While the Panthers Grand Finals victory seems like yesterday, the 2023 NRL season is upon us – which means it’s time for fans to put their money in their mouths.
As the hype builds ahead of the season opener between the Eels and Storm, fans begin to debate who will win the title, which team will end up with a terrifying spoon, and which player will delight fans with his exploits.
For any fan who likes to have a flutter, this is a chance to find some serious betting value, from team markets to individual players.
The most popular market remains the overall winner, with BetRight CEO Anthony Waller emphasizing value over favoritism.
“The Panthers are still favorites in the Premiership for the $4 three, although they have been adrift lately, with several season-ending injuries and a recent loss to the St Helens,” he said.
Can Panthers fight back-to-back? Odds say yes, but better value may lie elsewhere after a slow pre-season
Of course they will be there or near. Even if key injuries do strike Penrith, there are plenty of capable youngsters who could walk straight into the void – even with a bit of player exodus from last year’s Grand Final.
They have a monstrous forward pack, an amazing backbone (even with Api Koroisau gone) and are obviously as well trained as a team in the competition, considering many have played together since the juniors.
But something isn’t quite right – and while the Premiership isn’t won in pre-season, they weren’t impressive in the World Cup Challenge loss to the Saints. $4 doesn’t represent much value.
All the talk was about the astounding additions the Roosters are still making despite already having an all-star roster captained by James Tedesco.
They desperately needed a shot in attack – which they got – and with any luck in the injury department, they look much better after a few shocking years – though that wears off quickly!
New Roosters recruit Brandon ‘Hectic Cheese’ Smith is one of the many superstars the club has built for the Premiership tarp
“The best team backed to win the 2023 Premiership was the Sydney Roosters who opened at $8 and are now at $6,” said Waller, who explained how well Trent Robinson’s men had found themselves in the market.
Brilliantly organized by reigning Dally M medalist Nicho Hynes, Sharks presents decent value at $13, despite the lack of star power in the forward package.
They had a disappointing exit from the finals last year, but what Craig Fitzgibbon has done in such a short amount of time is simply remarkable – and he’ll have his champion team (and not a champion team) humming together.
When one team wins, another must lose (unless they’re lucky enough to score a golden point and tie!), and the top-loss market is as fierce as ever, with a lot of value for players.
Of course, newcomers, the Dolphins, are favorites in the market ($2.60) – but there are quite a few teams that will struggle this year, and Wayne Bennett already looks like he’s done a lot of good things at Redcliffe.
It’s the Dragons where things look especially grim.
Mikaele Ravalawa (left, pictured during a game against the Tariq Sims last season) was involved in a drunken brawl with a teammate during pre-season
Dragons captain Ben Hunt denies there is a cultural problem at the club but will be fighting for a win at a besieged club
Under fire, Anthony Griffin does not appear to have a strengthened squad – one that is already quite weak and lacks depth to begin with – after much drama off the pitch that started with no one showing up for the club’s presentation night.
After the pre-season game and multiple police investigations, a drunken brawl ensued that certainly piqued the interest of the players.
“While Premiership rookies Dolphins lead the market with the biggest loss at $2.60, there has been consistent support lately for the Dragons to win the spoon due to their poor trial form, off-pitch drama and coach under pressure,” Waller explained. .
“Many Bet Right Players Take $21 Dolphins Deal To Have A Winless Season.”
Even the Warriors ($8) may have found themselves at the wrong end of the ladder, even though they were finally able to return home after being in Australia for Covid and away from family and friends.
They’re brilliant at best, but they can be very sloppy when it comes to mistakes and discipline – and if key players get injured it could mean trouble.
Individual markets always present a much more enticing prospect for value-hungry players – even the most confident favorites are one injury away from being eliminated.
Waller said there’s great value to be had in the Top Tryscorer market, which was won by Alex Johnston ($5) last year – and preseason has thrown up some unexpected contenders.
Alex Johnston, South Sydney’s three-pointer, has another top-scoring season in the competition last season
“With some injuries to the Panthers, Sunia Turuva has recently been well found on the market for $17,” he said.
“Will Warbrick ($26) is an Australian Rugby 7s star who joined Melbourne Storm and the post says he has secured a spot on the wing thanks to his performances in the Storms’ recent trials.
“Gold Coast Titans’ Alofiana Khan Pereira has also been valued at $51 by some of the smart Bet Right players,” Waller said of possibly the best value players can find in the market.
Manly is a tough nut to crack when it comes to betting prospects, but erstwhile Reuben Garrick is still flying under the radar and the better play we saw in pre-season makes $26 seem juicy. He just needs Tom Trbojevic ($19) to stay healthy for his rainy wing trials!
Also, don’t worry about the looks of young boomers Selwyn Cobbo ($23), Joseph Suaalia ($17) and Murray Tualaga ($21).
Finally, the most interesting and most difficult to select market is the one with the most points.
Panthers superstar Nathan Cleary is once again the favorite to score the most points – he just needs to stay healthy to perform well
Storm backline tool Nick Meaney crushed in betting with news that Papenhuyzen’s injury is worse than initially feared
It won’t surprise anyone to see Panther superstar Nathan Cleary ($4.50) lead the market, but if Mitchell Moses ($21) can continue his career as one of the best halves and diggers in the competition, he might be worth a little flutter.
The previously mentioned Garrick ($9), who won the gong two seasons ago, is as polished as can be when it comes to kicking and finishing goals, but Waller said there is one unexpected contender who has been sensationally crushed in betting.
“While Panthers superstar Nathan Cleary is the favorite to score the most points in 2023, Nick Meaney ($26 to $9) has strong support due to Ryan Papenhuyzen’s injury,” he said.
With a year that promises to be as close as ever, head over to betright.com.au for all the NRL betting markets and futures throughout the season – and find some value before the Eels kick off the season with a win (sorry Storm fans!) at Thursday evening.