AN epic round of National Rugby League action produced plenty of grinning winners, but none more so than Sydney Roosters.
Dead and buried with 25 minutes to go in Saturday night’s feature match at Adelaide Oval, the Chooks staged an incredible revival to force extra time and break Melbourne Storm hearts with a golden point from Mitchell Pearce.
As that result put them within two points of top spot, it is no surprise to see Trent Robinson’s men make a strong move in the outright betting.
Online bookmaker Sportsbet.com.au now has Sydney pegged at +400 for the flag, second only to league-leading Melbourne (+220).
Bookies have suspended betting on those two clubs to play finals, while both are paying very short odds to finish in the top four.
Cronulla Sharks had emerged as the Storm’s challenger in chief, but recent results have seen the defending premiers slip back to the fourth line of betting at +750.
Ahead of them are the third-placed Brisbane Broncos on +650.
Manly Sea Eagles have flown into the top four, albeit aided by the table-keeping quirk that effectively sees byes counted as wins.
They are paying +750 to win it all, +150 to earn a double chance in the spring and -500 to make the eight.
Penrith Panthers may be ninth on the ladder after their devastatingly narrow defeat in Townsville, but vast on-field improvements over the last month or so have them right back in the finals frame.
Heavily fancied in preseason, they now hold the sixth line of 2017 NRL Premiership betting at +1600.
Canberra Raiders may be languishing on the 11th rung of the ladder, yet they share the $21.00 quote with early-season bolters St George Illawarra.
Next on +2200 apiece are Parramatta Eels and North Queensland Cowboys, whose stock has plummeted with superstar playmaker Johnathan Thurston missing much of the season through injury.
New Zealand Warriors are the last of what one might call the realistic long-shots, slated at +3300 for the flag, +1600 for top four and +125 for top eight.
At the wrong end of affairs, the wooden spoon race has rather heated up in recent weeks.
Newcastle Knights showed a true and baffling desire to seal 16th place when they blew a huge chance to knock off the Dragons on Sunday.
They are deserving -303.03 favourites to finish bottom once again, even though Wests Tigers (+220) are propping up the ladder at present.
In the individual markets, Cameron Smith is well on track for a second Dally M Medal.
The Storm skipper is Sportsbet’s short-priced +110 market leader, ahead of Roosters star Pearce (+550) and NZ’s Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (+650).
Jordan Rapana’s 14 tries have him leading the 2017 NRL top tryscorer betting at +120.
Close behind are Storm stars Suliasi Vunivalu (+250) with 12 and Josh Addo-Carr (+400) with 11.
2017 NRL Premiership outright betting
+220 – Melbourne Storm
+400 – Sydney Roosters
+650 – Brisbane Broncos
+750 – Cronulla Sharks
+1200 – Manly Sea Eagles
+1600 – Penrith Panthers
+2000 – Canberra Raiders, St George Illawarra Dragons
+2200 – North Queensland Cowboys, Parramatta Eels
+3300 – New Zealand Warriors
+6600 – Gold Coast Titans
+8000 – Canterbury Bulldogs, South Sydney Rabbitohs
+50000 – Wests Tigers
+100000 – Newcastle Knights
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