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View From Down Under: NRL Season a Tight One for Punters

Rugby League is one of Australia’s favorite sports, and this season has already shown that any team can beat any team on their day, which makes it even more attractive to watch, but the downfall is it’s been tough to bet on.

Round 8 of the NRL season was run and won last weekend, and it left punters with no fingernails whatsoever. Across the eight matches, seven of them were decided by six points or less.

Out of those, four were upsets, with the Parramatta Eels, Wests Tigers, Manly Sea Eagles and the Gold Coast Titans all winning at huge odds.

Jarryd Hayne was named the best player on the field for his club – the Gold Coast Titans – as they stunned the reigning Premier Cronulla Sharks 16-12 last Saturday night at the odds of $3.75 (+275).

Round 9 kicks off in Brisbane on Thursday night when the Broncos ($1.42) host the Panthers ($2.90), while the “Hayne Plane” is back in action on Saturday when his Titans are at the short quote of $1.24 to beat the Knights ($4.15 or +315).

The AFL is as popular as the NRL, and given that the ANZAC games were attended by crowds of 85,000 and 87,000 respectively, popularity for Australia’s native game is at an all-time high.

The next round kicks off on Friday night with a clash between the reigning Premiers – the Western Bulldogs – and Greater Western Sydney Giants, the club that many think will take their mantle this season.

In betting, the Dogs are $3.42 (+242) to win this match, given it’s at the Giants’ home ground. The hosts are at $1.32 (-312) for the win and are equal favorite with the Adelaide Crows at $4 (+300) to win the flag (the flag is the Premiership flag that the Premiership team unfurls at their first home game of the next season), with this week’s opponent on the second line of betting at $7 (+600) to defend their crown.

As usual, there’s plenty going on in the sport of kings. On Friday, we’ll take a look at Hawkesbury Guineas Day in Sydney before heading south to Melbourne for Thoroughbred Club Cup Day, a nine-race card at Caulfield.

We are down to only four teams in the A-League Soccer competition as we enter semifinal weekend.

First up, the all-conquering Sydney FC are at the short price of $1.45 or -222 to progress to the Grand Final with Perth Glory at $6.50 (+550) to cause one of the biggest upsets in the history of the league. In the other semi, Melbourne Victory ($1.80 or -125) can book their place in the big dance with a win over Brisbane ($4.33 or +333) at home on Sunday. The visitors are clocking up the frequent flyer (air miles) points this week as they play an Asian Champions League contest in Thailand on Wednesday night, before making the trip south to Melbourne.

The 15,000 kilometers (9,300 miles) that they’ll travel this week could well spell the end of their season.

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