St. George Illawarra Dragons seem to be in a pretty good position, especially after the addition of James Graham and Ben Hunt. As least that’s what the experts are saying. The most surprising thing to see this season is that Sydney Roosters and North Queensland Cowboys have gained a lot of attraction and support. Since the Cowboys have added the amazing trio of Jordan McLean, Matt Scott, and Johnathan Thurston, the team has gained momentum and it seems like adding these players to the team was a worthy decision.

The Predictions of the NRL Experts

The mid season NRL predictions suggest that Parramatta, Brisbane, Cronulla, Melbourne, St. George Illawarra, Cowboys, Roosters, and Penrith are the teams that are destined to land in the top eight teams of the season. The predictions made by the experts show that fifteen out of the total sixteen teams got votes for the top eight teams. The only team that didn’t get any love from the experts was West Tigers. Sorry West Tigers fans. It seems like your favourite team won’t be able to land in the top eight this year.

The Top 8 Teams for This Season

At the moment, the line up for top 8 NRL premiership teams looks like this:

  1. Sydney Roosters
  2. Parramatta Eels
  3. North Queensland Cowboys
  4. Cronulla Sharks
  5. Penrith Panthers
  6. St. George Illawarra Dragons
  7. Melbourne Storm
  8. Newcastle Knights

Now that the premiership has reached its mid season, it seems like Sydney Roosters and North Queensland Cowboys happen to be the favourites. But as it turns out, Parramatta Eels cannot be overlooked. They’re up to something special this season for sure. The experts say that the inclusion of James Graham and Ben Hunt will take the Dragons straight to the finals and Melbourne Storm will fall off the ladder owing to the departure of Cooper Cronk.

Predictions for the Best Roughie

All the hopes for Canterbury Bulldogs rest on the fitness and performance of Kieran Foran. If the player manages to play 80 percent of the games, then the Bulldogs will be able to fix their attacking woes and will surely be playing the finals. But as it turns out, there are doubts that Foran’s body will not be able to withstand the pressure of a 24-game season.

Team That Might Not Meet the Expectations

When Ben Hunt left Brisbane Broncos, the loss for the team was huge. Following that, the team has lost some other key players as well, including Herman Ese’ese and Tautau Moga. Nobody is very confident about Jack Bird’s performance and Anthony Milford’s ability to lead the team. This makes Brisbane Broncos the team that might fail to meet the expectations this season. For more interesting bets and predictions, you can visit BlueBet.

There are few other experts that do not understand the hype around Penrith Panthers. They are not including the team in their list for the top 8 teams of the season. They admit that the Panthers have players like Josh Mansour, Reagan Campbell, James Maloney, Nathan Cleary, and Dylan Edwards, but something about the team feels off to them, making them think the team might falter in the games to come.

As much as we love football, and we’re not ashamed to admit that this is more than our wives would like, there are times when going out and playing or watching a game is just not on the cards. Whether through injury or cost, distance or weather, there can be an enormous amount of reasons that going out into the world for the real thing just can’t happen. With that in mind, we thought it would an interesting idea to look at a few alternatives.

They might not quite be the real thing, but you might be surprised at just how much some of these game stick with you. We know we were.

Bubble Football

Not the most seriously competitive alternative, but still one which we would recommend every time the opportunity presents itself. Players in this game are encased in the inflatable bubbles known as ZORBS, and otherwise, the rules are much the same. That is, except contact, which is not only permitted, but encouraged.

It can be a bit tricky to track down enough of these for full teams but, luckily, party rental services like Zorbing Hire will often have you covered. Great for parties and stag dos, we would never recommend combining this game with a few drinks, but we sure are thinking it loudly.

Car football

If you think bubble football was chaotic, then take a look at the Top Gear inspired game of car football.

Not for the faint of heart or light of wallet, this is a game which thrives on carnage, though, in this case, we do seriously recommend keeping any amount of liquor out of the equation. While there aren’t any strict rules to follow in this version of the game, as players can only really be expected to the best with whatever used car or flat-out junkers they have, it’s a very good idea to go dressed in safety gear before giving this a go.

Every group has a Steve, and Steve, as you well know, can hardly be trusted behind the wheel.

Rocket League

Going digital with this one, the now extremely popular game of Rocket League is essentially a digital version of car football, only with rockets. A lot cheaper than the real-life alternative, Rocket League is available over most major platforms, including PC, Xbox, PlayStation, and Switch, with cross-play even allowing friends to compete over different devices. Though, it should be noted that the PlayStation version will not be playable in this way until early next year.

We hate to drone on, but we can’t really undersell the popularity of Rocket League, which even has considerable earnings to be made for skilled players in the eSports arena. Even major online betting services like Betway offer odds on major events, making this closer to real-life football fun than almost any alternative.

Footvolley

The name for this one really gives it away, as a combination of both football and beach volleyball. Footvolley was invented in Brazil by Octavio de Morales in 1965, according to the Footvolley website, and has remained popular ever since. Originally starting out as 5v5 game, over time, the skill of the players would become so great that this number had to be reduced to 2v2. It’s difficult to score if nobody ever makes a mistake, after all.

Played only with feet, Footvolley has spread to beach-cities all over the world, with many major events held in Portugal, Thailand, Greece, and beyond. Of course, playing this game requires not only a decent beach but also great weather, which can be more than a little tricky to find where we live. At least it could work well on a holiday.

Don’t Underestimate the Alternatives

Some of these might seem silly, but then that’s also the opinion which the uninformed or uneducated can have on football itself. Even as a spectator sport, we would recommend the likes of bubble and car football especially, as the amount of laughter on offer makes for a great night of watching with a few friends.

