NRL Tips & Game Previews | Round 19 | 2021

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MrG provides our NRL Tips Previews and content each week for our Reading The Play NRL subscribers. Further details on our NRL offering here

MrG’s Game Handicaps for this round

-12.5 Eels v Raiders – Robina
-9.5 Roosters v Knights – Sunshine Coast
-32.5 Cowboys v Storm – Townsville
-17.5 Rabbits v Warriors – Sunshine Coast
-17.5 Eagles v Tigers – Brisbane
-19.5 Panthers v Broncos – Brisbane
+6.5 Dragons v Titans – Robina
+7.5 Bulldogs v Sharks – Robina

Market Moves since opening positions on Monday

opened -12.5 now -15.5 Eels v Raiders – Robina
opened -9.5 touched -11.5 now -10.5 Roosters v Knights – Sunshine Coast
opened +24.5 now +30.5 Cowboys v Storm – Townsville
opened -15.5 now -19.5 Rabbits v Warriors – Sunshine Coast
opened -16.5 now -19.5 Eagles v Tigers – Brisbane
opened -16.5 now -20.5 Panthers v Broncos – Brisbane
opened +6.5 now +5.5 Dragons v Titans – Robina
opened +12.5 now +11.5 Bulldogs v Sharks – Robina


Recommended Bet List

Bet 2 units all up $2.11
Eels to win $1.18
Roosters to win $1.28
Storm -19.5 $1.40 (pick your own line)

Bet 3.5 units Storm -24.5 $1.90 BB
Cowboys offer the weakest defence in the comp at present, Storm look well placed to rattle up a big score

Bet 2 units Eagles-Tigers over 50.5 $1.90
Eagles get all their guns back this week, dry track, arvo game, both teams like attack, looks points all over it

Bet 1.5 units Bulldogs +12.5 $1.90
Bet 0.5 unit Bulldogs $3.80

Bulldogs have been deep into or won (Dragons) 4 of last 5, Marshall-King big in, neutral ground

Bet 1.5 units all up Anytime Try Nicho Hynes (Storm) x Tom Trbojevic (Eagles) $2.85

BB – Indicates Best Bet

Any longer term plays that have been recommended in prior weeks will be listed at the base of this message


Individual Game Tips

Eels, Roosters, Storm, Rabbits, Eagles, Panthers, Titans, Bulldogs


Game Preview Notes

-12.5 Eels v Raiders – Robina

Ground: Robina
52.5 Total Points (market position)

Eels without Moses. Raiders Wighton and Savage from last week, have list of longer term outs including Horsburgh, Whitehead, Simmonsson, Nicoll-Klokstad, Lui and Scott.

At a level below the top of the table few the Eels just keep doing the business. They could have had every excuse to put a bad one in last week, mid week relocations, keys rests and outs, lack of training runs and prep yet they turned up, aimed up and quickly went whack and put the game beyond the Titans. Season to date they have had a very favourable draw (interesting few weeks ahead) but they are reliable, get through their work and get the job done. I thought the return of Reed Mahoney was a big positive, he points them in the right direction, plays straight and gets them direct through the mid field and that is where the easy yards were and set up everything else that they then did. They get Paulo back this week, should have had a much more settled prep an get weakened opponent.

Raiders have surprised two weeks in a row, not only winning but also picking up away wins. But their injury toll does look to be catching up with them with at lest now 8 or 9 missing from what would be their best 17 a few months ago, that’s a very big hole in quality and depth to patch up. credit to their second half effort last week, which it was a low game they could well have rolled over just after half time yet kept turning up and then went on with the result. Hodgson has been very good through recent weeks with his direction and leadership, finding some old form and confidence. I don’t like Rapana anywhere near fullback, and the bench looks very thin for obvious reasons.

Eels to win, they have been well backed on the news of the further Raiders outs, I was 12 to 14 between them and expect that the Eels should cover that.

-9.5 Roosters v Knights – Sunshine Coast

Ground: Sunshine Coast
51.5 Total Points (market position)

Big ins for the Roosters with Tedesco and Taukeiaho. Key to the market position is if Ponga plays off the back of HIA protocol and turn around. They remain without key players Pearce, Best and a few additional injury outs.

The Roosters are two professional and still have that sprinkling of class when they line up against these teams either at the base of the table (like the last two wins) of those weakened with key outs and questionable depth as the Knights are here. The win over the Cows last week wasn’t as straightforward and a walk in the park like it could well have been 9and weak opponent) but they got away late to a margin and 34-18 win. Their two ins this week are substantial, class and strike at the back and experience and muscle in the middle.

Knights were well exposed last week with some horrible defence against the benchmark team, in particular their right edge and then bench depth. With Pearce, Best and Daniel Saifiti missing and then the early game loss of Ponga they were completely exposed and then bashed up. With two of those still missing and a question mark over Ponga they again look well up against it here, they also have a very poor head to head record losing 13 of the last 15 and the last 3 by 30 point or more margins.

I can’t get the the game out to 12 or beyond, I continue to think the Roosters are venerable week in week out and for mine not a confident Line betting proposition. I expect they win, happy to leave it at that.

-32.5 Cowboys v Storm – Townsville

Ground: Townsville
51.5 Total Points (market position)

Storm are resting Munster, Kaufusi, Finucane. I expect with the return of Papenhuyzen they will also have the option of resting Hughes and moving Hynes to #7 if they do so. With Papenhuyzen they also get Welch, Asofa-Solomona and Addo-Carr back this week, not bad depth.

We have the benchmark team of the comp who have won their last 14 straight, 13 of those by 16 pt or more margins up against a bottom of table opponent who over the last 5 weeks in losing 5 straight have also been offering the worse defence in the competition. The Storm have quality and depth, strong combinations which ever way they line up and are so reliable just about ever week (as their record shows) to turn up, roll their sleeves up and get on with the business. I expect more of the same here, even with teh changes I was always at least 32 to 34 between them at the start of the week and could well justify having it higher.

The Storm have the best defence, and have rattled up 40 pts 12 times already this season. They beat the Roosters 46-0 only a few weeks ago, 48-4 last week and put 66 through the Tigers. It looks a decisive win here for mine.

-17.5 Rabbits v Warriors – Sunshine Coast

Ground: Sunshine Coast
51.5 Total Points (market position)

Rabbits are without Johnson, importantly get Mitchell back and Arrow in the middle. Warriors have a lit of major outs including Tuivasa-Sheck, Harris, Egan and Berry.

The problem with the Rabbits is that they are unreliable in motivation and hunger from week to week in wanting to really put their foot down for 80 minutes and perform at or near their best? On paper it is very easy to mark them 18 to 20 point favs here against a weakened opponent on a significant losing streak, and that they should be (-20.0) – but the Rabbits have only covered the line at 3 of the last 13 occasions where they have been -10.0 or higher, clearly worth staying away from at present. They key is their motivation, and picking the time when we think they are up and have something to play for ie against an arch rival and or a top of the table match up or game with key table outcome issue.

Warriors have now lost 8 of their last 9 and on the back of all of these injury outs are in deep poo right now. They were right in the game last week and leading / challenging the Panthers and looked like giving that a real shake until injury hit and they lost 4 key players in the run into half time, and then just couldn’t measure up in the second half (for obvious reason, yet did exceptionally well to hold the game back from a blow out). They will be back to 17 here, but those 4 outs are key players and weaken them significantly.

Expect Rabbits win. If they are half serious they cover the line, with the key ins and talent they have they should well do that anyway, but I’m happy to stay out.

-17.5 Eagles v Tigers – Brisbane

Ground: Brisbane
52.5 Total Points (market position)

Suncop Stadium, 5.30pm, dry track, looks big attacking and open footy match up here. Eagles get all the guns back this week, both Trbojevic brothers, Cherry-Evans and then additional key forwards Aloiai and Gosiewski – that’s 5 very key ins. Tigers pretty much remain the same as last week.

While I am not as wide as 20.0 here on paper, known performance, strike and defence weakness there is certainly a gap. What we do know about the Tigers is they are very flakey and have not aimed up when under any expectation or focus against the good teams (like this match up). And lets be frank, they were behind by 10 points at half time last week to the 16th placed team, and but for their opponents disgraceful second half defensive offering could well have been in some real trouble. I think the game and win result has little depth. In their 3 games prior against contenders at the top of the table they were weak, Rabbits, Storm and Eels easily owning them. I’m sure there will be patches here where they compete, but hard to see them sustaining that in a winning position for 80 minutes.

As we already know the Eagles are just a different gravy when Tom plays, then this week add to that the additional key ins and all but back to full strength line up and they look a very formidable, strong and attacking team. They also look to get all the conditions to play, dry track, clear arvo, 5.30pm game time and a defensive offering that can leak and or quickly fold.

An Eagles 20 point win would not surprise, but this game does look to have points all over it and I thought that looked the best way to play it. I did my numbers on this 3 times, and was anything like 62 to mid 60’s in total. The Eagles last 5 outings have seen totals all above 46, with four of them at 68, 80, 66 and 50. The Tigers last 4 outings have delivered totals at 52, 82, 60 and 66. The Tigers can score 20 or so points, but they consistently leak 30+ against the better teams (and 24 last week against the 16th placed team). I can’t see how this isn’t well over the original total position.

-19.5 Panthers v Broncos – Brisbane

Ground: Brisbane
51.5 Total Points (market position)

Luai is a very big in for the Panthers this week. Fisher-Harris in some doubt. Broncos leak 32 points second half last week and remain unchanged?

