AB de Villiers arrives for Big Bash with Brisbane Heat
IT has been a dominant summer for Australia and it is little surprise they are short-priced favourites for the final Test of the series.
The SCG has proven a happy hunting ground for Australia in recent memory — England, in 2003 and 2011, are the only other side to win there since 1995.
By his incredibly high standards, it has been a disappointing summer for Steve Smith, but he remains a dominant favourite in Australian Top 1st Innings Runscorer at $3.25, from David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne at $4. The value might lie with the in-form Travis Head, who is $10 to repeat his Boxing Day Test heroics.
Kane Williamson has scored only 57 runs this series for an average of 14.25, but punters are a forgiving bunch and he is $3.50 for New Zealand Top 1st Innings Runscorer, from Ross Taylor and Tom Latham at $4.50.
WITH the tournament about a third the way through, it looks a lot easier to determine which teams won’t make finals than those that will.
Last year’s champion Renegades are battling and the looming absences of skipper Aaron Finch and paceman Kane Richardson to international duties will make their title defence almost impossible.
Perth have been a dominant force in this competition but with a long list of departures last off-season they are a shadow of former teams. Ashton Turner and Ashton Agar being on the plane to India would make a mid-season turnaround more unlikely.
D’Arcy Short was called into the national squad earlier this week and, as the Hurricanes’ most consistent batsman of the past few seasons, his loss will be magnified.
The Strikers have set themselves up for an assault at the business end and while Alex Carey trades the light blue for the green and gold, they regain Travis Head from the Test team at the perfect time.
The Brisbane Heat started the season as the tournament favourite, but their odds have eased in the past couple of weeks, meaning now is the time to step into a tasty price. Along with the New Year, AB de Villiers arrives, adding even more star power.
THE Ladbrokes NBL championship market suggests there are only three real contenders remaining.
The Breakers and the Phoenix are $15 to win the title, while the Taipans are into $17 following their mid-season surge. Time is running out for the Brisbane Bullets ($41) and the Adelaide 36ers ($51).
They have won eight of their past 11 matches as home favourites for a clear profit, but they face a Western United outfit that has won two of their past three matches as away underdogs and appeal at their current price of $4.10.
The Phoenix are another side that are very tough to beat in front of their home fans and they look like the safest bet of the weekend.
Wellington have won their past five matches as home favourites, while the Central Coast Mariners have won only two of their past 13 as away underdogs.
The game of the weekend is tomorrow night when Adelaide United will attempt to snap their losing streak against Sydney FC.
Sydney have won seven of their past nine against Adelaide and haven’t lost to their rivals since 2016, which makes the $1.93 available very appealing.
THE playoff picture has been drawn up and for the first time in 10 years the Patriots head into the post-season without a week-one bye.
New England’s drop-off has been alarming for Patriots backers.
Veteran quarterback Tom Brady is finally looking his age while his number one target, Julian Edelman, is injured and the offence, as a whole, looks largely impotent.
Last week they lost to a Miami Dolphins team that many believed wouldn’t win a game all season.
For the first time in memory betting against the Pats looks a wiser wager than betting on them.
As for the other matches this weekend, New Orleans should make light work of Minnesota.
And Seattle play away against a Philadelphia side looking more like a MASH unit.
Ladbrokes Latemail 2020: Futures Edition
The Wave headlines the action at the Gold Coast on Saturday and Etana is great value in the $250,000 race. She chased home the talented Ryan’s Fender at Flemington last start and the form coming out of that contest has been strong. This is a genuine drop in class and she is well-placed to return to winning form/
ETANA TO WIN THE WAVE @ $6.50
Sydney FC have not lost a game since October and it is tough to see that changing in this contest with Adelaide United. The Sky Blues have not lost to Adelaide United since 2016 and they have won 13 of their past 15 matches as home favourites for a clear profit. In contrast, Adelaide failed to win any of their past six games as away underdogs.
SYDNEY FC TO BEAT ADELAIDE UNITED @ $1.93
The Brisbane Heat produced a pitiful performance against the Perth Scorchers on New Year’s Day, but they can return to winning form against the Hobart Hurricanes. The Heat have won five of their past seven games as away underdogs for a clear profit and they should have too much firepower for the Hurricanes.
BRISBANE HEAT TO BEAT HOBART HURRICANES @ $1.80
The Buffalo Bills have been underrated all season long and that continues heading into the NFL Playoffs. The Bills have won four of their six games as away underdogs this season for a clear profit and they face a Houston Texans outfit that has covered the line in only one of their past seven games as home favourites.
BUFFALO BILLS TO BEAT HOUSTON TEXANS @ $2.25
Originally published as In-form Trav is third Test value bet