The Sea Eagles are the surprise packet of the 2019 NRL season and have seen punters cash in 12 times already. Are they a chance at the big one in this form?

It was only a month ago we looked at Manly’s chances at finishing inside the top four on the NRL ladder. At the time, they were at $3.75 with many tipping a mini-collapse sooner rather than later. They’ve since thrashed the Titans, lost by a single point to the Rabbitohs, and put 36 points on the Eels in a game they should have won by a lot more than 12 points.

The Sea Eagles keep flying and are now $3 to sneak into the top four ahead of the Raiders ($1.70).

Tom Trbojevic’s return from injury and regular appearances in the side have seen the Sea Eagles build on the encouraging form they displayed earlier in the season. He’s reminded everybody that he is one of the best fullbacks in the NRL averaging 193 metres on 20 runs per game while breaking 5.8 tackles and registering 1.3 line breaks. With five tries and seven try assists already this season, the Sea Eagles are 6-0 when Tom plays in 2019.

Manly slogged through the opening stages of the season while Tom sat on the sidelines. His return has turned them into a genuine Top 8 side now expected to feature in September ($1.10).

Punters Pocketing

With so many tipping the Sea Eagles to spend most of the 2019 NRL season floating around the bottom of the ladder, their unexpected success has seen punters cash in as a result.

Currently 5th on the premiership ladder, the Sea Eagles have been exceeding market expectations all season to sit at the top of the against the spread rankings.

Their 12-5 record against the spread is the best in the competition, and while it’s by no means a sign of future success on the field, history suggests they’re in with a sniff of the premiership. Teams that have finished close to the top of the ATS ladder at the end of the season have gone on to win three of the last five premierships.

Year20142015201620172018
PremiersRabbitohsCowboysSharksStormRoosters
ATS Rank2nd12th6th2nd1st

Now, the Sea Eagles are still way out in the premiership market.

The Roosters remain favourites at $3.20 just in front of the Storm at $3.30. Meanwhile, the Rabbitohs are the best of the rest at $5.50 ahead of the Raiders at $11. You need to get down to the fifth line of betting to see the Sea Eagles at $15 – in from $34.

However, with Tom Trbojevic playing the way he is and Manly’s tendency to exceed expectations this year, you can’t rule out a fairytale finish.

NRL Markets

Futures: The Top 8 ($1.10), top four ($3) and premiership ($15) odds have all been covered off, but there is another worth looking into: Top Tryscorer.

With 11 tries so far in 2019, Reuben Garrick is just two behind Maika Sivo in the race to be the NRL’s leading tryscorer. With the Manly attack humming to average 30.2 points per game over their last four, it’s safe to assume Garrick slides over for a few more before the end of the season. On the fourth line of betting at $6.50, the rookie winger deserves a look.

Round 19: While the Sea Eagles have been travelling well up to this point, they face the top of the table Storm this week. This visit to Melbourne is their toughest game of the season so far and will act as a measuring stick for their premiership hopes.

As $3.35 and +8.5 underdogs, the Sea Eagles aren’t being given much of a chance on Saturday night. They face a rested and ready Storm side who will all but wrap up the minor premiership with another win here – their 10th on the bounce.

Anticipating a spirited fight from the Sea Eagles in a match they’ll have circled on the calendar, they should be able to keep it close enough to cover the +8.5 line.

Tip: Handicap – Sea Eagles +8.5 @ $1.87