While still without Cleary the Panthers do look much better with Luai back. Interesting that they have a big big match up next week against the Storm and how much their eyes and head is on that game and more going through the motions here, get the win, get the job done and don’t get injured? They had their poor moments last week (and the game prior 13-12 win) but again get the right opponent at the base of the table who are unlikely to really test them and physically take the game and pressure to them. One thing they have done well through recent games while and has been a hallmark of their work over the last two seasons has been their defence, they still only concede 10 to 12 points on average each week and again last week held the Warriors to 16, and many times late in the first half and through the second did they turn up again and again on their own line.

The Broncos are the Broncos, a positive first half effort last week, lead by 10 at half time (and should have been at least 4 to 10 more) and then have a few things go against them early second half and they just completely fold. With Lodge and Pangai now gone they are should on a big physical forward that can take it to an opponent and set a platform for them to aim up, and lead others forward, Croft is flakey at #7 and makes many poor decisions, Gamble has strong moments but can also over play his hand, and they have way too many general errors.

Panthers should be winning, should the Broncos once again roll over then they cover the line, but I do have some concern on them having their mind on next week.

+6.5 Dragons v Titans – Robina

Ground: Robina
51.5 Total Points (market position)

Who turns up here? Dragons have 7 changes and a major (positive) overhaul of their team list, they look in this up to their ears. Titans lose Fogarty, Clark and Sami.

My bad last week as I got the Titans very wrong. I expected they had everything in their favour, at home, week of home prep, off positive away win, opponent having key outs and a plus underdog position, yet they were utter rubbish. Mentally they just can not be trusted and you can all but leave me out of them for the weeks if not months to come. Yes they had a key sin bin against them (horrible decision) but they were already rolling over, no attitude, no effort to defend key errors and just have a crack, completely trampled through the middle. The Dragons are not at that level, and normally no where near as direct or physical, and off such a shit offering you would expect improvement. We shall wait and see. Fogarty is certainly a loss.

I think the Dragons had penciled in last week as a tough week and a loss and are just getting on with the job. I think they likely take the opposite approach this week and will be very up and about and give themselves a great chance in this game. The changes and ins are all positive, looks a good strong forward line up, don’t like the centres (Beale and Ramsey), but overall a much much better team than they have had for many weeks.

If the game opens up and defence is just optional then the Titans are likely favoured. If the Dragons as they so often do make this an unattractive arm wrestle then they also get their chance. I’d like to see the Dragons play more positive ball play and attack, and maybe without Norman and with the changes at #6 and Dufty back they can do this. On paper with the Titans at home I can have them 6 or so points favs, but it looks a very very tricky game.

+7.5 Bulldogs v Sharks – Robina

Ground: Robina
49.5 Total Points (market position)

It may be the last game of the round but this one has a lot of intrigue all over it, in particular for mine in and around the Bulldogs. They have Marshall-King and Stimson back. Sharks are with out Tolman, and still have Moylan and Graham out.

Firstly I think the Bulldogs have been priced wrongly and down too far on losing and not on effort, their opponents and overall formline. With all of that in the conversation and onto a neutral ground I can’t be more than 6 to 8 between them. My rational is as follows: They have been deep in and or won at 4 of their last 5 games including the positive win over the Dragons. The game they were flogged they had 5 or more outs and thin bench depth and were into a hiding to nothing game against the Eagles. When they have had their best or near best team list available they are competitive and have had a crack. They were deep into the game against the Eels and had some key decisions go against them early second half, had the Roosters 16 all with 8 minutes to go two games ago and then last week were neck and neck with the Rabbits with 10 to go and blew any chance due to their own error and poor play. And yes they have that in them, but they are far better in effort and execution now than they were months ago. This now is the best forward line up they have fielded for months with only Elliott missing, with the luxury of 3 big middles, good edge, and better bench depth especially with Simson added to Napa and Ogden. Marshall-King is a very positive in, he has ability, now gives them something at #9 and can make little things happen especially with his back up play. They sit last on the table for a reason but I think their recent form is better than it looks and this is a far better team list than they have had for many weeks.

The Sharks might also be the right opponent for them this week. Lost 2 of their last 3 and the win was over the losing streak Warriors, and they fell away very poorly in a low game last week to a weakened list Raiders to leak 34. With no Graham and or Moylan they might be lacking that hard edge of leadership and want to win, and maybe are back to just going through the motions? The loss to the Broncos was credible in a decent game of footy, but it still looks a thin form line, and the Bulldogs first win of this season was against them back in Rd7 when the Bulldogs were the across town away visitor.

From the outset I thought the +12.5 was too big and the right way to play the game. With then the named teams and in particular the Bulldogs two ins I give them a very good chance of the upset. It’s the Bulldogs, never rolled gold good things, but I do think they get a week where they will give themselves a real chance and give the upset a real shake.


Longer Term Recommended Bet List

Bet 6 units Storm to win Premiership $2.60
Clearly now the benchmark and the one to beat, Panthers likely to have longer term injury questions over Cleary (shoulder) and Luai (knee), Storm have key depth, confidence and quality combinations

Bet 3 units Eagles to make Top 4 $5.00
Think the price is way too high, Eagles have a very soft run home with only 2 games vs Top 4 contenders then a further 10 vs bottom 8 sides/contenders. Clearly they are very reliant on the fitness of Tom Trbojevic which is factored into the odds and my bet, but if he plays most of these games they give this a huge shake

Bet 3 units Raiders to miss Top 8 $2.00 Topsport $1.95 Tab
Lost 5 straight and should have been beat by 16th placed Bulldogs last week, not a happy crew from everything I hear, think bottom of the 8 gets very competitive in second half of the yr and have to take them on

Bet 4 units Panthers Minor Premiers $3.30 Topsport
Market is also available at Tab and Sportsbet $3.00
Undefeated after 3 rounds, quality longer home record and have depth in key positions, my numbers right now suggest they now appear as $2.00 chance

Bet 5 units Titans top QLD team $1.77 Topsport
Market is also available at Ladbrokes $1.75 and Sportsbet $1.67
We have a small interest speculator on Titans Top 4, think this is a positive way to cover our stake longer term. Three way contest, what we are betting is the final table position between Titans and Cowboys and I’m confident on the Titans progression late last yr (won last 5 games), key signings, positive off season + quality coach that this is the right play. Should Cam Smith turn up mid season as I expect then icing on the cake!

Bet 6 units Storm Top 4 $1.85
Looks an excellent longer term anchor bet, Bellamy’s record of top 4 finishes each season is unparalleled, as is his ability to replace players and bring his team back to the top. They will win near 90% of home games (Melb or Sunshine Coast), have near the best D once again and likely finish top two.

Bet 3 units Broncos most losses $5.00
Expected / rate them closer to $2.00, this price looks very very generous. The squad is weaker than last yr (and they finished with the spoon), start the season with key injury outs, question mark on whether Coach is up to this task and have a hard draw.

Bet 2 units Titans to make Top 4 $4.50
Think the Coach is quality, started to put his imprimatur in them late into the season with some very positive and exciting play/results. They have purchased astutely, top 4 might be a reach (you can save top 8 at $1.85 if you wish) but I just see a) lot of up side and b) a comp with potential long tail. They look the team with the flashing red light for me this season. There is some $5.00 available in some places.


Market Odds Comparison – a quick link to assist with the available odds across many possible providers – nrl-odds-comparisons

Staking: The recommended units bet is indicated next to each bet in the above bet list. The base bet is 1 to 5 units (and is also a reflection of confidence. Everyone chooses to bet in different bet sizes, from differing betting banks (the personal funds they put aside for betting). Some will bet $20 per bet, some $200 per bet. So as to keep things simple and clear for everyone to follow we then talk in bet units. Our advice is to decide what size betting unit is likely to work for you and call this your betting unit, remembering that you may have approx. 5 to 10 units of recommended outlay per week per sport and that you also run the risk of losing.

Game Notes Preparation: FYI, with the introduction of Thursday night games in recent years it is now near impossible with the work and list of things that I chose to do to have all game previews written and finished until late in each week or early Saturday am. With the final team lists not announced until Tuesday afternoon, which I then re rate against (current performance, key ins and outs / final team lists and then look to handicap each up coming game then consider a range of form and match up factors towards final potential bets and written game previews. In short with team lists announced late Tuesday that then leaves two days to work through these tasks. I will focus the first preview notes at any game that has a recommended bet so that any key factors and reasoning is then known in advance, and then be working through each game there after in order of day and time (from Thursday onward).

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NRL Tips & Game Previews | Round 18 | 2021

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MrG provides our NRL Tips Previews and content each week for our Reading The Play NRL subscribers. Further details on our NRL offering here

MrG’s Game Handicaps for this round

Friday
+1.5 Titans v Eels – Robina
-9.5 Eagles v Dragons – Robina
Saturday
+10.5 Cowboys v Roosters – Townsville
+3.5 Raiders v Sharks – Robina
-14.5 Storm v Knights – Robina
Sunday
+6.5 Warriors v Panthers – Brisbane
-0.5 Broncos v Tigers – Brisbane
-19.5 Rabbits v Bulldogs – Robina


Recommended Bet List

Bet 2.5 units Titans +4.5 $1.90
Titans off positive last start win, have settled week at home into this, some suggestions Eels may rest or have late outs and have had short turn around on back of interstate relocation

Bet 1 unit Eagles-Dragons under 48.5 $1.90
Turbo looks to be rested, Dragons multiple outs, hard to see how we get to 50 points

Bet 1 unit Warriors-Panthers under 48.5 $1.90
Panthers missing key halves combination, have looked very pedestrian without them, Warriors playing some very scrappy, ugly low scoring play at present

Bet 1.5 unit Anytime Try Kotoni Staggs (Brisbane Broncos) $2.15

BB – Indicates Best Bet

Any longer term plays that have been recommended in prior weeks will be listed at the base of this message


Individual Game Tips

Titans, Eagles, Roosters, Sharks, Storm, Panthers, Broncos, Rabbits


Game Preview Notes

+1.5 Titans v Eels – Robina

Ground: Robina
49.5 Total Points (market position)

Titans at home and while they have a few key back ups of short turn around from Origin they would have had a settled week or so in prep here, and come off a positive big margin last start away win. Eels have had the dislocation of moving interstate to relocate, also settle down the family and alike who have come with them, likely had very little time to train properly and focus on the game and then there are suggestions that they may have a couple of late outs and changes.

