The month of March is upon us, and even though the Bard of Avon took the opportunity to warn Caesar about the danger that month, particularly the middle of March, holds for Roman Emperors named Julius, the first month of autumn is a glorious one for Australian punters, regardless of which sport or sports they fancy.
One of the hotter punting markets is the newly launched AFLW, where the women get the opportunity to put their mark on Australian Rules footy and serve as the perfect appetiser for the home-and-away season of the AFL, where there are already markets open for those who do not care to wait for round one towards the end of the month. Futures markets for the moment seem to favour the GWS Giants to wrest the flag away from the Western Bulldogs, who have drawn well for the first round, having to deal only with the Collingwood Magpies. The Carlton Blues v the Richmond Tigers have the ceremonial opener on Thursday evening, and of this writing, more than a month ahead of the bounce, there are already close to 100 markets open. Those who so desire can get a footy punt in on the JLT Community Series.
The 2017 NRL Telstra Premiership gets going right at the start of March and there are already over 700 markets on Sportsbet, with more certain to be added as the matches grow closer. The game, as of this writing, favours the Sharks by 1.5 points and this game looks to be one to set the tone for the season, as all the clubs try to demonstrate their merit by taking it to the premiers.
Autumn racing carnivals await intrepid thoroughbred punters in March, with Flemington leading the way on the fourth with the Group 1 Australian Guineas, where tippers will see which of the crop of three-year-olds will follow through from their two-year-old campaigns and which new gallopers will emerge.
Randwick will host two Group 1 races that same day, with the Randwick Guineas and the weight-for age Canterbury Stakes.
The balance of the month is chock full of Group 1, 2 and three races of every distance and running condition. The big deal is on the 18th, when Rosehill Racecourse will run five Group 1 races on the same day, along with three Group 3s.
Moonee Valley will come on near the end of the month, and then Rosehill takes centre stage again for Group 1s The BMW, the Storm Queen Stakes, Group 2 Emancipation and Tulloch Stakes and four Group 3s at the same meeting.
Nearly 50 Group races in all, and remember to give your eyes a break from the screen from time to time, especially if you are using your mobile to ferret out the thousands of markets.
There is certain to be plenty of wagering opportunities at some of the regional and country tracks, and the harness set and the dog fanciers will have a full card as well.
Punters who enjoy the English Premier League will welcome March with Tottenham v Everton on the sixth, followed by Sunderland v Man City the following day, leading into the weekend, when the bulk of the EPL will have matches, with perhaps the most compelling in terms of parity being the Hull v Swansea game. For the moment, March markets are somewhat limited, but are sure to expand as the date approaches.
Of course, given the worldwide popularity of soccer, there is a ball being kicked, headed and anything else you can do with a soccer ball on every minute of every day.
The first of the month will feature some prime A-League contests for those who prefer domestic markets.
Two of the major American sports leagues are busy in March, those being the National Hockey League and the National Basketball Association. The NBA has plenty of local boys in the mix and there is a possibility that Nathan Walker from the Australian National Team could become the first Aussie to play in the NHL. He is currently plying his trade with the Hersey Bears of the American Hockey League and is considered a viable prospect to skate for the Washington Capitals, one of the NHL’s leading teams. He was born in Wales, but had the good fortune to escape to Australia, where he learned to play hockey.
One of the ultimate motor racing events in the world, the Australian Grand Prix debuts the F1 season near the end of March and there has been much behind the scenes maneuvering as the result of Nico Rosberg abandoning the circuit and calling time on his driving career. F1 officials have been busy trying to chip away at the Mercedes team’s dominance and Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo should have a better chance at making Team Red Bull relevant.
Professional golf courtesy of the PGA Tour will be spending most of March in the sunny southern climes as the players, including Jason Day, Adam Scott and an entire host of Aussies who field strong games, get ready for the season’s first Major, The Masters in mid-April.
We have only just brushed on some of the major sports and offer our sincere apologies to punters who fancy a plunge on dozens of other sports that dot the March sports calendar, but finding markets is easy-peasey, thanks to the efforts of Australia’ fine online bookmaking agencies.