Mon, Sep 6, 3:42pm by Kevin Pitstock
The 2010 NRL finals series gets underway this week in the most open season I’ve seen in a long time. The Dragons are favourites after wrapping up the minor premiership, but there is not much difference in the rest of the teams.
I’m predicting a couple of upsets in the first week of the finals series. The betting markets reflect the closeness of the competition; the third placed Tigers are paying the same odds to win this weekend as their opponents, the sixth placed Roosters.
If you’ve been following AustralianGambling.com.au recently you would have seen that the Dragons blew out to $4.10 to win the 2010 premiership. That was after they had a couple of losses under their belt, and the general public were screaming “choke!” again.
Going into the finals series though, the Dragons are clear favourites to win their first title since 1979. One thing to keep in mind is that I’ve noticed a fair bit of difference in the odds available for the 2010 NRL premiership, so shopping around will pay good dividends.
The best Australian online bookmakers are:
These NRL premiership odds for the 2010 season for courtesy of Australia’s Sportingbet.
St George Illawarra Dragons: $2.60
Penrith Panthers: $6.00
Wests Tigers: $7.00
Gold Coast Titans: $7.50
New Zealand Warriors: $11.00
Sydney Roosters: $7.00
Canberra Raiders: $15.00
Manly Sea Eagles: $34.00
The Titans have done well to get their season back on track after a series of losses earlier in the season had them losing touch with making the finals. Their win against the Dragons got them back on track, and they really haven’t looked back since. Other than a loss to the Sharks they’ve been playing exceptionally well with the team they have available, and notching up wins.
The Warriors are the definite dark horse in the competition. Punters and tipsters still don’t think they can cut it away from home, and have been burnt multiple times this season. I was one of those that struggled a little bit this season with predicting the Warriors’ matches. They come into this match as underdogs, a tag they love to have.
Titans vs Warriors Betting
I think the Warriors are going to be too tough in the first finals match of week 1 NRL finals in 2010. The Titans have been in this position a couple of times before, and I don’t think much has changed. They do have more experience, but I think the Warriors are going to get past them with brute force and strength.
The Titans have been winning of late, but I still think they’ve shown plenty of signs of stuttering. I do believe they’ve been losing momentum in the weeks leading up until the finals.
Prediction: Warriors win.
Wests Tigers vs Sydney Roosters
This is the most highly anticipated match of the 2010 NRL week 1 finals. My personal opinion is that it’s a shame the Tigers have to give up their home ground advantage for a bigger crowd attendance. If this match was being played at Leichardt Oval, you can bet your bottom dollar that the Tigers would be heavy favourites.
The Roosters really haven’t looked the same since they lost to the Dragons several weeks ago. They’ve struggled against teams like the Sharks, and made a mess of winning against the Cowboys last week. When they are on song, they’re capable of beating anyone, but it doesn’t look like they produce that kind of form regularly enough.
Tigers vs Roosters Betting
These two teams are both capable of scoring anywhere on the field. They have met two times in the 2010 NRL regular season and the Roosters have come up trumps on both occasions. This is a completely different occasion now, and the Tigers are in much better form than the Roosters and they give me more confidence that they’ll perform on the day than the Roosters do.
Prediction: Tigers win.
The Panthers are in a similar position to the Roosters. Earlier in the season they were cruising along accumulating wins, and then their season fell apart in front of their eyes. The question is whether or not the last couple of victories they have had are a sign they are back to form or if it’s just masking their vulnerabilities.
The Raiders have now won seven out of their last eight matches. They do play much better at home (as do most teams), but they are making a Parramatta-like run into the finals. They are the definite danger team in the finals, and go into this elimination final full of steam.
Without big Petero up front for the Panthers, the dominant Raiders pack will be at their rampaging best.
Panthers vs Raiders Betting
With the Panther’s captain absent, the Raiders forward pack will be all over Penrith. On top of all the go forward they should be able to control this match to get the victory. I expect the Raiders to keep their win streak alive and progress to week two of the 2010 NRL final series.
Prediction: Raiders win.
This is the easiest match to predict in the NRL finals series of 2010. Their is a big difference between the 8th placed Sea Eagles of 2010 and the 8th placed Eels of 2009.
Manly are going to be without several key players, one of those will definitely be the potent weapon of Steve Matai. The Dragons had the luxury resting Hornby, Soward, Young and Smith last week as they prepare themselves for the finals.
Earlier in the season the Sea Eagles won the battle by belting the Dragons up the middle at Brookvale. This is a completely different story with a fit Dragons team in form against a depleted and out of form Manly outfit.
Dragons vs Sea Eagles Betting
I can’t see any chance of an upset in this match. Manly haven’t been playing well of late and are coming into the finals series on the back of two losses and an under strength lineup.
The Dragons are well rested, aren’t concerned with injuries or suspensions and are in form.
Prediction: Dragons win.
There is great value to be had on the Warriors and the Raiders this week. They are going into their respective matches as underdogs, but have better form on their side going into week one of the finals.
If you go with all the above tips and prediction in a multi, odds of $13.63 are available at Sportingbet.
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