Betting round-up: Five-way A-League title fight

Goal Australia's betting expert Paul Gough has examined the market after the opening round of the season and believes there could be several value clubs in the mix for honours
Brisbane Roar and Sydney FC are the big firmers in A-League betting following the completion of the opening round of matches.

In fact the 2011 and 2012 champions Brisbane and 2010 champions Sydney are now on the verge of pressing for title favouritism after the top three teams in early grand final betting - Central Coast, Western Sydney and Melbourne Victory all drew in the opening round.

Heading into last weekend's opening round of the season, defending champions the Mariners and last season's Premiers' Plate winners Western Sydney were the $4.25 equal favourites to win this season's grand final ahead of Melbourne Victory at $5.50 and Brisbane and Sydney both at $8.

However the Mariners and Wanderers could only draw in their grand final re-match while the Victory were held to a disappointing 0-0 draw in their first round match against local rivals Melbourne Heart.



The Mariners and Wanderers still look the teams to beat overall but steer clear of Melbourne Victory, who could soon lose their manager to the Socceroos

We tipped Brisbane Roar to win the championship before the season began and warned they would soon come in from their opening quote of $8 but they remain value at $6.50 at bet365

In contrast Brisbane scored a last gasp 2-1 win at Wellington while Sydney outclassed Newcastle 2-0 in the season opener on Friday night, with their star man Alessandro Del Piero scoring the game's opening goal.

As a result the Roar and the Sky Blues have now firmed into $6.50 at bet365 to win this season's A-League grand final - just behind the Victory who remain steady at $5.50.

The Wanderers and Mariners are still the equal favourites to win the championship but have eased from $4.25 to $5 in what is shaping as a genuine five way battle for the title this season.

Adelaide - under their new coach in little-known Spaniard Josep Gombau - were the biggest winners of the opening weekend after winning at home 3-1 against Perth Glory.

As a result the Reds firmed from $13 into $9 in overall betting at bet365.

And according to the bookies it is those six teams that look set to contest the finals this year with the other four teams now well adrift in betting after just one round of the season.

Perth eased from $13 to $17 after their first round loss while the Heart went from $15 to $19.

Newcastle meanwhile eased from $21 to $26 while Wellington went from $26 to $34 but can be expected to improve once their four players missing because of international duty on the weekend return this week.

*Note prices subject to change

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