The NRL is investigating suspicious betting activity on the fixture between the Cowboys and the Bulldogs last Saturday.
Virtually every bookmaker closed betting on the first scoring play after a surge in bets on a penalty goal for the Cowboys. This is typically not a popular bet. It is also a high odds bet, with odds typically around 12.00 to 13.00 for a home team penalty goal.
For the Cowboys vs. Bulldogs fixture the TAB Sportsbet odds plunged from 13.00 to 7.00 after bets started pouring in on Thursday. Sports Alive closed its market after a punter tried to wager $1000 at 8.00 odds. The most drastic odds drop may have occurred at Centrebet, where they fell from 13.00 to 3.00.
Ironically, the bet lost! This is despite the fact that the Cowboys were awarded an absolute sitter of a penalty right in front of the posts only nine metres out. The Cowboys opted instead for a quick tap and scored out wide to open the scoring. I’m sure the players who committed the penalty will be under investigation.
I would be interested to hear what happened at Betfair, where you can bet both for and against each outcome. I would love to lay a bet against a home team penalty goal at odds of 3.00!
This is the first case I’ve seen where the dubious betting concerned a losing bet. With the Briggs boxing scandal and the Davydenko match the heavily backed outcome won. I’m sure the fact that the Cowboys were awarded an easy penalty opportunity will be one of the motivations for the enquiry.