WE are only eight rounds in, but already Melbourne Storm have emerged as the clear punters’ choice for the 2017 NRL Premiership.
Six wins from their first seven games have seen Craig Bellamy’s men firm into +350 for the flag at online bookmaker Sportsbet.com.au.
That price could shorten further still if things go well for the Victorian outfit on ANZAC Day.
If St George-Illawarra’s golden run comes to an end at the Allianz, a win over New Zealand Warriors would put the Storm back on top.
Despite their incredible start to the season, the Dragons remain on the fringe of NRL title betting at +1200.
Canberra Raiders hold the second line at +500, even after their narrow home defeat on Friday night.
Brisbane Broncos (+650), who registered their fifth win of the season with a controversial round-eight result, are the last of the teams quoted under double digits.
Sydney Roosters could take a sizeable step in from their +900 if they upstage the Red V on Tuesday, while worrying home form sees Cronulla Sharks hovering on the outskirts of back-to-back contention at +1100.
After opening the season as a strong +750 chance, North Queensland Cowboys have slid into midfield at +1400 – a price that should hold steady even after their win over the cellar-dwelling Newcastle Knights.
It will surprise nobody to learn that Penrith, who entered the campaign as red-hot contenders as +700, are no longer in the upper bracket of outright betting.
Six losses in eight rounds have seen the Panthers’ price blow out to +2000, where they share the line with New Zealand Warriors.
Parramatta Eels (+2200), Manly Sea Eagles (+2500), Canterbury Bulldogs (+2800) and Gold Coast Titans (+3300) round out the 20-something long shots.
All but out of the picture already are South Sydney Rabbitohs and Wests Tigers at +8000 apiece, with Newcastle Knights bringing up the tail at a token +25000 quote.
Melbourne are also holding sway in the Dally M Medal betting, where Cameron Smith has leaped out to runaway +200 favouritism.
Corey Norman (+650) and Gareth Widdop (+700) are the Storm skipper’s chief challengers, although Roosters bolter Luke Keary has roared in to +900 after opening at +12500.
2017 NRL outright odds
+350 – Melbourne Storm
+500 – Canberra Raiders
+650 – Brisbane Broncos
+900 – Sydney Roosters
+1100 – Cronulla Sharks
+1400 – North Queensland Cowboys
+2000 – New Zealand Warriors, Penrith Panthers
+2200 – Parramatta Eels
+2500 – Manly Sea Eagles
+2800 – Canterbury Bulldogs
+3300 – Gold Coast Titans
+8000 – South Sydney Rabbitohs, Wests Tigers
+25000 – Newcastle Knights
Markets provided by Sportsbet.com.au
2017 Dally M Medal betting
+200 – Cameron Smith
+650 – Corey Norman
+700 – Gareth Widdop
+900 – Luke Keary
+1400 – Paul Gallen
+2000 – Mitchell Pearce
+2500 – Adam Reynolds, Paul Vaughn
+3300 – James Maloney, Billy Slater, James Tedesco, Johnathan Thurston, Tom Trbojevic, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
More quoted at Sportsbet
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