2017 Rugby League World Cup Preview: Australia hot favourites to retain crown

We are all set for an epic 2017 Rugby League World Cup, which kicks off on Friday with a scorching clash between Australia and England, and it's the former that will be looking to kick off their campaign with a win, as they head into the hotly-anticipated tournament as the reigning champions having trounced New Zealand in the 2013 final 34-2.

  • Australia won the last Rugby League World Cup
  • New Zealand shocked Australia with victory in 2008 competition
  • England last reached final in 1995

Friday 27th October - 10.00am OddsWon/LostBet
2017 Rugby League World Cup Tips    
Tips Billy Slater to be top tryscorer    Best Bet @ 14 / 1  
England to reach final @ 11 / 10  

Australia Clear Favourites

A shock 34-20 defeat to New Zealand in the 2008 Rugby League World Cup final saw Australia's stranglehold on the competition relinquish, but the Kangaroos bounced back to form with aplomb in the last tournament finale, and it's no surprise to see them installed as the red-hot favourites for this year's event.

A red-hot 2/9 favourite with Ladbrokes, Australia are man-for-man the best team in the world, and are sure to be the ones to beat again, and they will be looking to hit the ground running on Friday as they host England in one of the matches of the tournament, and with that pair likely to dominate Group A then Friday's clash could determine who grabs top spot.

Likely Challengers

Since the competition has been expanded it has seen the emergence of a plethora of one-sided matches, and to be truthful there are only a few teams that could feasibly challenge Australia for glory, and the most likely duo are New Zealand and England, who are second and third in the betting.

Having been thrashed in the 2013 final, New Zealand have struggled to live with their nearest rivals, Australia, and they are as big as 10/1 with Betway to win the tournament, and it's England that are the second favourites, but at 8/1 with Unibet it's hard to see them having enough firepower to down a rampant Australia side.

So, with that in mind it's the race for the final before those two nations that could be the most intriguing, and with Australia too short in the betting then it could be Wayne Bennett's England that could book a final spot against the Kangaroos, and at 5/4 with Betfair that is the bet of the competition.

Tonga are fourth favourites at 25/1 with Betfred, and they could be a thorn in New Zealand's side in Group B, while Samoa add more depth to that pool, and are a best-priced 80/1 with Unibet to be shock winners of the Rugby League World Cup, which concludes on December 2.
Tournament Odds:

Top Tryscorer Betting

Australia's Valentine Holmes has been installed as the 6/1 favourite to be crowned top tryscorer with Betfair, while Dane Gagai at 8/1, and Jordan Rapana at 12s are another pair that sit at the head of the betting, but this is the market to get stuck into some value, and it's surely going to come down to who can score tries against the minnows of the tournament.

Some more attractive outside betting propositions include New Zealand's Jason Nightingale, who is 33/1 with Ladbrokes, while England's Ryan Hall (16/1) and Jermaine McGillvary (25/1) are another eye-catching duo, but the 14/1 about Australia's Billy Slater being the top tryscorer is too good to miss, as the inspirational full-back is still one of the sport's finest talents, and that price with Coral is worth snapping up.
Top Tryscorer Odds:

Posted: Wednesday, 25th October 2017
Author: Steve Chambo

Archive - Previous 5 Rugby-league Articles

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