The time for talking is over! Come 8:10pm on Wednesday night, State of Origin action will be back on our screens. It has been a long build up since the Blues were victorious last season and that result has led to change in the Queensland camp.
Billy Slater has taken over as coach. There is a renewed pride and direction in this team, and they’ve been quietly building north of the boarder. The Blues haven’t changed much within their operation, but they have several ‘new’ players with injury and form driving the alteration. Following a strong weekend of great NRL Betting results, let’s keep the momentum going with this State of Origin betting preview.
New South Wales vs Queensland
Wednesday 8th June, Accor Stadium, 8:10pm (EST)
New South Wales
1. James Tedesco 2. Brian To’o 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Jack Wighton 5. Daniel Tupou 6. Jarome Luai 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Payne Haas 9. Damien Cook 10. Junior Paulo 11. Cameron Murray 12. Tariq Sims 13. Isaah Yeo Interchange: 14. Stephen Crichton 15. Liam Martin 16. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 17. Ryan Matterson Reserves: 18. Nicholas Hynes 19. Tyson Frizell 20. Jacob Saifiti 21. Joseph Suaalii 22. Apisai Koroisau
1. Kayln Ponga 2. Selwyn Cobbo 3. Valentine Holmes 4. Dane Gagai 5. Xavier Coates 6. Cameron Munster 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui 9. Ben Hunt 10. Josh Papalii 11. Kurt Capewell 12. Felise Kaufusi 13. Reuben Cotter Interchange: 14. Harry Grant 15. Lindsay Collins 16. Patrick Carrigan 17. Jeremiah Nanai Reserves: 18. Tom Dearden 19. Jai Arrow 20. Thomas Flegler 21. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 22. Murray Taulagi
These two sides are evenly matched. Forget about what the odds are suggesting (NSW $1.60 vs QLD $2.40), the Blues are going to struggle without Mitchell and Tom Trbojevic on the field. The two replacements are capable players and may well step up, but there is now a vulnerability on the edges that wasn’t there prior. If the Maroons are to win, they will need to get the ball out to this area as much as possible. The Blues will be aware of this and will try to keep it in the middle; they are strong and have forwards coming off the bench which can maintain the intensity.
The Maroons are not hopeless in this area, but it would be in their best interests to avoid an ‘arm wrestle’ style of match. The other major factor which hands NSW momentum is the halves. The form of Cleary and Luai at club level is superb. Their combination will be important and is bound to go to another level. This will be complimented by Cleary’s kicking game at the end of sets. DCE and Munster offer the same but can often get caught fighting to be the lead playmaker. Assuming this doesn’t occur, the Maroons will be just as dangerous.
If I were setting the odds, I would have them NSW $1.85 and QLD $2.15. It is tempting to take a gamble on the Maroons but with many debutants in the middle, it may take them a game or two to build confidence and combinations. This also suggests the game will be very tight. The line (4.5 points) has drifted since opening and that support is interesting. The home ground advantage should get the Blues over the line, but it will go down to the last 10 minutes or less for a winner to emerge.
First Try Scorer
In the past 10 years in Game 1 Origin matches, 6 players have been outside backs. Of these, 3 times a winger has scored, twice a fullback has scored and a centre just once. Of the other 4, two halves (both a halfback) have scored with the hooker and second rower crossing once. As for unit investments, the recommendation is for 1 unit on each.
Tedesco will be around the ball and unlike his role at the Roosters, he will not be chief play maker. Watch for Cleary and Luai to give him the ball in positive positions. Murray will be running on an edge and benefit from the service by the halves. Also, he will know when Cook is ready to take off and watch for him to loom in support.
Best Bet – James Tedesco ($10 at Ladbrokes)
Roughie – Cameron Murray ($16 at Ladbrokes)
Coates is a dangerous threat in the air and just as lethal on the ground. As players are attracted to those inside him, watch for space to open in front of him. Holmes is one of those players on the inside and will be a threat from anywhere. The move to centre at the Cowboys has him confident in this area. $19 is over the odds for him.
Best Bet – Xavier Coates ($10 at Ladbrokes)
Roughie – Valentine Holmes ($19 at Ladbrokes)
Man of the Match
This is a market which should be avoided. It is hard to pick and often, you’re investing on the opinion rather than the right winner. Of the past 10 Game 1 fixtures, fullbacks have won 3 times, second rowers 3 times and a centre, hooker, halfback, and prop saluting once. If you’re investing, go for 0.5 units.
Cleary is the favourite ($5) but Tedesco’s form is hard to overlook. As captain, he has gone to another level. Expect him to be involved in everything over 80 minutes. Yeo is likely to play 80 minutes in the middle and will be a key link for the halves. He is crucial to the Blues victory and is just as strong in defence.
Best Bet – James Tedesco ($7 at Ladbrokes)
Roughie – Isaah Yeo ($8 at Ladbrokes)
Ponga is a different player at Origin level. He is surrounded by better players (compared to his club) and he thrives in this environment. Watch for an improved effort. Hunt is over the odds at $21. The reason might be that Grant will come off the bench at some stage. This doesn’t mean that Hunt will leave the field, and at the end of the day, he is the Dally M leader.
Best Bet – Kayln Ponga ($13 at Ladbrokes)
Roughie – Ben Hunt ($21 at Ladbrokes)
Total Match Points
The average total points in the past 10 Game 1 fixtures is 28.5 points with the largest margin (56) coming in last year’s opener and if you take that result out, the average drops to 25.4 points. This game is expected to be tight. The only thing limiting confidence for this investment is the impact of the rule changes at this level is still somewhat unknown.
Total Points Under 36.5 ($1.90 at Ladbrokes)
The average margin of victory in the past 10 Game 1 fixtures is 10.9 points. Again, Game 1 2021 is an anomaly; the only other time there was a 13+ margin was again to the Blues in 2017 as they won 28-4. Take out 2021 and the average winning margin drops to 7.2 points.
Either Team by Under 8.5 Points ($1.90 at Ladbrokes)