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View from Down Under: Cricket Takes Centre Stage

Pat Cummings Cricket

Australians love a sporting rivalry and the Trans-Tasman rivalry with New Zealand is huge in most sports, but especially in cricket.

As opposed to rugby, where New Zealand is completely dominant, the rivalry between Australia and New Zealand on the cricket pitch is currently weighted heavily in the Aussies' favor.

Having defeated the Black Caps, NZ's national cricket team, in the World Cup last year, Australia has comfortably beaten New Zealand in the two one-day matches played in the Chappell-Hadlee Series, the annual showdown between the two nations.

A third match is scheduled for Melbourne on Friday with Australia $1.33 (-303) to win that and claim the series 3-0. New Zealand are $3.34 (+234) to rescue some pride with a win.   

International cricket is the mainstay for Aussie sports gamblers during December, at least until the Big Bash League starts on December 20.

Otherwise, it is the usual assortment of domestic leagues which will be the focus of sports bettors, especially the A-League soccer, where the top two sides, Sydney FC and Melbourne City, play on Friday night.

Sydney FC, unbeaten in the league, are $2 (+100) favourites to win the match despite having lost the FFA Cup final to the same opposition just nine days ago. City are $3 (+200) to win this, with the draw at $3.50 (+250).

The other big match in the A-League pits the other two big city clubs, Western Sydney Wanderers and Melbourne Victory, against each other at ANZ Stadium in Sydney. Wanderers are $2.40 (+140) favourites despite a poor recent record against Victory, who are $2.75 (+175) and look good value.

The National Basketball League has proven one of the toughest competitions to predict this season with just one win separating second from last among the eight teams. The first-place Sydney Kings play in Cairns and then host Melbourne United and are favoured to win both matches.

The Group 1 racing year is finished in Australia, but those interested in a bet on the best horses will be looking to Hong Kong for the International race meeting on Sunday.

Two Australian horses, Takedown and Rebel Dane, are in the Hong Kong Sprint against some of the world's fastest horses and are sure to attract plenty of Aussie support.