By Karen Cummings 19 Oct, 2017

Bookmakers are not fond of paying out funds, even if events force them on occasion to do so.

Bookies in Las Vegas, cautious in the extreme, would not take Floyd Mayweather’s action when the undefeated boxer tried to lay $US400,000 on himself when he went into the ring with Connor McGregor.

Mayweather had his eye on the market for him to win in under 9.5 rounds. The bookies were apparently showing “concerns over the legality of a fighter betting on anything other than a straight win.”

Had they taken the bet, the bookies would have been on the hook to Mayweather for $600,000, so regardless of the legality, it was a shrewd business move. 

Or, so it would appear. 

Going through his camp, he managed to get $100,000 on the same market.

Speaking with ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio, Mayweather said, “I think that we bet 100 on 9.5. I gave my guy six figures to go bet. I have to make sure he bet because earlier today I went to the sports book to bet and they wouldn’t let me bet.”

There are no clear legalities preventing a boxer from betting on himself. The boxing game is notorious for diving boxers, so if Mayweather had tried to back McGregor, the claxons in Las Vegas would have been heard in London. 

A lot of late money came in on McGregor. If he had won, the bookies would have sustained monumental losses, but that did not happen and as a result, the Vegas sports books were able to breathe a huge sigh of relief. 

As it worked out, the bookies made a tidy sum on the fight, which, according to the Associated Press, was the biggest betting fight in boxing history, surpassing the wagering that took place when Mayweather fought Mann Pacquiao in 2015. 

Mayweather was heavily backed by the big punters. There were four $1 million bets on Mayweather, one by the MGM and South Point and two by the Wynn sportsbook. 

By Karen Cummings 17 Oct, 2017

Well, we totally blew it when we called the 13-point spread in the betting for the Denver Broncos v the New York Giants an early Christmas present. The Giants were 13-point underdogs. They covered that and won by 13 points, leaving us shaking our heads over a 26-point swing in the line.  

Aussie punter Brad Wing of the Giants had his best game of the season, so that was some good news, as Wing has been spotty for the Giants, who went into the Mile High City 0 for 2017.

The other unexpected result from yesterday’s action was the Pittsburgh Steelers, also employers of an Australian punter name of Jordan Berry, went into Kansas City and thoroughly dominated the Chiefs in every category save the score. 

Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger limited his interceptions to one versus the five he threw in the previous week. The real star of the show, however, was running back Le’Veon Bell, who ran through the formidable Kansas City defense as though they were rooted to the ground. 

The Steelers are the Jekylls and Hydes of the NFL. From week to week, you never know which side is going to show up. They actually stunk the place up in a loss to the dismal Chicago Bears. Few gave them any chance of staying in the game with previously undefeated Kansas City. 

The bookies had made the Steelers 3.5-point underdogs, but they seem to play their best games of the season when they venture into the Chiefs’ Arrowhead Stadium. 

Bell is now the third leading rusher in the NFL, trailing Leonard Fournette of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Kansas City’s Kareem Hunt, who was limited to 21 yards on nine carries by the Steelers’ defense.

Bell ran for 179 yards and he has seemingly owned Kansas City the last three times the two teams have played.

By Karen Cummings 12 Oct, 2017

What if they gave a job and nobody wanted it? Sorry for our poor paraphrase of a slogan from back in the 60s, but it came to mind when we were considering the coaching vacancy at the Gold Coast Titans. 

Any self-respecting rugby coach would be wary of a club that would sack a coach before the end of the season, but that is exactly the fate suffered by Neil Henry, who was axed with three games remaining in the Telstra 2017 NRL Premiership competition. 

The list for now is down to two men. Michael Maguire and Jason Demetriou. 

Maguire was sacked by the South Sydney Rabbitohs, as retribution, it would seem, for the finals loss to the number eight North Queensland Cowboys, who were subsequently sent off in grand fashion in the Grand Final by the raging Melbourne Storm. 

