2018 State of Origin Game 2 – NSW v QLD – Preview & Betting Tips

The following is a preview with betting tips for Game 2 of the 2018 State of Origin Series. Origin betting promotions are also listed for those who live outside NSW.

Last year Queensland won the series for the 11th time in 12 years but NSW only need to win one of the next two games after they won Game 1 22-12 at the MCG. The Blues were impressive in Game 1, but the same could be said after Game 1 last year. In 2017 NSW went on to blow a healthy lead in Game 2 before getting blown out in Game 3, so they will be wary of avoiding the same demise this series.

2018 State of Origin Schedule

Each game will be televised on Channel Nine.

Game 1 – Melbourne – MCG
Wednesday, 6 June, 8:00 PM AEST
Referees: Gerard Sutton, Ashley Klein
NSW 22-12 QLD (8–6 at halftime)

NSW tries:
James Tedesco (22′)
Latrell Mitchell (48′)
Tom Trbojevic (51′)
Josh Addo-Carr (70′)

QLD tries:
Valentine Holmes (28′)
Dane Gagai (43′)

Game 2 – Sydney – ANZ Stadium
Sunday, 24 June 2018, 8:00 PM AEST

Game 3 – Brisbane – Suncorp Stadium
Wednesday, 11 July 2018, 8:00 PM AEST

State of Origin History

Below are the State of Origin results since 2000. The background shading donates the game location while the text colour denotes the game winner.

Year Winner W L D Game 1 Game 2 Game 3
2000 NSW 3 0 0 NSW 20-16 QLD
QLD 10-28 NSW
NSW 56-6 QLD
2001 QLD 2 1 0 QLD 34-16 NSW
NSW 26-8 QLD
QLD 40-14 NSW
2002 QLD 1 1 1 NSW 32-4 QLD
QLD 26-18 NSW
NSW 18-18 QLD
2003 NSW 2 1 0 QLD 12-25 NSW
NSW 27-4 QLD
QLD 36-6 NSW
2004 NSW 2 1 0 NSW 9-8 QLD
QLD 22-18 NSW
NSW 34-16 QLD
2005 NSW 2 1 0 QLD 24-20 NSW
NSW 32-22 QLD
QLD 10-32 NSW
2006 QLD 2 1 0 NSW 17-16 QLD
QLD 30-6 NSW
NSW 14-16 QLD
2007 QLD 2 1 0 QLD 25-18 NSW
NSW 6-10 QLD
QLD 4-18 NSW
2008 QLD 2 1 0 NSW 18-10 QLD
QLD 30-0 NSW
NSW 10-16 QLD
2009 QLD 2 1 0 QLD 28-18 NSW
NSW 14-24 QLD
QLD 16-28 NSW
2010 QLD 3 0 0 NSW 24-28 QLD
QLD 34-6 NSW
NSW 18-23 QLD
2011 QLD 2 1 0 QLD 16-12 NSW
NSW 18-8 QLD
QLD 34-24 NSW
2012 QLD 2 1 0 NSW 10-18 QLD
NSW 16-12 QLD
QLD 21-20 NSW
2013 QLD 2 1 0 NSW 14-6 QLD
QLD 26-6 NSW
NSW 10-12 QLD
2014 NSW 2 1 0 QLD 8-12 NSW
QLD 32-8 NSW
2015 QLD 2 1 0 NSW 10-11 QLD
QLD 18-26 NSW
QLD 52-6 NSW
2016 QLD 2 1 0 NSW 4-6 QLD
QLD 26-16 NSW
NSW 18-14 QLD
2017 QLD 2 1 0 QLD 4-28 NSW
NSW 16-18 QLD
QLD 22-6 NSW
2018         NSW 22-12 QLD


Home advantage has been historically important, with New South Wales holding a 15-1-9 record in Sydney while Queensland are 18-7 in Brisbane since 2000. Sydney has been a decent hunting ground for Queensland since 2007, however, with the Maroons going 9-6 at this venue.

2018 State of Origin Game 2 Squads

New South Wales

1. James Tedesco, 2. Tom Trbojevic, 3. Latrell Mitchell, 4. James Roberts, 5. Josh Addo-Carr, 6. James Maloney, 7. Nathan Cleary, 8. David Klemmer, 9. Damien Cook, 10. Matt Prior, 11. Boyd Cordner (c), 12. Tyson Frizell, 13. Jack de Belin
Interchange: 14. Paul Vaughan, 15. Jake Trbojevic, 16. Angus Crichton, 17. Tyrone Peachey
18th man: Ryan James
19th man: Tariq Sims
20th man: Luke Kearey
Coach: Brad Fittler

Matt Prior will make his debut for NSW after Reagan Campbell-Gillard was ruled out for the rest of the series with a broken jaw. James Maloney and Latrell Mitchell have both been named to play, despite having injury concerns. There are no other changes to the squad that got the job done in Game 1, despite featuring 11 debutants. Brad Fittler was rewarded for selecting players based on form rather than reputation so there’s no need to change that approach.

The Blues will be confident they can wrap up this series on Sunday. They just need to avoid any complacency after letting a handy lead in Game 2 slip this time last year. NSW will also be wary that 5 of the last 7 winners of Game 1 went on to lose Game 2. If the game is close their self-belief will be sternly tested. The other issue is the Blues will be sweating on the fitness of James Maloney, with Luke Kearey named as 20th man as cover. Reagan Campbell-Gillard’s absence is a blow after he had a strong showing in Game 1. Matt Prior’s selection came as a surprise to many.


