The current season of the NRL has been proceeding along quite nicely, with some good news from both the men’s league and the women’s league. New official products from the NRL have also become available, including the highly anticipated ISC Marvel Heroes jersey range, which could be bought from the NRL merchandise online shop following their debut during the 4th and 5th round. Barring the occasional news of suspension, the season has been solid.
Unless you are a punter, in which case, it’s been an absolute nightmare.
This year’s a horror on the punt, and it doesn’t try to be subtle, with the 2017 NRL regular season set to be the third season in four years wherein more than 1/3rd of the matches end in upsets. Meanwhile, club performance have also been as unpredictable; out of the 144 matches played during the 2017 season so far, 47 of them, approximately 32.6%, have been won by the underdog.
TAB.com, one of Australia’s largest sports betting sites, have released their data regarding the 2017 season’s results, and it shows why punters have been finding this season as unfavourable, with favourites losing matches with stunning regularity. Most notably, both Canberra Raiders and Penrith Panthers have lost six matches playing as the favourite.
For those brave and/or loyal punters that took a shot on the underdogs like the St. George Illawara Dragons, however, the season has been laughingly favourable, with these teams winning matches against favourites quite often. Of note are the Manly Sea Eagles, the St. George Illawara Dragons, and the Gold Coast Titans, who have all managed to win five matches as the underdog.
The year’s most unpredictable club however, is shaping up to be defending champion Cronulla Sharks, who have played in 10 upsets. Five of these matches they won as underdogs, but the other five were lost as favourites.
The data from TAB shows which teams are the safest to punt on, with the Newcastle Knights, the Brisbane Broncos and the Melbourne Storm all being involved in only 3 upset matches.
This season’s still has a bit to go for both punters and NRL merchandise online shop browsers, with quite a few matches to go before it matches 2015’s number of upsets, with 38% (77 matches) of the season’s 201 matches being upsets. That being said,2017 has already passed 2016 in terms of number of upsets, with the latter year having recorded 29% of its matches as upsets across its duration.