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 from 21 years of existence.
Melbourne went oh-so-close again in 2018, but they fell short against a superb Sydney Roosters side in the big dance. With Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk both gone, this is a time of transition for the Victorian club.
Will the Storm subside in 2019, or will Cameron Smith and company 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|
|2018 ladder finish:||Second (16-8)|
Best bookies for Melbourne Storm betting
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Updated Melbourne Storm futures odds
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|2019 Premiership||Make Finals||Make Top 4||Dally M Odds|
|Jan||$8||$1.25||$1.85||C Munster $15|
|Feb||$8||$1.25||$1.85||C Munster $15|
|Mar||$8.50||$1.25||$1.85||C Smith $14|
|Apr||$4.75||$1.02||$1.16||C Munster $3.50|
Best Melbourne Storm bets for NRL 2019
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 12 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.
- Cam Smith is still the top dog at AAMI Park, but most bookies rate Cameron Munster as a better bet to win the Dally M this year. Also keep an eye on emerging playmaker Brodie Croft, who could offer big value if he adds a bit more consistency to his game.
Melbourne Storm 2019 fixture
|1||Brisbane Broncos||AAMI Park||Thursday, March 14||7:50pm|
|2||Canberra Raiders||GIO Stadium||Friday, March 22||6pm|
|3||Penrith Panthers||Carrington Park||Saturday, March 30||7:35pm|
|4||Canterbury Bulldogs||AAMI Park||Sunday, April 7||4:05pm|
|5||North Queensland Cowboys||1300SMILES Stadium||Friday, April 12||7:55pm|
|6||Sydney Roosters||AAMI Park||Friday, April 19||7:55pm|
|7||New Zealand Warriors||AAMI Park||Thursday, April 25||7:50pm|
|8||Cronulla Sharks||Shark Park||Friday, May 3||7:55pm|
|9||Parramatta Eels||Suncorp Stadium||Saturday, May 11||7:35pm|
|10||Wests Tigers||AAMI Park||Thursday, May 16||7:50pm|
|11||Canterbury Bulldogs||Belmore Oval||Sunday, May 26||2pm|
|13||New Zealand Warriors||Mt Smart Stadium||Saturday, June 8||3pm|
|14||Newcastle Knights||AAMI Park||Saturday, June 15||3pm|
|15||Sydney Roosters||Adelaide Oval||Friday, June 28||7:55pm|
|16||St George Illawarra Dragons||WIN Stadium||Thursday, July 4||7:50pm|
|17||Cronulla Sharks||AAMI Park||Saturday, July 13||7:35pm|
|18||Gold Coast Titans||Cbus Super Stadium||Sunday, July 21||2pm|
|19||Manly Sea Eagles||AAMI Park||Saturday, July 27||7:35pm|
|20||Brisbane Broncos||Suncorp Stadium||Friday, August 2||7:55pm|
|21||South Sydney Rabbitohs||Central Coast Stadium||Sunday, August 11||4:05pm|
|22||Canberra Raiders||AAMI Park||Saturday, August 17||5:30pm|
|23||Gold Coast Titans||AAMI Park||Sunday, August 25||2pm|
|24||Manly Sea Eagles||Lottoland||Saturday, August 31||5:30pm|
|25||North Queensland Cowboys||AAMI Park||Friday, September 6||7:55pm|
Storm players to watch in 2019
Position: Fullback, five-eighth
This guy is one of the reasons Melbourne will do OK without the ‘Big Three’. Munster’s versatility makes him a priceless asset for club, state and country, and there is a good chance he will take on Slater’s No.1 jersey in 2019. If he can keep it together off the field, the boy from Rockhampton should feature prominently on Dally M night.
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 will have trouble identifying which is the more dangerous flank.
Croft was tagged as the one to watch in 2018, but he paid the price for a slow start and was in and out of the side all year. The young lad from Dalby has talent to burn – including a very impressive kicking game – and will be determined to make the No.7 jersey his own this season.
Melbourne Storm records, stats and history
- Most games: 384* – Cameron Smith
Most career points: 2386* – Cameron Smith
Most points in a season: 242 – Matt Geyer
Most career tries: 190 – Billy Slater
Most tries in a season: 23 – Suliasi Vunivalu (2016-17) 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.
All in all, the Melbourne Storm have played 17 finals campaigns in only 20 years of NRL footy. In that time they have featured in eight grand finals and finished top of the table six times. Past mistakes aside, that’s a hell of a strike rate.
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