PUNTING SPECTATOR: The wild world of sports

As well as his NRL and AFL tips, Dr Turf has the mail for one of the world's weirdest sporting events, the World Wife Carrying championship. First prize? Your wife's weight in beer.

We told you the bookies made a blue with the price of New Zealand Warriors last week. It’s not often that you get a $5.50 shot go straight to the wire in the NRL game, but it did, and it certainly helped the bank balance.

The problem we punters face this weekend is that there are only five NRL games and just the two AFL contests, and to be truthful there are plenty of reasons not to bet on any of them, in particular those of the NRL variety. Here are the prices for this week’s NRL games, from Betstar. As always, prices are subject to change.

Newcastle Knights
St George Illawarra
Melbourne Storm
Canberra Raiders
Parramatta Eels
Penrith Panthers
Canterbury Bulldogs
South Sydney

Perhaps we can squeeze out an interest on Melbourne Storm beating Canberra by more than 17.5 points, which is paying $1.91. The Storm will have most of their Origin names back in their side on Sunday, and the game will be played at Olympic Park, where they have beaten the Raiders nine times from their past 10 meetings. Whilst many will say that a number of the Storm players played in a brutal encounter on Wednesday night (and that is true), what about the Raiders, who were hit with everything including the kitchen sink by Cronulla on Monday night. They have lost Alan Tongue for a month, and he is an integral part of the Raider’s side. Actually, the more thought I think about it, I might have a decent crack at the Storm.

The rugby union Tri Nation’s series gets under way in windy Wellington on Saturday evening, and I think that South Africa can spring an upset. The All Blacks have had a couple of easy victories over the past few weeks, but have also got an impressive list of injuries. The biggest ‘out’ for the Kiwis is Richie McCaw who will be missing after doing his ankle, and the side that the South Africans have produced is a good as it gets. They look terrific value to win the game at around the $3.25 mark, so I will have something on that as well as something on them with the 7.5 points start.

It’s a shortened round in the AFL this weekend and on Saturday night will be on the Sydney versus Collingwood game to be played at ANZ Stadium in the Harbour City. Sydney (who are paying $1.53) have been a fantastic team over the past few years, but the one team that always troubles them are Collingwood (paying $2.57). In fact, the Pies beat them in all three meetings last year but I love the way the Swans are travelling this year. This is a big game because a Swans victory will cement their top four spot and I’m confident they can cover the 11.5 point line this week.

Madis Uusorg may not be a household name in Australia, but the little guy is ‘huge’ in Estonia, and he looks a moral to etch his name into the record books again on Saturday. For the very few of you who don’t know Uusorg, he is the younger brother of Margo Uusorg, and between them they have won seven of the last eight World Wife Carrying Championships. Margo has been put out to pasture after doing a hamstring last year, but Madis is a raging $1.25 favourite to win his third title this week – and punters, that is over the odds. For those of you who have never witnessed this major sporting event, do yourself a favour and go to the official website and view the footage. It is champagne wife carrying. Well not really, because the first prize is your wife’s weight in beer.

Sports betting is all about versatility punters! And remember, let’s be careful out there.

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