NRL 2023 Least Wins Wooden Spoon Betting – Odds, Tips & Predictions

James Salmon
James Salmon
NRL Betting Tips
Wooden Spoon
NRL Least Wins Wooden Spoon 2023

The Wooden Spoon is the award that nobody in the NRL wants to win, but come the end of the season, one unenviable team will receive that crown. The NRL’s 17th team in The Dolphins entered the season as comfortable favourites, but they won enough games in the first few weeks of the season to ensure that wouldn’t happen. Now, it appears very unlikely to be ripped from the grip of the bottom team, though there are a couple of other teams who still have odds and are a very outside chance of finishing bottom.
In this article, we’ll take a look at all of the favourites to ‘win’ the Wooden Spoon in 2023.

Updated: 04 August 2023

NRL 2023 Wooden Spoon Winner Odds

NRL 2023 Wooden Spoon Favourites

Wests Tigers

 Wests Tigers

Despite a solid off-season which saw them sign a number of big name players to go with a new coach in their quest to work their way up the ladder in 2023, the Tigers’ seven consecutive losses to start the year put them right out in front as the favourite to end the season on the bottom of the ladder. 

Through the middle part of the year they turned a corner, most notably with a win which in hindsight looks even more bizarre than it did at the time when they beat the Panthers. But normality was eventually restored, and the losses once again started piling up to keep them bolted to the bottom couple of spots on the ladder.

Though the Bulldogs have hung around a couple of games ahead, it’s always appeared as though it will either be the Tigers or the Dragons finishing bottom, so when they met in Round 21 it was a defining game, at least in the context of this market. Unsurprisingly neither team set the world on fire, but when the final whistle was blown the Dragons had secured a 18-14 win, most likely assuring the Tigers of bottom spot in the process.

They do have one or two winnable games over the last few weeks of the season, though very rarely do winnable games turn into wins for this team this year. And what’s more, they’d likely have to double their win tally after Round 22 to scrape themselves off the bottom of the ladder. Barring a little purple patch like what they managed mid-year, the Tigers will finish bottom this year, and given they don’t have much incentive to play out the season with any sort of endeavour, it’s hard to see any other result transpiring.

  • What brings them here? Their disastrous 2022 season means the Wests Tigers were invariably going to be in the discussion for the least wins,and throughout the year they’ve justifed that talk.
  • What has changed? There have been wholesale changes to the Wests Tigers squad from last year, but in all likelihood the ins will outweigh the outs. 
  • Injury update: Adam Doueihi is out for the season with a knee, while Shawn Blore and Stefano Utoikamanu have missed a couple of games through concussion

Bet on the Wests Tigers to win the Wooden Spoon at $1.02

St. George Illawarra Dragons

St. George Illawarra Dragons

As they were last year, the Dragons have been a relatively unthreatening side but equally have avoided too many terrible blowouts, but unlike last season they haven’t been able to turn many of those competitive efforts into victories. As a result, they’ve been mired to the bottom parts of the ladder for the entire season, always looking likely to finish either bottom or second bottom.

As mentioned above, their Round 21 clash appeared likely to determine who finished last – at least, if the Dragons won it would, given that they already had a one-game buffer over the Tigers. They extended that to two with a tight win, and given the Tigers had only won three games for the year to that point a two-game buffer appeared enough to keep them safely off the bottom.

They weren’t able to consolidate that win against the Sea Eagles next week, going down by six points after a fast finish, but nonetheless they appear unlikely to fall back to the bottom of the ladder given where the Tigers are at. The Dragons run home is really hard, with every team they’ll meet in the last five weeks right in the finals mix and potentially all going to play in September, so it doesn’t look likely to be a particularly pleasant end to the season for them. That means that it will probably depend on the Tigers whether the Dragons remain off the bottom, but there is minimal chance the Tigers will muster up enough wins to change their respective positions on the ladder.