This whole round with all of these changes let alone also having Origin mid week make this a tricky week, and a matter of trying to pick the eyes out of it all. The Titans can be hard to trust at the best of times, and defensively have their moments of leaking easy and back to back tries, but given all of the likely scenario here they have to have a few things to their advantage and I’m happy to take the risk as well as a plus start position. No know Eels, but if Moses doesn’t play and or Junior Paulo then they become key outs, and short questionable quality of prep? Titans best team list for some time, think they get their chance.

-9.5 Eagles v Dragons – Robina

Ground: Robina
48.5 Total Points (market position)

With Tom to be rested Eagles come back somewhat to this game, I don’t want to bet the line but they couldn’t get the Dragons at a better time surely. Dragons off the BBQ affair have 4 outs, and already had a couple of injury outs including Lomax, with no Dufty and no Lomax I just can’t see where their attack and points come from, and this is a team that has already looked very clunky through the last number of weeks including escaping with lat 1 point and 2 point victories at their last two outings.

Eagles dropped their guard last week and put in a very poor offering, and at home. They had their two rep outs, but they had a whole list of guys who didn’t aim up or put in, against an ordinary opponent who played the conditions well and a very simple plan. But that is also a low quality game, a further poor reflection of the Eagles offering. They get DCE in, Schuster in, and coming off that poor defeat I’m sure a keenness to want to aim up here.

Expect Eagles can get the job done, but with Turbo missing and a Dragons team missing key strike players I can’t get the game score here anywhere near the 50 point mark.

+10.5 Cowboys v Roosters – Townsville

Ground: Townsville
51.5 Total Points (market position)

Now 3pn Saturday. The Cowboys recent free fall and atrocious defence continues, another away loss last week and again leaking 46. They get the benefit of returning home where they have won 5 of 8 and played any semblance of their best footy this season, but they are very hard to like now given how quickly and meekly they now fold in defensive commitment. They will also be with out Holmes here (and for a number of week now).

Roosters are no good thing at present but should have enough quality and professionalism in them to get the job done by a likely 2 try margin. Likely get their two rep players back, both strengthen them considerably and will add attack strike and combination to their play, and beef up their defence. Given the fragility of much of the Cowboys defence especially down either edge Walker could have a picnic picking out holes to put players through.

Expect Roosters win and cover the line – but I would want to wait and see the final team list and that both rep players are playing before considering an interest.

+3.5 Raiders v Sharks – Robina

Ground: Robina
49.5 Total Points (market position)

Now 5.30pm. As suggested above I have a low view on the Eagles Raiders game and form of last week, and so the Raiders poor recent form and overall lack of winning games remains my starting point for them. They have lost 9 of their last 12 games and now concede an average of 26 points a week, while their away record is also horrible. They will get the benefit of two key rep players likely backing up.

I’m very surprised at the major market move here. While I don’t have the Sharks as good things, I certainly think they should be at least a 4 pt fav, the market opened 5.5 and has moved significantly this week down to 1.5. If I was a Raiders supporter off the back of their very poor run into an away game I’d be wanting at least 4.5 or higher to be interested. The Raiders overall head to head record v Sharks is good, but that recent record has also not been at away venues like the Gold Coast.

Sharks have won 5 of their last 6 and that loss for mine was out of a strong form game v Broncos. They are still without Moylan and Graham but have in general been playing positive footy, and have an ounce or two of strike and class in a few things that they can do with the ball. Their interstate or distance away record has been good, and for the last 6 or so weeks they have looked to have a positive team approach to their play. They took care of the Warriors well enough last week 20-12 in a low game, they also remain in contention for a finals spot so still have plenty to play for. I’m with Sharks, it profiles to have points in it but was happy to stay out of the game.

-14.5 Storm v Knights – Robina

Ground: Robina
49.5 Total Points (market position)

Note this game has been rescheduled a number of times, and is now at Robina.

This is a very good test for the new look Knights, with Brailey and Pearce back over recent weeks, recent acquisition Clifford settling in in the halves at #6 and if he backs up Ponga at #1, certainly the strongest team the Knights have offered for 12 months. They also now have named both Daniel Saifiti and Frizell as ins. The Storm are still without Papenhuyzen and Grant, and then have 5 players named who played last Wednesday night.

The final team lists and ins and or outs for both line ups by Saturday afternoon are critical to any bet consideration here. Does Ponga back up, do Frizell and Saifiti actually play, and or who is backing up or rested for the Storm. The Storm have an overall dominant long term advantage over the Knights winning the last 9 straight, and they have won their last 13 straight now with 12 of those wins being by margins of 16 points or more. As we know they are also a very professional travelling and preparation team, so while they have had some dislocation through Thursday having to now move interstate again at short notice they are very well versed at just getting on with the job at hand.

The Knights come off games v Cowboys and Warriors, so hardly a real test or strong form reference, so this game becomes a far more real barometer to at what level they now might be. They have a longer term poor record when travelling including losing their last 6 straight when interstate.

I like Storm, pending final team line ups they may well be a bet to cover the line but I want to see what the final make up of both sides is.

+6.5 Warriors v Panthers – Brisbane

Ground: Brisbane
48.5 Total Points (market position)

Impossible game. With Cleary and Luai missing the Panthers drop many levels in the quality of their attack execution and any kicking game. Next issue is do they rest any players here, some suggestions around that maybe Yeo and or Toó might have a game off.

Warriors look stronger on paper (again, as they did last game), likely get their chance here but are just not winners. Lost 7 of their last 8, have not won in Qld for 3 years and overall poor interstate / distant travel record. They have also only covered the line 4 of 16 outings this season, very hard to like.

Good game to stay away from, if Yeo plays then Panthers would still be very hard to beat, could never touch the Warriors.

0.5 Broncos v Tigers – Brisbane

Ground: Brisbane
51.5 Total Points (market position)

Some suggestions that Staggs maybe in doubt. If he plays then the Broncos look in a good position here against a questionable opponent, on their home ground. Suggested prior to their last outing (and then win) v Sharks at home that with some of the background changes at the club (new CEO, Ben Ikin’s arrival and influence), break before that game, return of Staggs and a heightened focus on just getting on and improving their footy we could argue an improved showing. They were far more positive, less error and made/took their chances for a deserved win. I also thought it was a strong competitive game of good quality. They will then have had the benefit of this further week off (bye) and I’d expect further positive internal work and training focused on taking small positive steps forward. They also then get Flegler and Coates as likely ins, and if Staggs plays it looks potentially their best team of in form players this season. Their best has also been at home (3 of their 4 wins).

The Tigers are not hard to oppose, and who knows what they bring here, more often than not of late its been rubbish. Their record when interstate is shocking, most recent when then travelled to Sunshine Coast to play Storm plenty suggest they had far more of a good time than focus on the job at hand and got whacked 66-16, then 10 days ago soundly beaten at home 38-22. They have had a week off, made multiple list changes, but very hard to catch and it doesn’t take much pressure for them to leak points.

Like to see final team lists in particular for the Broncos, but if Staggs plays they look to get a strong winning position.

-19.5 Rabbits v Bulldogs – Robina

Ground: Robina
52.5 Total Points (market position)

The Bulldogs are hard to trust but a 26 point line is could well be a big position here. Both teams are interstate, Rabbits have a potential 4 rep backups and I have heard that Marshall will be excluded due to recent baby birth, so much unknown on the team make up. As I have said previously they can be very in and out on when picking to dig in and have a go, and have not been at their best when having key players out, or backing up, or a mix of both. Should their 4 rep players play then they should win comfortably enough.

Bulldogs latest was strong, at 16 all they were a late chance of a major upset. They also get a few ins but still have up to 3 of their best players sidelined with injury, and their travel and distant travel record has been very poor including loosing their last 8 in Qld many of them by big margins.

A 26 pt line is too big for mine, but if all rep players play happy to just leave well alone. It’s that sort of week with so much unknown on final team make ups.


Longer Term Recommended Bet List

Bet 6 units Storm to win Premiership $2.60
Clearly now the benchmark and the one to beat, Panthers likely to have longer term injury questions over Cleary (shoulder) and Luai (knee), Storm have key depth, confidence and quality combinations

Bet 3 units Eagles to make Top 4 $5.00
Think the price is way too high, Eagles have a very soft run home with only 2 games vs Top 4 contenders then a further 10 vs bottom 8 sides/contenders. Clearly they are very reliant on the fitness of Tom Trbojevic which is factored into the odds and my bet, but if he plays most of these games they give this a huge shake

Bet 3 units Raiders to miss Top 8 $2.00 Topsport $1.95 Tab
Lost 5 straight and should have been beat by 16th placed Bulldogs last week, not a happy crew from everything I hear, think bottom of the 8 gets very competitive in second half of the yr and have to take them on

Bet 4 units Panthers Minor Premiers $3.30 Topsport
Market is also available at Tab and Sportsbet $3.00
Undefeated after 3 rounds, quality longer home record and have depth in key positions, my numbers right now suggest they now appear as $2.00 chance

Bet 5 units Titans top QLD team $1.77 Topsport
Market is also available at Ladbrokes $1.75 and Sportsbet $1.67
We have a small interest speculator on Titans Top 4, think this is a positive way to cover our stake longer term. Three way contest, what we are betting is the final table position between Titans and Cowboys and I’m confident on the Titans progression late last yr (won last 5 games), key signings, positive off season + quality coach that this is the right play. Should Cam Smith turn up mid season as I expect then icing on the cake!

