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Johnathan Thurston favourite to shine in 2014 Origin game one

Wed, May 21, 1:09pm by Dominic Ciconte

Jonathan ThurstonFOR many NRL purists, he’s the best player in the game.

Jonathan Thurston, the man who has just clocked up 200 matches in the NRL, may not be as gifted as some of his rivals, but he’s all heart, and, as far as punters are concerned, the man most likely to lead Queensland to victory in Game 1 of the 2014 State of Origin series.

Thurston has opened up as the $6 favourite at to be the man of the match in the first game of the series.

After the NSW and Queensland squads were announced yesterday, punters have flocked to Thurston.

He was backed from $6.50 into $6, ahead of QLD teammate Cooper Cronk ($7) and NSW star Jarryd Hayne ($8).

Queensland are the hot favourite for not only the first match, but also the series.

The Maroons have only made one change to the squad which won an eighth-consecutive Origin series in 2013 and has shown no signs of letting their dominance slip.

Queensland is $1.45 at Sportingbet to win Game 1 and $1.47 to win the series.

With an incredible pool of the NRL’s best talent to choose from, the Man of the Match market always makes for interesting viewing.

Melbourne Storm is well-represented as usual, with Cooper Cronk ($7), Cameron Smith ($9) and Billy Slater ($13) all providing excellent value. Greg Inglis is a sleeper at $9 and Daly Cherry Evans could be worth a punt at $21.

The market for Man of the Match in Game 1

Johnathan Thurston [QLD] 6.00
Cooper Cronk [QLD] 7.00
Jarryd Hayne [NSW] 8.00
Greg Inglis [QLD] 9.00
Cameron Smith [QLD] 9.00
Paul Gallen [NSW] 9.00
Robbie Farah [NSW] 11.00
Billy Slater [QLD] 13.00
Justin Hodges [QLD] 15.00
Matt Scott [QLD] 17.00
Josh Morris [NSW] 17.00
Josh Reynolds [NSW] 17.00
Corey Parker [QLD] 21.00
Daly Cherry Evans [QLD] 21.00
Michael Jennings [NSW] 21.00
Nate Myles [QLD] 26.00
Trent Hodkinson [NSW] 26.00
Anthony Watmough [NSW]26.00
Others $34+

– Game 1 of the 2014 State of Origin series is on Wednesday, May 28 from 7.00pm AEST at Suncorp Stadium, Queensland.

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