Thu, Jul 5, 8:41am by Staff Writer
Queensland and New South Wales have both made changes to the teams that suited up for game two of the State of Origin series more than a week ago.
The Maroons will be hoping to avoid a series sweep when the two teams meet next Wednesday night in Brisbane.
Queensland are $2.25 outsiders at Sportsbet, with New South Wales installed as $1.65 favourites.
Veteran fullback Billy Slater will be playing his 34th and final game for Queensland and his first as captain.
Greg Inglis has been ruled out for three weeks with a thumb injury he suffered in South Sydney’s 21-20 win against North Queensland in Cairns on the weekend.
Coach Kevin Walters has shuffled his spine, with the formerly banished Manly halfback Daly Cherry-Evans receiving a stunning recall on Sunday night.
Cherry-Evans has been in average form for his club side and in his past appearances for Queensland has underperformed.
His selection relegated Ben Hunt to the interchange bench, where he will come on in a utility role.
In further bad news for the Maroons, young gun Kayln Ponga suffered a knee injury against the Bulldogs on the weekend ruling him out of the game.
With front rower Dylan Napa in doubt, Walters has moved Jarrod Wallace to the bench and promoted Jai Arrow into the starting team.
The 2018 series has been a nightmare for Queensland as they have battled injuries throughout.
There has been a lack of stability across the park for the Maroons, although in game two they did show improvement compared to game one in Melbourne.
For New South Wales, with the series wrapped up, first-year coach Brad Fittler has chosen to hand St George second rower Tariq Sims his first Origin jersey.
Sims comes into the team for Matt Prior, with the 31-year-old left out of the team after a terrific performance in game two.
Gold Coast Titans captain Ryan James once again misses out on selection, with Fittler’s team otherwise unchanged.
New South Wales will be hoping to built a dynasty of their own with their new crop of talented players, spearheaded by halfback Nathan Cleary.
New South Wales has not won a series 3-0 since 2000, with Queensland only achieving the feat once in their 11 recent series victories.
In Billy Slater’s final game at Suncorp Stadium and with nothing but pride to play for, New South Wales could put in a flat performance.
Queensland have been priced as generous underdogs in this match and are $3.30 to win this match by a 1-12 margin and $6.50 to win 13+.
Oddsmakers believe this will be a high scoring match, with the pre-match points total set at over/under 36.5 points at $1.90.
The current line favours New South Wales by 3.5 points at $1.90 and if this edges to 4 points, then taking Queensland at the plus is a worthy bet.
Sportsbet State of Origin Game 3 Odds
Queensland $2.25 v New South Wales $1.65
Handicap: NSW -3.5 $1.90
Queensland 1-12 $3.30, 13+ $6.50
New South Wales 1-12 $3, 13+ $3.40
Total points: over/under 36.5 $1.90
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