June is upon us and the sports calendar is literally clogged with domestic and international events, making this one of the best months of the year for Aussie punters to make best use of punting opportunities all over the world.
Major sports leagues are in full swing and there is always something going on in the juniors, where many of the future sports stars will be honing their skills in the pursuit of glory and lucrative contracts.
Here at home, the 2017 Toyota AFL Premiership competition is taking on a distinctive tint this season, where there have been some surprises on both sides of the equation. Perennial powerhouses have experienced precipitous declines, while some of the lower tier are climbing the ladder and chasing an elusive spot in the top eight and the finals.
June bounces on a Thursday this year, providing the perfect example of our observation from the previous paragraph. The Hawthorn Hawks, who have discovered that they at least still have a pulse this season, must travel south for and Adelaide Oval appointment with the Port Adelaide Power, a side that has surprised by limiting opponents to the fewest points in the league.
The big showdown of round 11, however, is the Spotless Stadium meeting between the Geelong Cats and the Adelaide Crows, a game that could very well foreshadow the Grand Final.
All of rounds 11, 12, 13, 14 and one game from round 15 will bounce in June, so there will be thousands of AFL markets to tempt punters. Many sides will benefit from much needed rest and recuperation with bye weeks in June, as they prepare for the finals push.
The 2017 Telstra NRL Premiership competition is another prime league with plenty of markets on offer for punters who are enjoying one of the most even and hotly contested fixtures in recent memory.
There is also Origin play to look at, with its abundant selection controversies and some of the most passionate rugby play imaginable.
Of course, racing punters always have the greyhounds and the harness set for action, and those who want to check in on international thoroughbred racing will have the third jewel of the American Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes, where they may perhaps encounter some future sires that will contribute to the Australian gene pool.
June will be the last chance for major domestic thoroughbred action, so those who have been in delay mode might find this an opportune time to join Sportsbet and punt on races such as the Queensland Oaks or the last Group 1 WFA of the season, the Winter Stakes at Eagle Farm.
Nine other races of Group 2 and Group 3 quality will round out June. All the action is at Eagle Farm in Brisbane, save the Group 3 Hyperion Stakes and the Group 3 Belmont Sprint, both at Belmont in WA.
Motor racing fans have quite a month ahead of them in June. The Formula Once circuit will be in Montreal, Canada for the Canadian Grand Prix. A fortnight later, they will run in Azerbaijan. Ferrari is leading the bunch with Sebastian Vettel at 104 points heading into June, but Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes trails by just six points. Next comes the Mercedes machine driven by Valtteri Bottas, followed by another Ferrari driven by Kimi Raikkonen. Perth-born Daniel Ricciardo is struggling in fifth, 67 points behind the leader Vettel. Fellow Red Bull Racing teammate Max Verstappen is just behind in sixth.
The wildly popular Supercars series has one race in June, which is the CrownBet Darwin Triple Crown at Hidden Valley Raceway in Darwin, Northern Territory. It is race number six on the 14-race fixture. Shane van Gisbergen of Triple Eight Race Engineering was dominant in the early going, winning the first three races. He then took a rear position to Favian Coulthard, who won the net two for DJR Team Penske. Scott McLaughlin came on strong next, winning both legs of the Perth SuperSprint and the first of the Winton SuperSprint.
Over in the U.S., the NBA Finals are set to attract attention in the first part of June. The Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers will meet for the top spot for the third consecutive year and along with hundreds of betting markets to add some drama.
The National Hockey League Stanley Cup Final is set to slide, with last year’s champions, the Pittsburgh Penguins defending their title against the shocker Nashville Predators, a team based in Tennessee where the vast majority of the population has never had direct contact with ice of any kind in their lives, with the exception of that minority who taint their bourbon with ice cubes.
The PGA Tour of America, under the auspices of the United States Golf Association, will stage its second Major of the season when the U.S. Open is held in mid-June at Erin Hills in Erin, Wisconsin. Sergio Garcia will look to add drama to the season by capturing his second Major and launching talk of a season Grand Slam. The Aussie contingent of Jason Day and Adam Scott, along with the exciting youngster Cameron Smith, will seek to deny Garcia.
Major League Baseball is in mid-season form. The biggest surprise in the 2017 season is the Colorado Rockies, who have gone from worst to first in the span of a few months, thanks to a young pitching staff and a relief corps that is turning heads around the league.
Cricket and soccer fans: Sorry to neglect you, but you have much to appreciate in June, so do not feel left out, as you will have enough punting markets to fill a bet slip in minutes.
As anyone can see, June is a busy month all around the world and we have barely scratched the surface with the mention of a few of the major sports. Someone desirous of a change of pace might want to turn their attention to the Caribbean Sea and the Bay of Bermuda, where the high-tech yachts of the America’s Cup Series will battle it out for the most coveted sailing trophy in existence. If the bookmakers are to be believed, it is going to be a close contest, with the odds indicating that it will take at least 10 races and as many as 14 for the issue to be decided.
There are more than enough sports and racing events to occupy even the most avid punter.