The month of May is one of the best of the year for punting.
The AFL, the NRL and Super Rugby will all offer thousands of markets over the course of the month and even if your tastes lean in the direction of plain vanilla head-to-head betting, the footy codes alone will over several hundred markets.
Many other sports events take place domestically and the international offerings will see some good opportunities as well.
Here is a brief rundown of some of the goings on in May on which it may be fun to have a punt or two.
The AFL is in the midst of the Toyota 2018 AFL Premiership competition.
In May, Rounds seven through 10 will serve up 70 matches, as Round 10 sees the first of the byes going to the Port Adelaide Power and the Gold Coast Suns.
The rungs of the ladder are closely spaced this season, with no side showing clear dominance. The only team to start the season with a perfect record was the Power and they made it through just three rounds before their perfect start was derailed by the Essendon Bombers.
The most recently completed round finds the defending premiers Richmond Tigers on top, which is a positive development for Tigers supporters, as Richmond shows no sign of a premiership hangover such as has plagued flag winners in the past.
The West Coast Eagles are the big surprise of 2018. After losing their first match of the year to Sydney in Round one, the Suns have won their next four, including a tight win over the Geelong Cats and an absolute bloodbath 80-point win over the Gold Coast Suns. Just to prove they are human, however, they almost let the winless Carlton Blues sneak by them.
A glance at the Telstra 2018 NRL Premiership competition also reveals plenty of action of all types.
Like the AFL, the early going has provided a few surprises. Those surprises have found the St. George Illawarra Dragons at the top, with the Penrith Panthers and the New Zealand Warriors close behind. The 2017 premier Melbourne Storm has had to hang on for dear life, holding the fourth position behind three teams that have not had such good fortune in recent seasons.
The unpleasant side of the surprises equation has to belong to the Parramatta Eels. They have won just one game this season, even though some were tipping them to be one of the top sides ahead of the season.
Aside from the sickening scandal of April that put a damper on the upcoming cricket fixtures, county play and the Indian Premier League will possibly salve the souls of cricket fans and it can certainly be said that those souls need no further abrasion.
We do not make much mention of soccer, because it is being played at some level at some place in the world all of the time and simply clicking “soccer” on any of the bookmaker websites will unearth more markets than anyone could ever use up.
Domestically, all the racing codes will be in action, even though things are winding down for the autumn carnivals in flats racing. All the Group 1 races in May will be held at either Morphettville in South Australia or Doomben in Queensland. Some enterprising bookie is probably dreaming up a market for when Eagle Farm will be back in action, but whether such a market will actually open.
Important Group 1 races in the month of May include the Robert Sangster Stakes and the Australasian Oaks at Morphettville and the Doomben 10,000 and the Queensland Oaks at Doomben.
There will also be plenty of Group 2 and Group 3 racing throughout the country and the country tracks will offer some chances to find some diamonds.
Internationally, the Run for the Roses is held at Churchill Downs in Kentucky on May 6 this year. This is arguably the biggest race of the season in the U.S., at least in terms of prestige. For prizemoney, bragging rights belong to Florida’s Pegasus World Cup. Australian bookmakers will offer some markets and at the moment, Audible is on the top line of the betting.
So long as we are talking about the U.S., we would like to quickly mention that the NBA and the NHL are well into their annual marathon of playoffs.
Australians like their basketball and Australians are well represented in the NBA. The big story this year has been the emergence of Melbourne’s Ben Simmons, who is taking the league by storm, motivated, it would seem, by his exclusion from the 2018 NBA All Star list. Simmons is only 1.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists from averaging a triple double for the season, so it is entirely probable that this is the last season in which he is snubbed by the All Stars. Simmons is leading the Philadelphia 76ers deep into the playoffs, even though it was just two seasons ago when the Sixers could win only 10 of 82 regular season games.
Simmons’ rookie NBA card recently sold at auction for $US150,000, for those who give a whit about sports memorabilia.
Motor racing fans have plenty on the May Calendar as well. Formula 1 with the Grand Prix of Barcelona on May 14 and the crown jewel of the F1 season, the Grand Prix of Monaco on May 28. The big story of that realm of the world of sports is the speculation over where Perth’s Daniel Ricciardo will be driving next season.
Supercars is right in the thick of things, with the Perth SuperSprint in the early part of the month and the Winton SuperSprint in the latter half. Scott McLaughlin is leading the charge, but the standings are tight through the top five, which is the position in which last year’s champion, Jamie Whincup will be found.
May is also the month for the Indianapolis 500.