Grand Final day is always a great day. If you’re at the game, the atmosphere is electric. If you’re at home, the barbecue is probably burning and the beers are cold. Whichever way you slice it, the feeling the Grand Final brings to NRL fans is better than our birthdays. What’s better than that feeling is picking a winner and making some coin in the process.
Time to dive into the best bets on offer for Grand Final day.
Many fans around the league will likely be putting their natural allegiances on hold for the duration of this one and picking up the pom-poms for the boys from the North.
The North Queensland Cowboys have become every NRL fan’s second team as this team of destiny, without their co-captains Matt Scott and future immortal Jonathan Thurston take the field in what will be the final game of their unlikely finals run.
The Cowboys dispatched the Roosters on the back of sheer brilliance and game management by Michael Morgan and clinical, mistake free footy from the rest of the pack.
The Storm are off the back of a 30-0 thumping of the Broncos. The Storm could have piled on at least another three tries had their first half not been so poorly executed.
Looking at history in this one doesn’t bode well for the Cowboys. 7 of the last 9 Grand finals have been won and covered by the favourites. However, 3 of 7 double digit favourites have covered.
Where this game will be won will be in the middle stanza. The Cowboys have the discipline and resilience to withstand any type of early pressure the Storm will throw at them. What will be key to this match is how the Cowboys manage the 20 minutes either side of half time.
The Cowboys have played more footy than the Storm including an additional game and an extra 10 minutes against the sharks. The Cowboys are much more banged up than the Storm. Feldt, Lowe and Winterstein seem to be the walking wounded at times. With Bellamy, Smith, Cronk and Slater as their opposition, they could be found out and targeted.
I’d imagine the Cowboys will be overwhelmed at the 50 minute mark. With their resolve heavily tested, I’m expecting them to finally crack and the Storm will roll while piling on the points in the final 20 minutes.
Melbourne showed last week that they can misfire at the start of games and with this, having a ticket involving Melbourne leading by a close margin at half time could be phenomenal value.
By Nik Hatzi