  • What brings them here? A decent enough 2022 season meant the Dragons would have been hoping to avoid being in the 2023 Wooden Spoon conversation, but while a few of the teams below them improved, they didn’t.
  • What has changed? The Dragons added Zane Musgrove, Nick Lui-Toso and Ben Murdoch-Masila to their team from last year, but in Josh McGuire, Tariq Sims, Jackson Ford and George Burgess amongst others, they’ve lost a fair bit too.
  • Injury update: Not helping the Dragons’ cause is a lengthy injury list, headlined by Cody Ramsey, Tyrell Fuimaono and Jayden Su’A, each of whom will miss the season. Jayden Sullivan and Jack de Belin will both also be out till right on the edge of the season, so whether they play again remains to be seen. 

Bet on the Dragons to win the Wooden Spoon at $11.00

Canterbury Bulldogs

There’s a significant lengthening of the odds after the Tigers and Dragons to the final remaining Wooden Spoon prospect, as there has been for much of the season. But the odds still exist, so let’s briefly take a look at the Bulldogs and what would need to happen for them to finish bottom. 

The Bulldogs haven’t exactly had the season they would have hoped for after accumulating a reasonable dose of talent over the past couple of years, and a couple of woeful performances have really punctuated that – a 66-0 loss to the Knights a few weeks ago being a primary example of that. However, they’ve also notched up a few good wins, and encouragingly appear to be playing out the season relatively well.

July, in fact, was a decent month for them, as they split a tough run of games 2-2, beginning with a really impressive win over the Rabbitohs. A couple of big losses followed, before they edged out the Dolphins to record their seventh win of the season. That opened up a four game gap on the Tigers with five weeks to go – not a gap which is likely to be bridged.

The Bulldogs have a few somewhat winnable games to round out the season, so it’s very possible that the seven wins they’ve racked up to this point grows. Regardless of whether they win again or not, however, they won’t be finishing on the bottom of the ladder this season.

  • What brings them here? The Bulldogs were towards the bottom last year as well so they were always going to be in this conversation, but they’ve almost certainly done enough to prevent that from happening. 
  • What has changed? Cameron Ciraldo took over in the box at the beginning of the season, while the Bulldogs also signed Viliame Kikau and Reed Mahoney, which added to their sense of optimism heading into the year.
  • Injury update: A significant injury list certainly hasn’t helped the Bulldogs, though it has at least shortened in recent weeks. Luke Thompson, Ryan Sutton and Josh Addo-Carr each have no timeline on their return from their respective injuries, while Viliame Kikau, Karl Oloapu and Bailey Biondi-Odo are both just about ready to return.

Bet on the Bulldogs to win the Wooden Spoon at $67.00

Our Prediction

There are realistically only a couple of teams that can still claim the Wooden Spoon this year, but even that might be pushing it. It would take a remarkable turnaround for the Tigers to drag themselves off the bottom of the ladder in the remaining weeks of the season, and they don’t have a whole lot of incentive to do that. There’s no value to be found in them to finish bottom, but that’s for good reason. 

Bet on Tigers for the 2023 NRL Least Wins Wooden Spoon


  • Only 2 sides have won the NRL Premiership within 2 years of winning the Wooden Spoon, – the Panthers in 2003 and the Sharks in 2016. No team has ever won the NRL Premiership the year after a Wooden Spoon win.

Most Wooden Spoons Won

  • 17 – Western Suburbs Magpies (now defunct), lastly in 1999.
  • 14 – Parramatta Eels – most Wooden Spoon finishes among current clubs.

Least Wooden Spoons Won

  • The Wests Tigers, Manly Sea Eagles and St George Illawarra Dragons have never won the Wooden Spoon, while the Canberra Raiders finished last only once in their maiden year in the NRL competition in 1982.

Most ‘successful’ Wooden Spoon turnaround team

  • The 2009 Sydney Roosters finished last and bounced back to reach the 2010 NRL Grand Final but were denied the ultimate turnaround after being defeated by the St George Illawarra Dragons in the ‘big dance’.

James is a sports writer from Melbourne, and has contributed to a variety of publications covering a range of sports including basketball, cricket, Australian Rules, golf and surfing to name a few. An avid fan of all of the above and more, James’ downtime is spent falling ungracefully off his surfboard, turning over footies and playing an out of tune guitar.