THERE is no better way to start a new season than a Queensland derby between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Brisbane Broncos, and the market suggests we are in for a traditionally tight clash.
The Cowboys have been backed into a $1.65 to christen their new stadium in Townsville with a win, after getting out to as long as $1.90, and the weight of money has definitely come for Paul Green’s men.
Cowboys star recruit Valentine Holmes offloads in the trail match against Brisbane in Cairns last month.Source:News Corp Australia
The Broncos have won four of their past five games against the Cowboys, but they did struggle on the road last season and won only two of their past nine games as away underdogs.
Due to the recent history between these two sides, the market that could appeal is the $2.80 available for either team to win by less than 4.5 points.
Eight of the past 11 games played between these two sides have been decided by four points or less, and another nailbiter would not shock.
The most interesting betting game of the weekend is the clash between the Manly Sea Eagles and the Melbourne Storm.
The Storm have not lost a Round 1 game since 2001 and they are $1.65 favourites to maintain that remarkable record under coach Craig Bellamy, but there has been some betting support for the Sea Eagles after Jake Trbojevic and Addin-Fonua Blake were both named.
They are now into $2.20 and it would not surprise if that money continued to flow.
The Canberra Raiders ($1.30) are the shortest-priced favourites of the weekend and have been extremely well-backed by Ladbrokes punters, while there has also been good support for the Newcastle Knights ($1.42) to beat the New Zealand Warriors ($2.85), and the South Sydney Rabbitohs ($1.57) to start the Latrell Mitchell-era with a win over the Cronulla Sharks ($2.40).
Dustin Martin and his Tigers are expected to be no.1 again.Source:AAP
IT is less than a week away from the start of the 2020 AFL season and it is a familiar picture at the top of the AFL premiership market with Ladbrokes.
Richmond have been the best team in the competition for three seasons now and they are $4.50 to win back-to-back premierships. The Tigers are extremely short-priced favourites to beat Carlton in the traditional season opener.
The recruitment of Tim Kelly has seen the money come for the West Coast Eagles, and they are on the second line of betting at $6 for the flag from Collingwood and Greater Western Sydney at $7.50.
There has been plenty of hype around the Western Bulldogs this pre-season and they have been backed into $12 after being $17 late last year, while Geelong have gone the other way and have been wound out from $9 to $12.
The punters backing Melbourne at $23 are clearly a forgiving bunch, following their disastrous season in 2019, but they continue to garner some support.
Both Port Adelaide ($26) and the Adelaide Crows ($41) have been friendless, and are both at odds of greater than $2.50 to qualify for the top eight.
The $41 available for Sydney to win the Premiership is the longest price they have been before the start of a season in some time and they are out to $4 to qualify for the top eight.
The Gold Coast Suns have taken their traditional position at the bottom of premiership betting and they are $251 to win a very unlikely flag, while they are $1.55 to win the third wooden spoon in their short history.
THE ALL-STAR MILE
Alligator Blood wins the Australian Guineas last month.Source:Getty Images
The pride of Queensland, Alligator Blood, will face the toughest challenge of his career when he contests The All-Star Mile on Saturday and the Ladbrokes market suggests that he is up to the task.
Alligator Blood confirmed his status as favourite for The All-Star Mile with his emphatic victory in the Australian Guineas a fortnight ago, and he is now into $2.70 to take out the $5 million feature on Saturday.
Star Kiwi mare Melody Belle is the only other horse that is at single-figure odds in the market, and she does look like the main danger to Alligator Blood.
She has recorded four wins from her five race starts over 1600 metres and the wet track expected in Melbourne on Saturday is ideal for her.
The early market mover with Ladbrokes has been Regal Power, who was backed from $13 to $10 after the barrier draw was conducted on Tuesday morning.
Regal Power finished an excellent second in the Australian Cup last weekend to earn his place in this field and is sure to be storming home in the concluding stages of this contest.
Ladbrokes ambassador Peter Moody is the co-owner of Mr Quickie and he is a $13 chance to take out The All-Star Mile.
Mr Quickie has been set for a first-up tilt at The All-Star, and Moody and the team are confident that the 2019 Queensland Derby winner is a genuine winning contender.
Perth centre Miles Plumlee takes on Sydney sharpshooter Daniel Kickert in Game 1of the NBL Grand Final.Source:Getty Images
What has been a thrilling NBL season could conclude over the weekend as the Sydney Kings and the Perth Wildcats do battle in the NBL grand final.
There are few teams in world sport that have a better finals pedigree than the Wildcats and they are now into $1.50 for a historic 10th NBL Championship following their narrow victory over the Kings last Sunday.
The Wildcats are $1.48 to win game two of the series in front of their home fans on Friday and they are a safe bet to do exactly that.
Perth have won their past four games against Sydney and they have won 15 of their past 17 games against their rivals as home favourites.
It would take a herculean effort for the Kings to bounce back and they are $2.65 to win Friday’s clash.
The Wildcats really do look like one of the safest betting plays of the weekend, and the line of 4.5 points will not be enough.
AUSTRALIAN F1 GRAND PRIX
Lewis Hamilton in the Paddock ahead of the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix.Source:AAP
A new F1 season gets underway at Albert Park this weekend and we are set for a very interesting edition of the Australian Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton may have dominated F1 for a number of seasons now, but his record in the Australian Grand Prix isn’t overly impressive.
He has only won in Melbourne on two occasions and he has been beaten as favourite every year since 2016.
Hamilton is the $2.10 favourite with Ladbrokes, but his recent history in Melbourne suggests that is under the odds.
Valtteri Bottas won the Australian Grand Prix last year and he is on the second line of betting at $2.75 from last year’s third place-getter Max Verstappen at $4.
There has been plenty of controversy surrounding Ferrari ahead of the start of the new season and that could mean their duo of Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel have been underrated by the market.
Leclerc was unlucky not to win more races last season and he is value at $6, while Vettel has won the Australian Grand Prix on three occasions and cannot be discounted at his current price of $8.
The Ladbrokes market suggests that a fairytale win for Daniel Ricciardo is unlikely.
The popular Aussie is $301 to win the Australian Grand Prix for the first time and he is $29 to finish on the podium.
Racing – Melody Belle to win The All-Star Mile @ $5
Melody Belle returned to the races with a promising effort in the Futurity Stakes over 1400 metres and she was always going to improve on that performance. The step-up to 1600 metres is ideal for her, as is the give out of the track that we can expect at Caulfield on Saturday. Barrier five is perfect and she maps to get a lovely run in transit with Opie Bosson in the saddle.
NRL – South Sydney Rabbitohs to cover the line (-3.5 points) Against Cronulla Sharks @ $1.91
The home side has won 11 of the past 12 games played between these two sides and that record looks likely to continue this weekend. The Rabbitohs won eight of their 11 games as home favourites last season and they face a Sharks outfit that failed to win or cover the line in their five matches as away underdogs.
Super Rugby – Brumbies to cover the line (-12.5 points) against Waratahs @ $1.91
The Brumbies continue to be one of the safest betting plays in Super Rugby. They have won eight of their past nine games as home favourites and they have covered the line in seven of these wins. In contrast, the Waratahs have won only one of their past seven games as away underdogs and were awful against the Chiefs last weekend.
A-League – Wellington Phoenix to beat Melbourne Victory @ $2.05
Wellington Phoenix continue to prove very tough to beat at home and they should have too much quality for the Melbourne Victory. The Phoenix have won their past seven matches as home favourites and they take on a Victory outfit that have won only three of their past 14 games as away underdogs.
Originally published asCowboys expected to ride high over Broncos
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