Wed, Jun 20, 1:02pm by Staff Writer
Date and Time: Sunday June 24, 7:40pm AEST
Venue: ANZ Stadium
TV: Channel 9
New South Wales enter game two of the 2018 State of Origin series as firm favourites at $1.37 to claim just their second series victory in over 10 years.
Queensland are $3.20 underdogs for Sunday evenings match at ANZ Stadium in Sydney.
Conditions are expected to be fine on Sunday night, with only a 20 per cent chance of rain, although the ANZ Stadium surface is renowned for being slippery at this time of year.
Both sides have had to change their game one teams out of necessity, with players absent through injury.
New South Wales will be without Reagan Campbell Gillard who suffered a broken jaw on the weekend, with Matt Prior tipped to be his replacement ahead of Titans captain Ryan James.
For Queensland, coach Kevin Walters has addressed his sides glaring deficiencies through the middle of the ruck, by selecting Storm big man Tim Glasby to replace the injured Dylan Napa.
Billy Slater’s hamstring will be in the spotlight all week ahead of Sunday’s game, with the Queensland great having not played for four weeks.
Newcastle youngster Kayln Ponga comes into the team on the bench, but could start at fullback in his first Origin game should Slater miss out.
The Blues are favoured to win this match by a big margin, as they were in game one, with the opening line set at 8.5 points favouring New South Wales at $1.90 at Sportsbet.
In the margin market, the Blues to win 13+ is the shortest price of the options at $2.50, with a 1-12 New South Wales win paying $2.80.
Queensland appear to have been written off by the bookies, paying a steep $4.50 to win the match by a 1-12 margin, with a 13+ win unlikely at $11.
Josh Addo-Carr is leading the first tryscorer market after he scored two tries on the weekend for Melbourne and on his Blues debut at the MCG.
He is $8.50 to dot-down first in Sydney and $1.91 to be an anytime tryscorer.
Backline players for both sides dominate this market, with Tom Trbojevic $9 to score first and $2.10 to score anytime.
For Queensland, Valentine Holmes is $13 to be first tryscorer and $2.88 to score anytime, as is teammate Dane Gagai.
Both players scored tries in Queensland’s first game and are nice value to do the same again in Sydney.
The total match points market is set at over/under 34.5 points, with no State of Origin match at ANZ Stadium since 2010 exceeding Sunday’s starting points total.
On that night, Queensland were victorious 23-18.
The total tries market is set at over/under 6.5, with the under paying $1.54 and the over $2.43.
Queensland will ensure that the Blues don’t dominate them through the ruck and centre of the ground as was the case in game one at the MCG.
New South Wales played to their potential in game one, but will be wary that Queensland had a number of opportunities to get back in the game.
The Maroons will need to inject Kayln Ponga into the game much earlier than they did with Anthony Milford in game one if he is expected to have an impact.
Ponga has the ability to create linebreaks and act as another playmaker, similar to the roles Damien Cook and James Tedesco played for the Blues in game one.
Despite Queensland’s trademark fight and enthusiasm, it looks to be the Blues year and they will lock up the series on Sunday, but it will be closer than many predict.
Best bet- New South Wales Big Win Little Win 1-12 at $2.80
Sportsbet State of Origin Odds
New South Wales $1.37 Queensland $3.20
New South Wales 1-12 $2.80, 13+ $2.50
Queensland 1-12 $4.50, 13+ $11
Total match points: over/under 34.5 at $1.90
First Try Scorer
Josh Addo-Carr $8.50
Tom Trbojevic $9
James Tedesco $10
Latrell Mitchell $11
James Roberts $12
Valentine Holmes $13
Dane Gagai $14
Billy Slater $18
Kalyn Ponga $19
Anytime Try Scorer
Josh Addo-Carr $1.91
Tom Trbojevic $2.10
James Tedesco $2.30
James Roberts $2.50
Latrell Mitchell $2.60
Valentine Holmes $2.88
Dane Gagai $2.88
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