IT’S been a massive weekend in rugby league punting.
The dominant North Queensland Cowboys, on the back of a fifth straight win have been crunched into joint favouritism with sportsbet.com.au to win the NRL premiership.
And a hip injury to New South Wales captain Paul Gallen has seen a riot for Queensland.
The Cowboys have never won and NRL title, but, after squeaking out a 26-24 win over the Newcastle Knights on the weekend, they’re now equal favourites at $6 with the Sydney Roosters and South Sydney Rabbitohs.
Sportsbet.com.au’s Christian Jantzen said: “after beginning the season at $9, the Cowboys drifted to as much as $15, following three straight losses, but punters are back on board .”
“Only the Rabbitohs have received more money on them to win this year’s Grand Final,” Jantzen said.
“Punters refused to write North Queensland off after their terrible start to the season.
“They’ve been the best backed side to win the competition over the past fortnight and with the Roosters and Rabbitohs going backwards, they could be outright favourites after the next round.”
And it gets better for the Cowboys.
Their superstar half back Jonathan Thurston, who grabbed two votes for his strong efforts against the Knights, has firmed from $4 into $3 to win the NRL’s most coveted individual award, the Dally M Trophy.
But it wasn’t enough to claim top spot on the Dally M Medal leaderboard.
Wests Tigers Aaron Woods is the man clear at the top by one vote on 10, named man of the match despite his side losing to New Zealand on the weekend.
Thurston is second on nine.
NRL markets after round 6
Grand Final Winner
$6 North Queensland Cowboys
$6 South Sydney Rabbitohs
$6 Sydney Roosters
$8 Brisbane Broncos
$8 Melbourne Storm
$10 Canterbury Bulldogs
$17 St George Illawarra Dragons
$19 Penrith Panthers
$26 New Zealand Warriors
$31 Cronulla Sharks
$34 Gold Coast Titans
$34 Parramatta Eels
$34 Wests Tigers
$41 Manly Waringah Sea Eagles
$51 Newcastle Knights
$67 Canberra Raiders
Dally M Medal Winner
$3 Johnathan Thurston
$10 Ben Hunt
$12 Benji Marshall
$13 Greg Inglis
$13 Matt Moylan
$17 Isaac Luke
$17 James Segeyaro
$17 James Tedesco
$17 Mitchell Pearce
Maroons firm for State of Origin
Burly New South Wales captain Paul Gallen is tipped to be ruled out of State of Origin One due to a hip injury he sustained while playing on the weekend.
And the massive blow has really hurt the Blues’ chances, with punters at sportsbet.com.au backing opponent Queensland into equal favouritism $1.90 each of two.
New South Wales has been wound out from $1.85, while Queensland has come in from $1.95.
Sportsbet’s Christian Jantzen said Queensland had also firmed from $1.75 into $1.70 to win the series as a result of the Gallen news.
“Even before the Gallen injury, punters had placed seven times the money on the Maroons in game one compared to the Blues.
“With the skipper seemingly gone, New South Wales look like they’ll end up being outsiders on their home turf.”
State of Origin markets
State of Origin – Game One
$1.90 New South Wales (out from $1.85)
$1.90 Queensland (in from $1.95)
$2.80 New South Wales 1-12 (steady)
$5 New South Wales 13+ (out from $4.75)
$17 Draw (steady)
$2.80 Queensland 1-12 (in from $2.85)
$5 Queensland 13+ (steady)
State of Origin – Series Winner
$1.70 Queensland (in from $1.75)
$2.15 New South Wales (out from $2.05)