1. Billy Slater, 2. Valentine Holmes, 3. Greg Inglis (c), 4. Will Chambers, 5. Dane Gagai, 6. Cameron Munster, 7. Ben Hunt, 8. Dylan Napa, 9. Andrew McCullough, 10. Jarrod Wallace, 11. Gavin Cooper, 12. Felise Kaufusi, 13. Josh McGuire.
Interchange: 14. Kalyn Ponga, 15. Josh Papalii, 16. Coen Hess, 17. Jai Arrow
18th man: Tim Glasby
Coach: Kevin Walters

Like NSW, Queensland have only made one change to the starting side from Game 1. Fullback Billy Slater has been named after being a late withdrawal from the opener due to a hamstring injury. He hasn’t played for the Storm since the injury, but with the likes of Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Johnathan Thurston now departed, Queensland will be keen to have his experience on the field. Kalyn Ponga has been called up to the interchange to replace Michael Morgan, who has been ruled out for the season with a bicep injury. Anthony Milford has been overlooked. Despite concerns over his ankle, Dylan Napa has been named in the starting side. Tim Glasby has been named as 18th man as cover for Napa.

Queensland will hope their forward pack can lift for this clash. A number of players, including Jarrod Wallace and Dylan Napa, will have to lift their games after disappointing individual showings in Game 1. Ben Hunt was playing with an injury in Game 1, so Queensland will be hoping he can be more productive in Game 2 with better fitness. With Billy Slater still under an injury cloud, the Maroons will be ruing the injury to Michael Morgan. The Queensland faithful will be hoping for a strong showing from the promising 20-year-old Kalyn Ponga, who is on debut. It will be interesting to see where they play him.

ANZ Stadium history

Fixtures at ANZ Stadium tend to have lower total scores and narrower winning margins than at Suncorp Stadium Stadium. Since 2000, the average total score is 39.4 in Brisbane compared to 31.7 in Sydney. During this time, 10 games were won by 1-12 points and 15 games were won by 13+ points in Brisbane. In contrast, 20 games were won by 1-12 points and just 5 games were won by 13+ points in Sydney. Since 2005 the disparity has grown even larger, with all 17 games in Sydney won by 12 points or less, compared to eight 1-12 results and ten 13+ results in Brisbane.

Weather forecast

The Sydney weather forecast for Sunday is mostly sunny with a 20% chance of a late shower.

Bookmaker odds comparison

You can compare up-to-date bookmaker odds across numerous State of Origin markets in the bookmaker odds section.

Game 2 odds and markets can be viewed here.

Betting Tips


At the time of writing the best odds for NSW were 1.38 (bet365, CrownBet) while the best odds for Queensland were 3.55 (Betfair).

If anything the 22-12 scoreline in Game 1 flattered Queensland, whose intercept try added some respectability to the scoreboard. While the Maroons bounced back well from their Game 1 defeat last year, this season’s squad lacks the experience of Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Johnathan Thurston, plus there’s no guarantee that Billy Slater will be 100% fit. Queensland should put in an improved performance in Game 2, with the promising Kalyn Ponga getting a lot of attention after being named for the first time, however NSW have good room for upside too after playing Game 1 with a new-look squad that contained 11 debutants.

I predict NSW will win, so if I were to bet on the head-to-head market I would take NSW at 1.38 (bet365, CrownBet).


Most bookmakers have set an over/under mark of 34.5 or 35.5.

Origin fixtures at ANZ Stadium have averaged 26.9 total points since 2007. Since 2011 the average total has been just 22.6 and since 2013 the average total is 21.3.

In terms of Game 2 totals, since 2008 the average has been 32.8, with an average of 29.7 points for Game 2 fixtures at ANZ Stadium.

With a chance of showers during the game as well, I would back the unders.

Back under 35.5 at 1.91 (Ladbrokes, TopBetta)

Winning Margin

The 12.5 margin odds at the time of writing are:

NSW By 1-12: 2.80 (Sportsbet)
NSW By 13+: 2.65 (bet365)
QLD By 1-12: 4.50 (BlueBet)
QLD By 13+: 11.0 (Sportsbet)
Draw: 21.0 (Mad Bookie)

Of the 25 games played in Sydney since 2000, 20 were won by 1-12 points and just 5 were won by 13+ points. Since 2005, all 17 games in Sydney were settled by 12 points or less. Given the Blues’ favouritism and the strong trend for close scorelines, I would opt for NSW by 1-12.

Back NSW 1-12 at 2.80 (Sportsbet)

Exacta and quinella markets for first & second try scorer

For those who enjoy high-odds wagering, Sportsbet offers exacta and quinella markets for the first and second try scorers in the State of Origin.

An exacta wager is a bet on the first and second try scorers in correct order. A quinella wager is a bet on the first two try scorers in either order. Note that the first and second try scorers could be the same person. The quinella odds range from 34.00 to 401.00 and the exacta odds range from 56.00 to 426.00.

To view the markets, go to the Sportsbet State of Origin page, click on the upcoming fixture, then scroll down and expand the ‘Player Markets’ tab.

Historically the best players to include in Origin exacta and quinella wagers are QLD wingers (Valentine Holmes and Dane Gagai) and NSW centres (Latrell Mitchell & James Roberts), however based on the form of James Tedesco and Josh Addo-Carr, I would consider combinations involving them as well. Latrell Mitchell is under an injury cloud, so I would be inclined to leave him out.

Man of the match

For NSW, James Tedesco and Damien Cook were outstanding in Game 1, while Josh Addo-Carr has the potential to be a game winner. They’re available at:

Damien Cook – 9.00 (Unibet)
James Tedesco – 10.00 (William Hill)
Josh Addo Carr – 51.00 (CrownBet)

I’ve left out James Maloney because he might not be at full fitness for this match.

Given he’s a proven try scorer and will have the kicking duties, which could determine the game if it’s tight, Valentine Holmes is a cheeky selection for Queensland:

Valentine Holmes – 67.00 (bet365)

Compare the man of the match odds


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