With the NRL season finally underway, it’s time to write-off half of the competition while eight clubs claim it’s “the year” following Round 1 wins. There is plenty to get into in the first round review for the 2019 season.

Here’s how the week looked for punters:

Bulldogs Shorten For The Spoon

Many ‘experts’ tipped the Bulldogs to beat the Warriors in Round 1.

In the end, they didn’t come close.

Hammered 40-6 by a Warriors side blooding a new halfback and without their first-choice hooker, the Bulldogs have already climbed out as significant favourites in the Least Wins market. Opening the NRL season at $4, the Bulldogs have since dropped to $3.20 to finish the year holding the spoon.

Poor Penrith Panthers

Panthers to miss the Top 8 at $2.40, anybody?

Mentioned as the best bet for the Panthers in 2019 leading into Round 1, their price to miss the eight has already come in from $2.80.

Obviously, it’s only been 80 minutes. Nobody can read into much of anything so early in an NRL season. However, there will be some nerves at the foot of the mountains.

Ivan Cleary is meant to be the man to take the Panthers up a gear, but they’re still starting games in neutral.

The first 20 minutes next week could tell us a lot.

Hodgson Dally M Update

Josh Hodgson is one of the best players in the NRL.

People make have forgotten that in the last 12 months, though. Recovering from an ACL injury to play just 11 games in 2018, Hodgson wasn’t his best at the backend of the season. It takes 18 months before players start to look like themselves again following ACL injuries.

With a full offseason of rehab and recovery, Hodgson is ready to reclaim his place amongst the elite players in his position.

Instrumental in the Raiders 21-0 win over the Titans, the Englishman is already down to $19 to win the Dally M Medal. He opened as Canberra’s best bet at $26 before Round 1.

It’s early days, but there is going to be some stiff competition.

The hype train still has Kalyn Ponga as the favourite at $9. Last year’s winner, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is in the running at $12. However, Jason Taumalolo’s record-breaking 301 running metres has him looking like the best option at $13.

NRL Against The Spread Trends

It’s always best to proceed with caution when tipping favourites to start an NRL season.

They came up good in Round 1 for 2019, though.

Five of the eight favourites covered the spread while the Rabbitohs, Eels and Raiders not only covered as underdogs but won straight up.

Too early to read too much into any trends, it’s best to stick to historic data that puts the edge firmly with underdogs for the next month.

Knights1-0Sea Eagles0-1
Wests Tigers1-0Dragons0-1