PUNTING SPECTATOR: The business end

There's plenty of finals action in the NRL and AFL this weekend, but Dr Turf is also looking beyond the footy...to the new series of Dancing with the Stars and Australian Idol.

Let's get straight into the NRL finals for this week. Here are the prices from Betstar.


Team
Price
Cronulla
1.35
Canberra
3.28
Manly
1.44
St George-Illawarra
2.85
Melbourne
1.12
NZ Warriors
6.80

The party is all but over for the Canberra Raiders, and while we have had a successful year being on their side, it is time to switch camps – there can be NO allegiances shown when on the punt!
 
Like I said last week, Canberra are running light on for troops, and Alan Tongue at half back is not the answer. Finals are a different ball game, low scoring affairs, and the Raiders are at their best when there are plenty of points on offer. There are currently some bookmakers offering -7½ for Cronulla against Canberra, do yourself a favour and take some of it.
 
Saturday night is going to be fun, because all of those prospective winnings from Cronulla will be going on St George Illawarra with the 7½ points start against Manly. The Dragons went down last week, but they are like Rory's Jester horses at the track, they are just no good in the wet – they’ve been known to go into shock at the sight of a dripping tap. The going is expected to be OK at Brookvale on Saturday night, and that is one place that holds no fears for the Dragons as they have a terrific winning record there. They have also beaten Manly in 8 of their last 10 encounters. It looks as though Jamie Soward will be in the Dragons side, and I think his kicking game will be the difference in the end.
 
We have a couple more knockout finals in the AFL this weekend. Four teams with absolutely no hope of featuring in the Grand Final will take each other on. The losers get to go out as a group on Monday, get drunk, put on women's clothing and attach a sex aid to some part of their person. The winners get to front up next Saturday and cop a flogging from Geelong and Hawthorn.

I St. Kilda in tomorrow night's final. I know they were pretty ordinary against Geelong last week and Collingwood have been terrific over the past fortnight, but surely the betting is wrong. At best it’s a flip of the coin game and in fact, I’d make the Saints favourite. The $2.12 about the Saints looks good value and I think they are good things.

We have to find some replacement sports to bet on when the footy season is over, so I have been pouring over the tapes of Australian Idol and Dancing With The Stars.

I am just not willing to label Toni Pearen a 'moral' in DWTS quite yet, but the talent is a little thin on the ground this season. Let me watch one more show before we cut loose.

Aussie Idol is only a week old, but there are a couple there who you can put the pen through right now. No names, but for the time being, throw something on Mark Spano at around the $6.00, and sit back and enjoy your Sunday night's entertainment.

Isn't it great that you can bet on these TV shows now? Maybe I should see if there is a bookie that will let me on the CSI team solving their case on Sunday night? Mind you, the coppers will start very short.

Have a great weekend and remember, let's be careful out there.