NRL grand final betting guide
Due to the calibre of the event, online and licensed sports bookmakers open Grand Final betting markets early on, so keen punters can jump on board prior to the commencement of the season. In the lead up to the Grand Final, a bevy of other wagering markets are opened to the general betting public, including margin and handicap markets, as well as exotic wagering options like number of tries and first scoring play.
2017 NRL premiership market and odds
With each of our recommended sports bookies opening an NRL premiership market well in advance of the upcoming season, the earlier you get on your pick, the stronger your odds will be (higher risk, but higher reward).
During the 2011 NRL pre-season, TAB opened the title betting, with 2010’s premiers, the St George Illawarra Dragons favourited at $5.50. The New Zealand Warriors were placed at $11 to win the Grand Final (eventual runners up), while the Manly Sea Eagles (eventual winners), who’d just snuck in to the finals series the previous year, finishing eighth, were a long shot, priced at $21. It just goes to show that sport can throw up significant surprises, and nothing is guaranteed.
As of the conclusion of Round 16 of the 2015 NRL season (01.07.2015), the odds for ‘premiership success’ and ‘to make the Grand Final’ were as follows (note that the odds have likely fluctuated since).
2017 NRL Premiership odds:
Nth QLD Cowboys – $6
Brisbane Broncos – $7
Melbourne Storm – $8
Cronulla Sharks – $9 @ Sportsbet.com.au
Penrith Panthers – $9
NZ Warriors – $11
Canberra Raiders – $12
Sydney Roosters – $13
Sth Sydney Rabbitohs – $13
Manly Sea Eagles – $13
Parramatta Eels – $13
Gold Coast Titans – $17
Canterbury Bulldogs – $21
Wests Tigers – $34
St George Illawarra Dragons – $81
Newcastle Knights – $251
Other future markets currently on offer at our endorsed bookies include: To take out the minor premiership, to finish in the top four, to finish in the top eight, to miss the top eight and which team will accumulate the most losses.
Clive Churchill Medal betting
The Clive Churchill Medal is awarded to the most outstanding player in the NRL Grand Final and honours one of the greatest rugby league players in Australian history, former Australian fullback Clive Churchill. The betting market for the winner of the Clive Churchill Medal will typically open as soon as the two competing teams have been confirmed to play in the Grand Final.
It has been awarded ever since the 1986 New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL) season, following Churchill’s death in 1985. The medal has been won by the following players:
- 1986: Peter Sterling, from Parramatta
- 1987: Cliff Lyons, from Manly
- 1988: Paul Dunn, from Canterbury
- 1989: Bradley Clyde, from Canberra
- 1990: Ricky Stuart, from Canberra
- 1991: Bradley Clyde, from Canberra (losing team)
- 1992: Allan Langer, from Brisbane
- 1993: Brad Mackay, from St George (losing team)
- 1994: David Furner, from Canberra
- 1995: Jim Dymock, from Canterbury
- 1996: Geoff Toovey, from Manly
- 1997: Robbie O’Davis, from Newcastle
- 1998: Gorden Tallis, from Brisbane
- 1999: Brett Kimmorley, from Melbourne
- 2000: Darren Lockyer, from Brisbane
- 2001: Andrew Johns, from Newcastle
- 2002: Craig Fitzgibbon, from Sydney Roosters
- 2003: Luke Priddis, from Panthers
- 2004: Willie Mason, from Canterbury
- 2005: Scott Prince, from Wests Tigers
- 2006: Shaun Berrigan, from Brisbane
- 2007: Greg Inglis, from Melbourne
- 2008: Brent Kite, from Manly
- 2009: Billy Slater, from Melbourne
- 2010: Darius Boyd, from St George
- 2011: Glenn Stewart, from Manly
- 2012: Cooper Cronk, from Melbourne
- 2013: Daly Cherry-Evans, from Manly (losing team)
- 2014: Sam Burgess, from South Sydney
- 2015: Jonathan Thurston, from Nth Queensland
- 2016: Luke Lewis, Cronulla
The medal has since been retrospectively awarded for man of the match performances from the first season to feature compulsory grand finals (1954) through to the 1985 season. It was awarded to Churchill (from South Sydney) in 1954.