The Titans resorted to forming a special committee to consider the candidates. At one point, the names of former NSW Blues Coach Laurie Daley and Ben and Shane Walker were bandied about, as were those of Penrith Panthers reserve coach Garth Brennan and Des Hasler, who was let go by the Canterbury Bulldogs. 

We are not sure how much difference it will make to the Titans future, but the word is that they want to have a new man in place by the time the World Cup starts at the end of the month.

The Titans are also up for sale, which may influence the thinking of both remaining candidates and chief executive Graham Annesley has mentioned that recruitment and retention efforts have been delayed by the search for someone to fill the coaching position. He disclosed that an announcement is pending, but the board has yet to vote on Henry’s successor. 

The whole thing sounds like a hot mess. In his own words, Annesley said, “We’re still in talks and deals with players can be done, but it can have an impact if players want to know who the coach will be.”  

By Melbourne IT SEO 11 Oct, 2017

The Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival is an exciting time of year, not just for punters and betting enthusiasts but also for lovers of fashion, food, tasty beverages and the gorgeous spring weather that Melbourne delivers each year.

The Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival brings together some of the best thoroughbreds from around Australia and internationally for some truly spectacular horse racing. The main racing events take place over 4 days during early November at Flemington Race Course, featuring the one and only Melbourne Cup on the first Tuesday of November. It brings together the most elite thoroughbred racing in the country together with breathtaking fashion and entertainment, mouthwatering food and exciting social events.

The highlight of the carnival has to be the prestigious Melbourne Cup. Known as ‘the race that stops a nation’, it’s worth an astonishing $6.2 million and draws in racing enthusiast from all over Australia. The race is run over 3200 metres under handicap conditions on Tuesday 7th November 2017 at Flemington Racecourse and it undoubtedly the most talked about race in Australia.

The Caulfield Cup takes place over 3 days during October and is the second of the big spring cups. It features a grueling Group One handicap event over 2400m and whilst a smaller event than the Melbourne Cup, it’s still worth a cool $3 million and forms a massive part of the Spring Racing Carnival.

Also worth $3 million, the Group One WS Cox Plate takes place one week after the Caulfield Cup at Moonee Valley Racecourse over 2040m and is widely recognised as the weight-for-age championship of Australasia. Some say while The Melbourne Cup is the race for the people, the WS Cox Plate is the race for the purists!

Get your Spring Cup Carnival bets in today with U Bet Free.
By Melbourne IT SEO 11 Oct, 2017

Punters, horse enthusiast and fashion lovers alike are gearing up for one of Melbourne’s most highly anticipated events and the race that stops the nation; The 2017 Emirates Melbourne Cup!

Taking place on Tuesday the 7th of November 2017, more than 95,000 people are expected to descend on Flemington for Cup Day and a further six million people are expected to watch the race on TV. Kicking off at 3pm EST and running 3,200 metres, participants will race in pursuit of $6.2 million and an 18ct solid gold trophy valued at AU$175,000. With this being the richest prize in Australian sport, this year’s Melbourne Cup is set to be truly history making.

The Melbourne Cup isn’t solely renowned for horse racing, it’s also synonymous with food, entertainment and its ability to showcase some of the best fashion Australia has to offer. The Myer Fashion Show is now almost as popular as the race itself so if you’ve got your outfit sorted, make sure to enter as there are awards and awesome prizes for state finalists, millinery, design and people's choice, giving race-goers plenty of opportunity to dress to impress during the carnival.

Nova 100 will be on site to provide Flemington’s entertainment. Race-goes will enjoy a free entertainment area featuring live acts, DJs, food and drinks from some of Melbourne’s hottest restaurants and culinary destinations.

Channel 7 will be broadcasting the race live so, if can’t make it to the event, worry not! You can watch all the action from the comfort of your couch or even at your local TAB. The Melbourne Cup is a great opportunity for both rookie and experienced bettors to win big so make sure to get your bets in online with U Bet Free today!
By Karen Cummings 09 Oct, 2017

With the 2017 Presidents Cup safely tucked away in the U.S., the pundits are already out in force for the 2019 edition that will be played at Royal Melbourne. 

