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2018 Commonwealth Games Week 1: Preview and Best Bets

Thu, Apr 5, 8:55am by Staff Writer

The 21st Commonwealth Games begins with the Opening Ceremony on the Gold Coast on Wednesday night.

The event includes 71 Commonwealth nations competing in over 250 events in 19 sports.

Australia has consistently topped the medal tally during the Commonwealth Games and has a strong history in both team sports and individual sports alike.

The first week of the Games is filled with medal events and the preliminary round of the team sports events.

In the netball event, the Australian Diamonds should cruise past their early round opponents in Northern Ireland, Barbados and South Africa.

The Diamonds are $1.33 favourites to win gold, with England seen as their main competitor at $4.50, not traditional arch rival New Zealand who are paying $6.

Look at backing South Africa at the handicap against Australia with the South African team coached by former Australian coach Norma Plummer having made enormous improvement since the last Games.

A 30-plus goal handicap start to South Africa is what would class as a value play in that event.

Both the men’s ($1.45) and women’s ($1.30) basketball gold medals look to be Australia’s to lose.

Preliminary matches will take place throughout the week in Cairns and Townsville, with the Australian men facing their toughest opponent on Saturday night when they take on New Zealand.

The Tall Blacks are a capable team and can beat Australia on Saturday night. To take a more conservative approach, take the points start with New Zealand, but it wouldn’t be a monumental shock if the Kiwis took down the Aussies in the early rounds.

Back the New Zealand men’s basketball team at the handicap start against Australia.

In the women’s basketball, only Australia and Canada made appearances at the most recent FIBA Women’s World Cup, so the draw for this competition is rather shallow in terms of class.

Australia should have no problem covering the handicap in any of their matches, but look out for some early value when the Opals play Mozambique in their first match, as the market looks to adjust to teams they seldom see play competitively at such events.

The Swimming gold medals begin on Thursday with Mitch Larkin a firm $1.83 favourite to claim gold in the 100m backstroke.

The 24-year-old Queenslander will be looking to turn his silver medal in the event in Glasgow 2014 into a gold on the Gold Coast and should do so.

Back Mitch Larkin to win the 100m backstroke at $1.83.

Emma McKeon bagged six medals when she competed in her first Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, a haul which included four golds and two bronzes.

She will be hoping to defend her 200m freestyle gold on Thursday night as a $2.25 favourite. Her competition in the event is in the form of 17-year-old Ariarne Titmus at $4, with the youngster competing in her first Commonwealth Games.

We are favouring the experience of McKeon to get it done at $2.25.

The Most Gold Medals market is begin dominated by Australia at $1.53, with the Aussies representing tremendous value in that market on home soil.

England is next best at $2.50, with Canada priced at $34.

Australia’s total gold medal tally is set at over/under 70.5, with this market notoriously difficult to gauge. There is better value in Australia to win the most gold medals.

There is plenty of action set to take place on the Gold Coast from Thursday morning, with many markets opening up in sports such as weightlifting, squash, badminton and table tennis, so keep an eye out if you are a keen follower of those sports.

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