Souths to keep Dragons as Shield bunnies

THE Charity Shield clash between South Sydney and St George Illawarra is the traditional pre-season game that reminds us that the footy is about to get serious.

The Rabbitohs have dominated the Charity Shield since they returned to the NRL in 2002, and they are clear favourites with Ladbrokes for the 2020 edition on Saturday night.

The Bunnies have already been backed into $1.44 and the Dragons are $2.75 outsiders to win the clash for the first time since 2012.

Rabbitohs coach Wayne Bennett (centre) with his players following their win over the Dragons in the Charity Shield match at Glen Willow Stadium in Mudgee last year.Source:AAP

The Rabbitohs have won six of the past seven matches – 2015 finished as a draw – by an average margin of over 10 points and they look like a safe bet to cover the line of 6.5 points.

South Sydney are expected to be right in the premiership mix in 2020 and they are $11 to claim a 22nd title, while they are $2.75 to finish inside the top four and $1.57 to qualify for the top eight.

Not as much is expected from the Dragons.

They are $26 to claim an unlikely premiership, and are $9 to finish the season with the most losses.

The $7 for them to finish inside the top four does look under the odds, and they are $2.70 to play finals football in 2020.

AFL State of Origin

Richmond’s Dustin Martin headlines the star-studded Victorian side in Friday night’s State of Origin for Bushfire Relief match at Marvel Stadium.Source:Supplied

AFL Representative football is back on Friday as Victoria take on the All Stars for Bushfire Relief.

No matter what the sport, betting on exhibition matches can be a tricky affair as you never really know exactly how seriously everybody involved will be taking it.

Both teams are packed full of stars, but Victoria are currently $1.57 favourites with Ladbrokes.

When two similar sides did battle in 2008, Victoria were able to record a healthy win in a high-scoring encounter and a similar result does look likely.

The line is only 8.5 points, which Victoria should be able to cover comfortably, and there is no better bet in this contest than the Over in the Total Points market.

Jeremy Cameron ($8) is a narrow favourite in the First Goal Kicker market from the Richmond duo of Tom Lynch ($9) and Jack Riewoldt ($9), while there has also been support for the likes of Patrick Dangerfield ($15), Toby Greene ($15) and Dustin Martin ($15).


(Left to right) Chris Goulding of United, Bryce Cotton of the Wildcats, Scott Machado of the Taipans and Casper Ware of the Kings ahead of the NBL finals series.Source:AAP

The NBL finals get underway on Friday night and the Ladbrokes market suggests that all four sides are genuine contenders for the crown.

Sydney and Perth have traded title favouritism all season, and the Kings head into the play-offs as $2.50 favourites.

The Wildcats are just behind them at $2.75, and there is no side in the competition with more finals experience.

The Cairns Taipans have been the story of the NBL season.

They were $151 to win the NBL championship at one point during the regular season and they are now into $5 to claim their first ever title.

Melbourne United and their captain Chris Goulding delivered when it mattered to sneak their way into the top four and they are back into $6 after getting out to $21 a fortnight ago.

Home-court advantage is expected to be key in the series between the Wildcats and the Taipans, with Perth $1.44 favourites to beat the Taipans in the opening game of the series on Friday.

Sydney have won their past three games against Melbourne United, and they are $1.38 favourites to continue that winning streak on Saturday night, while Melbourne are $3.05 to put themselves in the box seat to qualify for the NBL grand final series.

Women’s T20 World Cup

Ellyse Perry (left) and Meg Lanning leave the field after winning the Women’s T20 World Cup cricket match against Sri Lanka at the WACA on Monday.Source:AAP

It is fair to say that Australia have not looked overly impressive during the Women’s T20 World Cup to date.

They never looked likely in their tournament opener against India and they made hard work of their run chase against Sri Lanka in what was a must-win clash.

Australia remain the clear favourites to win the tournament with Ladbrokes, but they are now out to $1.80 after getting as short as $1.55 last week.

The big movers in betting have been India.

They would have taken a huge amount of confidence from their win over Australia and they are into $4.50 to win the tournament for the first time.

England are now on the third line of betting at $6.50, while there has been some support for both New Zealand ($10) and South Africa ($12) following their promising starts to the tournament.

South Africa are now $1.33 favourites to finish on top of Group B, while India are $1.50 to claim the top spot in Group A.

Super Rugby

Rob Simmons (centre) and Waratahs players look on following a Rebels try during the Round 3 Super Rugby loss to the Melbourne Rebels.Source:AAP

There has been one betting strategy that has proven to be a highly profitable one during the Super Rugby season to date – bet against the Waratahs.

The Waratahs have started their season with defeats at the hands of the Crusaders, Blues and Rebels and they have never really looked like winning any of those games.

They are still $1.57 favourites with Ladbrokes to beat the Lions ($2.25) this weekend and betting against them once again looks like the optimal play.

The Waratahs have won only two of their past seven games as home favourites for a huge betting loss and they haven’t beaten the Lions since 2014.

The Stormers have been the big improvers in Super Rugby this season and they take an unbeaten record into their clash with the Blues on Sunday morning.

The Stormers are a safe bet to continue their winning ways.

The home side has won the past six matches played between these two sides and it has been more than a decade since the Stormers lost to the Blues in South Africa.

While the Blues have improved their record on the road this season, with wins over the Waratahs and the Bulls, the Stormers represent a completely different challenge.

Perhaps the most interesting game of the week from a betting perspective is the clash between the Reds and the Sharks.

The Reds scored a huge victory over the Sunwolves last weekend and they have the home ground advantage, but they will still go into this clash with the Sharks as underdogs.

Best Bets

Jockey Ryan Maloney on board Alligator Blood before the CS Hayes Stakes at Flemington.Source:AAP

Racing – Alligator Blood to win Australian Guineas @ $3.10

Alligator Blood is the best horse to come out of Queensland in some time and he can claim a maiden Group 1 victory in the Australian Guineas. He has only suffered one defeat during his racing career to date, in the Caulfield Guineas, and he showed his toughness to beat Catalyst in the CS Hayes Stakes. Ryan Maloney will take him to the front and it will take a good horse to get past him.

EPL – Wolves to beat Tottenham @ $3.10

Betting against Tottenham has proven to be a highly profitable play for punters in the English Premier League this season. They have won 10 of their past 16 games as home favourites for a loss and Wolves represents a tough assignment. The away side has won four of the past five games played between these two sides and Tottenham have not beaten Wolves at home since 2010.

A-League – Western United to beat Central Coast Mariners @ $2.10

Western United have an outstanding chance to return to winning form. They have won three of their past four games as home favourites and they take on a Central Coast Mariners outfit that haven’t won a game since last month. The $2.10 currently available for a Western United win is well and truly over the odds.

Super Rugby – Stormers to cover the line (-8.5 Points) against the Blues @ $1.83

The Stormers have made an outstanding start to their Super Rugby campaign and there is no reason they can’t continue their winning ways. They have won seven of their past nine matches as home favourites, and they have been a profitable betting play against the line in this scenario.

Originally published asSouths to keep Dragons as Shield bunnies

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