State of Origin is that special time of year that has two states – Queensland and New South Wales – foaming at the mouth and spitting venom across the border at each other.
The passion that gets whipped up when the Maroons (QLD) and the Blues (NSW) face-off is astounding. Your best mate can become your most hated enemy during Origin time if they were born on the wrong side of the border. “State against state, mate against mate” is often heard around this time of the year.
It is played as a best-of-three series, with the teams alternating on a year-by-year basis as to who gets two home games. For several years the third game was played in the neutral territory of Melbourne, Victoria.
These days State of Origin is telecast all round Australia and even non-rugby fans tune in for the games. Of course, this means it is a huge betting event. Every Australian bookmaker will feature extensive markets on a variety of different outcomes. This article will teach you everything you need to know.
Best bookies for State of Origin betting
This is my table
We strongly recommend using the above bookmakers when it comes to State of Origin time. All are safe and usually have great promotions or inflated odds or super bets heading in to the Origin period. Check out their sites closer to the date for Origin bonus deals.
Latest State of Origin 2020 odds
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s State of Origin series has been postponed until November. Online bookmakers will post revised odds once the fixtures are confirmed.
2020 State of Origin dates
|ORIGIN I||ORIGIN II||ORIGIN III|
|Wednesday, November 4||Wednesday, November 11||Wednesday, November 18|
All kick-off times are slated for 8pm AEST, but readers should note that Origin games often start 15-20 minutes later than scheduled. Venues are yet to be confirmed.
History of State of Origin
State of Origin was originally a crazed experiment that most south of the border expected to have a short life and an even quicker death. Since the inaugural three-match series of 1982, however, it has grown to become one of the world’s most intense annual sporting events.
There were two “interstate” games played prior to the single-match State of Origin clashes of 1980 and 1981. Under the interstate eligibility rules, players could only play for the state they were currently playing club league in. Under State of Origin eligibility rules, players could only play for the state in which they first competed in senior club footy. These rules have expanded over time to include factors such as place of birth.
Quick Origin facts
- The first best-of-three series under the State of Origin selection rules was held in 1982.
- The largest winning margin in an Origin match was recorded by Queensland in Game III, 2015, with a 52-6 win over the Blues.
- The most consecutive games won is eight, tallied up by Queensland between Game III 1987 to Game III 1989.
- Cameron Smith won the Wally Lewis Medal for man of the series a record three times (2007, 2011, 2013).
- Wally Lewis holds the record for most Man of the Match awards with eight. He is followed by Cameron Smith, who was named MOTM six times.
Popular betting markets on State of Origin
State of Origin can often be the hardest bet of the year for some punters. Do you bet with your heart or your mind? The heart could scream one thing, but logic dictates the complete opposite.
Below are some of the most popular bets available on State of Origin. Tap the tabs to find out more.
- This is a simple bet on who will win the game outright. Usually head-to-head odds on the State of Origin are pretty even, but some bookies offer inflated prices in a bid to balance the money on lopsided markets.
- Origin handicaps, or line bets, do not offer too much of a start either way because matches are traditionally close affairs. This doesn’t mean the possibility of a large line bet coming good isn’t off the cards, as shown by Queensland’s 46-point winning margin in Game III, 2015. Sportsbet has a feature where you can choose your own line.
- This is a simple bet on which side will win the series outright over the course of three games. State of Origin bookies also run odds on the correct score of the series (e.g. Queensland to win 2-1).
- This is one of the hottest betting markets every time Origin rolls around. As you can see below, there is money to be made in keeping it simple and sticking with the backs and halves.
- Felise Kaufusi (QLD) Game III, 2019
- Tom Trbojevic (NSW) Game II, 2019
- Josh Morris (NSW) Game I, 2019
- Valentine Holmes (QLD) Game III, 2018
- Valentine Holmes (QLD) Game II, 2018
- James Tedesco (NSW) Game I, 2018
- Valentine Holmes (QLD) Game III, 2017
- Valentine Holmes (QLD) Game II, 2017
- James Maloney (NSW) Game I, 2017
- Greg Inglis (QLD) Game III, 2016
- Dane Gagai (QLD) Game II, 2016
- Boyd Cordner (NSW) Game I, 2016
- Dane Gagai (QLD) Game III, 2015
- Michael Jennings (NSW) Game II, 2015
- Cooper Cronk (QLD) Game I, 2015
- Cameron Smith (QLD) Game III, 2014
- Trent Hodkinson (NSW) Game II, 2014
- Darius Boyd (QLD) Game I, 2014
- Johnathan Thurston (QLD) Game III, 2013
- Darius Boyd (QLD) Game II, 2013
- Jarryd Hayne (NSW) Game I, 2013
- Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, which makes State of Origin MOTM betting a tough task. Recent winners include:
- James Tedesco (NSW) Game III, 2019
- Jake Trbojevic (NSW) Game II, 2019
- Dane Gagai (QLD) Game I, 2019
- Billy Slater (QLD) Game III, 2018
- Boyd Cordner (NSW) Game II, 2018
- James Tedesco (NSW) Game I, 2018
- Cameron Smith (QLD) Game III, 2017
- Josh Jackson (NSW) Game II, 2017
- Andrew Fifita (NSW) Game I, 2017
- James Maloney (NSW) Game III, 2016
- Cameron Smith (QLD) Game II, 2016
- Matt Gillett (QLD) Game I, 2016
- Jonathan Thurston (QLD) Game III, 2015
- Michael Jennings (NSW) Game II, 2015
- Cameron Smith (QLD) Game I, 2015
- Corey Parker (QLD) Game III, 2014
- Paul Gallen (NSW) Game II, 2014
- Jarryd Hayne (NSW) Game I, 2014
- Brent Tate (QLD) Game III, 2013
- Cameron Smith (QLD) Game II, 2013
- Luke Lewis (NSW) Game I, 2013
- Named for one of Queensland’s all-time greats, the Wally Lewis Medal is awarded each year to the standout player of the series. It was once reserved only for Maroons players, but since 2004 it has encompassed all players on both sides. Past winners include:
- James Tedesco (NSW), 2019
- Billy Slater (QLD), 2018
- Dane Gagai (QLD), 2017
- Cameron Smith (QLD), 2016
- Corey Parker (QLD), 2015
- Paul Gallen (NSW), 2014
- Cameron Smith (QLD), 2013
- Nate Myles (QLD), 2012
- Cameron Smith (QLD), 2011
- Billy Slater (QLD), 2010
- Greg Inglis (QLD), 2009
- Johnathan Thurston (QLD), 2008
- Cameron Smith (QLD), 2007
- Darren Lockyer (QLD), 2006
- Anthony Minichello (NSW), 2005
- Craig Fitzgibbon (NSW), 2004
Tips on betting State of Origin
Always back Queensland and you can’t lose… Well, not quite, but punters have been falling into the Blues for many years now without much joy. There was a big wave of momentum for NSW in 2017 and look how that turned out. Even with the old guard bowing out, never write off the Maroons before time.
Don’t bet on the series too far ahead of time. You might find some better value early on, but there are too many unknowns. Wait until the teams are announced and closer to the event to exclude the possibility of losing players to injury or suspension in the lead up to the game.
There are a few things to look for before you bet on any Origin game. Is the team cohesive? Do the halves for each side have experience playing with each other? Is there a lot of Origin experience in the team? These finer points can make a big difference.
Establish what sort of bet you want to make, whether it be head-to-head or first try scorer or man of the match, and do some research across your online bookies to see who has the best odds for you. Be smart and always hunt out the odds that benefit you.