Who: Brisbane Broncos vs. North Queensland Cowboys
When: Sunday, October 4, 7:15pm
Where: ANZ Stadium, Sydney
The NRL Grand Final is here and it’s an all Queensland showdown between the Brisbane Broncos and the North Queensland Cowboys.
Broncos captain Justin Hodges has been cleared to play after surviving a tip-tackle charge in what will be his final ever NRL game. The Broncos centre will be wanting to leave the game with a win and punters have rallied around the news of his inclusion.
The Cowboys were tipped by many to win the competition this season and they haven’t let anyone down to date. With a season full of epic comebacks, bad losses and quality wins, the Cowboys have prepared beautifully for this final where Dally M Medal winner Johnathan Thurston seeks his second premiership.
Both teams proved far too good for their rivals in the preliminary finals; the Broncos winning 31-12 over the Roosters and the Cowboys beating up the Storm in a similar scoreline of 32-12.
The fans will travel to Sydney to watch the two best teams go at it, but if you’re watching from home, why not end the season with a wager on the Grand Final.
Broncos vs. Cowboys head-to-head betting
Broncos – $1.88
Cowboys – $1.96
Bookmakers had both teams on even keel throughout the week, but after news that Broncos captain Justin Hodges was cleared of a dangerous tackle on Roosters’ Aidan Guerra, the line quickly shifted.
The Broncos have come in for support and the Broncos punters and fans aren’t the only ones relieved that Hodges will play his final game in the Grand Final.
“The past few days have been tough and today felt like the longest day and I just want to thank everyone for giving me a fair trial,” Hodges said.
“[I’m] just relieved that I get to finish one more game. To be honest, I just want to get through tonight. It’s been a tough day, just not knowing the outcome.”
Hodges is a key player for the Broncos, key enough to move the Broncos in from $1.92 to $1.88 and it’s almost certain that the Broncos will start the game as the favourite.
Punters for both teams will see value with both head-to-head prices. Cowboys backers will enjoy the almost even-money line and we’re predicting that will get out to $2 come Sunday night.
$1.96 for a side that features four-time Dally M Medal winner Johnathan Thurston is good money in anyone’s book and we think the bookmakers might have got the current line around the wrong way.
Looking back at the season expectations, the Broncos and Cowboys had two different objectives. The Broncos objective was to welcome back coach Wayne Bennett and make their way back into finals contention, we’ll they’ve done that and now find themselves in the grand final.
The Broncos have exceeded their expectations with new halves pairing Ben Hunt and Anthony Milford, but that lack of experience might be found out on the grandest of stages.
This could well be all or nothing for the Cowboys. They were tipped as premiership contenders from the word go and they haven’t really shown punters any reason to not back them.
They have the games best player in Thurston and his supporting crew is firing on all cylinders. If they don’t win the grand final on Sunday, they will be left scratching their heads as to what went wrong this season, and therefore we believe they should be the favourites.
Heading into Melbourne and winning is not easy to do, let alone win by 20 points. They have the ability to attack through the forwards and the class of Thurston will likely outshine the halves of Brisbane.
Best bet: Cowboys to win ($1.96)
NRL Grand Final first try-scorer odds and tips
Another quality promotion being run by Sportsbet is their first tryscorer special. If your selected player scores second or third, then you get your money back. It’s as simple as that, so get involved and place a bet.
Teams remain unchanged after last week’s preliminary finals, with only Dale Copley being added to an extended bench for the Broncos, and Ray Thompson being named on the extended bench for the Cowboys.
Darius Boyd escaped the punters grasp last week when he scored first thanks to a miscue from Shaun Kenny-Dowall, but the bookmakers have trimmed him in to $23 for the Grand Final.
The popular elects are Corey Oates on the wing for the Broncos and Cowboys wingers Kyle Feldt and Antonio Winterstein. Good money has come for second-rower Gavin Cooper who continues to either score or set up tries for the Cowboys.
Cooper has nine tries on the season, five better than Broncos second-rower Alex Glenn who is next best on four tries.
