America's Cup: Betting back on as revamped Oracle turn on the afterburners

By Steve Deane

All bets are back on.

Oracle Team USA's stunning improvement has prompted the TAB to reopen the book on who will win the America's Cup, and add new odds for the day it will be won.

With Team New Zealand utterly dominant heading into the weekend's racing and looking odds-on to close out the regatta, the TAB had stopped taking bets on who would lift the Cup, instead opening a book on whether or not Oracle would win another race.

However, Team NZ's shocking near-capsize on Sunday and Oracle's stunning performance gain in hammering the Kiwis in race one on Monday has forced the TAB to again change tack.

All bets are on again, with Team NZ only favoured at $1.07 to lift the Cup because of their 7-1 lead in the race to nine wins. Oracle's speed gain means each race is now effectively a coin toss, said TAB yachting bookmaker Kieran McAnulty.

"Oracle have had a dramatic turn around and that's changed things now. This is a completely different [Oracle] team," Mr McAnulty said.

"They are very impressive now. The only reason [Team New Zealand] are so short in the America's Cup winner [market] is because they only have two more to go."

The odds for individual race wins have swung wildly. Before Monday Team NZ were massive favourites at $1.09 to sail away with each race. Now New Zealand are paying $1.70 to win race 11 and Oracle $2, a change from Monday's offerings of $1.85 for either boat to win.

The level pegging is also reflected in odds for today's races, with Team NZ priced at $2.50 to win both races and claim the Cup. Oracle are also priced at $3.30, with the favoured result a 1-1 split ($2.25).

A new book also opened yesterday afternoon for the specific day the Cup will be taken home.

The Cup being won today by New Zealand was paying $2.60 and $3.50 for tomorrow. On Friday or later - when the Cup could potentially be taken by either team - it was paying $2.10. The biggest bet so far, of $16,000, was placed on Team NZ to win before the match began.

There has also been a number of large bets placed on the American boat, including two of $10,000 and one of $14,000. Punters have also been placing wagers of up to $10,000 on a race.

Even bigger bets are expected to roll in with the bets landing right up to 30 seconds before the gun as the pre-starts play out.

- NZ Herald

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