The month of November will have plenty on offer for punters of all stripes. With the exception of the AFL and the NRL, all the major codes are in action, so punting opportunities will be so numerous that choosing which to punt will be equally as challenging as deciding how to punt.
Let us get to some of the major action straight away.
Thoroughbred racing is at its peak as the spring carnival season rumbles along. There is a little race called the Melbourne Cup on November 7 that will appeal to the entire country. Not even The Everest, which grabbled the mantle of richest turf race in Australia and the world, could tarnish the lustre of The Race That Stops A Nation. Just ahead of that the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500 m) will serve to identify which three-year-olds might one day be hoisting a Melbourne of Caulfield Cup, or perhaps a Cox Plate, provided that Winx should someday call time, perhaps after she catches Black Caviar for consecutive wins, sets a new Australian prizemoney record and final surpasses that California pretender, Arrogate, for top ranking by Longines.
Flemington is the sight or the race, naturally and this year’s big story is whether or not Almandin can repeat, although another compelling story line will be to see if Caulfield Cup winner Boom Time can supply a rare Cups double. Some of the bookie websites list him as one of the runners, but it is not known with certainty at this point if the Hayes/Dabernig trio will enter the six-year-old, although Boom Time has won staying races of up to 2500 m, so time will tell.
It is summer now, so the cricketers of both genders will have a full slate of matches at every level. Sheffield Shield, the Ashes, all manner of international Tests, everything anyone who follows cricket could want except for someone to explain the game to those of us who freely admit to being totally baffled.
Over in the U.S., the NBA and NHL will be getting underway in earnest. MLB may be done for the season, unless the World Series goes the entire seven games, in which case, the first day of November will be the final day of the 2017 MLB season.
One the MLB Championship is decided, the focus will shift almost entirely to the NFL, where it will be the middle of the season during November and enough games will have been played to gain some true insights into which teams are declining, which are holding steady and which are rising.
The NBA and NHL have a long way to go and for Aussie punters, one of the main storylines will be how the Aussie NBA contingent performs. The Philadelphia 76ers have a monster in the making if Melbourne’s Ben Simmons lives up to the early promise he has shown in the first part of the 2017 – 2018 season.
The NHL for the first time has an Australian in the ranks, young Nathan Walker, who is battling to earn ice time with the Washington Capitals and who helped his cause by scoring the first goal of his career in a late October meeting with the Montreal Canadiens.
Professional tennis is going on in Asia and the Aussie natives can only look on with a mixture of trepidation and suspense as Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic attempt to halt the slides that have plagued them in 2017. Punters might want to check for good bookmaker bets for January, when the Australian Open kicks off the Grand Slam season.
Fans of internal combustion driven vehicles have the last two races of the F1 season in November. It looks like the issue has been decided as far as the top three spots are concerned, but maverick Max Verstappen and his teammate Daniel Ricciardo may decide that the time for holding back is over and inject some true drama into the proceedings.
Supercars will also run its final two races of the season in New Zealand at the beginning of the month and in Newcastle near the end.
The NASCAR series in the United States will have interest to some as the race to decide a season-long champion will conclude with races in Texas, Arizona and Miami.
The PGA Tour, which is never really out of season, has four substantial tournaments in November, in Las Vegas, Mexico, Georgia and the Bahamas. Several things of interest to Aussie golf fans will be if Marc Leishman can continue his torrid pace of the last six months, or if Jason Day and Adam Scott can regain some of their former form.
The big golf news is that Tiger Woods might soon make a return and whether or not he can supply a challenge to young guns such as Jordan Spieth and the blisteringly hot Justin Thomas.
World Cup Alpine skiing will get underway in November with the codes of slalom, downhill and super-giant slalom all represented, with events in Canada, Europe and Colorado.
Of course, there will be thousands of markets is some of the lesser known sports, so punters with the time and expertise to explore those markets might find an opportunity or two to put one over on the bookies, although that is seldom the case, as the bookies leave no stone unturned when it comes to out punting the punters. Still, there is always hope.
The dogs and the trots are always there if it becomes a matter of desperation, but with all manner of major sports action ongoing, November is a month rich in markets that span the globe with athleticism and drama beyond compare.
Punters will need to be on their toes to uncover some exceptional value and November will test their mettle like almost no other month.