The Moles NRL Premiership Preview
By Rugby League Week’s ‘The Mole’
The new NRL season is upon us, so where is the best value for punters?
Half the 16 teams in the comp make the finals so the odds of any given team making it are already at 50 per cent. And Sportingbet has some tempting odds for teams to make the eight – none more so than Gold Coast.
The Titans finished with the wooden spoon last season but go into this season in promising shape, having added established stars Jamal Idris (Bulldogs), Luke Douglas (Sharks), Beau Champion (Storm) and Nate Myles (Roosters) to their ranks.
The other team to excel in the lead-up to the new season is Newcastle, who have added Kade Snowden (Sharks) Timana Tahu (Panthers) Darius Boyd (Dragons) and Danny Buderus (Leeds) … as well as master coach Wayne Bennett.
With Benji Marshall looking sharp in the pre-season, the Tigers start the year as title favourites at $8 and after coming close in recent seasons, look to have a team that could go all the way.
Manly and Melbourne are equal second favourites at $9 but both have question marks over their depth.
The Sea Eagles have a superb top 17 but little beyond that, while Melbourne have a sensational ‘big three’ – Billy Slater, Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk – but little beyond that.
If you are looking for a ‘roughie’ for the title, how about the Cronulla Sharks?
They have never won a comp, but have one of the best packs in the NRL and if new signing Todd Carney can fire, they could be good value at $21.