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View from Down Under: Spikes or Boards, What’s Your Poison?

There's an old saying that Australians will gamble on two flies crawling up a wall. Well, we're not sure if there's an Easter fly-crawling contest on anywhere, but Aussies will be pretty much betting on everything else this long weekend.

Two iconic events will be staged in sports you would not usually associate with betting — the Stawell Gift in athletics, and the Rip Curl Pro in surfing.

The Stawell Gift is a professional foot race held over 120 metres on Easter Monday in a small Victorian town and in years gone by featured massive betting interest. Huge bets were wagered on the handicapped event as virtual unknowns contended for the prize money off front marks.

These days, most of the betting is online, and in the digital age, it's hard for runners to hide their best results, but there is still plenty of betting interest in Australia's richest foot race.

About 90 miles away at Australia's most famous surfing breach, Bells, the world's best men's and women's surfers will compete for the Rip Curl Pro. Massive crowds pack the beaches to watch the event, with the locals right behind local hero Mick Fanning in the men's event and Aussie trio Sally Fitzgibbons, Tyler Wright and Stephanie Gilmore in the women's.

Good Friday has always been a footy-free day in the AFL, but for the first time this year a match will be played, with reigning premiers Western Bulldogs ($1.29/-345) playing North Melbourne ($3.62/+262).

Those two teams are hoping to form a traditional encounter on this day, much the way Hawthorn and Geelong have with Easter Monday in the past decade. Their clashes have become legendary, but Geelong is $1.41 (-244) to win this year's match with Hawthorn ($2.94/+194) the longest price it has been in over five years.

Good Friday has been on the National Rugby League's schedule for 24 years and there are three matches this year highlighted by the Canterbury Bulldogs hosting the South Sydney Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium.

Both teams are just outside the top eight who make the playoffs, with the Dogs $1.80 (-125) favorites and Souths at $2.04 (+104).

The other match of major interest sees the Manly Sea Eagles host the Melbourne Storm. These two teams are major rivals, and the Storm are title favorites despite losing their first match of the season last week. Melbourne is a $1.60 (-167) favorite with Manly at $2.38 (+138).

It's the final round of the A-League soccer before the finals and not before time, with Sydney having sewn up top place a very long time ago. The six teams who qualified for the playoffs are already determined, with the only battle of interest in who finishes third or fourth between Brisbane Roar and Melbourne City. They both play Sunday, with Brisbane at $1.61 to beat Wellington and City $3 outsiders against Perth Glory.

On that, Brisbane is the favorite to grab third spot although both will have home finals in the first week.

The championships may be over but Sydney horse racing will still feature two Group 1 races, the All Aged and the Champagne Stakes at Randwick. There is also group racing at Caulfield as well as the famous Oakbank meeting which attracts crowds of nearly 100,000 to a picnic track in the Adelaide Hills.

There will also be Australia's first ever Good Friday race meeting, to be held at Ascot in Perth.