Round 19 #NRL teamlists and officials are in.
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3 days ago
The NRL season is soon to get underway, with the first game between Dragons and Broncos scheduled for 8th March. There is plenty for fans to get excited about, not least to see if Melbourne Storm can recapture the magic that saw them hammer North Queensland Cowboys in the Grand Final last season.
Storm are not the favourites this season however, with Sydney Roosters leading most betting markets for Grand Final winner. Below is an overview of some of the most prominent betting options for the 2018 season. The good news for NRL fans is that there are plenty of Australia free bets available from major Aussie bookmakers for the new season.
As mentioned, Roosters lead the way with current odds available of 4/1. Cowboys come in as second-favourites with odds of 5/1, closely followed by last year's champions Storm at 6/1. The trio has dominated the betting markets, but some punters will feel that there is value in backing Broncos (10/1), Eels (11/1) or Panthers (12/1). Gold Coast Titans are the rank outsiders at odds of 80/1. There is not a huge difference in the odds for Minor Premiers, so it might be worth thinking about in case your team has an off day in the Grand Final. Those odds read: Roosters 7/2, Cowboys 9/2 and Storm 5/1.
Storm's winger Suliasi Vunivalu is favourite at 8/1 once again to capture the Dally M Leading Tryscorer award that he won in 2016 and 2017. His haul of 46 tries in two seasons for Storm is impressive and the popular Fijian will be looking to surpass last season's tally of 23 this year. Stiff competition will come from the likes of Bevan French (10/1) and Jordan Rapana (10/1), although the value bet may lie in backing Rabbitoh's Alex Johnston who came so close to matching Vunivalu last year with 22 tries.
Storm captain Cameron Smith is once again favourite to add to his incredible amount of individual NRL honours. Last year he won Best Player, Hooker of the Year and Captain of the Year, so it is no surprise to see him at 8/1 to repeat the Best Player feat. There is a lot of buzz around Roosters recent acquisition James Tedesco (12/1) however, with the fullback expected to play a big role in the Roosters' quest to become Premiers for a 14th time.
There are, of course, plenty of other betting options for the season, some of which might suit punters looking for a ‘sure thing'. For example, you can get odds of 10/11 on Roosters finishing in the Top 4 in the NRL Ladder at the end of the season. If you really want something that is close to a certainty, you will find Roosters at 2/9 to finish in the Top 8.
The betting markets will surely change as the season starts to take shape and, as always is the case in NRL, there are sure to be some shocks along the way. However, there is plenty of value in the early betting markets, enough to interest casual and serious punters alike. The only certainty though is that it looks to be another great season ahead.