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View from Down Under: Cricket, golf and rugby the betting focus this week

Adam Scott PGA

Golf, international cricket and rugby union will compete for Australian national attention this weekend, with punters hoping to combine some national pride with winning some cash off the bookies.

The Australian PGA is the final event of the Australian summer, and Adam Scott dominates markets as a $4.50 (+350) favourite.

Scott is the only top 50 ranked player in the world in the event which is held at the Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast, and while his form hasn’t been great on his home swing, he has won here before in 2013, while he was second in 2014.

The man many are backing to beat him is 23-year-old Cameron Smith, who put on a great show on the final day of the Australian Open at Royal Sydney two weeks ago, only to be beaten in a playoff by Jordan Spieth. Smith is the $15 (+1400) second pick along with Marc Leishman.

The only other international golfer of note in the event is Englishman Ian Poulter, who is $34 (+3300) to win.

Any sporting event between Australia and New Zealand always grabs national interest and this week, it’s the cricketers' turn to put the Trans-Tasman rivalry on the line. The Chappell-Hadlee Trophy is decided over a three-match, one-day international series between the two countries.

These two teams met in the World Cup final just 20 months ago, but New Zealand is missing a couple of key batsmen heading into this, with Australia pretty much at full strength.

As a result, Australia is $1.36 (-278) to win the series which starts on Sunday at the Sydney Cricket Ground, while New Zealand is $3.10 (+210).

The Wallabies tour of Europe comes to a close on Sunday (Australian time) when the Australians play England at Twickenham.

Hopes of a Grand Slam, an unbeaten tour, were ended with the narrow defeat to Ireland last week, but given Australia lost all three Tests to England on home soil in June, there is plenty on the line.

England is a $1.30 (-333) favorite to send the Aussies back home with another loss, while the Wallabies are $3.50 (+250) to bounce back.

There is also plenty of domestic sport which Australians will be betting on this weekend. Week 9 of the A-League soccer competition is highlighted by Saturday night's clash between second-place Melbourne City and fourth-place Brisbane Roar.

The National Basketball League has thrown up some surprise results and the upsets could continue this week.

And then there is the final Group 1 horse race of 2016, the Kingston Town Stakes, which will be run at Ascot racecourse in Perth.

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