Brisbane Broncos first tryscorer odds:
1. Darius Boyd – $23
2. Corey Oates – $9.50
3. Jack Reed – $17
4. Justin Hodges – $23
5. Jordan Kahu – $11
6. Anthony Milford – $13
7. Ben Hunt – $13
8. Sam Thaiday – $36
9. Andrew McCullough – $36
10. Adam Blair – $51
11. Alex Glenn – $26
12. Matt Gillett – $23
13. Corey Parker – $41
14. Jarrod Wallace – $61
15. Mitchell Dodds – $76
16. Joe Ofahengahue – $81
17. Kodi Nikorima – $34
18. Dale Copley – $0
North Queensland Cowboys first tryscorer odds:
1. Lachlan Coote – $21
2. Kyle Feldt – $10
3. Justin O’Neill – $17
4. Kane Linnett – $20
5. Antonio Winterstein – $10
6. Michael Morgan – $12
7. Johnathan Thurston – $26
8. Matthew Scott – $41
9. Jake Granville – $21
10. James Tamou – $61
11. Gavin Cooper – $21
12. Ethan Lowe – $34
13. Jason Taumalolo – $31
14. Rory Kostjasyn – $61
15. John Asiata – $61
16. Scott Bolton – $61
17. Ben Hannant – $61
18. Ray Thompson – $0
Best bet: Lachlan Coote ($21)
NRL Grand Final novelty bets
CrownBet.com.au have come out with some great NRL Grand Final novelty bets which feature anything from Cold Chisel to the colour of the drink poured over the winning coach.
We start with which song will Jimmy Barnes and Cold Chisel play first. The quintessential Australian band will play at halftime and although it’s not quite as big as the Super Bowl halftime show, it’s as good as we’re going to get.
Don’t go crazy on these novelty bets, but they do make the game and its entertainment slightly more exciting.
Cold Chisel first song:
Bow River – $4
Khe Sanh – $4.50
Cheap Wine – $5.50
Standing on the Outside – $8
You Got Nothing I Want – $8
Saturday Night – $8
Choir Girl – $11
Rising Sun – $11
Flame Trees – $13
Jimmy Barnes first outfit:
Tee Shirt Only – $2.50
Leather Jacket – $2.90
Footy Jersey – $4.50
Shirt Only – $4.50
Suit – $15
We are ruling out suit and footy jersey. Barnes, originally from Scotland, resides in Adelaide so his ties will unlikely be with the Broncos or the Cowboys. We like the tee shirt only option as the weather is expected to be a warm 32 degrees and we can’t see Jimmy putting on layers.
Actual Kick Off time:
This is a huge pet peeve for us as most of the advertised NRL starting times don’t even come close to starting on time.
Kick off is scheduled for 7:15pm, but seeing as this is a Grand Final, we’re going to allow for at least 5-10 minutes of lateness.
7:15 or earlier – $21
7:15:01 to 7:20:00 – $2.80
7:20:01 to 7:25:00 – $2.90
7:25:01 to 7:30:00 – $3
7:30:01 to 7:35:00 – $7
7:35:01 or later – $15
Colour of 1st Try Scorer’s Boots:
Sometimes the colour of the players’ boots brings more attention than the game itself, and CrownBet have framed a market just for those interested.
Classic colours Blue and Grey/Silver have been the best backed boots, but there is support for the fluro colours. Red/Pink, Green and Orange/Yellow are all well liked in the market and we don’t quite believe the two current outsiders.
Gone are the days of black and/or white boots. They are both despised outsiders in the market and it’s a shame to see.
Blue – $3
Grey/Silver – $3.50
Red/Pink – $5
Green – $7.50
Orange/Yellow – $7.50
White – $10
Black – $11
Colour of Liquid Poured on Winning Head Coach:
This betting option might sound very american, but they do actually try and pour some liquid over the winning coach.
Here’s our problem however… if the Broncos do happen to win the Grand Final, we dare anyone to pour liquid over coach Wayne Bennett’s head – we doubt he’ll be having a bar of that.
Yellow/Orange – $2.20
Blue/Purple – 3.50
Red/Pink – $4
Clear – $6.50
Green – $10
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