September is just around the corner and for sports and racing punters; it is a fabulous month for punting, with hundreds of betting markets ripe for the picking.
It is almost hard to decide where to begin, but the beginning of the alphabet is as good a place as any, although we cannot promise to follow an exact alphabetical progression throughout, but the AFL is finally winding down the home and away series in advance of the finals, so this might be a good place to begin.
Can the Hawthorn Hawks Football Club pull off the improbable four-peat? The Carlton Football Club ran off three successive in 1906 – 1908. The Collingwood Football Club stole Carlton’s thunder with four in a row from 1927 – 1930. Melbourne Football Club had three from 1939 – 1941 and duplicated that feat in 1955 – 1957, and could have made it six consecutive but for a second place finish to Collingwood in 1958 before they came back for two in a row in 1959 and 1960. Improbable to consider now, the Brisbane Lions took three in 2001 – 2003 and almost took a fourth until they were denied in 2004 by Port Adelaide.
The modern day Hawks were tested by Fremantle in 2013, but Sydney in 2014 and West Coast in 2015 provided little in the way of drama.
This year’s finals are not quite absolutely determined, and after 21 rounds, the ladder has been shaken up a bit, with the Swans now on top by percentage, even though they are tied with the Crows and the Hawks with 16 wins and five losses and 64 points.
The four weekends in September will determine which two clubs will meet on the MCG oval on 1 October to crown a premier. In the opinion of Sportsbet, the Swans are the top-favourite, followed by the Crows, with Geelong and Hawthorn tied for third favourite. Aussie Rules punters will have plenty of opportunities from now until the finals start to shop odds.
Moving on, the letter “B” gives us baseball and basketball. The Australian NBL does not get underway until October, but it could be a good time to look at the futures. There is live action at the club level and some international live betting as well.
Baseball, particularly the MLB variety from the States, is in high gear. There are some tight races for the expert baseball punter, the typical Major League game will offer hundreds of markets during the regular season and the early rounds of the playoffs.
We do not wish to neglect boxing entirely and there is a nice card on the fourth of September with four interesting bouts.
Plenty of cricket markets will attract the cricket punters. Various markets include Test, One Day International, Twenty20 Big Bash and Twenty20 Cup, along with The Ashes ICC Cricket World Cup and several others, all open for betting at this very moment.
Jumping ahead to golf, the PGA will have stroke-play tournaments in a elimination format that will lead to the crowning of this year’s FedEx Cup Champion, along with the event golf professionals hold in highest esteem, the Ryder Cup, where the U.S. seems to currently enjoy a slight advantage in the odds, despite the record of recent years where Europe has spanked the yanks.
Mixed Martial Arts betting in September offers some potential markets on contests scheduled for early in the month with head-to-head and exotic markets.
Motor sports punters will be cheered by the return of F1 from its summer hiatus, with races in Italy, Singapore and Malaysia. NASCAR fans will find markets for the season series, along with races at Darlington Raceway and Richmond International Raceway.
Proceeding along the alphabet to we arrive at “R,” rugby punting will be in full swing in the NRL, which is looking to provide a dramatic finish to the season preparatory to the finals. Games typically offer 100 markets or more, and the futures and exotics possibilities are seemingly endless. The Melbourne Storm have occupied the top spot of late, having run down the Sharks, who quest for a consecutive win record came achingly close before falling short. There could be some ladder position shifting, but the most compelling action seems to be for the teams that make the finals, with the Jarryd Hayne rejuvenated West Coast Titans, the New Zealand Warriors and the West Tigers all trying to squeeze into the top eight.
It would appear also that there is no lack of rugby union markets, so remember to bet early and often and be ready to cash in where and whenever they arise.
We could have looked at this much earlier, had we chosen to call it Futbol and list it under “F,” but in these parts, we call it soccer and so it had to wait until we got to “S.” This game, whatever you choose to call it, is played all over the world and there will be thousands and thousands of markets, all the way from the top and the English Premier League, through U.S. Major League Soccer, all the way down to markets on pick-up games between the employees of Dick Smith Electronics and Woolworths. That last may be a bit of an exaggeration, but the long and short of it is that if you cannot find a soccer market, it might be time to consider retirement from punting.
Tennis fans are eager to see the beginning of the last Grand Slam of the season get under way at the tail end of August and conclude in September and despite his early exit from the Olympic tournament, Novak Djokovic is the prohibitive favourite, with the only other player in single digit odds being Andy Murray. On the Ladies’ side, Serena Williams, herself another early Rio casualty, holds the top spot in outright betting.
Well, that just about covers it, although we seem to have a nagging doubt creeping into our minds that we are neglecting something important, and interestingly, our description of the doubt as nagging was the spark to call to our attention the fact that we had to this point made no mention of Thoroughbred racing.
The new 2016 – 2017 season is off to a blazing start and September has no lack of top quality Group racing to occupy those who enjoy that sort of thing. The Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes is the first of that rank on September 10, and is a weight-for-age affair sure to attract all the big name milers. Prior to that seven Group 2 or Group 3 races will provide action at Randwick and Moonee Valley.
Five more Group 1 races jump in September, making Randwick, Caulfield and Moonee Valley the courses that will draw the most attention, and there are all totaled forty races of Group 3 and above quality.
Of course, this review of September would not be complete without a brief mention that the regular season of the National Football League, with 16 games almost every week beginning in September and concluding before the playoffs just after the holidays, so the opportunity to have a gridiron punt on head-to-head, line and futures punts will be plentiful.
There you have it, with our sincerest apologies to any sports beginning with letters of the alphabet we neglected. Remember to punt responsibly and win lots of money.