It will be held December 9 – 15, during the height of the Victorian summer and there are some who claim that in order to draw a following, top Americans must play an Aussie tournament in the lead-up. 

The problem is that this would seem to indicate that the Australian Open or Australian PGA needs to devise some method to lure world number one Dustin Johnson or young gun Justin Thomas. 

The wider problem with that strategy is that the prizemoney for Australia’s biggest golf events is paltry. The time period between the Australian Open and the Presidents Cup is such that the Australian Open is not until the middle of January and it is difficult to conceive of any of the 12 Americans likely to be on the Presidents Cup squad, let along Johnson and Thomas, will want to loiter Down Under for that length of time while there are millions to be had playing in the U.S.

Adam Scott is calling on the Presidents Cup organisers to pull out all the stops to expose Aussie golf fans to the Yanks that beat the Internationals convincingly in the 2017 edition. 

So far, however, it seems as though only Jordan Spieth has been willing to endure the travel, much as Arnold Palmer was doing back in the 60s, when he was one of the first Americans to consent to playing the British Open. 

The demise of the Australian Masters does not help the cause in any way.

The Australian Open has managed to attract Spieth, along with Rory McIllroy, but youngsters such as those two have little to no issues adjusting to the huge swing in time zones. 

The best hopes would lie in Aussies golfers nurturing relationships with their American counterparts, and then appealing to a desire to boost the game of golf on an international level. 

By Karen Cummings 04 Oct, 2017

Aussie Adam Gotsis had a major impact in the Denver Broncos’ 16 – 10 win over AFC West Division rival Oakland Raiders, but it was not anything about which Gotsis would be inclined to brag.  

He was chasing Oakland quarterback Derek Carr during the third quarter, when he (Gotsis) inadvertently kneed Carr in the back, which took Carr out of the game and could potentially have him sidelined for up to six weeks. 

The stat line for Gotsis was not particularly impressive, as he finished with one tackle, but he was often seen in the middle of the action, clogging up the running lanes and forcing Oakland running back Marshawn Lynch into one of the worst days of his career. Denver’s run defense, partly due to Gotsis’ off-season improvement, through four games is leading the league in run defense. They have done so against some of the premier running backs of the league, including Ezekiel Elliot of the Dallas Cowboys, who was held to nine yards on eight carries. 

There are three other Australians still on the active rosters of NFL teams, all three occupying roles as punters. 

The New York Jets’ Lachlan Edwards had six punts against the Jacksonville Jaguars in a 23 – 20 win for the Jets. He averaged 43.7 yards per kick, highly respectable. 

Jordan Berry of the Pittsburgh Steelers was needed only four times in the Steelers’ 26 – 9 dismantling of AFC Central Division Rival Baltimore Ravens. He averaged 37.5 yards, which does not truly reflect the strength of his leg, but he pinned the Ravens deep in their own territory, something that has made NFL teams take notice of Aussie punters. 

The remaining punter, Brand Wing, kicked five times for the New York Giants, who lost 25 – 23 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a loss that could be considered as similar to the Melbourne Storm being bested by the Gold Coast Titans. 

By Karen Cummings 02 Oct, 2017

The final 12 are set for the inaugural running of The Everest, the northern usurper that has taken over the title of World’s Richest Turf Race. The draw has yet to be conducted.

In order of bookmakers’ favourtism, the field will be She Will Reign ($4.60-Ladbrokes), Chautauqua, Vega Magic, Redkirk Warrior, Redzel, English, Deploy, Clearly Innocent, Brave Smash, Houtzen, Tulip and Fell Swoop ($51).

The relatively narrow range of prices from She Will Reign to Fell Swoop is because of the $600,000 connections had to pay in order to purchase a barrier for the first three years of the race. There will be no dividend windfalls for punters, even if Fell Swoop should pull off an upset. 

The five horses behind She Will Reign are all in single digits, down to England at $8. Of those five, Redkirk Warrior and Redzel have never won at Group 1 level.

