Bookies reassess ahead of NRL finals - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bookies reassess ahead of NRL finals

By Wayne Heming 31/08/2009 07:47:15 PM Comments (0)

What odds the bottom two teams knocking off the top two teams in the first week of NRL finals action?

Much better than you think.

And according to leading bookmakers there's a chance that the NRL's top two teams could even go into their opening finals encounters as underdogs.

In the most intriguing finish to an NRL season since the introduction of the McIntyre system in 1999, in-form Parramatta, Brisbane and Newcastle are all in the lower half of the draw.

After blowing from $6 favourites to $51, Darren Lockyer's Brisbane are suddenly a massive loss after winning their last four games.

So are fast-finishing Eels, who have won their last seven.

Six weeks ago they were $101 shots but they are now into just $6 with TAB Sportsbet.

Heavyweight agencies TAB Sportsbet and Sportingbet Australia will shell out more than $5 million to punters should the Broncos deliver rookie coach Ivan Henjak a maiden premiership next month.

A facial injury that put Bulldogs playmaker Brett Kimmorley on the sidelines has added an unexpected twist to the finals drama.

Without Kimmorley calling the shots the Dogs would be underdogs against Parramatta or even Brisbane in the first round of the finals.

One punter stands to collect $201,000 if the Eels can extend their streak and win the grand final after putting $3,000 on them at $67 in July.

"Parramatta would have to create history as no team has been able to win the premiership from outside the top four since the McIntyre system was introduced," said TAB Sportsbet's Matthew Jenkins.

"But if they play the Bulldogs without Kimmorley in the first round of the finals, they'd be favourites."

Sportingbet Australia's Bill Richmond said punters had jumped on the Broncos when their odds drifted out to a juicy $51 following their 56-0 loss to Canberra in round 21.

"Brisbane is clearly our worst result with the Dragons probably our best," Richmond told AAP.

"With the players they (Brisbane) have got they should never be those odds.

"One punter had $2,000 on them to win $100,000. Those bets add up pretty quickly."

Wayne Bennett's Dragons are a big worry.

After looking invincible two months ago, they've blown from $3.50 to $5.

They will drift out further if they fail to bounce back against Parramatta this weekend.

History shows teams finishing outside the top four face an almost impossible task to win the premiership while teams occupying the bottom two spots are usually the first to go.

Only once - when the eighth-placed Warriors stunned minor premiers Melbourne last year - has the bottom side cause an upset.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

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