June 2018 will be a good month for punters who like to spread their punting activities across a variety of codes.
There will be hundreds of markets per week for Super Rugby, the NRL and the AFL.
The really big deal for the month, however is the 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament, where 32 teams will meet in Russia to determine which international team can claim the bragging rights of being the best in the world.
On the first day, the host team from Russia will play Saudi Arabia. The Socceroos will meet France in a key Group C matchup on June 16. Les Bleus are a heavy favourite over the Socceroos, but as the last days of May are proving, it is wise to expect the unexpected. Markets are already open, hundreds of them. The match between Australia and France for example, lists 148 markets, according to the offerings on Ladbrokes, with Australia getting shorter every day. When that market first opened, we were seeing the Socceroos priced at $19, but our most recent check saw that quote dropped to $13.
Far easier, the AFL, NRL and Super Rugby codes are showing some tendencies that make punting slightly less complicated. In the 2018 AFL Premiership competition, there have been some surprising clubs and some surprising games, but week-in, week-out, all the markets and all the bookmakers competing for wagers mean that there is always some low hanging fruit.
The Melbourne Demons have been a surprise this season, more so than the West Coast Eagles. Some usual stalwarts, such as the Adelaide Crows, have looked fatigued at times and no one would have ever suspected that the Crows could be beaten at Adelaide Oval by the Collingwood Magpies.
The NRL, tight as it was last year, seems even tighter than this year. There are nine clubs within four points of each other after 12 rounds. The Dragons and the Panthers lead the pack. The premiers from last year, the Melbourne Storm, appear vulnerable and currently reside on the sixth rung of the 2018 NRL Premiership competition, one spot down from the New Zealand Warriors, who are playing much better football than anyone expected at the outset of the season.
Super Rugby is further along than the NRL, with the Waratahs heading the Australian Conference in a close battle with the Rebels. The Crusaders and the Hurricanes are the class of the New Zealand Conference and the Lions and Jaguares are dueling for supremacy in the South African Conference.
No mention of rugby in Australia would be complete without mention of State of Origin series play between the New South Wales Blues and the Queensland Maroons.
Game 1 will be on Wednesday, June 6, at Melbourne Cricket Ground of all places, but given that rugby is doing everything in its power to expand its reach beyond the traditional strongholds, including playing important games in the U.S., we would have to admit that MCG is not all that surprising.
Game 2 will be at ANZ Stadium in Sydney of June 24.
Game 3 is not until July, so we will look at that next month.
Domestic thoroughbred racing will be quieter in June, now that the big autumn carnivals have concluded and Winx is tucked safely in her stall, but Doomben will have some Group 1s, 2s and 3s, with plenty of punting action throughout the week at tracks major and minor before flats racing takes it July hiatus.
Internationally, a three-year-old American horse, justify, will attempt to win the Belmont Stakes in New York and add his name to a short list of American Triple Crown winners.
Punters who enjoy the trotters and the greyhounds will never lack for a bet in June, so the racing codes are never completely quiet.
In the United States, the NBA and the NHL are at long last down to the finals. The Cleveland Cavaliers, one-time home to Australia’s Matthew Dellavedova and the Golden State Warriors, former club of Andrew Bogut, meet for the fourth consecutive time for the championship of the league.
The NHL threw punters a curve, with the Las Vegas Golden Knights making it to the Stanley Cup Finals in the first year of their existence. They are playing the Washington Capitals, as the ice hockey marathon will be over before the end of June.
The 2018 French Open is already underway and will conclude on June 10, so tennis fans will have a chance to have a punt or two and see which players are in top form. Roger Federer is not playing and the odds of someone dethroning King of Clay Rafael Nadal are narrow, although Italy’s Simone Bolelli gave the Spaniard more work than would have been expected, forcing a tiebreaker in the third set that needed 20 points to decide the winner in Nadal.
One of golf’s four majors, the U.S. Open, runs from June 15 – 17 at Shinnecock Hills Golf Course in New York. The custodians of the course have stretched it out to play its longest and it will play to par 70 for the world’s top professionals, so it will be, as it generally has been, one of the toughest tests in professional golf. We do not offer betting advice, but seven of the top eight chances according to Ladbrokes has the letter “J” in their name, so if you should find an exotic market offering an alphabetical prop bet, back the favourite Dustin Johnson, or choose from Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Justin Rose or Jon Rahm and it should be hard to be far wrong.
Motor sports fans have the F1 circuit going strong. There will be races in Montreal and France. The Supercars circuit has just the one event, the CrownBet Darwin Triple Crown. Holden Commodores hold five of the top 10 positions. Scoot McLaughlin has the lead in driver points, but he is far from a lock to win the championship.