2014 ANZ Championships – Round 1

Filed in Other by on February 24, 2014

It’s that time of year…… if you listen very carefully as this weekend approaches, you may hear Kiwi rapper Scribe rhetorically asking, “How many sites you know roll like this? How many sites you know flow like this? Not many, if any….” And you know what that means – we have Ben Carbonaro back for a weekly netball gambling column (specifically, one based around the ANZ Championships) for 2014.

Before we delve into the opening weekend of matches, it may be worth a quick refresher course on what this column sets out to achieve, and more broadly how betting on the netball operates.

Our 2011 introductory discussion of how netball line betting works and what to expect from this column

Once again this year, for the purposes of this weekly column, we will only recommend a bet where Ben’s opinion differs from that of bookmakers by at least 3.5 goals. Essentially Ben does the tips, and Cliff does the math to establish whether a bet should be recommended or not.

That’s a purely subjective point to draw the line, albeit informed by some distributional analysis that discussed in the 2011 column link above. You could choose to bet any game where the opinions differ by at least 2.5 goals, or at least 5.5 goals, or whatever takes your fancy. However, recommended bets (and results of these bets) for this column will be based on games where the relevant opinions differ by at least 3.5 goals.

As a consequence, there will be some games each week where the opinions of Ben and the bookmakers are too close to each other and no bet is recommended. This is a good thing. As highlighted in the 2011 introductory piece, you don’t want to blindly hand over the edge in the odds to the bookmaker. Pick your battles carefully.

Using Ben’s tips and the 3.5 goal differential as our base, we have recommended 59 bets from then 138 matches played over the past two seasons. 36 of those bets have won, at an average price of a shade under $1.90. If you were betting even amounts of money every time, this would have returned a Profit on Turnover (PoT) of around 15 per cent.

That’s more than enough of my ramblings for one week – time to hand it over to Ben for the inside word on the opening round of the 2014 ANZ Championships:

Round 1 Tips (please note: all times are the local time for the home side)

Saturday March 1, 4:20 PM Tactix v Magic

Bookmakers’ line:  Tactix -3.5

Ben says: Another ANZ Championship season kicks off on Saturday afternoon when the Tactix face the Magic. Both teams have had some changes this year, with Tactix bringing in Malawian sharp shooter Mwai Kumwenda along with some further options in defence and Magic have signed English international shooter Jo Harten from Tactix. The Magic have been New Zealand’s best performed team across the competition’s history and without the Irene van Dyk/Laura Langman combination missing this season, I’m tipping Tactix to cause something of an upset. Tactix by 4

Recommended bet:  Nil


Sunday March 2, 12:18 PM Swifts v Fever

Bookmakers’ line:  Swifts -7.5

Ben says: A new coach in Rob Wright and some new recruits including Australian Diamonds defender Sharni Layton means this year looks bright for the Swifts after an inconsistent season last year. The Fever now have Natalie Medhurst to compliment Caitlin Bassett in the shooting circle and Chelsea Pitman has experience feeding Bassett when playing for Australia. What remains to be seen is if the Fever can win games on the road away from Perth and play four quarters of consistent netball each week. Swifts by 7

Recommended bet:Nil


Sunday March 2, 2:18 PM Vixens v Mystics

Bookmakers’ line: Vixens -7.5

Ben says:  Consecutive losses to finish the season in third place was not what Melbourne Vixens wanted after opening last season with three consecutive wins and performing well after that before dropping two of their last three regular season matches. The evergreen Catherine Cox has moved to Melbourne on a one-year deal from the Fever and from all reports, her combination with goal attack Tegan Caldwell is coming along nicely. The Mystics finished as wooden spooners last year, but with Debbie Fuller back as head coach things should be back to the heights of two years ago, when she took them to a Grand Final. Laura Langman’s decision to move across from the Magic should provide dividends too.  Vixens by 8

Recommended bet:  Nil


Sunday March 2, 7:20 PM Steel v Firebirds

Bookmakers’ line:  Steel +7.5

Ben says:  The Steel have had minimal player movement this season, but they have lost quality Silver Ferns mid-courter Courtney Tairi to the Magic. The performance of Firebirds goal shooter Romelda Aiken and how she can gel with another goal attack following Natalie Medhurst’s move west to the Fever remains to be seen. Last year’s runners up will be competitive and a genuine title contender despite the loss of Medhurst. Firebirds by 3

Recommended bet: 1 unit on Steel +7.5 at $1.88 (Sportsbet)


Monday March 3, 7:40 PM Pulse v Thunderbirds

Bookmakers’ line: TBC, but both the Sportsbet and TAB Sportsbet head to head prices imply that the line will be around Pulse -3.5 when it is released.

Ben says:  The Pulse were in the news during the off-season after signing the world’s greatest goal shooter in Irene van Dyk. Add in returning English defender Ama Agbeze and mid-courter Elias Shodrock, the Pulse are set to improve and push up after just missing finals last year. In the previous six seasons of the ANZ Championship, the previous year’s title winner has missed finals and with the loss of Natalie von Bertouch along with Australian Diamonds defender Sharni Layton it could be a long year for the Thunderbirds. Pulse by 12

Recommended bet:  TBC, but be ready to back the Pulse if they are favoured by 8.5 or less, as is highly likely. Stay tuned for details over the weekend.

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