August is a prime month for punting in Australia. For fans of the gallopers, top-level thoroughbred races makes its return with spring racing at Flemington, Morphettville, Caulfield, Royal Randwick and Rosehill.
The feature attraction for the month is the 1400 m Group 1 Memsie Stakes at Caulfield on August 26. Group 2 events on the racing calendar are the PB Lawrence Stakes at Caulfield, and the Warwick Stakes and Silver Shadow Stakes at Randwick. Twelve Group 3 races are spread across the racing map. None of the top-level races is over 1400 m in length, so August is a great month to see established and developing sprinters in action.
Winx will be making her return to the track when she jumps in the Group 2 WFA PB Lawrence Stakes as she makes preparations to defend her Cox Plate title in October and join Kingston Town as a three-time winner.
Fans of the footy codes, of course, know that August in the run home for the 2017 Telstra NRL Premiership and the Toyota AFL Premiership competitions. For both leagues, this has been an exciting season and the unpredictability has been nothing short of amazing.
The Adelaide Crows have been dominating the AFL with the same scoring barrage that seemed to carry promise of a flag until the Sydney Swans derailed them in the second round of the finals. The Crows have maintained the same torrid pace this season. Combined with improved defence, they hope to complete the task this year and take the premiership back to Adelaide.
The Sydney Swans may have a say in that outcome, however, as they have been resurrected by seven consecutive wins after being left for dead by six consecutive losses to start the season.
The Victorian AFL fans hope that the title can remain in state, with their hopes resting on the Geelong Cats, the Richmond Tigers, the Melbourne Demons or the Essendon Bombers.
We cannot fail to mention that the successful AFLW that made its debut last year to massive fan involvement will be back for its second season.
Over in the NRL, the Melbourne Storm has been dominant all season after falling just short last year. Rugby fans from NSW and QLD will be rooting for any of their teams to prevent the NRL premiership from going to the Vics. Punters will find hundreds of markets on a weekly basis.
Now that State of Origin has been concluded, there are no distractions as the race for the top eight winds down to its conclusion. The competition for a slot in the finals remains compelling, with the final finishing order yet to be determined. Only 10 premiership points separate the top-nine teams, so it is highly probable that there will be some shake-ups to the ladder when all is said and done.
August is a promising month for football as soccer is going on all over the world from international matches to club level play. Soccer punters will always find quality footy being played and some may want to look for some betting markets in the U.S., where MLS continues to expand its fan base and its level of play.
We must mention that August will be the month for the long-anticipated boxing match between undefeated and retired champion Floyd Mayweather, Jr., and UFC diva Conor McGregor. The odds makers are not giving McGregor much of a chance, but we should keep in mind that they did not give Jeff Horn much of a chance against Manny Pacquiao, and we all know how that turned out.
The PGA Tour is in full swing (groan) with the final Major of the season, the US PGA Championship, set to be contested at Quail Hollow in North Carolina from August 10 – 13. Jordan Spieth supplies the drama following his recent miracle win at The Open at Royal Birkdale. Jason Day and Adam Scott will be in the field, although neither is having the same success they enjoyed last season. Day has slipped to number six in the world and Scott has dropped to 16th. Marc Leishman may be the one to watch, as he is having a career year, with his name constantly atop the leaderboards.
Formula 1 racing is on temporary hiatus, but will return in late August for a race in Belgium. Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari has done much to dethrone Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes, yet he holds a slim one-point lead over Hamilton and just 23 points over Valtteri Bottas. Daniel Ricciardo has won once and finished on the podium many times this season, but he is a distant fourth in the standings.
The popular Virgin Australia Supercars Championship will race the Red Rooster Sydney SuperSprint at Sydney Motorsport Park from August 18 – 20. Scott McLaughlin holds a narrow six-point lead over multiple champion Jamie Whincup. Those two seem to have a stranglehold on the season with six races remaining in the season, so it might be an opportune time for motor racing punters to join Sportsbet.
August is a great month for baseball fans. With the MLB All-Star Game in the rearview, the games in August take on increased significance as teams vie for a spot in the playoffs initially, with hopes of earning a trip to the Fall Classic, as the World Series is sometimes known.
There are tight division races going on in the National League Central, the American League Central and the American League East. In the National League West, the Los Angeles Dodgers are lapping the entire National League. It is a similar story in the American League, where the Houston Astros have established a torrid pace. The Colorado Rockies have the bad fortune to be in the same division as the Dodgers. The Rockies are playing their best ball in the last decade, with a record that would have them leading three of the six divisions, yet they trail the Dodgers by 11 games and their hopes for the playoffs will in all probability come down to a play-in against the other wildcard team in the National League, which at this moment would appear to be last year’s World Series winning Chicago Cubs.
The month of August is a punters’ paradise and we have barely scratched the surface of the August sports calendar, but those who seek other markets will find plenty to be found, making August an ideal month for wagering.