We can’t promise that success in any of these will give you the chops as being a real football star, but it’s enough to rub in your friend’s faces and, really, isn’t that enough?

In a World Cup year, like 2018, it can seem as if the rest of the sports world grinds to a halt. There’s just a great deal to talk about at such a massive international event, from how the stars perform, to who the up-and-comers are, to individual match previews and outcomes – and even how various businesses profit from the action. Through all of this intrigue the World Cup pauses the rest of the sports world in a way that perhaps only the Olympics can do otherwise. But with the world’s biggest tournament now behind us, those interested in the world of sport are looking ahead.

Here are some of the next big stories to expect to be reading about and engaging with in major sports around the world.

The Development Of The U.S. Gambling Market

If you follow sports at all you may well have come across the story that the U.S. courts have paved the way for legalized sports betting through the country. It isn’t happening overnight, but this is adding a massive industry to the already lucrative U.S. sporting markets, which should make for a major story in all kinds of ways. We don’t know yet how many people will start betting, how the different leagues will get involved, or what new platforms and apps might emerge. But the entire sports betting landscape is going to be changed by this massive soon-to-be movement.

Serena Williams’s Motherhood Slam

Perhaps this is putting undue pressure on Serena Williams, particularly given that she recently experienced a rather shocking upset. But after Williams made it to the final of Wimbledon less than a year after childbirth, it seems as if she’s destined to win another Grand Slam eventually. This will be remarkable not just because she’s now fairly old for a tennis champion, nor because she’s a mother. Rather, it’s because Williams nearly lost her life with delivery complications and their aftermath, and appears to have made it back to the top of tennis by sheer willpower. A motherhood Slam for Williams would be the biggest story of the year in sports.

World Cup Aftermath In Domestic Football

There’s always something a little more special about the domestic football leagues around the world following a World Cup. More of the world is paying attention, certain star players are elevated, and the landscape always seems to shift just a little bit. Case in point, early looks at the Premier League are tabbing World Cup stars Harry Kane and Mohamed Salah as likely Golden Boot winners, and are even giving Liverpool – a club boosted back to prominence by Salah – as a possible league winner. There isn’t one specific story here, but domestic football will demand more attention after a thrilling World Cup.

Formula 1’s Finish

For a few years now, Formula 1 racing has been a foregone conclusion. British star and Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has been a virtual shoe-in for end-of-year titles. This year however, former champion Sebastian Vettel is staying hot on Hamilton’s heels, to the point that we may have the closest finish in recent history.

Donald Trump Vs. Athletes

This is not a very good story for sports, as it brings an air of negativity to the whole spectacle. But unfortunately, U.S. president Donald Trump has shown a tendency to inject himself into sports stories, typically in order to berate or attempt to disqualify African-American athletes in one way or another. There was an eruption of responses when Trump recently took to Twitter to suggest LeBron James lacked intelligence (in the aftermath of James opening a school for at-risk youth, no less), and this sort of thing only figures to intensify. It feels like we’re heading for some fairly large-scale conflict between American athletes and the president.

Tokyo 2020 Announcements

We’re still two years away from the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, but rest assured the athletes who figure to be competing are already getting ready. And that means we should begin to hear about who’s in and who’s out soon, which always makes for a few good stories. For instance, many remain skeptical that U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps is really ready to call it quits, and there’s always speculation about who will return and who will age out of prominent gymnastics teams. The next six months or so should begin to produce answers to these questions that much of the sports-loving world is asking.

The World Cup is back and in just a few days the biggest football competition in the world will be kicking off in Russia to find out who is the very best team on the planet. Today we are going to look beyond the football and scratch beneath the surface of how businesses in just about every country in the world, are able to use this competition to boost their profits.

The World Cup provides a unique opportunity for money making, and here are the nuts and bolts behind how it is done.

Frenzy

The first step to making money off the back of a World Cup is simply to embrace it, this is a marketing opportunity which needs little input from your own business. Any fans of football are already whipped up into a frenzy over the competition which makes them far more inclined to spend money on football related gear. As a business you can use this free marketing, to sell products and services which can be coupled with the spectacle.

Merchandise

Selling World Cup merchandise is a greta way to make money during this tournament, be it official or unofficial equipment. Over recent months and the coming weeks, national pride takes over and consumers are more than happy to invest in clothing, flags, trinkets and just about any other type of memorabilia which has their teams colors emblazoned across them. As an indication of how much money can be made, during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, over 3,000 vuvuzelas were sold in England alone.

Events

One thing that is for sure is that when the football starts, everybody stops what they are doing and switches their gaze to the nearest television. What this means for anyone who runs a bar, a restaurant or an events location, is an opportunity to make big cash on match day. In order to do this you have to have the perfect set up, tag on drinks and food promotions and most importantly, get the word out there that your place is the best to watch the action.

Offers

Many companies will make huge money and gain a great amount of new clients by offering unique World Cup experiences. For the small investment of some tickets for the finals themselves and a plane ticket or two, you can then open up a competition which consumers will automatically enter upon being a certain product, with the chance to see the action live. Many businesses will do this on items such as televisions and speakers, offering the perfect medium to watch the finals, as well as having a chance to actually go should someone win. Imagine if a company invests $5,000 on tickets and plane travel, and as a result sells 10 televisions at $1,000 each, a license to print money!

Worldwide events such as the World Cup provide a wonderful opportunity for many businesses to cash on the hype that surrounds the tournament, as well as being able to boost their company’s reputation.