American sports bettors are well aware that we are heading into the ‘slow season’. Basketball and hockey are almost done for the year, International soccer is wrapping up for a few months and we’re still two months away from the start of the NFL football preseason. With betting boards at US facing sportsbooks offering slim pickings it’s a great time to expand your horizons internationally and check out some betting opportunities from around the world.
If you had asked me what State of Origin was a couple of years ago I would have had to have guessed ‘a prog-metal album title’. That would be a good guess, but it would also be wrong. State of Origin is a huge rugby challenge series in Australia between the New South Wales Blues and the Queensland Maroons. All three of the games in the 2018 State of Origin series were ranked among the top 10 highest rated Australian TV broadcasts of the year. Not surprisingly, the series is especially huge in Queensland and New South Wales–the three games of the series were the top rated TV shows of the year in Sydney and Brisbane by a huge margin. In Brisbane, the State of Origin games viewership nearly doubled that of anything else in the top 10 list.
The National Rugby League is one of the biggest sports leagues in Australia and although this game is contested under the same rules it is technically outside of the auspices of league play. Some would suggest that this game is the pinnacle of rugby league play and the Queensland v. New South Wales rugby rivalry has been called the greatest rivalry in Australian sports. Knowing that the Australians are among the world’s most enthusiastic sports bettors you’ve no doubt guessed that there’s plenty of wagering available on the event.
STATE OF ORIGIN 2019
The State of Origin series began in 1982 and throughout it’s history has been a very evenly matched competition though Queensland holds an advantage in the overall series. There were a few years that an exhibition was played in lieu of the usual competition but in the 37 full series played to date Queensland has won 21, New South Wales has won 14 and two of the series have ended in a draw. During the past 15 years or so, the series has been dominated by Queensland. The Maroons have won 11 of the last 13 State of Origin series including eight straight between 2006 and 2013 and three straight between 2015 and 2017.
There’s much to suggest, however, that Queensland’s run of domination might be coming to an end. New South Wales won the series in 2018 and the feeling is that they’ve reached a point of qualitative superiority over their rival. Last year, New South Wales won the first two games of the series to clinch the title before the Maroons salvaged some degree of redemption in Game 3 at Suncorp Stadium. This year represents only the second time since Queensland’s run began where the Blues have entered as defending champs. They lost the series 2-1 in 2015 as defending champions but the expectation is that history will not repeat itself. New South Wales is favored not only to defend their title but are also favored to win the first match on Queensland’s home turf.
The story of New South Wales’ revival is similar to ones heard in countless other sports. Queensland’s team is aging while NSW has retooled their roster with a focus on youth, speed and athleticism. Hopefully, the release of a sex tape supposedly involving NSW players earlier today won’t be a distraction (they categorically deny involvement). We’ll provide betting analysis and selections on the individual State of Origin games throughout the series. Rugby League odds are available at most offshore sportsbooks.