Bet on another low-scoring Bulldogs-Storm clash

Nrl Grand Final

Rugby League
Published: 28/09/2012

Do not even think about trying to pick the winner of the National Rugby League Grand Final between Canterbury and Melbourne because it is too hard. Just head for the total points market and bet on the game going under the line.

Bookmakers opened betting on Sunday`s premiership decider at ANZ Stadium in Sydney with the Bulldogs and the Storm at the same odds. They have let punters decide who is the favourite and the weight of money has seen Melbourne promoted to top billing, although the head-to-head market remains tight.

It is easy to see why there is very little to choose between Canterbury and its more experienced opponent. The Bulldogs have won 15 of their last 16 matches, with their only loss since the middle of May coming down in Canberra just over a month ago. They were not switched on that day, with pre-game rumours suggesting that Des Hasler was going to rest several key players. He rested only one - hooker and captain Michael Ennis - but that was enough to disrupt Canterbury`s rhythm.

The Storm have won their last seven games after recovering from their post-State of Origin slump. The representative matches between New South Wales and Queensland takes their toll on Melbourne because its three guns - Cooper Cronk, Billy Slater and Cameron Smith - are three of the main players in the Maroons team. Forgive the Storm for losing five games on the spin during and after the Origin series. After all, they won their first nine matches before the distraction of Origin took hold in the middle of May.

And Canterbury and Melbourne have shared the spoils in their regular season meetings this term, with the Bulldogs winning 20-4 in Mackay - they switched one of their home games to the regional Queensland city 1,000 kilometres north of Brisbane - and the Storm prevailing 12-6 in Melbourne.

But with only 42 points being scored in those two fiercely contested games - and it took a miracle for it to be that many, with Canterbury centre Josh Morris finishing off the try of the season, a length-of-the-field move sparked by his Dally M Medal-winning teammate, Ben Barba - getting short of points at the generally available 36.5-point line appeals.

The Clive Churchill Medal is far and away the most popular NRL Grand Final exotic betting market. Neither a centre nor a winger has won the man-of-the-match award since it came into existence 26 years ago so consider laying the eight men who will start in those positions. Canterbury centre Morris is likely to be the shortest odds at around the 20-1 mark.

If one is looking to strike a Clive Churchill Medal bet then one really has to have an opinion as to which side will win the game. The Storm get the nod if only because the Bulldogs have history against them. Not since 1977 has a team won the premiership without an international at either five-eighth or halfback. Neither Josh Reynolds nor Kris Keating has represented their country at the highest level. Of the Melbourne players, Smith is the obvious pick at odds of around 7-1 if one thinks that the match will be a grind.

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Any odds displayed within this article were correct at the time of publishing (28/09/2012) but are subject to change.

28/09/2012     © Frixo 2019

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