THE 2017 NRL season is just around the corner and there’s no better time to place your futures bets.
Punters can secure some great value in the month leading up to the first game. There are still many unknowns, bookmakers haven’t tightened up some interesting markets and there’s always a steal or two to be had for those who do their homework over practice matches and summer training.
Featured in our best NRL futures bets is a Melbourne Storm winger who’s picked to lead try-scoring stats this season for a team which we think has a great chance of winning the premiership.
The Dally M Medal will surely be a hotly-contested affair. Only two players (Johnathan Thurston and Cooper Cronk) are currently paying under double figure odds. Our pick is a man who has had his fair share of injury problems, but has great talent.
There is also a market for the dreaded wooden spoon. No team wants to win it, but unfortunately for one NRL team, bookmakers are confident it has the last-placed finish all wrapped up.
Sign up to Ladbrokes.com.au which incredibly has odds out for every NRL game this season.
Top 2017 NRL Try Scorer
There is a clear front-runner for top try-scorer this year and that belongs to Melbourne Storm winger Suliasi Vunivalu.
The Fijian speedster set a record of 23 tries last season in his rookie year and he didn’t start playing for the Storm until Round 7.
That record speaks for itself and he was a key part to helping the Storm make the grand final.
We like the chances of noted flyer Bevan French for the Eels, but he has been tipped to start at fullback and he won’t be getting the same try-scoring opportunities as Vunivalu.
It also helps to get quality ball on the wing and when you have Cooper Cronk on your inside, it’s hard not to dot the ball over the white line.
Vunivalu is currently $10 at CrownBet.com.au to score the most tries this season and we think he does it easily if he remains injury-free.
NRL Grand Final winner tips
The Melbourne Storm went close last season when just losing out to the Cronulla Sharks and they’re a great chance of winning this season.
The Storm have the luxury of securing quality players in important positions, such as Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk. With that spine, they’re always going to be tough to beat and this season is no different.
They’re currently equal favourites at $7.50 with Sportsbet with the Penrith Panthers, but the Storm have premiership-winning experience and there’s much better value with the Victorian side.
For some extra value, punters can sink their teeth into the $6.50 at Sportsbet for the Storm to win the minor premiership. They are a professional outfit which rarely lose back-to-back games and that makes them a top premiership chance.
2017/2018 NRL Wooden Spoon winner
We found it tough to label this market as the wooden spoon “winner”, but the biggest loser this season appears to be a one-team race.
The Newcastle Knights are coming off a shocking season and things won’t change in the near future for the NSW club.
With talk around the league that the Newcastle Knights should be sold and with a roster that wouldn’t excite even the staunchest Knights fan, the $1.67 on offer at Palmerbet.com.au looks a great bet at the shorter odds.
Punters shouldn’t be scared at taking short odds for futures bets because we can see the Knights losing six of their first eight games, which will only shorten the odds.
Dally M Medal winner
It’s not easy finding a winner for the Dally M due to the varying selection factors, but one player is in a good position to score points each game if he stays healthy.
The Tigers are a team which have a couple of star players, which often helps in the Dally M voting. One of those players includes James Tedesco, who has the ability to not only score and stop tries, but he is also starting to take a leadership role.
Tedesco will be a headline player for the Tigers at the back, but he needs to stay injury free, which he has not been able to do so far in his career.
The 24-year-old has had seven career surgeries, with the latest being a broken jaw, which ended his season last year. He scored 14 tries in only 17 games, which will earn him plenty of Dally M votes and he’s already on the good side of the voting panel after securing the fullback position in the Dally M team of the year.
Top NSW team
Last season couldn’t have been much worse for the Roosters, but life has settled down a touch in the camp and we think they’re a chance of returning to form.
Mitchell Pearce is the key to their success and if he can keep his nose clean this season, expect the Roosters to show that form which saw them make a late run last season.
There is plenty of up-and-coming talent to get excited about and the rest of the side is packed with experience.
The Penrith Panthers are the current $2.85 favourites to be the top NSW team, but the value is with the Roosters at $4.75 with CrownBet.
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