Online Betting Guide

Who are the title favourites in the big US major sports?

THERE’S plenty of cricket and the Australian Open is on the way, but every punter knows the big action during the Australian summer is in the USA.

We want a bite of the best of the best and richest athletes in the world as they compete for supremacy on the sporting coliseums that hold the greatest American footballers, basketballers, baseballers and ice hockey players on Earth.

As the National Football League warms up for its playoffs, the National Basketball Association heads toward its half way point.

The National Hockey League heads into its second last month of the season and the 2016 Major League Baseball schedule has been released.

The New England Patriots, Golden State Warriors, Chicago Cubs and Washington Capitals are the favourites to be crowned champions with online bookie sportsbet.com.au.

“The Patriots, Warriors, Cubs and Capitals are favourites with Sportsbet to win their respective championships, but punters prefer the Packers, Warriors, Canadiens, and San Francisco Giants,” the bookie’s Ben Bulmer said.

Here’s a closer look at all the markets.

Patriots favoured by punters to win Super Bowl 50

The New England Patriots are the $5.50 to win Super Bowl 50, with Bulmer reporting that 20 per cent of Sportsbet punters are predicting they will go back to back.

But The Seattle Seahawks have attracted similar interest at $7, with the Green Bay Packers ($13) the best backed with, 25 per cent of the total money staked.

But it’s the brutal Carolina Panthers, who lead the pack at $4.50.

In a remarkable end to the regular season on the weekend, the Panthers, who have lost only one game all season, defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to seal the number one see in the NFC.

The drama, though, played out in the AFC, with the former favourites New England somehow losing to Miami – letting go of their home field advantage.

Payton Manning then returned for the Denver Broncos, helping them to a win over the San Diego Chargers and in the process leap frogging last year’s champions to take the number one seed.

Both teams shared the same record, but the Broncos beat the Patriots earlier this year and that gave them the nod.

The Cincinnati Bengals beat the Baltimore Ravens to finish the season just behindd the Pats and Broncos.

The New York Jets dipped out on a wild card spot with a meek performance against the Buffalo Bills, but the Pittsburgh Steelers are in and will go up agains the Bengals this weekend.

Wild Card Weekend

Sunday, January 10, 2016, AEDT:

Kansas City Chiefs at Houston Texans

Monday, January 11, 2016, AEDT:

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals
Seattle Seahawks at Minnesota Vikings
Green Bay Packers at Washington Redskins

Divisional Weekend

Sunday, January 17, 2016, AEDT:

Highest ranked AFC winner at New England Patriots

Monday, January 18, 2016, AEDT:

Highest ranked NFC winner at Arizona Cardinals
Lowest ranked NFC winner at Carolina Panthers
Lowest ranked AFC winner at Denver Broncos

Championship Weekend

Monday, January 25, 2016, AEDT:

AFC Championship
NFC Championship

Monday, February 8, 2016, AEDT:

Superbowl 50 market:

$4.50 Carolina Panthers

$5 Arizona Cardinals

$5.50 New England Patriots

$7 Denver Broncos

$7 Seattle Seahawks

$13 Cincinnati Bengals

$13 Green Bay Packers

$13 Pittsburgh Steelers

$15 Kansas City Chiefs

$21 Minnesota Vikings

$41 Washington Redskins

$51 Houston Texans

Odds provided by Sportsbet.com.au

Warriors best backed for NBA title

The punters are still on the dominant Golden State Warriors’ bandwagon, despite an injury to Stephen Curry that has troubled him over the past week.

Draymond Green has stepped up in his absence, banging out a couple of big triple doubles to help them continue their league leading 31-2 record.

Bulmer says punters like the Warriors, with 30 per cent of the money predicting they can repeat last year’s win, while 25 per cent of the money is on the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are second favourite, to go one better.

The Warriors won an epic series against Lebron James and a bunch of no name vets after Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving went down with injury. Should they meet again in the finals, it could be a different story, provided those two stars can remain healthy and participate.

But they will have to contend with a side that features a man some say is the best shooter of all time already in Steph Curry, who is the remarkably short odds on favourite to win the NBA’s Most Valuable Player Award for the second straight season.

The Cavs lead the East, but the spotlight, as always, has been no where to be seen in San Antonio, with new recruits LaMarcus Aldridge and David West slotting in seamlessly to that gorgeous equal opportunity motion offence that has led them to the second best record in the NBA at 29-6, and the $5 third favourite quote with sportsbet.com.au.

