Despite being one of the youngest teams in the National Rugby League, the Melbourne Storm already rank among the most successful of the modern era. But for some well-documented salary cap breaches, the men in purple would have five premierships since joining the competition in 1998.
Melbourne were the standout team throughout the home-and-away season in 2019, finishing three games clear at the top of the table. That dominance was not replicated in the finals series, however, as the Sydney Roosters knocked them off in the prelims.
Will the Storm subside in 2020, or will Craig Bellamy’s charges be there or thereabouts once again? Let’s see what Australia’s best NRL bookies are saying.
About the Melbourne Storm
|Home ground:||AAMI Park|
|Premierships:||Three – 1999, 2012, 2017|
|2019 ladder finish:||First (20-4)|
Best bookies for Melbourne Storm betting
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Updated Melbourne Storm futures odds
|2020 Premiership||Make Finals||Make Top 4||Dally M Odds|
Best Melbourne Storm bets for NRL 2020
There are dozens of NRL futures markets for the Storm, but where are they likely to return some real value?
Click on the tabs below to get more analysis on these markets:
- No Cronk, no Slater, no Storm? No chance. Cameron Smith is going around again and the next generation will only be better this year. The Sydney Roosters might be the team to beat, but Melbourne are the best chance of doing it.
- The Storm have missed the top four only twice in the past 13 years, and one of those occasions was down to points penalties. It is hard to see any team kicking Craig Bellamy’s men out of the leading pack this year.
- It is testament to the quality of Melbourne’s list that Cameron Smith (second) and Cameron Munster (fifth) both finished in the top five in last year’s Dally M Medal count. Both Cams will figure among the top few contenders again this season.
Storm players to watch in 2020
This guy is one of the reasons Melbourne were always going to be OK once the likes of Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater moved on. It might not happen while Cameron Smith is still kicking around and snaring votes, but Munster looks like a Dally M Medal winner in the making.
This guy was a decent player when he left Wests Tigers at the end of 2016. Now he is a certified star of the competition. Addo-Carr has turned out to be much, much more than a mere supporting act for Suliasi Vunivalu, to the point where opposition teams have trouble identifying which is the more dangerous flank.
Who knows how much longer the long-serving Melbourne Storm captain will kick on, but his 31 votes in the Dally M Medal last year suggest there is a bit of footy left in those 36-year-old legs. Smith is the greatest hooker to play the game, so enjoy him while you still can.
Melbourne Storm records, stats and history
- Most games: 411* – Cameron Smith
Most career points: 2,602* – Cameron Smith
Most points in a season: 242 – Matt Geyer
Most career tries: 190 – Billy Slater
Most tries in a season: 23 – Suliasi Vunivalu (2016, 2017) and Josh Addo-Carr (2017)
Most best and fairest awards: Seven – Cameron Smith (2005-07, 2011-13, 2017)
- Most wins in a season: 21 (2007)
Most consecutive wins: 15 (2012-13)
Highest score in a match: 70 (vs. Dragons, 2000)
Biggest winning margin: 64-0 (vs. Tigers, 2001) and 68-4 (vs. Raiders, 2013)
Largest home attendance: 52,347 (vs. Cowboys at Suncorp Stadium, 2016)
- Melbourne Storm is an appropriate name for a team that was born in the maelstrom of the Super League wars. It is also an apt description for the club’s sudden and violent impact on the NRL.
Prior examples tell us that it takes several years – sometimes decades, sometimes never – for an expansion team to find its feet at the top level. The Storm put that nonsense to bed when they won the first four games of their maiden season in 1998. They reached finals that year and went even better the next, downing St George Illawarra to win the NRL Grand Final at the ripe old age of two.
Melbourne grew stronger and stronger during the first decade of the new millennium, adding premiership wins in 2007 and 2009 alongside minor flags in 2006 and 2008. However, they were all taken away in 2010 when the club was charged with a series of salary cap breaches adding up to over $3 million. Stripped of all their premiership points, the Storm finished bottom of the ladder that year for the first and only time.
Even that couldn’t shake the men in purple. Boasting top-drawer talents such as Cameron Smith, Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk, Gareth Widdop and Justin O’Neill, the Storm reached the prelims in 2011 and reclaimed one of their disqualified premierships a year later. They were losing grand finalists in 2016 and restored their flag count to three with a dominant win over the Cowboys in 2017.
The Melbourne Storm have missed the finals only three times – once through a points deduction for salary cap breaches – since joining the competition in 1998. In that time they have featured in eight grand finals and finished top of the table seven times. Past mistakes aside, that’s a hell of a strike rate.