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In what was a topsy-turvy start to the season – where perfect rounds of tipping were few and far between and some punters were left either tearing their hair out or crying into their drinks – many fans were left bewildered as to where it all went wrong.
Many found solace in each other as they pondered over their failed tips – reassuring one another that it was only Round 1 and that there is plenty of time to bounce back.
After all was said and done for Round 1 of the 2014 Telstra Premiership, the Panthers and Eels sit atop the NRL ladder with high-flyers the Rabbitohs and Storm – to the surprise of not a few.
However the fluky early form has not swayed punters, according to Sportsbet.com.au.
While the Panthers moved in from $21 to $15 to take out the 2014 title following their big win over Newcastle, it is the Rabbitohs at $4.75 who are currently favourites to win the competition. Premiers the Roosters have dropped back to second favourites after their loss to the Bunnies, slipping back to $5, while the Storm firmed to third favourite – closing in from $9 to $7. The Sea Eagles round out the top four of premiership betting at $9.
Despite getting trashed by the Eels, the Warriors are sixth favourite to take home the Provan-Summons trophy – firming to $13.
Following their first-up wins, the Broncos ($26 into $17) and the North Queensland Cowboys ($15 to $13) also firmed in premiership betting. With these sides going head to head in the big Queensland derby on Friday night, the Cowboys ($1.75) are currently favourites to beat their older brother.
The Wests Tigers have firmed to $2.50 favourites to win the fewest games this season, while firming to $4 favourites to be left holding the wooden spoon after their first-start loss to St George Illawarra – the Tigers attracting three times more money than any other side in this line of betting.
After his impressive showing last Thursday night, South Sydney’s Greg Inglis remains the favourite for the Dally M Medal – Inglis firming from $8 to $4.50.
Curiously, Melbourne’s Cooper Cronk firmed into $10 and third favourite to win the medal for a second consecutive year - despite playing no part in the Storm’s golden-point thriller against Manly - while the Roosters' Sonny Bill Williams remains at $12 (and fifth favourite) despite being suspended for the next three matches.
Looking forward to this week, last-start winners St George Illawarra ($3.65 v Warriors), Parramatta ($3.65 v Roosters) and Penrith ($3.20 v Storm) are distant outsiders, while Newcastle currently remain favourites to topple the Raiders despite the lingering fitness doubts over captain Kurt Gidley and the loss of fullback Darius Boyd.