The 2021 State of Origin campaign gets underway on Wednesday with Queensland and New South Wales both looking to get a series advantage in game one at the Queensland Country Bank Stadium. Get BettingPro.com’s best tips for the opening State of Origin encounter.
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Queensland v NSW State of Origin Game 1 Predictions & Tips (Wednesday 11:10 GMT)
Queensland ended a run of two years without a series win as they won the 2020 State of Origin series 2-1 the Maroons winning the third game and decider 20-14 with Valentine Holmes, Edrick Lee and Harry Grant all crossing for tries. Both teams have been hit with injury problems ahead of game one, but coaches Paul Green and Brad Fittler still have strong squads to choose from. Queensland have been rocked with Kalyn Ponga and Reed Mahoney dropping out, while Ben Hunt could be in line for a shock appearance after earning a late call-up on the extended bench. AJ Brimson is still expected to start at full-back despite training with a full knee brace on. New South Wales are crossing their fingers that Payne Haas (knee), James Tedesco and Josh Addo-Carr (both hip) will be fully fit. The Blues will have three debutants starting the game with Penrith Panthers trio Jarome Luai, Brian To’o and Liam Martin all tasting origin footy for the first time. The Blues may have the better individual players in their starting line-up, but I think that could be their downfall. Instead of selecting the best players in the right positions, they have named the best players and playing a number of them out of position. Tedesco, Latrell Mitchell and Tom Trbojevic are three of the best full-backs in the game, but two of them will be playing out of position in the centres with Tedesco taking the number one jersey. On paper, it looks like they have the best team, but playing in the centres is totally different than full-back and I cannot see Turbo Tom and Latrell being as influential. Also, Jake Trbojevic will start at prop, he is a quality back-row forward, but I don’t think he is big enough to cause the Maroons any problems up front. I think playing players out of position will be New South Wales’ downfall. I am backing the Maroons to win game one by 1-5 points with Dane Gagai shaking off his recent bug to cross over for the opening try.