It is a huge weekend in rugby league with the ANZAC Test between Australia and New Zealand taking center stage. The game is being played in Canberra on Friday night so the two sides can expect it to be more than a little chilly when they run on to the field. As usual, the Aussies will start strong favorites but I will be on the Kiwis. New Zealand Rugby League is constantly improving and with so many youngsters making their way in the NRL there is a good chance they will be the world’s top rugby league nation in years to come. They also have a rich tradition of causing upsets and are the reigning World Cup champions. With a huge +16.5 start I think they are a real value bet on the line.
The NBA has moved into my “can’t get enough of it” category now that the finals are here. I wish I could give you some wonderful left field tips but I suspect the big guns, the Heat and Thunder, will dominate in the East and West respectively. I can also see the Knicks, Spurs and Lakers struggling to live up to expectation. The most likely outside chances are the Clippers and Pacers but I expect (and would love to see) the Heat and Thunder to go head to head in the finals again this year.
The Formula 1 is on again this weekend and I expect the Bahrain Grand Prix to be a cracker with the betting markets throwing a blanket over Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen. I still think Red Bull has the best car in this year’s World Championship but the pressure might be starting to get under Vettel’s skin with the infighting between he and teammate Mark Webber so I lean towards the Ferrari again this weekend. Keep an eye out for Nico Hulkenberg in the Sauber to represent excellent each way value at around 16/1.
Good luck and good punting.