Bet 6 units Storm Top 4 $1.85
Looks an excellent longer term anchor bet, Bellamy’s record of top 4 finishes each season is unparalleled, as is his ability to replace players and bring his team back to the top. They will win near 90% of home games (Melb or Sunshine Coast), have near the best D once again and likely finish top two.

Bet 3 units Broncos most losses $5.00
Expected / rate them closer to $2.00, this price looks very very generous. The squad is weaker than last yr (and they finished with the spoon), start the season with key injury outs, question mark on whether Coach is up to this task and have a hard draw.

Bet 2 units Titans to make Top 4 $4.50
Think the Coach is quality, started to put his imprimatur in them late into the season with some very positive and exciting play/results. They have purchased astutely, top 4 might be a reach (you can save top 8 at $1.85 if you wish) but I just see a) lot of up side and b) a comp with potential long tail. They look the team with the flashing red light for me this season. There is some $5.00 available in some places.


Market Odds Comparison – a quick link to assist with the available odds across many possible providers – nrl-odds-comparisons

Staking: The recommended units bet is indicated next to each bet in the above bet list. The base bet is 1 to 5 units (and is also a reflection of confidence. Everyone chooses to bet in different bet sizes, from differing betting banks (the personal funds they put aside for betting). Some will bet $20 per bet, some $200 per bet. So as to keep things simple and clear for everyone to follow we then talk in bet units. Our advice is to decide what size betting unit is likely to work for you and call this your betting unit, remembering that you may have approx. 5 to 10 units of recommended outlay per week per sport and that you also run the risk of losing.

Game Notes Preparation: FYI, with the introduction of Thursday night games in recent years it is now near impossible with the work and list of things that I chose to do to have all game previews written and finished until late in each week or early Saturday am. With the final team lists not announced until Tuesday afternoon, which I then re rate against (current performance, key ins and outs / final team lists and then look to handicap each up coming game then consider a range of form and match up factors towards final potential bets and written game previews. In short with team lists announced late Tuesday that then leaves two days to work through these tasks. I will focus the first preview notes at any game that has a recommended bet so that any key factors and reasoning is then known in advance, and then be working through each game there after in order of day and time (from Thursday onward).

Follow us on Twitter at

@readingtheplay

©Copyright Reading The Play

All care taken. No responsibility accepted. Please check all information at your own discretion. Any prices quoted for suggested bets are accurate at the time of writing. For personal use ONLY. This information may not be reproduced in any way whatsoever or re-used for any purpose whatsoever without the prior written permission of Reading The Play.

NRL Tips Previews Sports Betting

MrG’s game previews and analysis for this weeks round of NRL are listed above. Each NRL Preview and Sports Betting Tips message thread will normally open on a Wednesday and list any early game ratings and thoughts. It will be updated each day and then detailed game by game Previews, Ratings and final Bet List will be published online by 8am on the morning of the first game of the round (Thursdays). All subscribers can also receive all key information and updates by direct sms message.

Subscription Options

A range of subscription packages are available to suit everyone (from as low as $16.25 a week), with various multi week and season pass options available – or various subscription combinations can also be taken with our Horse Racing offering.

State of Origin | Game 3 | NRL | 2021

Game 3: Team Lists and Changes

Market Update:

The injury outs and late teams changes coupled with the multiple venue changes has moved the market many times. It started as 19.5 between them with NSW very warm favs, 18.5 then 16.5 the 14.5 and key NSW outs and the venue changed to Newcastle.

Now with the game at Robina we have 11.5 and NSW $1.28 QLD $3.90

I think 11.5 looks somewhat generous to QLD. No doubt they are stronger, and NSW weaker (key halves outs) but with a series that sits game results 2-0 and score line 76-6 and the back 5 in attack that NSW still retain we are only talking two converted tries.

Preview Thoughts:

Firstly a dead rubber game and then all of these key outs and out team changes muddies the water somewhat in trying to line up what might unfold.

Cleary and Luai are big outs, their combination has been first class and Nathan has the best kicking game in the competition. Ponga is a big in for QLD, he’s a 5 star game changer and or influencer who can make things happen with a rare touch of class and skill.

I take some confidence out of Fittler being coach and hopefully keeping his NSW lot off the soup and focused on a 3-0 result. All reports out of their camp this year in particular have been of a focused, united group with no ratbags or play out clowns as has been involved previously and that a stiff lemonade is about as strong a drink as most of they get into, os there is some credence in them wanting to again perform. Had it been Daly, Stuart or Gould it would have been the opposite, they’d have been partying all week long, but this is from all reports a different team and an different approach. The other plus for NSW may well be that Wighton and Moses have a point to prove that they can perform at this level and also offer a focused, quality offering. I’m yet to be a fan of Moses, but surrounded by quality he gets his chance. I do have a reservation with both that they each like to have the ball in hand and not pass as often as they should in club footy, with Turbo and Latrell outside them that’s the last thing NSW need. Turbo has had a free reign in each game, so that will work, he won’t die wondering or waiting for the ball, he’ll go looking for action.

QLD’s offering has been a disaster to date, now all three pre game preps a mess. Fifita and Arrow out in their forward line up is not what they need, and the worry for them is that even with Ponga in and any possible intent (at last) to shift the ball and play some attack on the back of a forward line up that has been dominated to date what room do they have to move and play?

NSW scored 50 in game 1 and 26 in game 2 (and left a few tries out there). If NSW have a real crack here then something like mid 20 to mid 30 is easily possible. For QLD to be anywhere in the hunt of victory they are going to need at least 4 tries and 22 to 26 and hope they are holding NSW back.

QLD have to play attack, and do something different to what they have done to date. They have to offload, they have to play lateral, play wide and play with lots of passes play after play, and predominantly to their strong left edge of Munster, Tabuai-Fidow, Ponga (on his favoured edge) and Holmes. Offloads, play wide, and come back through the middle, then play wide. But I have significant doubt looking at what was offered in both games to date that they have the smarts or capability to do either, or can sustain it past the opening 15 minutes.

The venue is interesting, and I’m sure helps both NSW and an attacking open game. Robina is the best surface of any ground in the comp, drains impeccably, lovely top surface and is fast. The days leading into this game will present sunny Gold Coast weather with tops each day of 20 to 22 and so perfect for Wednesday evening. The Titans have played 6 games here this season with total points of 44, 58, 70, 50, 69 and 80 at an average of 61.3 pts per game. Everything is set up for points – its just a matter of whether we can get QLD to contribute enough to get us somewhere around the mark of 50. I’m hopeful that with a) some attack intent, b) Munster getting more early ball, c) Ponga being in the game an weaving some of his influence and d) Tabuai-Fidow and Brimson off the bench there is enough spark for all of this to happen.

Once again I think points is the best angle to the game. I expect NSW win, and I expect that they do cover 12 pts or more. Very hard to see how the wizard in Tommy T doesn’t come up with at least one try, and so the best back up option is he as an anytime try scorer into NSW to win. If I went looking for QLD options to include then I think down their left edge is the play, Ponga and or Holmes to anytime score.

Bet 2 units points over 46.5 $1.90

Bet 2 units (same game muti) NSW to win $1.28 x Tom Trbojevic anytime try $1.86 / $2.19

My Podcast same game multi – NSW to win $1.28 x Tom Trbojevic anytime try $1.92 x Ponga anytime try $3.00 / $7.13

©Copyright Reading The Play

All care taken. No responsibility accepted. Please check all information at your own discretion. Any prices quoted for suggested bets are accurate at the time of writing. For personal use ONLY. This information may not be reproduced in any way whatsoever or re-used for any purpose whatsoever without the prior written permission of Reading The Play.

NRL Tips & Game Previews | Round 17 | 2021

nrl_tips_reading_the_play
MrG provides our NRL Tips Previews and content each week for our Reading The Play NRL subscribers. Further details on our NRL offering here

MrG’s Game Handicaps for this round

-12.5 Eagles v Raiders
-12.5 Rabbits v Cowboys – Newcastle
+24.5 Bulldogs v Roosters
-4.5 Sharks v Warriors


Recommended Bet List

Futures
Bet 6 units Storm to win Premiership $2.60
Clearly now the benchmark and the one to beat, Panthers likely to have longer term injury questions over Cleary (shoulder) and Luai (knee), Storm have key depth, confidence and quality combinations

Bet 2 units Bulldogs-Roosters points under 49.5 $1.90 BB
Forecast rain Fri and Sat, game at Bankwest mid winter can be damp and slippery, hard to see where Bulldogs pts come from, no Tedesco

Bet 2 units $2.35
All up option, both to score an anytime try – $2.35
Alex Johnson (Rabbits) $1.49 (Fri)
x Matt Iluvalu (Roosters) $1.50 (Sat)

Origin 3
Bet 3 units points over 44.5 $1.90
At Newcastle, dead rubber game, dry track, attack the focus, Ponga and Brimson big helps to QLD, any defence just optional, looks a points athon

BB – Indicates Best Bet

Any longer term plays that have been recommended in prior weeks will be listed at the base of this message


Individual Game Tips

Eagles, Rabbits, Roosters, Sharks, NSW


Game Preview Notes

-12.5 Eagles v Raiders

Ground: Brookvale
49.5 Total Points (market position)

Eagles back at Brookvale and have won 19 of last 25 head to head v Raiders, even without their outs should be winning here. They have been winning against lowly placed teams and or out of form weak opponents but look to get another one of these here.

