Bookmakers are bracing for a serious plunge on South Sydney to win the 2016 NRL premiership if exciting young try-scoring machine James Roberts joins English international forward Sam Burgess at Redfern.
Rabbitohs coach Michael Maguire and the club have made their final pitch to the former Gold Coast flyer, sweetening the offer to the former troubled youngster they sacked in 2012, in the hope of getting him back to the fold.
Picking up one of the best and most intimating forwards in the world in Burgess, and a three-quarter with the electrifying speed and pace to carve sides up in Roberts would seriously bolster Souths' premiership claims after a disappointing defence of their 2014 title.
St George Illawarra and Brisbane are believed to have also tabled offers to Roberts, who is expected to announce his decision this week after the NRL registered Burgess' contract over the weekend.
"Punters backed Brisbane from $5 into $4.50 favourites to win next year's title on the back of the Roberts rumours," UBET's Gerard Daffy told APN.
"If Roberts does a backflip and goes to Souths now they've also got Burgess, then we'd expect the Rabbits to firm up from $13 into single figures if the move for Brisbane is any guide."
Meanwhile, UBET has released its Queensland-only market for the 2016 season, with Brisbane quoted at $1.50 to finish highest on the ladder.
Premier North Queensland, who beat the Broncos 17-16 in this year's grand final, are at $2.60 with the rebuilding Gold Coast Titans rated $26 outsiders.