Punters are convinced that this year’s Rising Star award will be won by a long shot, with relative unknowns Billie Smedts (Geelong), Anthony Miles (GWS) Brandon Ellis (Richmond), Lachie Neale (Fremantle) and Jarrod Witts (Collingwood) all being well backed with online bookmaker sportsbetting.com.au.

With GWS number 1 draft pick Jon Patton expected to be sidelined for the early stages of the season, Richmond first round pick Brandon Ellis has received more bets to win the Rising Star than any other player. If he is to get up and win the award those punters who showed early faith will be well rewarded, with Ellis currently priced at $67 to win.

Another long shot Billie Smedts has been the second best backed player and has come in from $67 to $51.

Bets have also been placed on Miles at $501, Neale at $401 and Witts also at $401.

Gold Coast’s Josh Caddy has continued to have strong support and has firmed further from $21 to $16 after starting the market as a $51 chance, while GWS young gun Stephen Coniglio has also been popular with the punters and has firmed from $10 to $9. Cats ruckman Nathan Vardy has drifted significantly from $9.00 to $41 after it was revealed he may not be available to play until mid-season.

“Without that stand out player it really is an open market and the punters seem certain that it will be an outsider who wins this year’s award,” said sportsbetting.com.au’s Shaun Anderson.

“While names like Billie Smedts, Anthony Miles and Brandon Ellis may not be well know just yet, if the money is right we will all know who they are by years end.”

“Stephen Coniglio and Josh Caddy continued to be the best backed of the established players and have received much more betting action that the two favourites in Kane Lucas and Mitch Wallis.” Market courtesy of sportsbetting.com.au

(Prices from Wednesday 1 February in brackets) 2012 Rising Star Winner

$7.00 Kane Lucas (Carl) (steady) $8.00 Mitch Wallis (WB) (steady) $9.00 Stephen Coniglio (GWS)

(in from $51)

$10 Jeremy Cameron (GWS) (steady)

$13 John Butcher (Port), Sam Day (GC) (steady) $15 Chad Wingard (Port), Jared Polec (Bris) (steady) $16 Josh Caddy (GC)

(in from $21)

$17 Tom Mitchell, Adam Treloar (GWS), Dylan Shiel (GWS) (steady)

$11 Jon Patton (GWS)

(in from $41)

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