Punters have abandoned the injury-plagued Bulldogs in their crunch match against Manly at Telstra Stadium on Saturday.
Despite the Dogs being competitive when losing to the Broncos last Sunday, and Manly battling to defeat Wests Tigers at Brookvale Oval, punters have launched into the Sea Eagles, with TAB Sportsbet holding $50,000 on them, compared with $300 on the Bulldogs.
"It's all one-way traffic for Manly both to win the game and with the 5.5 points start," said TAB Sportsbet spokesman Glenn Munsie.
"Manly haven't got a great record away from home but that hasn't stopped punters from backing them heavily. We took $5000 on them at $2.45 to win the game and that was followed up by two bets of $4000.
"As far as the handicap bets go, we took $12,000 on Many with the 5.5 at $1.85, then another $7000, and two bets of $6000."
Munsie said the other NRL match of most interest to punters was the clash between hapless South Sydney and Melbourne. "Punters are very keen to back Melbourne and give the 11.5 points start against Souths," he said. "The biggest bet was one of $12,000 on the Storm giving the start at $1.85, while there was a $15,000 multi-bet of Manly with 5.5 start into Melbourne giving 11.5 start at $3.42.
"We also accepted another multi-bet of $5000 on Manly to win into Melbourne with 11.5 start at $4.53."
Bill Hurley's Sportsbook.com.au spokesman Larry Hawke said the most interest with his agency this weekend was for Cronulla and Newcastle. "There was a bet of $7000 on Cronulla against Canberra at $1.82, while we took a bet of $10,000 on Newcastle with 2.5 points start against Wests Tigers at a quote of $1.90," Hawke said.
Munsie said a punter had placed a futures bet on North Queensland this week, despite their hammering by Parramatta last Sunday. "A punter had $10,000 on the Cowboys to win the minor premiership at $7.50," he said.