Raiders have now lost 9 of last 11 and were just plain horrible last week, I have no doubt that for what ever background issues this playing group look to have well and truly given up on the coach at present. To leak points at will as they did on the back of all the ho hum spoken prior to the game is all about attitude, and clearly they have none at present and are in free fall down the table. They to also then have 4 outs from last game which they can ill afford and rookies playing key roles at 6 and 1.

Eagles have built some confidence and combinations and should be able to just do enough to win. The line it big, especially with these rep outs, but the Raiders have only covered the line 3 of 15 so far this season, I couldn’t touch them in any way. Eagles to win, happy to stay well away from the game.

-12.5 Rabbits v Cowboys – Newcastle

Ground: Newcastle
47.5 Total Points (market position)

Game now oved to Newcastle. I really would have liked to have found an opponent to oppose the Rabbits at the start this week, but sadly its not the Cowboys. The Rabbits are so dependent on their key rep players and just drop such a level in confidence and combinations when they don’t play – as we saw just weeks ago when at home against the Knights (long prince and high line favs against a then weak Knights side yet struggled to get to 24-10). I’m sure this is just a week of lets get through the game, get the result and get on with it.

The Cows have lost 3, had 38 put through them with ease last week, are back to back away, have lost 14 of last 16 away, they to also have 3 rep outs and leak 36 in D when away this yr. Horrible, they get some chance here but just best to stay well away.

+24.5 Bulldogs v Roosters

Ground: Bankwest
49.5 Total Points (market position)

With rain forecast in Sydney Fri and Sat that has to come into play here with the game at Bankwest which mid winter lacks full sun exposure, so I am expecting a damp and likely slippery track.

Roosters drop back many levels here off losses to the top two teams to now face a weak 16th placed opponent. Radley is a key in, they should have the forward muscle and nous in the halves and Manu at the back to o enough to win, but I don’t suspect this will be a walk in the park nor would want to entertain them covering 22 at the line. looks an ugly scrappy game on a damp surface against an ugly scrappy opponent.

I can’t see where or how the Bulldogs have points in them in these conditions with this team list. They are still missing a few key guys and their best footy is when at full strength and on dry ground when they can shift the ball. They average just 11 points in attack this season, its very hard to see them scoring more than possibly 12 here? Maybe 3 tries at best, but that does look a stretch.

Given all of this combined I struggle to see where the points are in this game, I mark it somewhere around 40 at best unless the Bulldogs either have a real crack at moving the ball or once again completely fold and roll over. I think the under points is the right way to play the game.

-4.5 Sharks v Warriors

Ground: Kogarah
49.5 Total Points (market position)

With the key team changes to the Warriors I found this game hard to line up and one that looked best to just watch. The Warriors have been very warmly supported all week, 8.5 to 4.5 they may have opened with a little bit of fat in the position but gee the Warriors are hard to want to back in any way until they show some quality improvement. They have lost 6 of their last 7, the win was very lucky, and they have thrown away numerous other winning positions like they again did last week when up with a 12 pt margin with just 8 minutes left. Lodge adds some muscle, Nikorima and Walsh some smarts and attack, but overall their defensive offering and attitude still remains their biggest issue.

Sharks beat fair and square last week, dropped off at key times in that game and looked to be a bit complacent at times off winning 4 straight. This is an important game, they can add a further 4 point gap to those behind them, including this opponent, but their handling and key discipline needs to really aim up and limit the errors and invitations back into the contest as they did last week. Their record at Kogarah is good, they have also won 12 of the last 15 head to head and won 4 of their last 6 at the ground. I think the handicap opened too big, but even at 4.5 the Sharks are not a team I trust under a little bit of focus and pressure. They should win, I don’t like the game match up.


Longer Term Recommended Bet List

Bet 6 units Storm to win Premiership $2.60
Clearly now the benchmark and the one to beat, Panthers likely to have longer term injury questions over Cleary (shoulder) and Luai (knee), Storm have key depth, confidence and quality combinations

Bet 3 units Eagles to make Top 4 $5.00
Think the price is way too high, Eagles have a very soft run home with only 2 games vs Top 4 contenders then a further 10 vs bottom 8 sides/contenders. Clearly they are very reliant on the fitness of Tom Trbojevic which is factored into the odds and my bet, but if he plays most of these games they give this a huge shake

Bet 3 units Raiders to miss Top 8 $2.00 Topsport $1.95 Tab
Lost 5 straight and should have been beat by 16th placed Bulldogs last week, not a happy crew from everything I hear, think bottom of the 8 gets very competitive in second half of the yr and have to take them on

Bet 4 units Panthers Minor Premiers $3.30 Topsport
Market is also available at Tab and Sportsbet $3.00
Undefeated after 3 rounds, quality longer home record and have depth in key positions, my numbers right now suggest they now appear as $2.00 chance

Bet 5 units Titans top QLD team $1.77 Topsport
Market is also available at Ladbrokes $1.75 and Sportsbet $1.67
We have a small interest speculator on Titans Top 4, think this is a positive way to cover our stake longer term. Three way contest, what we are betting is the final table position between Titans and Cowboys and I’m confident on the Titans progression late last yr (won last 5 games), key signings, positive off season + quality coach that this is the right play. Should Cam Smith turn up mid season as I expect then icing on the cake!

Bet 6 units Storm Top 4 $1.85
Looks an excellent longer term anchor bet, Bellamy’s record of top 4 finishes each season is unparalleled, as is his ability to replace players and bring his team back to the top. They will win near 90% of home games (Melb or Sunshine Coast), have near the best D once again and likely finish top two.

Bet 3 units Broncos most losses $5.00
Expected / rate them closer to $2.00, this price looks very very generous. The squad is weaker than last yr (and they finished with the spoon), start the season with key injury outs, question mark on whether Coach is up to this task and have a hard draw.

Bet 2 units Titans to make Top 4 $4.50
Think the Coach is quality, started to put his imprimatur in them late into the season with some very positive and exciting play/results. They have purchased astutely, top 4 might be a reach (you can save top 8 at $1.85 if you wish) but I just see a) lot of up side and b) a comp with potential long tail. They look the team with the flashing red light for me this season. There is some $5.00 available in some places.


Market Odds Comparison – a quick link to assist with the available odds across many possible providers – nrl-odds-comparisons

Staking: The recommended units bet is indicated next to each bet in the above bet list. The base bet is 1 to 5 units (and is also a reflection of confidence. Everyone chooses to bet in different bet sizes, from differing betting banks (the personal funds they put aside for betting). Some will bet $20 per bet, some $200 per bet. So as to keep things simple and clear for everyone to follow we then talk in bet units. Our advice is to decide what size betting unit is likely to work for you and call this your betting unit, remembering that you may have approx. 5 to 10 units of recommended outlay per week per sport and that you also run the risk of losing.

Game Notes Preparation: FYI, with the introduction of Thursday night games in recent years it is now near impossible with the work and list of things that I chose to do to have all game previews written and finished until late in each week or early Saturday am. With the final team lists not announced until Tuesday afternoon, which I then re rate against (current performance, key ins and outs / final team lists and then look to handicap each up coming game then consider a range of form and match up factors towards final potential bets and written game previews. In short with team lists announced late Tuesday that then leaves two days to work through these tasks. I will focus the first preview notes at any game that has a recommended bet so that any key factors and reasoning is then known in advance, and then be working through each game there after in order of day and time (from Thursday onward).

Follow us on Twitter at

@readingtheplay

©Copyright Reading The Play

All care taken. No responsibility accepted. Please check all information at your own discretion. Any prices quoted for suggested bets are accurate at the time of writing. For personal use ONLY. This information may not be reproduced in any way whatsoever or re-used for any purpose whatsoever without the prior written permission of Reading The Play.

NRL Tips Previews Sports Betting

MrG’s game previews and analysis for this weeks round of NRL are listed above. Each NRL Preview and Sports Betting Tips message thread will normally open on a Wednesday and list any early game ratings and thoughts. It will be updated each day and then detailed game by game Previews, Ratings and final Bet List will be published online by 8am on the morning of the first game of the round (Thursdays). All subscribers can also receive all key information and updates by direct sms message.

Subscription Options

A range of subscription packages are available to suit everyone (from as low as $16.25 a week), with various multi week and season pass options available – or various subscription combinations can also be taken with our Horse Racing offering.

NRL Tips & Game Previews | Round 16 | 2021

nrl_tips_reading_the_play
MrG provides our NRL Tips Previews and content each week for our Reading The Play NRL subscribers. Further details on our NRL offering here

MrG’s Game Handicaps for this round

+12.5 Roosters v Storm – Newcastle
-1.5 Warriors v Dragons
-6.5 Panthers v Eels
+26.5 Bulldogs v Eagles – Bankwest
-3.5 Raiders v Titans
-4.5 Knights v Cowboys
+7.5 Broncos v Sharks
-20.5 Tigers v Rabbits – Leichhardt


Recommended Bet List

Bet 2.5 units Storm -11.5 $1.90 BB
Panthers put 38 through Roosters last start, can’t see that 12 is enough for this match up, questions of Tedesco backing up, Walker crook shoulder

Bet 1.5 units Panthers-Eels anytime try scorer Brian To’o (Panthers) $1.91 Topsport
Bet 1 unit Panthers-Eels anytime try scorer Matt Burton (Panthers) $3.45 Topsport

Bet 1.5 units Eagles -23.5 $1.90
Bulldogs have 7 outs / changes – how is that going to work? Even factoring Turbo Tom out this looks a training run

Bet 1.5 units Titans +7.5 $1.90
Raiders 2 wins have been against 15th and 16th, and have lost 9 of last 10 second halves, price looks way too generous

Bet 2 units Broncos-Sharks points under 52.5 $1.90
3 days of heavy rain forecast for Brisbane prior to this game, damp track looks to make 54 pts a stretch

Bet 2 units $2.32
All up option, both to score an anytime try – $2.32
Addo-Carr (Storm) $1.59 (Thurs night)
x Alex Johnson (Rabbits) $1.45 (Sunday)

BB – Indicates Best Bet

Any longer term plays that have been recommended in prior weeks will be listed at the base of this message


Individual Game Tips

Storm, Warriors, Panthers, Eagles, Titans, Knights, Sharks, Rabbits


Game Preview Notes

+12.5 Roosters v Storm

Ground: Newcastle
49.5 Total Points (market position)

Game moved to Newcastle. Roosters have now lost their last 10 straight when up against the top 4 teams on the table, and in the majority of those have also lost by 10 or more point margins (and at their last 6 games have failed to cover 4). I think the Panthers game two weeks back is a decent rule of thumb over this match up, while some excuses can be made the Panthers ended up coming away strongly in the second half with a 38-12 win. The short story is that the Roosters have had the quality of their overall line up for this season decimated with key long term injury outs and so they are not playing with the cards they originally expected. The 9, 7 and 6 have all changed, they have some your and in experience, and then in addition some further outs (Radley) and players playing busted. They are in a tough spot, even harder when against these pointy end teams.