Other National Ruby League markets for the decider
Bookies open a host of other entertaining markets for the NRL Grand Final, and as always, we recommend registering accounts with multiple operators in order to get the best odds and best available markets. Our top bookmakers include: BetEasy, Sportsbet, William Hill, Bet365 and Luxbet.
Grand Final match markets that punters can enjoy in the lead up to the game include:
- Margin markets
- Handicap/line betting markets
- Half time/full time markets
- First and last scoring play
- Player markets
- First and last try scorer
- First team to score
- Number of tries
- Exact score
- Scorecast (combination of first try scorer and final margin)
- Whether or not there will be overtime
And ample more…
NRL Grand Final results since 1998
We’ve compiled a constantly updated list of previous NRL Grand Final results from 1998, which was the first official season of the newly formed National Rugby League. Previously, the New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL) was the chief competition in Australia (established in 1908), before the Australian Rugby League (ARL) organisation took over (from 1995-1997). The Super League (SL) was a separate and rival competition which ran for one season (1997), before the NRL codified both competitions.
- 1998: Brisbane Broncos 38 defeated Canterbury Bulldogs 12 (Crowd: 40,857)
- 1999: Melbourne Storm 20 defeated St George Illawarra Dragons 18 (Crowd: 107,999)
- 2000: Brisbane Broncos 14 defeated Sydney Roosters 6 (Crowd: 94,277)
- 2001: Newcastle Knights 30 defeated Parramatta Eels 24 (Crowd: 90,414)
- 2002: Sydney Roosters 30 defeated New Zealand Warriors (Crowd: 80,130)
- 2003: Penrith Panthers 18 defeated Sydney Roosters 6 (Crowd: 81,166)
- 2004: Canterbury Bulldogs 16 defeated Sydney Roosters 13 (Crowd: 82,127)
- 2005: Wests Tigers 30 defeated North Queensland Cowboys 16 (Crowd: 82,453)
- 2006: Brisbane Broncos 15 defeated Melbourne Storm 8 (Crowd: 79,609)
- 2007: Melbourne Storm 34 defeated Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 8 (Crowd: 81,392)**
- 2008: Manly Warringah Sea Eagles 40 defeated Melbourne Storm 0 (Crowd: 80,388)*
- 2009: Melbourne Storm 23 defeated Parramatta Eels 16 (Crowd: 82,538)**
- 2010: St George Illawarra Dragons 32 defeated Sydney Roosters 8 (Crowd: 82,334)
- 2011: Manly Warringah Sea Eagles 24 defeated New Zealand Warriors 10 (Crowd: 81,988)
- 2012: Melbourne Storm 14 defeated Canterbury Bulldogs 4 (Crowd: 82,976)
- 2013: Sydney Roosters 26 defeated Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 18 (Crowd: 81,491)
- 2014: South Sydney Rabbitohs 30 defeated Canterbury Bulldogs 6 (Crowd: 83,833)
- 2015: North Queensland Cowboys 17 defeated Brisbane Broncos 16 (Crowd: 82,758)
- 2016: Cronulla Sharks 14 defeated Melbourne Storm 12 (Crowd: 83,625)
*The Manly Warringah Sea Eagles have thus far recorded the biggest ever winning margin in an NRL Grand Final (40 points against Melbourne in 2008).
**Melbourne Storm were stripped of their premiership titles in 2007 and 2009 for breaching the salary cap. The team was also stripped of its 2006, 2007 and 2008 minor premierships (recognition for finishing top of the ladder at the end of the regular season), and were unable to compete for any premiership points in season 2012, resulting in a last place finish.
Additional note: In 2002, Canterbury was stripped of 37 premiership points due to salary cap breaches, which meant the club would not partake in the finals series (the team was on track to take out the minor premiership). Instead, it won the wooden spoon.
Grand Final replays
In 1977 and 1978, both the New South Wales Rugby League Grand Finals ended in a tie (draw), and required subsequent replays. In 1977, 20 minutes of extra time was played to determine a winner, but the result remained locked at nine-all. The replay was held one week later and St George shut out Parramatta 22-0.
The 20-minute extra time rule was removed the following season, and coincidentally, Manly drew with Cronulla 11-all. The replay was held three days later and Manly shut out Cronulla 16-0. The extra time rule was reinstated the following season, but in 2003, the golden-point overtime rule was introduced, eliminating the need for replays. All Grand Finals are now decided on the day of the event.
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