September is without doubt one of the best months for punting in Australia.
With domestic and international sports codes offering thousands of significant markets, September has so much on offer that a punter faces some difficult choices over where to direct their funds in search of the best dividends.
The Toyota 2018 AFL Premiership competition has finally made it to the post-season tournament. Last year’s premiership winning Richmond Tigers seem to have distanced themselves from the rest of the league, but they still have to continue to win in order to successfully defend their flag from 2017.
The Tigers will play the Hawthorn Hawks in the first qualifying final on 6 September at the MCG. The Hawks rebounded nicely this season after appearing to be in decline. Now, they find themselves with the unenviable task of taking on the Tigers after finishing fourth on the home-and-away ladder. Since both clubs call MCG home ground, it would be no surprise to see MCG filled to capacity. By some odd coincidence of nature, this will be the first time the two clubs have met during the finals series.
Richmond is favoured by 17.5 points in the early Ladbrokes’ markets, but the Hawks finished on six consecutive wins, identical to Richmond, so when the Sherrin bounces, punters can expect anything.
This year’s first round of finals will also supply a third Sydney derby, as the Giants will take the short trip to Sydney Cricket Ground to meet the Swans. That could be another close one, with the opening line being less than a goal. The Swans won both times during the season.
The one that most attracted out attention is Melbourne versus Geelong at MCG. Geelong won both meeting during the regular season, but the total margin of just five points suggests that this game will be riveting.
The other qualifying final in the first week is the West Coast Eagles hosting the Collingwood Magpies at the league’s newest jewel, Optus Stadium. That one seems almost a coin flip proposition.
In short, the first week of the AFL finals is one of the strongest in years.
The Melbourne Storm is showing every intention and desire to defend its title from last year, but the clubs from New South Wales, including the Roosters and South Sydney Rabbitohs, along with the Cronulla Sharks, might be able to catch Melbourne. The Storm plays Penrith in the final round, so that one could supply some doubt, while the Chooks have nothing but the Parramatta Eels with which to deal and the ‘Tohs have West Tigers.
The New Zealand Warriors are having their best campaign in some time and if they can get by the Canberra Raiders in the last round, will play finals.
Those punters who cannot get enough cricket can cast their glances toward the Caribbean Premier League, just to keep an eye on Steve Smith and David Warner, as that pair will not be eligible to represent Australia until March of 2019. Those who insist on Test cricket can have a look at England versus India.
The soccer crowd has the new season of the English Premier League for starters. Soccer is played year round, so all it takes is a little pointing and clicking to find plenty of good football punts, enough to satisfy the most devoted fans.
The month of September is huge for Thoroughbred racing in Australia, with some top quality Group racing at the Victorian and NSW metro venues. The very first day of the month has the Group 1 Memsie Stakes at Caulfield. Flemington offer the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes on 15 September. Randwick gets spring racing going that day with the Group 1 George Main Stakes, which seems to be the target of Winx and the small group of horses willing to take her on for prizemoney.
Caulfield and Rosehill have major races in September, as does Moonee Valley. Randwick has The Metropolitan, the Flight Stakes and the Epsom Handicap on the 29th.
The bookies all provide plenty of information, so smart racing punters will have the opportunity to combine that information with a dose of intuition and find a long-priced galloper capable of stealing a win and paying off in spades.
Motor racing fans can look to September to find the final races of this year’s Supercars series. The competition seems to be a two-driver affair this year, but the gap between number one Shane van Gisbergen and number two Scott McLaughlin is too close to call and Jamie Whincup is giving indications that he does not intend to surrender just yet. The picture will get clearer after the running of the Sandown 500 on 14 – 16 September.
Formula One has three races in September, in Italy, Singapore and Russia. Ferrari and Mercedes are locked in a tight battle between Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel ahead of a 2019 season that will have a decidedly different feel.
In the U.S., the NFL will play games that matter in September. Major college action will supply thousands of markets and the Canadian Football League will see plenty of action that will offer some nice punts.
September is the Month That Matters for Major League Baseball. The playoff races all seem tight as teams try to finish in the best position and gain the home field advantage that often spells the difference between success and failure.
September is a busy month and sets the table for October, so there is probably no better time to be a punter in Australia, with all the choices of great markets and highly competitive bookies to make for an interesting month.