Three of our favourite Australian sports code, those being Australian Rules football of the AFL variety, rugby from the NRL and major thoroughbred horse racing, are quiet in the month of December, but there is still plenty of punting to be found.
This is not to say that the above markets are completely devoid of activity. It is just that during the height of the respective seasons, the abundance of markets can lead one to form the erroneous conclusion that many betting markets will be rare, if not totally nonexistent.
For example, in the AFL, there are currently markets for the futures, of which picking the teams to make or miss the top eight could occupy many a pleasurable moment for punters who find researching entertaining and profitable. Some bookmakers already have markets for the 2017 fixtures, which this far ahead of the late March debut of the upcoming season, offer some interesting prospects in terms of odds. One of the more intriguing games of the first round is the match betwixt the Adelaide Crows and the Greater Western Sydney Giants. Both sides made the finals last year and were legitimate flag contenders then and appear to be well stocked for the new season.
The NRL has mainly futures markets, but rugby is never really in an offseason, so punters who prefer that footy code can find markets for Super League, NRL Nines, State of Origin and World Cup.
Ruby Union also has some markets featuring international play. The newly ascended number one Kangaroos and Ireland will meet at the end of November before that code spells for a bit.
The racing codes will continue to offer plenty of markets on a daily basis, with thoroughbred racing at venues such as Port Macquarie, Moe and Rockhampton, for starters. The greyhounds will be running, as will the trotters at tracks such as Menangle, Albion Park and Mount Gambler.
Ascot racecourse in Western Australia will stake the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic in the early days of December. There is also some group racing at Doomben, and Caulfield offers the Group 2 Villiers Stakes and the Group 3 Summer Cup.
For major sports action, punters can find every one of the four major sports save baseball in full swing in the U.S. including the NFL, the NBA and the NHL.
There are some truly meaningful NFL games in December as teams such as the Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots and others battle for critical home ground advantage in the playoffs, whilst others, such as the Oakland Raiders and the New York Giants, seek to prove that they are the real deal and true playoff contenders.
The NBA and NHL are fully in the grind of their regular seasons, where any given team can beat any other on any given occasion, so the markets and the odds will allow punters to test the expertise.
Domestic basketball action at a high level is offered by the NBL, with eight teams, many of them stocked with talent galore. Rivalries abound, with the Adelaide 36ers keen on defeating the Perth Wildcats or Melbourne United, and everyone wants to chase down the Sydney Kings.
Soccer, or Football, punters never really go into hibernation. The English Premier League is going strong, as is the A-League, and there is international action all over the world at all times that makes for good betting targets.
Cricket is another code that does not lack for markets in the month of December.
Even when there are not Test matches going on, the players keep busy at one level or another, and plenty of wagering markets are always around for one of the most popular sports in the country. The Sheffield Shield betting pits the Vic Bushrangers, SA Redbacks, NSW Blues, Tasmanian Tigers, Queensland Bull and Western Australia Warriors against one another and many a future Test player has gotten a start there or in Twenty20 Big Bash cricket. There are also markets for One Day Internationals and The Ashes.
Formula 1 racing concludes for the season at the end of November and the left turn specialists of NASCAR have also called time on their season, but that does not mean there are not bets to be had. The same can be said for the exciting V8 Supercars Series, with markets on top cars, top drivers and prestigious races such as the Sydney 500 open for business.
Now might also be an opportune time to look at professional golf and how it will shape up when things get underway in earnest. There are two PGA events during December, the Hero World Challenge held in Bahrain. Last year’s champion, Bubba Watson, pocketed $1 million for his win. The other is the Franklin Templeton Shootout in Florida, a team event won last year by Jason Dufner and Brandt Snedeker.
Sportsbet also offers prop markets, such as the next player to complete a career grand slam, featuring notables such as Rory McIllroy, Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.
Like some of the other codes, tennis is pretty quiet in December, at least as far as the big name players and top tournaments are concerned, but that does not mean that there are not any markets. One certain to attract those fans who follow the game closely may want to consider getting a punt or two on in advance of the first Grand Slam event of the season, the Australian Open. Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray are the favourites, but locals Bernard Tomic and Nick Kyrgios figure in the wagering.