Aussies on top again
Sky Bet's rugby league expert tells us where the smart money is going in this year's World Cup.
By Jordan Fiddes - Twitter: @SkyJordanFiddes
Last Updated: 16/10/13 8:26am
Australia are once again favourites to lift the Rugby League World Cup in 2013. However, their price has shortened from what it was prior to the last tournament.
This year, the Aussies are still odds-on at 1/3 but they'll be looking for a new leader on the field after the retirement of legend Darren Lockyer in 2011.
They may look no further than this year's Dally M winner, Cooper Cronk - who is 33/1 to be the tournament's top-scorer.
That's unlikely given his team-mate and favourite - Darius Boyd - is as short as 9/4 in that market though.
The full-back was named Newcastle's player of the year for 2013 and is likely to appear on the wing during much of the World Cup.
Where Australia have drifted since 2008, the holders have shortened to 4/1.
Although it was an Australian side who won the NRL Grand Final this year in the Sydney Roosters, four members of their team have been called up to the Kiwi squad.
Sonny Bill Williams made a controversial U-turn to be added into the New Zealand party which saw them shortened dramatically to make the final - they are now just 10/11.
Betting with pride
Playing in front of their home fans, Steve McNamara's men will have plenty of pressure on them and none more so, New Zealand-bound Sam Tomkins.
The Wigan flyer is the shortest price for a full-back at 11/2 to be the top try-scorer in this year's World Cup, while his teammate - and Super League's top-scorer- Josh Charnley is just 9/2 to be England's best finisher.
There will also be plenty of support for the other home nations with Scotland the shortest - after England - in the outright markets.
Of course, newly-crowned Man of Steel Danny Brough will be the key to any form of success for the Scots and they are just 11/4 to win Group C, which also includes Tonga and Italy.
Tonga - up against Steve McCormack's Scotland in their opening game - will again be popular among supporters and punters alike, despite a lacklustre performance at the 2008 tournament.
They have been handed a favourable draw and are as short as 5/6 to win all their group games.
Much like Tonga and Samoa, Fiji will be represented by a number of NRL stars, most notably former Australia international Petero Civoniceva.
The power-house forward has prompted the 'Bati' to halve their odds from the last World Cup, however they are still a massive 250/1 to go all the way.
Although the Islanders will have three Super League players in their ranks, they are yet to win a game in the World Cup.
However, 2013 might be their chance given they are up against the tournament outsiders - the Tomohawks - and are 2/5 to win just a single game.