Tigers the team to beat in 2012

The Wests Tigers will start the season as a warm favourites to win the premiership for the first time since their inception in 2000. 

There has already been plenty of pre-season betting activity with the Tigers firming from $9 to $6 in premiership betting. 

“It is not unusual for the Tigers to firm before the start of the season. In the past four years they have been shorter at kickoff in round one than their opening price. It highlights how popular the Tigers are with our customers,” TAB Sportsbet’s Matt Jenkins said.

So far, four teams (Tigers, Melbourne, Newcastle, Manly) has at one stage been rated favourite to win this year’s title. “It looks the most open competition we have ever seen,” Jenkins said.

Manly opened $7 favourite after winning last year’s premiership but punters have cooled on them. Manly are now $13 and will start outsider in the Grand Final rematch with the Warriors at Eden Park.    

Newcastle is expected to be the biggest improver this season. They are already $11 into $8 with punters expecting nothing short of a Top 4 spot.

Kurt Gidley ($31) and Darius Boyd ($34) will be key to any success and are at attractive prices in Dally M betting. 

Parramatta, with the signing of Chris Sandow, are rated a very good knockout chance.

“They are actually the fourth most popular team behind the Tigers, Newcastle and the Warriors,” Jenkins said.

“Their fans will be banking on the combination of Jarryd Hayne and Chris Sandow winning them plenty of games.”

2012 NRL PREMIERSHIP WINNER 
$6.00 Wests Tigers 
$7.00 Melbourne 
$8.00 Newcastle 
$9.00 Warriors 
$11.00 Brisbane 
$13.00 Manly 
$15.00 Bulldogs 
$15.00 North Qld 
$17.00 Souths 
$17.00 St George Ill
$21.00 Parramatta
$21.00 Penrith
$21.00 Syd Roosters 
$26.00 Canberra
$26.00 Cronulla 
$41.00 Gold Coast 

BIG BETS 
$10,000 at $9 Warriors (winner)
$10,000 at $6 Warriors (make GF)
$10,000 at $9 Warriors (minor premiers)
$8,500 at $11 Newcastle (winner)
$8,000 at $3.50 Gold Coast (Top 8)