The Hunter’s Weekend of Sports – 11 Oct
Tips, Tricks, Picks and Odds.
I’ve got 1000 reasons why you should read this weekend’s column.
That’s right, this weekend (among other juicy sporting fixtures) is the weekend of Bathurst 1000, one of the most hotly anticipated events in the Australian sporting calendar and I’ll be giving my full analysis of the race below. But first, let’s jump in to a few other big fixtures taking place around Australia (and the world) this weekend.
As always in this column, I’ll explore what Australians can look forward to in this weekend of sports – focusing on a different sport for each day – and provide the tips that I feel most confident in based on my research, analysis and expert intuition.
FRIDAY – NFL
The NFL is well underway now, and only a couple of teams remain undefeated. One such team is the evil-empire of Brady and Belichek’s Patriots, who’ll be hoping to extend their streak to six wins with a display against the New York Giants at Gillette Stadium.
New England Patriots v New York Giants
The Giants come into this at an interesting crossroads in their franchise after finally making the decision to bench Eli Manning, rookie quarterback, Daniel Jones (Eli Manning’s clone), looked to be having an absolute ripper of a start, tearing apart the Bills, Buccs and Redskins like there was no tomorrow. But, of course, all good things must end, and Daniel Jones had a generally mediocre outing against the Vikings at home last week – which saw them cop a 28-10 loss and fall in their division.
There’ll be no bigger test for this rookie quarterback than facing the Pats, and how Jones performs here could be telling as to whether he’ll follow in Brady’s footsteps, or whether he’s destined to end up as another Ryan Leaf.
Of course, the Patriots are not an easy team to beat – even with a world-class QB. Michel, Gordon and Edelman have all had phenomenal starts to the season and even though we’re less than halfway through, this team is effectively a lock to make another deep playoff run. Ultimately, I think they have what it takes to go 16-0 once more. But even if they don’t, it won’t be New York who’ll have stopped them.
The Hunter’s Hot Tip: Patriots to Win
SATURDAY – A-League
The A-League is back again! After a long and eventful offseason, the world’s most pre-eminently mediocre domestic league will be hoping to have a season that proves it’s anything but. And what better way to get that season underway than with a derby?
Melbourne Victory v Melbourne City
The passionately-triumphed, grassroots Melbourne Victory is set to host the corporately-manufactured Melbourne City on Saturday 12 October for a Melbourne derby that’s sure to have it all. The last two times these teams have faced ended in a 1-1 draw, so this game will have the pent-up enthusiasm of three.
City have historically been the better team, but the Victory have a lot of fans feeling as though this could be their season. A win in the Melbourne derby would work wonders to send them on a collision course with the championship and I honestly think they can get it done.
Victory fans are some of the most passionate in the league and I doubt they’ll let their tensions be subdued in a home-opener against their rivals. Even with a new Melbourne team in the league this season, this will always be the Melbourne derby – and for this one, I’ve got to side with the Victory.
The Hunter’s Hot Tip: Melbourne Victory to Win
SUNDAY – Bathurst 1000
Once a year, the sleepy town of Bathurst becomes anything but, as hordes of motorsport enthusiasts descend on Mt Panorama for a weekend of chaos and arguably the biggest race in the Australian motorsports calendar.
On Sunday, the Bathurst 1000 will compete once more as the supercars season continues in style. This years’ race is the closest it’s been in years, with McLaughlin and Whincup rightfully sitting as favourites for Ford and Holden respectively.
Whincup comes into this race in fifth place of the drivers’ championship, and while the title is all but out of reach, a win on Mt Panorama is all anyone needs to have had a great season regardless.
Mclaughlin, on the other hand, is having a phenomenal season, currently unassailably in first place in the standings. If there was ever a chance for him to win at Bathurst, this is it.
The race outright is a gruelling and unforgiving task, and it’s always tricky to pick a winner. But if I have to here, it’ll be the Whincup/Lowndes Holden pairing that takes the glory. They’re two of the best and most experienced racers in the sport (and at Bathurst) and working together they’ll be near unstoppable.
The Hunter’s Hot Tip: Whincup/Lowndes to Win
Gamble Responsibly. Hunter and Bligh do not take any responsibility for any losses incurred.
Feature image: New England Patriots. Photographed by Joseph Sohm. Image via Shutterstock.