STATE OF ORIGIN GAME 1 - QLD v NSW
Wednesday 31st May, Suncorp Stadium, QLD
Well it's that time of the year again when NRL Club football takes a back seat to the State of Origin, in the Greatest Game of All. The series commences tonight in Brisbane, with a near full house of screaming Queenslanders descending on Suncorp Stadium.
All the talk in the leadup has been about the Queensland side. The loss of Johnathan Thurston to injury, the non selection of Billy Slater have filled many newspaper columns, with, in my opinion premature claims that the dynasty is dead.
This has deflected attention from the fact that NSW are fielding a new look team themselves. Stalwarts, Paul Gallen and Robbie Farah, are no longer in the side, and a new look spine of Tedesco, Maloney, Pearce and Peats is a total unknown quantity in my eyes.
Looking for a bet it's hard to go past the $2.05 on offer about Queensland at home. Queensland drifted from $1.90 to $2.05 once Thurston was officially ruled out, but we are still talking about a team with Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Darius Boyd steering the ship. And whilst some of the Queensland pack is getting on in years they always lift for Origin.
The total for the match is currently set at 32.5, and I am keen on the overs play. No rain is forecast in Brisbane, and the match hasn't been relocated to Eagle Farm. Whilst only one game in last years series passed this number it was the Suncorp match, which has a more conducive deck for points than ANZ stadium. Also the influx of new players in both line ups should create more try scoring opportunities.
For those looking for more value I have a few prop bets that are worth a ticket. I like two players a little further down the list for Man of the Match. Dylan Napa, is a wild young bull for Queensland and the red mist will be in his eyes on debut tonight. Whilst he will probably only play 50 minutes I think at $34 hes value. Josh Papali at $26, and Matt Gillett $15, are value also, Papali will be terrorising James Maloney’s left side defence. While Gillett will get through his usual mountain of work and play 80 minutes.
Lastly in the 1st tryscorer markets, I once again like Josh Papali. Papali has scored 3 tries in 10 games this season for the Raiders and at $26 is worth an investment. And on NSW side it's hard to go past Jarryd Hayne, he's currently $15, and has a license to pop up all over the field as he does for the Titans, and is notorious for his ‘tryline eyes’.