May is a prime month for Australian punting, with domestic and international markets in vast abundance and the bookmakers keen to earn punter loyalty.
The big leagues of Aussie Rules and Rugby are in full swing all during the month. There is still some important Group thoroughbred racing to be done, even if it has taken leave of the Melbourne and Sydney metropolitan courses and will instead be found scattered about on Gold Coast, Morphettville, Doomben and Eagle Farm.
There is no lack for international markets, either, as Europe and the U.S. are hosts to all manner of sports markets.
Here, then, is a brief summary of what punters can expect in May.
The AFL has presented some surprises to this point in the 2017 season.
We were not alone in not seeing the fate that has befallen two of the league’s powerhouse teams, the Hawthorn Hawks and the Sydney Swans in failing to win a single game in the early going as this is being typed in the latter part of April.
Likewise, we did not foresee the Richmond Tigers joining the ranks of the undefeated after the first four rounds of play, although they have had something of a soft schedule thus far.
The Adelaide Crows have carried on their scoring explosiveness from last year in jumping to a 4 – 0 start, but they have been knocked off the top rung by the Geelong Cats and their league-best defence.
The Essendon Bombers seem to be playing better with the return of their banned players and the Fremantle Dockers, while not yet back to their 2015 form, have improved over 2016 by any measure. The Western Bulldogs are cruising along in their defence of last year’s flag, one rung above where they finished the home-and-away last season before stunning the league to win the Grand Final from the number seven position.
Most AFL games have in excess of 200 wagering markets, week-in-week-out, supplying myriad opportunities for punters.
The National Rugby League is even deeper into its regular season and the action to this point promises that May will be a month worth looking at, with plenty of key games, along with the normal intrigue of who will be playing for whom next season.
Perfection is no longer a possibility in the NRL, as all 16 teams have played seven rounds as April is winding down, and not one side is without a loss. Cronulla has been strong, but they have been beaten twice and the bottom dwelling Knights and Titans could still have an impact during May.
NRL matches typically have in excess of 140 markets in the days leading up to the games.
For soccer fans, the A-League is open for business, even if the 2016 – 2017 season is winding down, with the Grand Final slotted for Sunday May 7. Most punters are favouring the Sydney FC and the Melbourne Victory to be the two teams in the Grand Final, but the Brisbane roar and the Western Sydney Wanderers might enter the mix.
The English Premier League is wending its way along, and most of the domestic online bookmakers typically offer close to 100 markets on any given game, so it might be a good spot to look for some top betting markets.
International soccer is always ongoing, so those markets might appeal to punters who cannot get enough of a good thing.
Fret not, cricket fans, you will have plenty of opportunities during May.
Pakistan and West Indies will launch a Test series on the very first day of the month. Ireland and England will stage an ODI. The Ireland Tri-Nation Series comes in the middle of the month and May concludes with a South Africa – England ODI series. There will also be quality cricket from the IPL all during the month.
Punters interested in U.S. sports have the early season games of the MLB on which to speculate. The Colorado Rockies are surprising the entire league, at this moment the holders of the best record in baseball. If they can get through May in anything like the form they have shown in April, and if they can avoid their all-too-common June swoon, they might make a reappearance in the playoffs for the first time since 2007. The standings in the American League are tight, with only four wins separating top from bottom. Much the same could said of the National League.
Those regular season games, however, pale in comparison to what is going on in the NBA and NHL. Those two leagues are right in the midst of their annual playoff marathons, so there are often as many as 85 markets for NBA games and as many as or more than 50 for the National Hockey League.
Domestically, we mentioned briefly that thoroughbred racing is spread around the country in Queensland, South Australia and Gold Coast. There are seven Group 1 races spread throughout May, starting with the Australasian Oaks on May 6 at Morphettville, carrying on with the Robert Sangster Stakes at that same meeting, followed by the Doomben 10,000 and the South Australian Derby mid-month, with the Doomben Cup, Goodwood, and BTC Cup rounding out the month. There are only four Group 2 races, but almost 20 Group 3s.
We should also mention that in terms of prestige at least, the U.S. will stage The Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes in May as U.S. racing fans watch for a horse to equal American Pharoah’s 2015 Triple Crown.
The other racing codes will be present as always, with trots in various locales around the world, along with dogs for those punters who fancy such.
Punters who prefer their racing to be octane powered will want to keep an eye of major F1 races in May. The Spanish Grand Prix is on May 15 and the big one, the Grand Prix of Monaco, is on the 29th.
That day will be a two-fer, as the Indianapolis 500 will be a highlight of the U.S. Memorial Day weekend observance.
As is obvious, May is a prime month for sports around the world. Champions will be crowned, newcomers will rise to prominence and teams will jockey for position in their respective leagues, with domestic and international markets aplenty.