THEY might only sit third on the ladder behind the Brisbane Broncos and the North Queensland Cowboys, but the Sydney Roosters remain dominant in the NRL premiership betting market.
A 24-0 shellacking of the New Zealand Warriors at Allianz Stadium last round made it five wins on the trot for the up and about Roosters, justifying the punters faith in them at $3.75 with WilliamHill.com.au.
The Roosters led 18-0 at half time and finished it off with a James Maloney try that was punctuated by his fourth conversion of the match.
The Warriors, who are $21 for the title, were clinging in the top four before the defeat, which bumped them all the way down to seventh, which just shows how tight the middle rungs of the NRL ladder race are.
The Roosters ($1.15 with Sportsbet.com.au) will surely make it six wins in a row against the hapless Wests Tigers ($5.80) on the weekend, who will still be without their only decent player, captain Robbie Farah, who is still laid up through injury. They’re $1001 for the title, to give you an indication of the gap between these two sides.
Ladder leader Brisbane is in even stronger form than the Roosters, winning seven in a row and handing out a 42-16 pasting against – you guessed it – the lowly Tigers on the weekend.
You can get $4.25 about the Broncos title hopes at William Hill after they enjoyed a hat trick from Lachlan Maranta to top the 40 point mark for the fourth time this season.
They’re favoured ($1.53) to knock over the Manly Waringah Sea Eagles ($2.40) this weekend. The Sea Eagles are rank outsiders for the premiership at $126, after losing star Daly Cherry-Evans to an injury against the North Queensland Cowboys on the weekend.
The Cowboys are also under $5 for the title, sitting at $4.75 to win it all after they won their last two outings, following their 11 game winning streak being snapped by the Cronulla Sharks.
On the weekend they whacked the Sea Eagles by 18, 30-12, a double from Antonio Winterstein and four goals from superstar Johnathan Thurston capping off Gavin Cooper’s 200th NRL game in style.
The Cowboys ($1.07) are heavy favourites this weekend against the Parramatta Eels ($8.50), who are a gaudy $251 for the NRL title after releasing out of favour half back Chris Sandow from his contract.
Sandow looks likely to sign with English Super League club Warrington, but did cop a two match ban for a shoulder charge in the Eels’ loss to the Canterbury Bulldogs on the weekend.
Testament to how sour relations had come between Sandow and the Eels was the two sentence statement it uploaded to its website today.
“The Parramatta Eels have today agreed to release Chris Sandow effective immediately, pending lodgement with the NRL,” the statement read.
“The club thanks Chris for his time at the Eels and wishes him all the best for his future.”
Feel the love.
Any way, the Eels’ last round vanquisher, the Bulldogs, are next on the line of betting at $8, sharing that quote with the reigning premiers South Sydney Rabbitohs.
The Doggies smacked Parra 28-4, thanks to a double from Frank Pritchard and four goals from Trent Hodkinson.
They are $1.40 favourites to defeat Cronulla ($2.95) on the weekend, the eighth placed Sharks a $34 chance to win the title.
The Rabbitohs bounced back from a 14 point defeat at the hands of the Penrith Panthers to register a 24-8 result against St George Illawarra ($51 for the chip).
Adam Reynolds scored a try and fired in three goals.
The Rabbits ($1.16) are hot favourites to defeat the Newcastle Knights ($5.30 in the game, $501 for the premiership), before a rematch with the Panthers, who are rated an $81 flag chance.
The Melbourne Storm are the only other serious title contenders, but at $17 would need a lot to go right to topple the five sides ahead of them.
The Storm rattled up a monster score against the Panthers on the weekend, 52-10, in legendary captain Cameron Smith’s 300th game.
Smith made six of his 10 conversions as Cooper Cronk, Kevin Proctor and Marika Koroibete all helped themselves to two tries each.
It’s been a tumultuous month for Smith, who copped a pasting on 60 Minutes over his actions following the incident that left Knights player Alex McKinnon paralysed. He has reached out to the stricken Newcastle player, but the 300 game milestone was some welcome good news for a man who has done so much for the game.
Smith became the first player in the Storm’s history and just the 23rd in NRL history to reach the 300 game mark.
He has a record 35 State of Origin caps to his name in addition to 43 Australian jerseys and was named the Dally M player of the year in 2006.
