finalised with a capacity number of runners, Sacred Elixir had eased out to $3.30, but after drawing the inside gate, that price has tumbled into $2.90 on the back of some heavy support. So Si Bon is still on the second line of betting but has eased from $7.50 out to $9.50 after the final field, the same price as Swear.
Hartnell may have had his colours lowered by Winx last week, but he remains the UBET $4.80 favourite to win the Melbourne Cup next Tuesday. Hartnell was a $61 chance when the market first went up in February, and he really only began to shorten right up after his dominant wins in Sydney recently, then of course he defeated Jameka at Flemington. That mare opened at $41 in February, but it was only after the run behind Hartnell and subsequent Caulfield Cup win that punters really began to warm to her chances in the big one. While there are several overseas runners once again in the Cup, there hasn’t really been a solid push for any one of those in particular, but that normally occurs in the 24 hours leading up to race day, so keep an eye on our Twitter account for updated betting moves as well as where the money is going.