The State of Origin rugby league series is one of the most keenly anticipated events on the Australian sporting calendar. The event, which is played on an annual basis, features a three match series between the Queensland Maroons and the New South Wales Blues.
The State of Origin Series evokes strong partisan sentiments amongst spectators, as selection for the two teams is determined by the state in which professional players first began playing the game at senior level. State of Origin Series matches draw large attendances, with millions more tuning in to the games from around the world.
The schedule for the State of Origin Series falls in the middle of the National Rugby League season, thereby ensuring that players are at peak fitness when participating in the series. During its history the State or Origin Series has produced very balanced results with neither state managing to dominate for long periods of time.
State of Origin Series Betting
Interest in the State of Origin Series is not confined to Australasia, but it is Australian sportsbooks that provide the greatest depth in betting markets for these three matches. UK bookmakers also offer a more limited selection of markets for these matches, enabling rugby league fans to back teams in both handicap and match betting markets.
Antepost State of Origin Series betting markets are the easiest markets to come by across a broad range of bookmakers, with top sportsbooks running these markets 12 months of the year. Prices are rarely high in value, which means that use of an odds comparison service can be invaluable when attempting to extract maximum benefit from these markets.
State of Origin Series History
Matches between state teams from Queensland and New South Wales date back to 1908, and were played intermittently for the first several decades of the 20th century. These matches tended to be sparsely attended, and the concept enjoyed more popularity in Queensland than in New South Wales.
During the 1970s the Australian Rugby League made the decision to revitalise the tournament by borrowing a concept that had been implemented with great success in Australian Rules football. This involved selecting players for the regional teams based on their home state, rather than the state in which they played their club rugby.
The decision to change the selection format for the interstate series proved to be a winning recipe. The inaugural State of Origin matches, using the new selection criteria, drew unexpectedly large crowds. From the 1980s onward the popularity of the series grew steadily, despite occasional amendments to the policies used to select players for the participating states.