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Bookies divided over Origin opener

By Wayne Heming 26/05/2009 04:02:47 PM Comments (0)

Experienced bookmakers are divided over Queensland's chances of making a successful start in their quest for an unprecedented fourth straight State of Origin series win.

Markets were issued on next Wednesday's series opener at Melbourne's Etihad Stadium immediately after Queensland named a tried-and-tested 17-man squad on Tuesday to tackle an inexperienced NSW outfit containing eight Origin rookies.

A regular NSW league punter immediately claimed TAB Sportsbet for a bet of $150,000 to collect $232,500 if Queensland win the series for a record fourth time.

While Sportingbet Australia's chief executive Michael Sullivan declared he'd take on the all-conquering Queenslanders at $1.62, rival Sports Alive operator Gerard Daffy said the Maroons should be "even shorter" than the $1.57 his firm was offering punters.

"We're very keen to take them on. They're an enormous risk", said Sullivan, who believes NSW have finally woken up and gone for some players who can stand up to Queensland.

"NSW have finally picked a team capable of competing with tough guys and heavy hitters like Luke O'Donnell, Ben Creagh and Michael Weyman in the pack.

"Queensland will be relying heavily on two great old props and playing on a neutral ground."

Daffy said while Queensland were always "hard to sell" as favourites, they had the better team and would enjoy strong support from AFL-mad Melbourne fans.

"Victorian people are anti-NSW and it will be like a home game for Queensland," said Daffy.

TAB Sportbet's Glenn Munsie, who had Queensland at $1.60 with the Blues at $2.40 to win game one, said the punter who placed the $150,000 on Queensland to win the series seemed pretty confident.

Sportinget Australia and Sports Alive both had Queensland $1.55 chances to create history while TAB Sportsbet cut their series odds from $1.55 into $1.47 after taking the six-figure bet on Tuesday.

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