Queensland vs NSW: Origin betting tips

Although Origin deciders are always blockbusters, this match is shaping up to be one of the all-time great encounters. Queensland’s remarkable comeback in Game 2 left the Blues heartbroken and the Blues will feel that the series is theirs to lose. Whereas the Maroons will feel that they have finally gotten into their groove and now back at home, they will be very hard to beat.

In Game 1 we backed QLD and NSW schooled me with a clinical second half. Then in Game 2 we also backed QLD, and a late QLD surge saw us get one back on the bookies.

Despite my recent NRL form slump, I think my Origin series has been good. We had Tedesco for man of the match in Game 1 and he came within a whisker of winning that at 15.00. We then backed the draw at even juicier odds in Game 2 and with 2 minutes left, the scores were tied. If the man of the match goes to Tedesco in Game 1 and Thurston misses the conversion in Game 2, then we would be sitting on some very tidy profits.

So while it is disheartening for me to not have any profits to show at this stage of the NRL season, I am going to back my model here in this Origin and it is screaming bet on QLD again!

Game 1:

The QLD squad named was far from the best team possible and NSW took advantage of this with their best Origin performance in years. I thought the home crowd advantage would be enough to get QLD home, but NSW played brilliantly and QLD were well off their best. But guys like Guerra, Myles and O’Neil are gone now and their replacements, while not setting the world on fire in Game 2, are playing with far more speed and intensity…which is what wins Origins.

Game 2:

Although NSW will feel like they lost the game themselves, QLD are notorious for hanging in there and then coming from behind to win. The QLD second half tries were pure class and to win a game like that, in Sydney, will do wonders for this team’s confidence. It is also worth noting that Thurston finished Game 2 with one shoulder busted, so that made the QLD come back even more impressive.

Game 3

QLD has been forced to deal with further changes. QLD have lost Darius Boyd and Thurston from their back lines. While that might sound like it is insurmountable (on top of already losing Scott, Inglis etc… at the beginning of the year and Milford after Game 1), this QLD squad has some amazing depth to draw upon. Especially in the backs.

So in place of Thurston and Boyd, comes Morgan and Hunt….and both players have been tearing up the NRL in recent weeks. Morgan’s shift to the centres is clever. The versatile Cowboys half was formerly a fullback and with speed and strength, he has all the attributes of a great centre. He is also one of the best in the game at setting up his outside man.

As for Munster, well he is getting to play alongside his fellow Melbourne spine (Smith, Slater and Cronk). Along with Chambers and Glasby, the young half will feel very settled with so many familiar faces. And then you have the enigmatic Hunt, who can come off the bench if need be and is capable of taking on the line better than any other half in the NRL. If Munster isn’t firing or there is a back line injury, Hunt will provide a very useful option for Coach Walters.

So as crazy as it sounds, losing Thurston and Boyd – despite being superstars – is probably better than if they’d lost Gillett and McGuire. QLD do not have much depth in the forwards and they are fortunate that they are only missing Matt Scott here.

As for the Blues, they head into this match unchanged…however I do think that a few of their players are carrying injuries. Tedesco and Cordner have not played since Game 2 and so you have to presume their injuries are not yet 100% healed. In particular, Corder’s calf is an issue and considering he is the Blues captain, losing him early could be soul destroying. Frizzel is carrying a rib injury that has seen him well below his best in recent games for the Dragons, plus Dugan still recovering from an injury.

So although QLD have had to chop and change their squad during this series, I do not think that NSW are heading into this match with the perfect preparation. The only late news to come out of the QLD camp is that Billy Slater has rolled his ankle, though he has been cleared to play.

On my player ratings, QLD’s team is about 4 points better. They have the best player in world at 9 and Smith never has a poor Origin match. And for all the talk about Peats defence, his attacking game is still a long way off where it needs to be if he is going to lead NSW to victory.

QLD has some slick outside backs, with guys like Gagai and Chambers playing sensationally in both games so far and guys like Holmes, Munster and Morgan capable of piling on the points if given any space.

Up front, NSW do have an advantage – with Woods, Klemmer and Fifita so far dominating the battle for metres. With guys like Graham, Jake T and Jackson on the fringes, winning through the middle is NSW best hope.

But I think the QLD forward pack has enough mongrel in it to mitigate the Blues forward pack. Napa, Hess, Papalli, McGuire and Gillett are all big hitters that have played with plenty of fire in defence. Gavin Cooper is the unsung hero of this QLD team and he was sensational in Game 2.

In my opinion, QLD should be favourites here. On paper I think they have the more in form team and at home, I think they will be too strong.

QLD to win by 6.

Back QLD with +2.0 at $1.96 with Centrebet who will take bets up to $50,000 with their Powerbet option.

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Steve Green is our NRL betting tips expert. He previews every game for our league membership, as well as finding 5-10 best bets each week.

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