Bookies Still Don’t See Raiders as Title Contenders, Despite Big Win

Bookies Still Don’t See Raiders as Title Contenders, Despite Big Win

The NRL is only three games old this season and yet the upsets have been flowing. First it was the Sea Eagles getting past the Rabbitohs in Las Vegas and the Roosters outplaying the Broncos. Now, it’s the Canberra Raider’s turn to get in on the action. 

On Thursday night, the Canberra Raiders headed up the road to Newcastle and came away victorious over the Knights. Surprisingly, this strong start has actually had an adverse impact on the Raider’s Grand Final winner odds in 2024, with betting sites raising their odds this week.

News Insights

  • NRL 2024 begins with three upsets in a row
  • Canberra Raiders defeat Newcastle Knights 28-12
  • Bookies refuse to be influenced by Canberra’s positive start
  • Odds for the Raiders to win the Grand Final have lengthened

Canberra Raiders Impress in Opening Win Over Newcastle Knights

Heading into the 2024 NRL, few were expecting Canberra to begin their season well (except for us here at MyBettingAustralia).

But that’s exactly what they did, getting a crucial away win over last year’s semi-finalists the Newcastle Knights. Sure, it wasn’t the slickest of victories, with a grim brain-fade by Hudson Young slightly tarnishing the outcome. Regardless, the Raiders came away with two points from a match they were expected to lose. 

The first 65 minutes of the clash were about as tight as a game of league gets. Canberra started strong, picking up a penalty before adding a converted try to Zac Hosking inside the first half an hour. Newcastle pegged it back through Tyson Frizell soon after, however, to make it 8-6 at the break.

Another score for the Raiders in the 48th minute helped anchor their lead, before two quick tries to Savage and Rapana saw the outcome sealed. Both sides swapped late tries, with the match ending in a comfortable 28-12 win for Canberra.

Bookies Lengthen Their Odds Despite Victory for Raiders

Usually, when a side defies the odds and scores an impressive victory like the Raiders did, their outright betting odds will improve. However, betting apps have refused to view Canberra’s win in a positive light. In fact, bet365 has actually lengthened their odds for the Raiders to win the 2024 Grand Final after the result.

Prior to the start of round one, Canberra were paying 51.00 to win the NRL this year. Now, the side have slipped to 67.00 across most bookies. Newcastle have also seen a deterioration in their odds, moving from 23.00 to 26.00 at bet365.

Raiders Motivated by Wooden Spoon Talk

There’s a reason many bookies and experts are giving Canberra such a slim chance of winning the NRL this year.

Though they made the playoffs in 2023, since then, the Raiders have lost Dally M Medal winner Jack Wighton. With the five-eighth a crucial part of the Green Machine’s campaign last year, the expectation is the side will suffer in 2024 as a result. However, the Raiders are taking this talk as fuel for their season.

“It’s been a fun off-season,” said coach Ricky Stuart. “All the younger players have rejuvenated life and energy and when the senior boys came back after their rep commitments, they took the training to another standard. I’ve got to credit the buy-in from the whole group.”

Whether or not Canberra can sustain their impressive start to the season is another question. Next up, they face the West Tigers at home. With the Tigers having finished bottom of the table two years in a row, the Raiders have an excellent chance of going two from two to begin their 2024 campaign.

Upsets are flowing in the NRL this year, with the most recent being the Canberra Raiders win over the Newcastle Knights on Thursday. Despite the surprise result, bookmakers are refusing to take Canberra seriously in 2024, lengthening their outright betting odds after the victory.