State of Origin Preview & Betting Guide
Ever since its inception in 1980, State of Origin has become one of the biggest events in Australian Sport and one of the most popular markets in Rugby League, second only in volume and importance to the NRL Grand Final.
The rivalry between New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland (QLD) in Rugby League was always intense, however, on one fateful winter’s night in July 1980, it reached boiling point.
It was thought the game would be a ‘novelty’. However, when Parramatta club teammates Arthur Beetson and Mick Cronin started throwing punches at each other, even the critics could not deny that something very special had been unearthed.
In the years since, the State of Origin series has grown in leaps-and-bounds, going from a stand-alone match to an annual three game series, a multimedia extravaganza.
From playing at Lang Park in 1980 in front of 19,000, to selling out two of Australia’s biggest venues, ANZ Stadium, or the MCG with over 91 500 screaming fans, State of Origin now pits the best players in the NRL from QLD and NSW against each other in a three-game series for the coveted State of Origin Shield.
It’s been dubbed ‘the toughest game in rugby league’ and matches in 2018 (Melbourne), 2019 (Perth), 2020 (Adelaide) are being taken outside the traditional Brisbane and Sydney ‘heartland’.
2018 State of Origin Matches Venues and Dates
Game 1: Wednesday June 6 2018
New South Wales vs Queensland, MCG, 8.00pm AEST
Game 2: Sunday June 24 2018
New South Wales vs Queensland, ANZ Stadium, 8.00pm AEST
Game 3: Wednesday July 11 2018
Queensland vs New South Wales, Suncorp Stadium, 8.00pm AEST
2019 State of Origin Matches Venues and Dates
Game 1: To be announced (TBA) May 2019, Australia, Venue and Kick-off TBA.
Game 2: TBA June 2019, Perth Stadium, Perth, WA, Australia, Kick-off TBA
Game 3: TBA July 2019, Australia, Venue and Kick-off TBA.
State of Origin is widely considered to be the pinnacle of Rugby League and it is played at a faster speed and stronger intensity than the international game. Players from New South Wales and Queensland ‘leave’ their club NRL sides for 6 weeks, every mid-May to July and return to play for their ‘State of Origin’.
The matches have their roots from a time (1956-80) when Queensland players were poached by the wealthy poker-machine-funded clubs from Sydney (at a time when poker machines and casinos were banned in Queensland) and Queensland’s own players were denied the right to play for their home state.
As famous Australian comedian Paul Hogan (who would later become the world-famous Crocodile Dundee) put it;
“Every time Queensland produces a good footballer, he finishes up being processed through a New South Wales poker machine.” (Paul Hogan, 1977)
To add insult to injury, Queensland players playing in Sydney were forced to play for New South Wales if they wanted to be considered eligible to represent Australia.
This gave a significant advantage to New South Wales as the movement of players south was far greater than the movement north.
Former Queensland captain and Australian vice-captain Jack Reardon, who later became a journalist, was the first to suggest that Sydney-based Queenslanders should be available for selection to represent their home state. This would not eventuate until many decades later, however, when New South Wales and Queensland played their first “state of origin” match on 8 July 1980.
Given the history, these matches are virtually interstate warfare played out on a Rugby League field.
State of Origin Matches are seen on Live Streaming services in over 185 countries.
State of Origin Stats
- Most Consecutive Games Won:8 games – Queensland from Game 3 1987 – Game 3 1989
- Most Consecutive Series Won:8 – Queensland (2006 – 2013)
- Largest Winning Margin:46 points – Queensland 52-6 New South Wales in Game 3, 2015
- Queensland’s Mal Meninga (2006-2015) holds State of Origin coaching records for the most games (33), most wins (22) and most series victories (9).
Understanding all the State of Origin Odds
State of Origin odds provide you with a tool to calculate how much your payout will be when/if you successfully win your bet. Bookmakers use the decimal system in Australia when determining all sports betting odds.
Using the example of a State of Origin match; a sports betting site sets the odds for Queensland at $1.95 and New South Wales at $2.65. The state with the lower dollar figure is the betting favourite. Simply multiply your bet by the odds number. Using the above scenario, a successful $10 bet on Queensland will pay out $19.50, while the same successful $10 bet on New South Wales would pay out $26.50 if you’re a winner.
Betting sites provide several different odds – Straight, line and the Margin
The straight bet is simply picking the winner of the game.
The line, also known as the point-spread, gives or takes away a pre-set number of points. Using the example above, the bookmakers believe North Queensland is the weaker side, so they will “give” them extra points. In our above example, if New South Wales is given 6.5 points start, and still the lose the game by a converted try (i.e. 6 points) and you have bet on the Blues, you’re still a winner!
With a margin bet, your bet is on how many points the winning team will win by. The final score isn’t as important as the margin of victory, which is usually offered at +/- 12 points (Two converted tries).
With the State of Origin series, correct series score bets are also available, (e.g. NSW 2-1, NSW 3-0, QLD 2-1 or QLD 3-0).
Special State of Origin Betting Types
In addition to the above, special betting types are usually released a day or two before each game in the State of Origin series;
- First Try Scorer– This betting market is usually available on which team will score the first try OR on a specific player.
- Head-to head most tries– This betting market pits two opposing players against each other, to see who gets the most tries in the match.
- Extra time? – Will the game extend past the 80-minutes of regulation time into golden-point-extra-time?
- Total match points– Over/under or the exact number of points that will be scored during the match.
- First/second half points– The game is divided into two halves. Bet on each half in isolation.
- Pick your own line– If you aren’t pleased with the official line, some have markets that allow you to choose your own line bet.