2017 NRL Grand Final Preview

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The NRL Grand Final is one of the biggest days on Australian Sporting calendar and history could be made in the 2016 edition.

The Cronulla Sharks have qualified for their first Grand Final since the Super League decider in 1997 and they may never have a better chance to win their maiden NRL Premiership.

Standing in their way is a Melbourne Storm outfit that have a host of big-game experience and have been the most consistent side in the competition all season long.

Will The Sharks finally win an elusive Premiership or will there be more success for the Storm? I have analysed both teams and below are a wide range of betting plays for a number of different betting markets.

Cronulla Sharks Vs Melbourne Storm

Sunday 2 October, 6.15pm (AEST), 7.15pm (AEDT), ANZ Stadium

There is very little between these two teams in betting and the Melbourne are only very narrow favourites.

Melbourne have only lost five games in 2016 and the majority of those came in games in which they were missing Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk.

The Storm are just a consistent side that keep performing season after season and they have actually improved in 2016 edition with a full-season from Cameron Munster as well as two of the most exciting wingers in the game in the form of Suliasi Vunivalu and Marika Koroibete.

Melbourne play the perfect style of rugby league for a Grand Final and there is little doubt that they will be able to handle the big occasion.

The Storm have won 19 of their past 22 games as favourites for a sizeable profit and they have won nine of their past 10 games as favourites against the Sharks.

Cronulla only ground out a win over Canberra in the opening week of the finals, but they were nothing short of outstanding against the North Queensland Cowboys in the preliminary final.

Their forwards simply out-enthused the Cowboys pack and there is little doubt that their backline is the most underrated in the entire competition.

Cronulla have been an excellent betting play throughout the 2016 NRL season and they have won five of their past eight games as underdogs for a healthy profit.

The real issue for the Sharks is their truly horrid record against Melbourne as well as the fact that they have only a couple of players with any Grand Final experience.

The market has got this game just about right, but there is one betting market where there is still plenty of value.

I expect this to be a very low-scoring affair and the under has been a profitable betting play in 18 of the past 26 games played by the Storm as well as the majority of Sharks games this weekend.

Back Under 34 Points

First Try Scorer

Suliasi Vunivalu ($7) is a dominant favourite from Marika Koroibete ($10), Valentine Holmes ($10), Sosaia Feki ($11) and Ben Barba ($12).

Vunivalu is a try-scoring machine, but there is no doubt that he is a touch of unders at his current price.

The one winger that does appeal at their current price is Holmes.

Holmes is capable of scoring from any part of the field and he is more than capable of taking advantage of any deficiencies in the defence of the Storm wingers.

The forward that is excellent value at their current price is Storm forward Kevin Proctor.

Proctor is a very dangerous runner close to the line and he has scored the first try for the Storm three times already this season.

Back Valentine Holmes @ $10 & Kevin Proctor @ $21

Clive Churchill Medal

There are no better big game players in the NRL than Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk and it comes as no surprise that they are the clear favourites in Clive Churchill Medal betting.

Kicking in general play is sure to be crucial in what will be a very tight-affair and because of that I believe that Cronk will be crucial.

He has already won the Clive Churchill Medal once back in 2012 and he has an excellent chance to become the first player since Bradley Clyde in 1991 to win the Clive Churchill Medal on multiple occasions.

The value in Clive Churchill betting markets is Luke Lewis.

Lewis is not often rated up there with Michael Ennis, James Maloney and Paul Gallen as the Shark’s most important players, but he is easily their most consistent and he has a stack of big-game experience.

The $23 currently on offer is well over the odds.

Back Cooper Cronk @ $7 & Luke Lewis @ $23

NRL Grand Final Money Wire

The Ladbrokes Money Wire delivers you information on the big bets, key markets and all the moves ahead of the NRL Grand Final.