At 1200 m in distance, The Everest would have seemed to be attractive for Winx, at least in terms of prizemoney, but she has not won below 1400 metres since she won the Group 2 Warwick Stakes first up this spring. She won the Group 2 Furious Stakes at Randwick in spring of 2014, so the distance is not outside her comfort zone entirely, but obviously, Chris Waller would not run her the week before the Cox Plate, so the Winx group will simply have to be content with the $13.5 million she has hauled in thus far. 

When she wins the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes at Flemington, and then backs that with a third Cox Plate, she had better move up in the Longines World Rankings to head Arrogate, else we will be compelled to scrap our Longines time keeping devices for something more accurate, Casio, perhaps. 

Good luck to Racing NSW and ATC as they stage the Australian emulation of the Pegasus World Cup in Florida. 

By Karen Cummings 28 Sep, 2017

Jeff Horn is not the only boxer in Queensland, it turns out. 

Like the Cowboys, light-welterweight boxing star Liam Paro, one of Horn’s sparring partners for the controversially decided Horn v Pacquiao fight, was a surprise winner when he stepped into the ring at Brisbane’s Eatons Hill Hotel and beat previously undefeated Argentinian boxer Jose Aubel. 

Paro, one of those dangerous southpaws, dispatched Aubel before the bell had sounded to end the third round, when the fight was stopped for a TKO.

Paro has now scored 10 victories from 10 fights. 

He is every bit as handsome as Horn in the bargain. 

Paro will return to the place where he got his start, the Entertainment Centre in Townsville, where local coach Dennis Clancy gave him a start on the correct trajectory. Paro’s next bout will be on November 4.

The same evening Paro was taking out Aubel, Brisbane boxer April Adams put on an exhibition of boxing proficiency when she won a unanimous decision over Carol Earl of Sydney to earn the Australian female super-bantamweight title. 

Also on the evening’s card, Brisbane Lion’s AFLW star Tayla Harris won the second professional fight of her nascent boxing career when she beat New Zealander Tessa Tualevao. 

Not meaning to come off as misogynistic or patronising, but Ms. Harris is far too foxy to be spending her time getting punched anywhere on her, body or face. Ah, well, equal rights for everyone seems to be the politically correct stance these days. We would not want her to hit us, wearing boxing gloves or a Lions’ guernsey. 

It was a difficult night for boxers from Argentina, as up and coming Brisbane light-heavyweight Reagan Dessaix needed less than one round to dispatch Ramon Benitez. 

Finally, world class rated Brisbaner light-heavyweight Trent Broadhurst will face non-Argentinian Dmitry Bivol of Russia for the currently unoccupied World Boxing Association light-heavyweight crown.  

By Melbourne IT SEO 27 Sep, 2017

The 2017 NRL Grand Final kicks off this Sunday with the Melbourne Storm taking on the North Queensland Cowboys at the ANZ Stadium in Sydney.

Michael Morgan was key in leading the Cowboys to their second Grand Final in 3 years, while his opposite number Mitchell Pearce from the Sydney Roosters was not match during Saturday’s prelim final. Pearce can only focus on next year but Morgan is hoping to help his team secure a Grand Final victory.

Melbourne Storms star player, Billy Slater, has said he hopes to make amends from last year’s devastating loss to the Sharks and has faith that his close-knit team can band together to take out the win this year. Cronk said the loss also plays on his mind but he hopes to leave 2016 behind and focus on this year.

“To be honest, we put last year behind us before we started this season. There will be a lot of talk about last year, but we have a new squad now and six or seven guys who will be debuting in the grand final this week. We are looking forward to it. It’s a special time of the year. Last year was disappointing but we’re not fazed by that, we moved on pretty quickly. It’s been a tough year, we’ve played some good footy through the season, but we’re back at the starting line now.”

Either way, it’s sure to be an action-packed game with a fairytale ending, no matter which team takes the trophy.

Fans can also look forward to a spectacular performance from international star Macklemore.

The grand final will be broadcast live on Channel Nine and Fox Sports will be blogging the game, providing comprehensive commentary, stats, and video updates.

U Bet Free offers the best free Bookie bets in Australia. Get your bets in today!

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