Tue, Aug 9, 2:57pm by Staff Writer
Surprising defeats suffered by two of their major rivals has seen Melbourne Storm jump clear at the top of NRL premiership betting and take a vice-like grip of the market for who will finish top at the end of the regular season.
Storm’s thrilling Round 22 win over the Rabbitohs, a match settled by Cameron Smith’s boot in golden-point extra time, has put them top of the NRL ladder for just the third time this season.
They profited from the Sharks slip-up against the Raiders, their first loss in 16 matches, to jump clear of Cronulla by a single point.
That has seen them shorten to $3.50 in the William Hill NRL premiership markets, with Cronulla suddenly looking shaky and at $4.50. The big movers have been the Raiders, who are now $9 after a sixth consecutive win at the right end of the season.
The Cowboys, third favourites at $5, also suffered a shock defeat on the weekend as they were comprehensively outpointed by the Tigers, while the Broncos ($9) rescued some momentum with a win over the Dragons on Thursday night.
The Bulldogs, easy winners of the battling Knights, are the other team in serious contention, rated a $10 premiership shot, as they continue their battle with the Raiders and Cowboys for a Top 4 spot.
Significantly, the Storm have now moved into clear favouritism for the honours of being top of the ladder at the end of the regular season.
That battle is likely to go down to the final week, when the top two will meet in a pre-finals blockbuster at AAMI Park.
The huge mover in top four markets was the Raiders. We suggested you get on at the $1.60 last week and that’s looking sage advice given their subsequent win over the Sharks which has seen them move into $1.15 to claim top four honours.
The top-eight market is also fascinating with Brisbane, New Zealand and Penrith occupying the spots 6-8 on the table and all being shorter than $1.40 to make it. The Tigers are now $2.75 to make the eight, having moved level with the Warriors and Panthers on 24 points, the same price as the Titans, who are one point behind that trio on 23.
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