PUNTING SPECTATOR: Just the trick

This week Dr Turf delivers a mea culpa of sorts for last weeks Big Brother misfire before tuning back into the AFL and NRL betting markets. And he's suddenly become an expert on netball too.

G’day punters.

It was a bit of a mixed bag last week and I’m still getting over Ben not being evicted on Big Brother last Sunday night. I suppose it’s my fault, but assessing the most deserving imbecile in a field of imbeciles is more difficult than I thought. At least the AFL did the trick for us last week, so let’s start there.

This week’s prices are from Betstar and are subject to change.


Team
Price
Kangaroos
7.50
Geelong
1.11
Richmond
2.40
Adelaide Crows
1.61
Essendon
6.75
Hawthorn
1.12
West Coast
4.00
Sydney Swans
1.27
Brisbane Lions
1.16
Fremantle
5.75
St. Kilda
2.60
Western Bulldogs
1.53
Port Adelaide
1.13
Carlton
6.35
Melbourne
10.00
Collingwood
1.07


It is another round with some very short favourites and I can’t fault the markets. Trying to pick a hole in any of the lines isn’t easy either. Fremantle’s season is in complete and utter disarray losing their past nine. But I actually think they are going OK, if that can possibly make sense. If they have a genuine crack in Brisbane on Saturday night they could sneak the line ( 33.5 points) against the rampant Lions. It’s worth a moderate interest. There won’t be any middle ground, they’ll either make it or get beaten by 15 goals.

Two other games represent some interest. Richmond was awful last week, but they had been "up” for a while. But despite the fact that Adelaide has won seven from 10, I am far from convinced about them. I’m going to have something on the Tigers at the $2.50 and with the 11 point start. The St. Kilda versus Western Bulldogs game looks a ripper. The Saints won by a million points last week and while they weren’t actually that impressive, they would have got some badly needed confidence from the game and I reckon they’re worth a sniff with the 14 point start.

Now to the rugby league.


Team
Price
NZ Warriors
1.26
South Sydney
4.00
St George Illawarra
1.36
Brisbane Broncos
3.30
Canterbury
1.85
Newcastle Knights
2.00
Wests Tigers
1.17
Nth Qld Cowboys
5.25
Parramatta Eels
1.28
Canberra Raiders
3.80
Penrith Panthers
1.42
Cronulla Sharks
2.92
Manly Sea Eagles
1.58
Sydney Roosters
2.42
Gold Coast Titans
N/A
Melbourne Storm
N/A


Let me make a statement before I get my teeth into this week’s matches – I love the Melbourne Storm.

Now that I’ve got that out of the road, whether the kids get fed next week rests solely with the Storm getting flogged on Monday night. The poor old Storm has lost nearly their whole side to State of Origin duty, and they have to travel to the Gold Coast to take on a full strength Titans side. The Titans are something else at home; I can’t see any way that Melbourne can get within the 14 point handicap the bookies have set here. If the Gold Coast reckon they are a serious premiership threat, they would want to be putting 20-30 points on the Melbourne reserve side. I am still trying to work out how it is fair to be playing games when sides are decimated by Origin call-up, but it looks like I’m bashing my head against a brick wall on that one.

The Cowboys take on Wests Tigers this week, and the Cowboys have a few missing to Origin as well. Although the Tigers played in heavy conditions on Monday night, I think they can cover the 14 point handicap that has been set. Playing Monday and backing up on Saturday is not an ideal preparation, but the Cowboys also had to endure extra time in a heart breaking loss to Penrith. The disappointing Cowboys will not be around come September, and remember that the Tigers did beat them by 20 points back in March, and that was in Townsville. Tipping favourites is not normally my go, but betting against these sides that have a strong Origin representation has had a profitable history.

We’ve all had a bit of a laugh at the expense of the Irish over the years, but maybe they do deserve everything they cop. If you’d played a team for years and never beaten them, would you travel 12,000 miles to have another crack? That’s right, the Irish have never beaten the All Blacks in a rugby test, and they are in New Zealand this weekend to try and break their duck. To be fair to the men in green, the All Blacks have been the benchmark of world rugby, in tests at least, for a long time, and there was a draw between the two teams way back in 1973. If the task wasn’t big enough already, the Irish have lost centre Luke Fitzpatrick to injury as well. Bookies have set the handicap at -15 in favour of New Zealand and I don’t think it’s enough.

A punter’s worst nightmare is doing the form for hours, having a losing bet in the first couple and then the meeting is called off. You’ve wasted hours and you’re on the chase. What do you do then? This was the predicament I was facing last Friday when the Sunshine Coast races were called off after race two. I acknowledge that it was hosing down but that doesn’t help me get out of trouble. Anyway, I do what every bloke does when he’s bored in front of the telly. I channel surfed and came across the netball, and yes, you can bet on it. The bride reckons I had no interest in the form of the sport but I did watch every game for the weekend, which now makes me an expert and ready to assault the satchel swingers. The one bet for the weekend is the Queensland Firebirds with 5½ points start against Waikato. The game will be played in New Zealand, but the home side are coming off a bye (I don’t like that in any sport) and that was after losing to the Swifts and falling over the line against the Thunderbirds in the opening round. The Firebirds suffered a shock loss on Monday night, but their previous form was terrific. They will do me, and if there are any winnings from backing Queensland here, I might just throw that on the Maroons on Wednesday night in the State of Origin.

Good luck punters and hey, let’s be careful out there.