He also sits inside the top 10 points scorers in the history of the game, a remarkable effort for a man dubbed “The Accountant” – a reference to his unassuming body shape and no-frills attitude to the game.
The Storm are $1.40 against the Dragons ($2.95) this weekend.
NRL Premiership market:
Sydney Roosters ($3.75 with William Hill)
Brisbane Broncos ($4.25)
North Queensland Cowboys ($4.75)
Canterbury Bulldogs ($8)
South Sydney Rabbitohs ($8)
Melbourne Storm ($17)
New Zealand Warriors ($21)
Cronulla Sharks ($34)
St George Illawarra Dragons ($51)
Canberra Raiders ($67)
Penrith Panthers ($81)
Manly Waringah Sea Eagles ($126)
Parramatta Eels ($251)
Newcastle Knights ($501)
Gold Coast Titans ($1001)
Wests Tigers ($1001)
Tame Tigers tipped for NRL wooden spoon
As we’ve mentioned, the Wests Tigers are on struggle street. Injury hit and languishing on the bottom of the NRL ladder, they’ve only won five games and are the $2.25 favourite with sportsbet.com.au for the wooden spoon.
Newcastle is next on the list at $3, Gold Coast is $4.50 and Parramatta is $10, despite all three being equal on six wins.
NRL wooden spoon market:
Wests Tigers ($2.25 with Sportsbet)
Newcastle Knights ($3)
Gold Coast Titans ($4.50)
Parramatta Eels ($10)
Manly Waringah Sea Eagles ($11)
Penrith Panthers ($51)
Canberra Raiders ($51)
St George Illawarra Dragons ($101)
Two Rs: Radrada and Rona battle it out for top NRL season try scorer honours
Parramatta machine Semi Radrada is the $2.25 favourite with CrownBet.com.au to lead the NRL in try scoring in 2015.
With 17 tries to his name, Radrada is at the head of the pack, but shares that honour with Canerbury killer Curtis Rona.
Those two own a three try buffer over Gold Coast Titan James Roberts ($13), with 14, but Brisbane’s Lachlan Maranta ($11) is rated a stronger chance despite having one less try. His hat trick on the weekend thrust him into contention.
Rooster Shaun Kenny-Dowall ($26) and Raider Blake Austin ($26) are also on 13 tries with Maranta.
NRL top try scorer market:
Semi Radradra (Parramatta Eels) ($2.25 with Crownbet)
Curtis Rona (Canterbury Bulldogs) ($2.40)
Lachlan Maranta (Brisbane Broncos) ($11)
James Roberts (Gold Coast Titans) ($13)
Shaun Kenny-Dowall (Sydney Roosters) ($26)
Blake Austin (Canberra Raiders) ($26)
Alex Johnston (South Sydney Rabbitohs) ($34)
Brett Stewart (Manly Waringah Sea Eagles) ($34)
Manu Vatuvei (New Zealand Warriors) ($41)
Akuila Uate (Newcastle Knights) ($51)
Valentine Holmes (Cronulla Sharks) ($51)
Anthony Don (Gold Coast) ($51)
Solomone Kata (New Zealand Warriors) ($61)
James Tedesco (Wests Tigers) ($67)
Jorge Taufua (Manly Waringah Sea Eagles) ($67)
Marika Koroibete (Melbourne Storm) ($67)
Daniel Tupou (Sydney Roosters) ($81)
Pat Richards (Wests Tigers) ($101)
Anthony Milford (Brisbane Broncos) ($151)
Jarrod Croker (Canberra Raiders) ($151)
Aaron Gray (South Sydney Rabbitohs) ($151)
Michael Jennings (Sydney Roosters) ($201)
Croker odds on for top NRL point scorer title
Perennial NRL top points scorer candidate Jarrod Croker is again at the head of the class and almost has the title sealed, according to CrownBet.com.au.
He leads the competition with 162 points and is a very skinny $1.28, with Sydney Rooster James Maloney the only other real challenger, 17 points behind at $4.
Jarrod Croker (Canberra Raiders) ($1.28 with Crownbet)
James Maloney (Sydney Roosters) ($4)
Shaun Johnson (New Zealand Warriors) ($13)
Pat Richards (Wests Tigers) ($34)
Johnathan Thurston (North Queensland Cowboys) ($34)
Gareth Widdop (St George Illawarra Dragons) ($151)