Storm have won their last 12, covered the line 11 of 12 and covered the line at 18 of their last 25 when away, sit on top of the table and are a commanding power at present. Thy have a mix of some key players back and a couple missing, but the overall strength of what they are doing with the list that they put out is nothing but impressive. The Tigers were cannon fodder a few weeks back, Munster has a point to prove, Newcastle won’t concern them, they have won 4 of last 5 head to head, I expect their overall strength of team list, combinations and strike to be too strong.

-1.5 Warriors v Dragons

Ground: Gosford
50.5 Total Points (market position)

Found it hard to like the game and or get much between them. Warriors have some key new ins and a few player returns but have been treading water, have lost 4 of last 5 and it could well have been 5 straight but for lucky late win over Tigers (which also reads poorly). Overall they have been good at Gosford, have covered 10 of last 15 here but not winning many of them, but on paper have a very good record for some reason over the Dragons winning the last 5 straight (and covering the line in all 5).

Dragons off some unlikeable form but do get 3 key ins here which should help. They also get their Origin players back and of those Hunt has been very important to their overall form. Away record is poor, but with these player ins this becomes a very winnable game for them.

Both teams have been very inconsistent and put in some poor offerings through recent weeks, Dragons touched up by Bulldogs and then lucky late win over Raiders. Warriors some soft poor form in general. Slight lean to Warriors at home, horrible game and match up.

-6.5 Panthers v Eels

Ground: Penrith
45.5 Total Points (market position)

Line has had some major movements through recent days, 10.5 to now 5.5 on the back of Cleary and then Edwards outs. But Panthers remain at home (unfortunately without a crowd) and their record grows a leg here winning last 16 straight (and 20 of last 21). They have also won 4 of last 6 v Eels, and when at Penrith 5 of last 7, so an overall strong position. Cleary is no doubt a very major out, it will be a good watch to see how they cope with out him and I suspect ok, Burton is very capable as we know as is Luai – growing in confidence by the week and off the growth and experience of Origin. They will still be very tough here.

The markets put the Eels up 10.5 or 12 point underdogs, a clear indication of how they see them up against a top of table benchmark side. I think the real interest here is what they bring, offer and how they defend. It would be fair to suggest they have been flat track bullies to date, and the recent form reads wins over Bulldogs, Tigers, Knights – prior two losses against top of table teams in Rabbits and Eagles. their best has an offload game that can create some play and opportunity, and a dam nice test for their 7 and 6 to aim up and lead the way.

I’m with the market suggestion and lead, expect Eels still need to aim up in these big games, I’m still with the Panthers to show their depth, class and confidence, especially at home.

+26.5 Bulldogs v Eagles

Ground: Bankwest (Parramatta)
50.5 Total Points (market position)

Bulldogs have 7 outs and changes, and have to bring in 3 new debutants to make up the numbers. All of the benefit and gains made over the last 3 to 4 games now put under pressure and risk due to 5 idiots breaching Covid protocol. They have a tendency when the going is against them and or gets tough to fold and put their heads down as they did last against the Eels, they could well be in some trouble here if the Eagles want to have a real crack.

Interesting to see if Tom T plays or is rested (I suspect the later and that’s what I have worked on), but even so the Eagles have some strike in the 7, 6, Walker if he plays and or where he plays and some of the other options around them, if they work hard from the outset and get the smell of bloody in the water here the score and margin could be anything. If Tom plays, well… They get the Bulldogs with 3 key forward outs (who they can ill afford to be missing given their smarts and experience against this forward line up), then a further 4 back outs, and all of this then diminishes depth on their bench. Think the line starts 28 to 30, and I expect if the Eagles are half serious they put a number up here.

-3.5 Raiders v Titans

Ground: Canberra
50.5 Total Points (market position)

Was surprised at the gap in the market here, two bad teams in shit form, even with home advantage the Raiders are not for mine a 8 to 10 point fav, and I struggled to have it 3.5

Basically we have a tail of two poor form lines and offerings. Raiders have lost 8 of last 10 games, the 2 wins Bulldogs and Broncos. In their last 10 games they have lost the 2nd half 9 times, as we know know having a horrible habit of folding (and looks to becoming a significant mental issue). Prior to beating the Broncos a few weeks ago they had lost their prior 4 at home. Its all an ugly mess, they sure aint warm favs.

Titans have lost their last 4 straight and have been equally as disappointing, but there might be a semblance of strength of formline there, near beat Storm, put 20 something points on in second half vs Roosters and lead Eagles by 16 at half time last game. Like the Raiders they are very hard to find or catch, do have a similar habit of laying down in games, and have a poor record in Canberra and against the Raiders, but they might have a few positives here in a) getting all Origin players back an the b) getting other key ins in Brimson, Thompson and Proctor for what looks their strongest line up for some time. Having lost these last 4 straight they also have significant pressure and focus on them to be winning.

Tricky game with strong confidence but I think the market line looks too big and can mount an argument in the Titans being well enough placed here with the team line up that they have. Hopefully they are leading or in touch with the Raiders at half time and some pressure is built into the second stanza for them to be finishing strongly 9and or with the help of the line).

-4.5 Knights v Cowboys

Ground: Newcastle
50.5 Total Points (market position)

Knights have a few positives here. Off a win at home last start (Warriors)in very tricky and difficult weather conditions, albeit thin form line but also with the benefit of Pearce having had his first return game and match fitness. The new combination of Pearce and Clifford in the halves also looks positive and strong and the potential to only get better, they now importantly get Ponga back. This looks their strongest line up for some time, and now with strength of 9, 7, 6 and 1 they get a chance to put together some decent form. Importantly their best form is here at home, they have won 9 of their last 13 games here and 4 of their last 5 head to head here against the Cowboys. Also, when as home favs they have covered 10 of their last 14. The biggest issue of recent moths surrounding the Knights has been getting key experienced players back (now happening) and their overall attitude, this game will tell us more but there can be no excuse.

Cowboys are easy to dislike with their recent defensive offerings and when on the road, they have now lost 13 of their last 15 when away and have had 50 and 30 put thorough them at their last two away games, and as previously noted their right edge D a disaster while their opposite edge not much better. I’m not sure where the leadership in the middle and their forward line up is, Taumalolo has been poor and missing and Mclean and or Hess hardly led the way.

Knights get their chance to put wins back to back, expect their spine lead the way.

+7.5 Broncos v Sharks

Ground: Brisbane
53.5 Total Points (market position)

Bit of a watch on the Broncos this week here. Have lost 9 of their last 11 at home but for a side sitting bottom of table for near 2 seasons that’s then 2 wins at home, and they have covered the line here 6 of the last 9. They come off a bye, plenty of media focus and heat, then the internal influence of new CEO and ben Ikin’s arrival. I would suggest that Kevin Walters noises of recent days are those of someone who has been told to shut up, stop the list cuts and swaps and in and out team changes and just get on with coaching and improving the team performance. They also get Staggs back for the first time this season – so all of this has the potential to add up to some improvement – maybe. I can’t be anywhere near them, but have some respect that it might be one of those weeks where they improve and or show something more. Any improvement wouldn’t be hard..

Sharks have now won 4 straight and offered some positive play amongst that, and two of these wins have been Sunshine Coast and Townsville so a trip into Brisbane is no issue. Aside from Wayde Graham and Dugan they are in good shape, Johnson, Moylan and Kennedy have led the way. Off the back of those 4 wins the Sharks now sit 8th, this is a must win 9as the majority of the table will be beating the Broncos) and then gives them further advantage and a positive roll into the weeks ahead. I expect they win, have the line about the same, happy to leave alone.

The play of interest is the total. Brisbane is to have 3 days of very heavy rain Thurs to Saturday (and started Wednesday), so I expect a damp track, possibly quite damp for Sunday arvo. I think 54 points could well be a stretch anyway, especially if the Broncos offer an improved offering, any damp track should make that harder. A small play on 52 points or less.

-20.5 Tigers v Rabbits

Ground: Leichhardt
53.5 Total Points (market position)

On paper the Rabbits should win and win comfortably enough and a line of 20 looks right. The Tigers are not hard to oppose at present, flogged 66-16 last start and 40-12 the week prior, but off such a horrible offering last start and then the break and bye one would have to suspect that they at least improve here. It’s all attitude and effort for them, my mail is that they had a camp for days prior to the Storm game on the Sunshine Coast but for many it turned into a piss up and led to a really complacent offering (reflected on the scoreboard). Amongst this playing group clearly there are plenty of passengers who lack care and the right attitude, and somewhere in all of this is the coach and his management and or leadership. Obviously a mess – and so then tricky to forecast what the hell they bring here. I suspect the answer is what the Rabbits start with, if its strong and consistent early on then likely breaks their back pretty quickly.

