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 odds
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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.
2018 State of Origin dates
The 2018 Origin series kicks off on June 6 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and concludes on July 11 at Suncorp Stadium. In a bid to keep NRL clubs happy, the middle game at ANZ Stadium will take place on a Sunday night in the first-ever standalone round of Origin footy.
|ORIGIN I||ORIGIN II||ORIGIN III|
|Wednesday, June 6 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground||Sunday, June 24 at ANZ Stadium||Wednesday, July 11 at Suncorp Stadium|
All kick-off times are slated for 8pm AEST, but readers should note that Origin games often start 15-20 minutes later than scheduled.
Prediction for the 2018 series
The Sydney press heralded the end of Queensland’s reign after New South Wales claimed a resounding victory at Suncorp Stadium in the opening game of Origin 2017. The confidence in the Blues camp was such that coach Laurie Daley did not make a single change to his matchday squad for the remainder of the series.
The Maroons were having none of it. In came Billy Slater, Johnathan Thurston, Jarrod Wallace, Gavin Cooper and Valentine Holmes as Queensland levelled the series with a nail-biting win in Sydney. Ben Hunt and Cameron Munster joined the party for game three as the Toads sealed their 21st State of Origin victory.
Now is a time of transition for the title holders. JT retired from representative footy after the 2017 series and was soon joined by his long-time halves partner, Cooper Cronk. With the Rugby League World Cup out of the way, Slater and Cameron Smith may well follow suit at the end of Origin 2018.
But Queensland’s depth of talent is impressive. Dane Gagai has taken to Origin footy like a duck to water and can play just about anywhere. Michael Morgan was massive in the North Queensland Cowboys’ run to the NRL Grand Final last year. Greg Inglis is back after missing the 2017 series with a busted ACL. Hess, Holmes, Munster, Oates – all these guys have bright futures ahead.
Will NSW improve? Time and again the Blues have failed to crack the State of Origin formula. The lack of personnel changes last year spoke of a regime that was neither willing nor able to adapt to the unique demands of interstate footy. It is hard to see the Roaches making headway if they cannot look beyond the likes of Jarryd Hayne and Blake Ferguson.
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.
- Since then Queensland have gone on to 19 series, New South Wales have won 13 and two series have been drawn. Of those 19 series wins, the Maroons have managed to win nine of those in the last 10 years, racking up a record eight straight series wins.
- 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 has 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 has been 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.
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
Jonathan 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:
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:
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
Jonathan 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.