The start of a new year always ushers in plenty of opportunities for punting and this January is no exception.
Summer in Australia is prime time for cricket punters. Whether it is live betting that piques your fancy or futures markets, there is no shortage of punts to be had on bowls and wickets. It might be an opportune time to join Sportsbet. If you like a close contest, have a look at one of the 60 markets on offer for the Melbourne Renegades v the Perth Scorchers. That one is flip-a-coin close, with the Renegades on offer at $1.85 and the Scorchers at $1.95.
Of course, Test matches will be found as well, with some of the top markets beyond match betting being player to notch a century or total fours to mention just two.
There are nine primary categories for Twenty20 Big Bash cricket, with more than 100 total markets for the smart punters to find a way to profit.
Have a look at the Sheffield Shield markets, the Ashes, ICC Cricket World Cup and you will find no lack of enticing wagers.
January is also a great month for soccer punters. The A-League is having a banner season, such that it has taken measures to keep talent in the domestic league and prevent poaching by the deep-pocketed international leagues. There are well over a hundred markets for the EPL, before the futures are even taken into consideration. Chelsea looks like the prohibitive favourite to take the premiership, but the markets for promotion and regulation are most intriguing. Plenty more, also, to be had at the international level across the world.
Punters wishing to have a plunge on basketball have two major leagues from which to choose. There is the domestic National Basketball League, where heading into January, The Adelaide 36ers have won the most games thus far, although the Sydney Kings are just one win behind, but have played more games, so a one-to-one comparison is not possible. The difference between the top and bottom of the ladder is not too disparate, however, and the margins are razor thin in terms of percentage.
The NBA is heating up. Thanks to his superhuman performance in bringing a NBA championship to Cleveland, the first for that city in any sport in over 50 years, LeBron “King” James of the Cleveland Cavaliers was named Male Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press, where he out-polled such figures as Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt. Plenty of Aussies are playing major minutes and contributing to various NBA teams, so local interest is high.
The NFL is moving into the playoffs in January. Practically all the teams to make it have been decided, and there will be more than one Australian punter figuring into the outcomes of playoff games. Unfortunately, for Aussie defensive end Adam Gotsis, he will not get a taste of playoff gridiron action, as his Denver Broncos, last year’s championships, failed to qualify, as did their opponent, the Carolina Panthers. There is one remaining round of regular season games to get out of the way, and there are typically 20 to 30 markets for each fixture, so betting markets abound.
The National Hockey League is in full swing and those regular season games typically offer over 60 markets, so those punters who want to fill out a multi on one sport alone will have no issues.
January also marks the return of major tennis, with the leading event being the year’s first Grand Slam tournament, the Australian Open. Andy Murray will be seeking to cement his world number one ranking whilst Novak Djokovic will be doing everything in his power to regain the top ranking. Bad boy Nick Kyrgios, now reformed, or is he, will be back after serving his ban for a tanking incident in Germany.
Murray and Djokovic currently share the shortest odds on Sportsbet at $2.63, with Kyrgios in the seventh spot at $34.
On the women’s side of things, the smart money seems to be, as it generally is, on Serena Williams, who despite a recent mild slide in form can seemingly summon superhuman tennis feats at will, despite having lost her number one ranking to Angelique Kerber.
It might be cheating a bit to mention UFC 207, which is on January 31, but it is cheating by a matter of hours only and UFC has proven to have great appeal to Australian punters, so we mention it for any of those who may want to get a wager down on what figures to be one of the highlights of 207, that being Amanda Nunes v the long-absent Ronda Rousey, with the potential upshot being a highly anticipated rematch betwixt Rousey and Holly Holm at some future juncture.
There are even some provisional markets involving Conor McGregor v Everyone Else in the World, with McGregor enjoying a decided advantage in terms of verbal hyperbole. It is beyond January, but the AFL and NRL has markets open and the eagerly awaited debut of the AFLW will be a lead in that has been years in the making, so do not completely disregard those sports.
As should be obvious, our little January sports primer does not come close to covering all the opportunities that await punters who use their computers and mobile devices to ferret out all manner of appealing markets on which to have a punt or two, so stay current on that electric bill and keep those phone batteries topped up, because to miss January would be a most unfortunate turn of events.