My only major question on the Rabbits is how their Origin players come up and then apply themselves. Even at 70% to 80% of their best with this list then a 20 point margin should be comfortable. They have won 11 of 14 and have a heap of strike play in them and can quickly rattle up points, especially with their backline strengths and ball shift notably to their right.

Rabbits to win, think they do it comfortably, happy to stay out at this stage with the Tigers back at Leichhardt.


Longer Term Recommended Bet List

Bet 6 units Storm to win Premiership $2.60
Clearly now the benchmark and the one to beat, Panthers likely to have longer term injury questions over Cleary (shoulder) and Luai (knee), Storm have key depth, confidence and quality combinations

Bet 3 units Eagles to make Top 4 $5.00
Think the price is way too high, Eagles have a very soft run home with only 2 games vs Top 4 contenders then a further 10 vs bottom 8 sides/contenders. Clearly they are very reliant on the fitness of Tom Trbojevic which is factored into the odds and my bet, but if he plays most of these games they give this a huge shake

Bet 3 units Raiders to miss Top 8 $2.00 Topsport $1.95 Tab
Lost 5 straight and should have been beat by 16th placed Bulldogs last week, not a happy crew from everything I hear, think bottom of the 8 gets very competitive in second half of the yr and have to take them on

Bet 4 units Panthers Minor Premiers $3.30 Topsport
Market is also available at Tab and Sportsbet $3.00
Undefeated after 3 rounds, quality longer home record and have depth in key positions, my numbers right now suggest they now appear as $2.00 chance

Bet 5 units Titans top QLD team $1.77 Topsport
Market is also available at Ladbrokes $1.75 and Sportsbet $1.67
We have a small interest speculator on Titans Top 4, think this is a positive way to cover our stake longer term. Three way contest, what we are betting is the final table position between Titans and Cowboys and I’m confident on the Titans progression late last yr (won last 5 games), key signings, positive off season + quality coach that this is the right play. Should Cam Smith turn up mid season as I expect then icing on the cake!

Bet 6 units Storm Top 4 $1.85
Looks an excellent longer term anchor bet, Bellamy’s record of top 4 finishes each season is unparalleled, as is his ability to replace players and bring his team back to the top. They will win near 90% of home games (Melb or Sunshine Coast), have near the best D once again and likely finish top two.

Bet 3 units Broncos most losses $5.00
Expected / rate them closer to $2.00, this price looks very very generous. The squad is weaker than last yr (and they finished with the spoon), start the season with key injury outs, question mark on whether Coach is up to this task and have a hard draw.

Bet 2 units Titans to make Top 4 $4.50
Think the Coach is quality, started to put his imprimatur in them late into the season with some very positive and exciting play/results. They have purchased astutely, top 4 might be a reach (you can save top 8 at $1.85 if you wish) but I just see a) lot of up side and b) a comp with potential long tail. They look the team with the flashing red light for me this season. There is some $5.00 available in some places.


Market Odds Comparison – a quick link to assist with the available odds across many possible providers – nrl-odds-comparisons

Staking: The recommended units bet is indicated next to each bet in the above bet list. The base bet is 1 to 5 units (and is also a reflection of confidence. Everyone chooses to bet in different bet sizes, from differing betting banks (the personal funds they put aside for betting). Some will bet $20 per bet, some $200 per bet. So as to keep things simple and clear for everyone to follow we then talk in bet units. Our advice is to decide what size betting unit is likely to work for you and call this your betting unit, remembering that you may have approx. 5 to 10 units of recommended outlay per week per sport and that you also run the risk of losing.

Game Notes Preparation: FYI, with the introduction of Thursday night games in recent years it is now near impossible with the work and list of things that I chose to do to have all game previews written and finished until late in each week or early Saturday am. With the final team lists not announced until Tuesday afternoon, which I then re rate against (current performance, key ins and outs / final team lists and then look to handicap each up coming game then consider a range of form and match up factors towards final potential bets and written game previews. In short with team lists announced late Tuesday that then leaves two days to work through these tasks. I will focus the first preview notes at any game that has a recommended bet so that any key factors and reasoning is then known in advance, and then be working through each game there after in order of day and time (from Thursday onward).

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NRL Tips Previews Sports Betting

MrG’s game previews and analysis for this weeks round of NRL are listed above. Each NRL Preview and Sports Betting Tips message thread will normally open on a Wednesday and list any early game ratings and thoughts. It will be updated each day and then detailed game by game Previews, Ratings and final Bet List will be published online by 8am on the morning of the first game of the round (Thursdays). All subscribers can also receive all key information and updates by direct sms message.

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State of Origin | Game 2 | NRL | 2021

Game 2: Team Lists and Changes

NSW all but unchanged and as expected, Crichton into the forward list a quality in.

QLD have multiple changes. The starting point is that they are with out key strike players in Ponga, Brimson and Harry Grant – combined huge outs. Each has shown at this level through recent seasons that they are individually game breakers and in a game where attack and scoreboard points are going to be required this really brings them back to the mark. Papalii is a quality addition, and they should see more from Walsh. McCullough and Hunt are forced selections, but there is a significant gap in comparison to what they might bring (at their very best) compared to who they replace and or who they are up against. The rest of the changes to some of their forward list look more like moving the deck chairs on the Titanic, the names have changed but I see very little in the change of influence.

The other point of note is in the three quarters, I would have gone with a return to Chambers, he is a big body and normally very strong edge defender and moved Capewell into the backrow. Capewell’s sideways mobility when caught on an edge was exposed in game 1, and both he and Gagai were often caught on the back foot defending at speed runners with room, a defensive nightmare when up against Trbojevic and Mitchell and or Tedesco.

Weather. The rain and showers in Brisbane central itself has been only light through Thursday to Saturday and clearing, and none of the heavy or up to 10mms in the early possible forecast. Saturday looks further clearing into a sunny 21 dry Sunday and I’d expect a good mainly dry surface conducive to attacking footy on Sunday evening. So while not dry and very fast as we saw in Townsville we should be onto a good surface, on a ground that drains very well (and after decent rain Wednesday of last week we then saw 46 points and numerous bombed tries by the Rabbits only two days later on the Friday evening).

The line opened 7.5, was 11.5 Monday and has been in free fall since now out to 14.5 I expect that on game day with the news of drying conditions (and a lack of big rain on Saturday) that we will likely see it move further given NSW are normally very well favoured by both the big punters and the rank and file. Total points sits at 46.5 (game 1 was 42.5).

This ground (and night games here) normally strongly favours attack and points and has a strongly overall record of high totals and points over results. That can be tempered in the past in Origin in both game 1 contests at this venue, or sometimes game 2, but we are also now playing in different times and rule / play set up.

Another key factor here and probably won’t get much media attention until post game 2 or 3 is Green and not Bennett as QLD coach. This series and scenario is right up the master coach’s alley – as we saw in the decider in game 3 last year. For mine he rents space in Fittler’s head and caused him no amount of headache with his experience and people / media management last year and his mastery as a coach in pulling what ever his list is together for a one out backs against the wall effort (especially at Suncorp). Green showed rookie mistakes in the lead up to game 1 and for mine is not even in the same postcode as the master, and it has also allowed Fittler to swing 360 with an air of confidence with no Bennett factor to sidetrack or flip him.

I expect NSW win, and win comfortably enough but a burnt and hurt QLD back to Suncorp in a Game 2 can (in the past) be fraught with danger in taking them on. Home teams in game 2 of Origin have a 77% record of WINNING. QLD’s long term record in this position (Home, Game 2) has seen only a few losses, and all at 8 or less. So a line first opened at 7.5 made a lot of sense, but clearly we now have a game shape all out of whack and the teams with high strike and skill can blow these lines off the park very quickly. It would not surprise me if NSW win by 20 or more again.

QLD for mine have no choice but to have to try and come up with points and be in this battle on the scoreboard from the outset. They could try and go down the path of defence, shut down, slow down and try and use an enormous defensive effort to close thigs down and try and lift to win, but given the style of game that we currently have and the level of strike and intention that NSW will have I would have thought such an approach was very low % outcome. So which ever way I work through the likely game set up I end up at NSW winning and the game having plenty of points. QLD scored just the one try in game one and had 8 put through them, so they’ll need a likely 4 tries here to compete and be any chance of winning, if they get to 2 maybe 3 tries and the market makers are right with a 12 to 16 point NSW win margin then we are already at mid to high 40 points. If QLD get to 20 and can hold NSW back a bit to mid to high 20’s, again the total is high. If the game gets away from QLD they are going to then have a problem reeling it in and or stopping and NSW if they are building in play and confidence as they look to have grown 10 feet tall the longer the second half went in game 1.

I expect NSW win, and likely win very comfortably. For the sake of serious outlay tho I am happy to leave a 16 point line alone and work around it. I think the best play options are NSW to win, high points and a couple of obvious guys as any time try scorers (these are formal bets).

Bet 2 units points over 46.5 $1.90 BB

Bet 1 unit (same game muti) NSW to win $1.23 x Tom Trbojevic anytime try $1.92 / $2.36

Bet 1 unit (same game muti) NSW to win $1.23 + Latrell Mitchell anytime try $2.21 / $2.71

If as I expect QLD have to have a crack then the game profiles with plenty of points. We saw 56 points in game 1 and QLD only contributed 6, they might improve their D here but 20 to 26 points each and or higher to NSW, or NSW 30 something to 18 or there abouts keeps bring us back to options of 48 or more. The #13, 7 and 6 for NSW were super in how they set the play up off some room, moved the ball and put both Trbojevic and Mitchell onto the ball and into room, I want to back both to again have big games. Tom is a freak at finding the tryline, Latrell is not far behind him.

