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Kangaroos vs. Kiwis Rugby League ANZAC Test best bets and picks

IT might not be ANZAC weekend, but that won’t stop the Australian Kangaroos taking on the New Zealand Kiwis at Suncorp Stadium this Friday.

The ANZAC Test brings together two nations that were allies in war, but foes on the league field, and this years’ edition promises to bring the heat.

The Kiwis have a dismal record in one-off test matches and consider themselves as a tournament team, but there is a good mix of power and skill with their outfit this year.

The Kangaroos are always professional and are even harder to beat on their home turf. Fortunately for New Zealand fans, Brisbane has plenty of ex-pat Kiwis that will be roaring in the crowd.

Bookmakers, as expected, have installed the Kangaroos as $1.38 favourites, but support will no doubt come for those who bleed black and white.

ANZAC Test head-to-head market

Bookmakers didn’t take many risks when setting the market, giving favouritism to the home team in Australia at $1.38.

There is, however, a confidence in the Kiwis camp and with bookmakers as Australia are usually paying between $1.28-$1.35 for the ANZAC Test.

New Zealand are still at a great price value-wise. They are currently paying $3.15 with Sportsbet.com.au and that price is expected to shorten nearer to kickoff.

Many punters will be putting Australia into their multi-bets and we can’t disagree with that style, but there is an air of confidence surrounding the Kiwis, who are looking to secure their first ANZAC Test win since 1998.

ANZAC Test history and facts

If you’re supporting New Zealand it might pay to look away – the record doesn’t read well!

The Kiwis have won only one game in the previous 15 years, that coming at home in 1988 in front of a packed North Shore Stadium.

The Kiwis have only played once more at home, losing 20-12 in 2012 at Eden Park, but they constantly face the daunting task of playing Australia away from home.

The last time they faced for the epic clash was at Allianz Stadium where the Kangaroos withstood a serious first-half challenge from the Kiwis, ultimately winning 30-18.

The closest New Zealand has pushed the Kangaroos in recent history was when they lost 12-8 in 2010 at Melbourne, but there are plenty of lopsided results over the years.

Big wins in Australia’s favour have been as follows:

2000: 52-0
2004: 37-10
2006: 50-12
2007: 30-6
2009: 38-10
2013: 32-12

That doesn’t read well for the Kiwis, but they’re an improving stand-alone test side which will be confident after recent successes in the World Cup and Four Nations.

If we believe what history tells us, Australia should be winning by double digits. The Australia 13+ option is currently paying $2.40 at CrownBet.com.au.

Team lineups and first try scorer market

Australian Kangaroos:

1. Greg Inglis – $10
2. Alex Johnson – $9
3. Michael Jennings – $10
4. Will Chambers – $11 at Sportsbet.com.au
5. Josh Dugan – $9.50
6. Johnathan Thurston – $18
7. Cooper Cronk – $23
8. Matthew Scott – $51
9. Cameron Smith – $26
10. Aaron Woods – $51
11. Greg Bird – $26
12. Sam Thaiday – $26
13. Corey Parker – $41

New Zealand Kiwis:

1. Roger Tuisvasa-Sheck – $15
2. Jason Nightingale – $13
3. Shaun Kenny-Dowall – $18
4. Peta Hiku – $17
5. Manu Vatuvei – $13 at CrownBet.com.au
6. Kieran Foran – $31
7. Shaun Johnson – $18
8. Martin Taupau – $56
9. Issac Luke – $41
10. Ben Matulino – $34
11. Tohu Harris – $41
12. Kevin Proctor – $31
13. Simon Mannering – $34

Will Chambers is great value at $11 as he will be looking to justify his selection into the squad. On the other side of the coin, big Manu Vatuvei is a crowd favourite and could easily score first for the Kiwis at $13.

The Kiwis are quick starters in the ANZAC Test and who better than Manu to score first down the wing.

Exotic ANZAC Test betting options

The bookmakers have set a (-8, +8) line in favour of Australia which is a tricky line for most spread bettors.

If you’re considering taking Australia at -8 ($1.91 with WilliamHill.com.au) then Australia must win by more than nine points to cash, or eight points to receive your money back.

History tells us that Australia have had no trouble covering that spread and the Kiwis’ loss of Jesse Bromwich is a key aspect to picking the winner in this game.

The Kangaroos will be missing Billy Slater at the fullback role but when Greg Inglis is replacing him, is it really a big loss?

The Kiwis have the ability to keep this close, but they’re more of a halftime betting option. We suggest taking the Kiwis (+4.5 at $1.87) with Sportsbet.com.au as they usually get off to a hot start, but the class of the Australian side claws them back.

The total game points option is an interesting one as the weather isn’t meant to play its part. The current forecast shows showers with lightning in the area, but here’s hoping we don’t see a repeat of what happened in Sydney last ANZAC Saturday.

If the rain doesn’t come, then the over 36.5 looks a viable option with bookmakers. These two teams have the ability to score plenty of points and it’s what the crowd wants to see.

Keep an eye on the forecast with this betting option.

Pick your own line:

Sportsbet.com.au offer plenty of variable alternative betting options for all punters. Some of the more juicy prices are available if you’re wishing to take a punt.

Australia have racked up big wins over New Zealand in the past and there is good money to be made in this market.

Australia -15.5 currently stands at $2.82 and for those wanting to risk a little bit more, they are at $4.40 to win by 22.

Without forgetting New Zealand, the Kiwis are at $2.28 to cover the +4.5 spread and for multi-bettors, Kiwis to cover the alternative line of +15.5 pays out at $1.41.

Game prediction and tips

We should be predicting an Australian win, and we are, but there’s always that unknown factor about the Kiwis that scares us.

Taking Australia to win at $1.38 is fine, especially for multi-bettors, but where’s the romance in doing that?

We think the Kiwis come out firing and lead at halftime, but slowly get reeled in by the Australians.

Take the halftime/fulltime betting option of New Zealand/Australia – currently paying $7 at CrownBet.com.au.

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