The 2016 NRL season is almost upon us and we are taking a look at some of the NRL future betting markets such as who will take out the NRL premiership, minor premiers, Dally M medal and more in our 2016 NRL Season Preview and Betting Tips article.
To predict the exact order of the NRL ladder is almost impossible as there is always a team that goes above their expectations whilst there is also a team that disappoints. Injuries and suspensions can also have a major impact on a team and can alter where they should have finished on the ladder.
There are still a lot of great opportunities where punters can take advantage and bet on certain outcomes that are likely to happen throughout the NRL season. Predicting a side to make it into the top four, top eight or miss the finals is a popular futures market. Here is our predicted 2016 NRL ladder.
2016 NRL Ladder Prediction
1st – Brisbane Broncos
2nd – North Queensland Cowboys
3rd – Cronulla Sharks
4th – Melbourne Storm
5th – New Zealand Warriors
6th – St George Illawarra Dragons
7th – Manly Sea Eagles
8th – South Sydney Rabbitohs
9th – Sydney Roosters
10th – Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
11th - Parramatta Eels
12th - Canberra Raiders
13th - Penrith Panthers
14th - Wests Tigers
15th – Newcastle Knights
16th – Gold Coast Titans
Interestingly we have predicted the Sydney Roosters and the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs to both miss out on the finals series this year. The Roosters were rocked during the offseason with the Mitchell Pearce and the dog incident on Australia day and it is still unknown when their former captain will return to the squad or whether he will play again at all this season. He is currently overseas being treated in rehab. To make matters worse for the Sydney club Boyd Cordner suffered an injury at training whilst Jared Waerea-Hargreaves has had complications with his knee whilst recovering from an ACL tear. Both the players are expected to miss the first three months of action. Add to that James Maloney, Michael Jennings and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck have all moved to rival clubs. This will likely mean that it will be a long season for the Roosters with the young halves pairing and fullback needing a year to develop in the NRL.
Similar to the Roosters, the Bulldogs have had a lot of player turnover and lost a few key players including the NSW halfback Trent Hodkinson, Frank Pritchard and Tim Lafai. Hodkinson will be a big loss for the side as he is solid defensively whilst he has a cool head that always seems to make the right decision. Meanwhile they will lose some punch with Pritchard and a solid defensive centre in Lafai. They will need a big season from their big men James Graham and Aiden Tolman if they are going to have success but we are non-believers in the Josh Reynolds and Moses Mbye halves pairing.
The Cronulla Sharks have managed to maintain their two brightest young stars Valentine Holmes and Jack Bird whilst they signed two quality halves in James Maloney and Chad Townsend. They are an exciting prospect and if they gel together quickly they will improve on their sixth place finish from last season. The side has a great forward pack that can lay one of the best platforms and as they also have a lot of mobility and players that can play a lot of minutes they will benefit highly with the less interchanges this season.
The Brisbane Broncos narrowly missed the minor premiership last season and were defeated in the Grand Final in golden point. Ben Hunt will be desperate to get back out on the field and he will want to make amends for his massive error that cost his side victory. The side lost only Justin Hodges from their regular line up whilst they were able to bring in James Roberts to replace him. Roberts will offer an extra dimension in attack as he scored 17 tries last season for a side that finished near the bottom of the table. The team has a favourable schedule and supercoach Wayne Bennet will continue to get the most out of his side on the way to them finishing on the top of the table.
The Gold Coast Titans have had a year to forget since the backflip of Daly Cherry Evans. The side had to part ways with key players to ensure they had room in the salary cap for the halfback but they were unable to replace the players after Cherry Evans decided to remain at Manly. To make matters worse they will be without their young promising halfback Kane Elgey who suffered an ACL tear to his knee in preseason training. They lost a lot of other key players including their biggest attacking weapon James Roberts. We can’t see this side winning many games this year and we expect them to win the wooden spoon.
There are a lot of sides that will have the expectations to win the grand final at the end of the season. As long as there are no major injuries to these sides we should be set for one of the most entertaining finals series of all time. The North Queensland Cowboys were able to maintain their entire squad from last year’s grand final winning side and they are the first side that has been able to do that since the 1998 Brisbane Broncos. This will give the side a massive boost at going back-to-back because the side will be full of confidence, have a lot of experience and they already know what it takes to lift the title – not to mention they will have the best player in the world Johnathan Thurston steering the ship.
Their biggest rivals will be either the Brisbane Broncos or New Zealand Warriors. Whilst we have predicted the Warriors to finish a little further down on the ladder that is largely due to our expectations of them taking a little while to gel as a side whilst it will still be hard for them to win on the road as they are forced to travel a lot more than other clubs. The addition of the two New Zealand internationals Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Isaac Luke is a massive boost for a side that already boasts an incredibly strong forward pack and back line. They will be incredibly hard to beat at home this season.
Meanwhile we have already mentioned the Broncos have retained their strong squad whilst managing to add one of the fastest players in the game that will give them extra potency in attack. Roberts is also an underrated defender as it is hard for any player to get on the outside of him.
However, we believe the Cowboys will overcome this and be able to win back-to-back premierships. The side has class in all positions and if Johnathan Thurston can have a similar season to last year they will be almost impossible to beat.
Last year Johnathan Thurston took out the award for the second straight year after tying with Jarryd Hayne the year before. Thurston won by the largest margin in the medals history and it is no surprise that he will start the 2016 season as the heavy favourite at just $5. However, as great as the champion is we are predicting a new winner to take out the award this season.
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck has moved to the New Zealand Warriors and will be playing on an incredibly strong side. The fullback had a break out year in 2015 where he put up huge numbers but was surprisingly overlooked by a lot of voters. Now that his name is well and truly on the radar of a lot of experts, Tuivasa-Sheck is bound to receive more credit for his high quality of play. He will be involved in a lot in attack and his team mates are known for their offloads which will contribute to a lot of second phase play which is where the New Zealand international thrives. We are predicting him to have a massive season and be a major contributor to the success of the Warriors.
Head to the NRL official website for more 2016 season details.
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Take note: Any of the tips in this article are simply the author’s opinion, so bet at your own risk and always gamble responsibly. Also be sure to check out the Before You Bet Twitter Page for all our thoughts in the lead up to bets! Happy punting!
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