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View from Down Under: Time for Tennis

The Australian Open is a special event to those of us Down Under, especially those of us who love to bet on sport.

There is a massive amount of money wagered by Australians on the year’s first Grand Slam every year, with this year no exception.

About 25 per cent of the Round 1 matches ended in upsets for the favourites, but so many of the top seeds have started unbackable odds and Australian punters can’t wait until the later rounds to start getting some decent odds on their favourite players.

As it stands, Novak Djokovic is the favourite in the men’s draw at the $2.37 (+137) mark, while Andy Murray is still well fancied at $2.75 (+175).

Stan Wawrinka and Rafael Nadal are the next best at $13 (+1200) and $15 (+1400). For the locals, Nick Kyrgios is at $26 (+2500) while Bernard Tomic is at the large odds of $151 (+15000).

In the women’s draw, Serena Williams is holding sway at $3.50 while reigning champion Angelique Kerber is at $4.50.

In cricket, Australia’s one-day international team lost on Sunday at the MCG which leaves the five-match series with Pakistan locked at 1-1. The hosts are $1.27 (-370) favourites to bounce back against the Pakistanis ($3.82/+282) at the WACA on Thursday.

The two teams then square off again at the SCG on Sunday. Staying with cricket and punters will continue to be hooked on the Big Bash as the regular season reaches its conclusion. After going to the top of the league on Tuesday with a win over the Stars, the Brisbane Heat will start favourites ($1.80/-125) against the Renegades ($2/+100) on Friday.

On Saturday, the Hurricanes ($2.20/+120) host the Scorchers ($1.67/-149) in the first match of a doubleheader. Then, the Stars will be aiming to lock in a finals berth when they host the Sixers at the MCG. That match is expected to be tight; the bookies can’t split them at $1.90 (-111). As it stands, seven of the eight teams can make the finals with the Heat the only ones assured of a spot in the semifinals.

Round 16 of the A-League kicks off on Thursday night when Melbourne City ($1.30/-333) hosts Central Coast ($8.50/+750), but the most interest will be in whether Sydney FC ($1.50/-200) can get back onto the winner's list when they play Adelaide ($6.50/+550).

Second-placed Melbourne Victory ($2.10/+110)) heads west to take on the Perth Glory ($3/+200) having lost a crucial game against Wellington Phoenix mid-week, ending a six-match winning streak.

In the NBL, the Adelaide 36ers have cleared out on top of the standings and are favourites to win both of their matches in Round 16 against Brisbane and Sydney.

Racing is always a huge summer pastime in Australia and summer racing continues in Melbourne with a nine-race card at Moonee Valley while Sydney racing heads to Randwick.