Outside the top three hopes, the Oklahoma City Thunder and their devastating duo of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook have been on a big tear and might be a little bit over the odds, although there is the concern that they are a two man band, with big guys like Serge Ibaka and Enes Kanter failing to increase their production.

The Los Angeles Clippers have been without big man Blake Griffin for over a week, but it has not hurt their chances, with unheralded players like JJ Redick and the much maligned Austin Rivers stepping up in his absence to make sure they keep winning.

The hot and cold Chicago Bulls are next in the market at $21 and there is no other team under $31.

The Bulls could cause some damage with the likes of Jimmy Butler dropping 40 point halves and tying His Airness Michael Jordan for the most points ever by a Bull in a half.

But they will need to get it together with internal rumblings involving Butler and coach Fred Hoiberg threatening to derail things.

2016 NBA title market:

$2.50 Golden State Warriors

$3.75 Cleveland Cavaliers

$5 San Antonio Spurs

$10 Oklahoma City Thunder

$10 LA Clippers

$21 Chicago Bulls

$31 Atlanta Hawks

$31 Indiana Pacers

$36 Miami Heat

Odds provided by Sportsbet.com.au

Dallas the Stars of the show joining Caps as favourite for NHL’s Stanley Cup

In the NHL, the Dallas Stars and Washington Capitals are the joint $6 favourites for the Stanley Cup, but punters prefer the Capitals, with plenty of money coming in for the Montreal Canadiens at $12.

The Stars have the best record in hockey and have surprised with their plucky performances in leading the west.

The Stars ability to find multiple avenues to goal has been the key. The likes of Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin are guns, while last year’s big signing Jason Spezza – who was roundly criticised for his lack of performances last season – has begun to fire. He should end the season around the 30 goal mark, something that could also be achieved by new man Patrick Sharp.

The Caps are leading the East and will be a formidable opponent, should they make jt to the big dance.

Last year’s champions the Chicago Blackhawks have looked far from the team they were last season, but they are still a $14 chance with sportsbet.com.au.

We really like that uber talented St Louis Blues roster. If they put it all together, they could just about be the best team in the game and represent great value at $14.

2016 Stanley Cup winner market

$6 Washington Capitals

$6 Dallas Stars

$12 New York Rangers

$12 Montreal Canadiens

$12 New York Islanders

$12 LA Kings

$14 St Louis Blues

$14 Minnesota Wild

$14 Chicago Blackhawks

$20 Boston Bruins

Odds provided by Sportsbet.com.au

Nats, Cards and Cubs battle it out for MLB World Series favouritism

It’s early days, but the punters have been unable to split the Chicago Cubs, St Louis Cardinals and Washington Nationals in the betting, with each of those sides rated an $11 chance to go all the way and win the World Series.

Bulmer says most of the money is coming in for the Cubs, but the $13 chance San Francisco Giants are the best backed side.

The champion Kansas City Royals aim to go back to back and are also rated a $13 chance as they begin their quest for two straight.

They downed the Houston Astros, Toronto Blue Jays and New York Mets in a trio of tough series to claim just their second world title in franchise history.

They have lost Cueto and Zobrist and outfielder Alex Gordon is yet to sign on.

Perennial title fancies the Los Angeles Dodgers having lost Greinke to Arizona and have not had much luck in the free agency stakes, but are still a $13 chance.

Watch out for those Cubs though.

They might not have quite got there, but a sustained period of success looks possible, with the likes of Jon Lester, NL Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta and rookies Kris Bryant, Addison Russell and Kyle Schwarber giving them two playoff series wins, before they were defeated by the Mets at the penultimate hurdle.

In a bid to keep it going, the front office has spent some $276.5 million – US – to bring in gun free agents like Heyward, the aforementioned Zobrist, John Lackey and Trevor Cahill. The franchise hasn’t won a World Series title since 1908. They will be hoping Back to the Future was a year early.

2016 World Series baseball market:

$11 Washington Nationals

$11 St Louis Cardinals

$11 Chicago Cubs

$13 Boston Red Sox

$13 LA Dodgers

$13 San Francisco Giants

$13 Kansas City Royals

$14 Toronto Blue Jays

$15 Houston Astros

Odds provided by Sportsbet.com.au