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Manly Finally Favourites

22 Sep 11 08:53
With only 4 teams left in the NRL competition we are right down to the business end of the season and it's no surprise to me that Manly has finally come into favourtism.  They've been under the radar for a while now, but the market has woken up to the threat and got the price right at 2.76 for them to win the competition.

Of course they've been helped by the fact that Broncos knocked out the Dragons and then have had Lockyer pull out of the next match, but with the sort of high-intensity football we see in finals you have to expect that injuries can (and will) happen.  That's why I was very happy to leave my big fat green on Manly during thier week off and have now seen them shorten from 4.30 to 2.76 without them even having to take the field ! Laugh

Yet this *IS* a finals series and anything can happen, so I'm taking the opporuntity now to cover my exposure on the other finalists by laying my initial Manly stake (backed at 5.50 in early August) off at 2.76.  This still leaves me with a large green on Manly but I don't have any downside should there be an upset.

Brisbane will get Thiaday back for this weekend.  He'll add plenty of fire and passion to the Bronco pack, but without the experience and leadership of Lockyer to steer the team around the park I am expecting the young broncos to wilt as the game wears on and there is every chance that Manly will blow them off the park by 20 if they can resume at the intensity where they finished off during the Cowboys game.

I still think that Melbourne are over-rated and thier performance against Newcastle was hardly convincing.  The Warriors would have taken a lot of confidence from thier upset win over the Tigers and if the bounce of the ball goes thier way they are capable of anything.  I'd expect the Warriors to approach the game with Melbourne with nothing to fear as I believe the pressure is right off them.  Nobody expects the Warriors to win and therefore they will be dangerous.  They've upset Melbourne in finals football before so I'm laying Manly for a tiny bit extra and I've used that to add a side bet on the Warriors at 8.00

Hence, a Manly v Warriors grand final would suit me down to the ground and if it goes this way we should see Manly into a sub 1.60 price on the big day.
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