©Copyright Reading The Play

All care taken. No responsibility accepted. Please check all information at your own discretion. Any prices quoted for suggested bets are accurate at the time of writing. For personal use ONLY. This information may not be reproduced in any way whatsoever or re-used for any purpose whatsoever without the prior written permission of Reading The Play.

NRL Tips & Game Previews | Round 15 | 2021

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MrG provides our NRL Tips Previews and content each week for our Reading The Play NRL subscribers. Further details on our NRL offering here

MrG’s Game Handicaps for this round

+18.5 Broncos v Rabbits
+1.5 Cowboys v Sharks
-10.5 Panthers v Roosters
-3.5 Knights v Warriors
+3.5 Dragons v Raiders
-22.5 Storm v Tigers
-18.5 Eels v Bulldogs
+11.5 Titans v Eagles


Recommended Bet List

Bet 1 unit Broncos-Rabbits over 50.5 $1.90
We have a forecast 18 point line and a Broncos conceding min 30 points a week, Rabbits back to full strength and a ground that strongly favours high scoring games and points over totals

Bet 2 units Cowboys-Sharks over 51.5 $1.85 BB
12 of the last 17 games (71%) with the Cowboys at home at this venue have gone over the most recent a 57 point game, Cowboys again last week leaked 50 points and their defence now looks worse than it has been, Sharks are scoring and av. now of 32 in attack and conceding 24 in defence when away

Bet 1 unit Sharks +2.5 $1.90
I have my position opposite to the market here, in particular off the Cowboys horrible defensive showing through last and prior weeks

Bet 1 unit Bulldogs +20.5 $1.90
Bet 1.5 units under 49.5 $1.90

Rain through recent days and again this morning plus wind should make this track damp and slippery

Bet 2.5 units Eagles -7.5 $1.85 BB
The Eagles at their best sparkling attack and with Tommy T back have a stack of strike and points in them as we know, notably putting 50 at home through the Cowboys last week, they look full of confidence, strong team list and against an opponent who can leak points quickly and at will and were down 30-4 last week and were very lucky to escaped that position, think this looks at least a 10 to 14 point handicap

Bet 1 unit $2.72
All up option, both to score an anytime try – $2.72
Alex Johnston (South Sydney Rabbitohs) $1.48 (Thurs night)
x Tom Trbojevic (Manly Sea Eagles) $1.84 (Sunday)

BB – Indicates Best Bet

Any longer term plays that have been recommended in prior weeks will be listed at the base of this message


Individual Game Tips

Rabbits, Sharks, Panthers, Knights, Raiders, Storm, Eels, Eagles


Game Preview Notes

+18.5 Broncos v Rabbits

Ground: Suncorp
50.5 Total Points (market position)

Bennett returns to Brisbane, clearly he’ll love this and has commanding recent record in these match ups. Rabbits back to full strength with 4 player ins, Broncos once again have key changes in halves and a new fullback, something like the 9th time they have had made or forced changes in these roles and clearly a significant factor in how poorly they have been all season long. With Hunt and Gamble in the halves I struggle to see where and how they create strike and set points up, it looks slow and pedestrian.

Rabbits with numerous outs last week got the job done well enough and keep ticking over, with these key ins of rep Origin players they look very hard to hold back against what can be a crumbling weak Broncos defence. They have won 5 of their last 6 when away, and with a forecast 18 point line (which I think looks right) this should be a comfortable enough win and a game that presents a set up for plenty of points. The Rabbits can be a little hot and cold in wanting to really put their foot down, but with Murray, Cook and Gagai back and Mitchell gaining further fitness it does look the right week or them to be up.

Broncos pretty much more of the same last week, another away loss and conceded plenty in playing the Raiders back into some form. Off two away losses they should be better back at home (2/6) but a dry fast track against an opponent that likes ball shift and attacking phases is not their ideal set up, and fast ball play and movement can very quickly open them up.

Think the line is right, I expect the Rabbits win and win comfortable, some slight hesitation being mid Origin period to play at the long line, it is a game that sets up for plenty of points especially if the Broncos can contribute something, and so I think the points over looks the best angle and small play. Rabbits 3 of last 4 outings have produced 54 or more points, Broncos 6 of their last 7 outings have produced 50 to 76 points, and the Broncos at this venue longer term has always been conducive to high scoring games.

+1.5 Cowboys v Sharks

Ground: Townsville
50.5 Total Points (market position)

Cowboys were absolutely horrible last week and I am concerned that there may have been some early signs of them starting to fall away into the second half of this season. They have been hot and cold for months and all but each week in high scoring games, and their recent wins have been against teams low on the table and or in bad spots (Warriors, Knights, Broncos) and their winning margins small including two golden point 1 pt victories. But I didn’t see them compounding as badly and as quickly as they did last week, leading 12-0 to then let 44 points through at will was just atrocious. The right edge was all but non existent, the lack of effort from some of their senior players also hopeless if not fragile. yes back at home I’m sure they likely improve a little, and 4 of their 5 wins this season have been here but they have a hell of a lot to do to tighten things up and not be conceding 30 points again.

Sharks have a great recent record both against this opponent and in Townsville winning 10 of the last 12. I found them last week to upset a depleted Panthers, that late hold on win after dominating the game for the first 60 minutes should do them more good, they have now won 3 and much of this coinciding with them finally having the majority of their key players back on the park together at the same time and building on their combinations. They to can rattle up some points, especially if and when they get an open attack free flowing style of games as looks to present itself here, they put 38 through the Titans on the Sunshine Coast two weeks ago (away game) and have been in plenty of high scoring contests over recent months (and or leaked plenty of points themselves on occasions).

I though the Sharks should have been small favs, I am opposite to the market and happy to have a small play on this. It does read though as an open high scoring game, we get a dry fast track, two teams happy to throw the ball around, and two teams who can be poor defending, especially in what looks the obvious open game style we expect here. 12 of the last 17 games (71%) with/when the Cowboys at home at this venue have gone over the most recent a 57 point game only a few weeks ago, and the Cowboys again last week leaked 50 points and their defence now looks worse than it has been. Sharks when away are scoring and av. now of 32 in attack and conceding 24 in defence, the game profiles as a high scoring, high 50’s to 60 point contest and I thought that looked the right play.

-10.5 Panthers v Roosters

Ground: Penrith
46.5 Total Points (market position)

Looks on paper a good match up, but a test for the Roosters stepping back to a level of playing a top of table opponent. Panthers get all of their rep platers back and are at full strength, they also come off two away games to then play back at home where they have such a long term strangle hold on opponents and play their best footy, winning their last 15 straight here and covering the line at 11 of those last 17.

Roosters have lost their last 9 games straight over the last 18 months when playing the top 4 on the ladder. The majority of those loses by 10 pts or more so the handicap position here is interesting. They do have a good record as an underdog, but it is these top of table clashes over the last 18 months in particular now with all of the long list of quality outs that they have for one reason or another that has made it so tough for them to compete with the pointy end. They get some key ins (including Tedesco is he plays, some speculation on doubt), probably have to rush Verrills back to #9, and Walker is now dealing with injury to both shoulders (and I’m sure see’s plenty of traffic).

Think the Panthers will be very keen to atone here and we see a very motivated offering. The 9, 7, 6 and Yeo back together will make a huge difference to how they play as an overall team, and I’m sure the outcome. I’m at a similar position to the market, expect Panthers aim up, 12 or more margin at home likely, but thought there looked some better betting options across the round.

-3.5 Knights v Warriors

Ground: Newcastle
49.5 Total Points (market position)

Looks a trick game and we take on trust the influence of Pearce in his return game to lead the Knights forward. With he, Klemmer and Hunt keys ins, the possibility of Ponga (but for mine highly doubtful) the Knights are clearly stronger, and Pearce had the overall game, leadership, experience, direction and kicking skill to make a significant difference. knights best has been at home (3/7) and they lobbed with an upset win v Eagles a few weeks ago but that game and there overall form has been hard to read and or very ordinary, especially their defensive offering (and notably down both outside edges).

Warriors have not been much of late either, lost 5 of last 7 and 4of last 6 at the ground and now lose #7 and #9 with injury. They have only covered 3 of 13 games this season so well over rated by the market expectation. It is the sort of game opponent that they can bob up in, but in conceding 26 each week now they are consistently under pressure to chase points and most often fail, and with two more key outs its hard to see where or how that improves.

I didn’t like the game, thought Knights at home with the key ins could improve.

+3.5 Dragons v Raiders

Ground: Wollongong
48.5 Total Points (market position)

Another interesting match up. Dragons off poor offering and loss to bottom placed Bulldogs (and soundly beaten) into short turn around (Monday to Saturday). Lomax named on extended bench, if he was to play he’d be a very helpful in.

Raiders off win over Broncos, their most recent two wins have been Broncos and Bulldogs and only 2 wins from last 9 games, and only covered the line handicap 3 of 13 season to date, so also very ugly performance week in week out and formlines. They have got a few key ins over last week and this and teh bye and a win may well have helped them a little. Also have a good record at this ground and overall v Dragons over the longer term.

Nightmare game. Which version of Dragons turns up, and or Raiders. Small lean to Raiders but impossible game to read.

-22.5 Storm v Tigers

Ground: Sunshine Coast
50.5 Total Points (market position)

Storm look to be in an imposing position here. Won all 7 at the ground, won last 11 straight and covered the line at 10 of those 11. Won 5 of last 7 vs Tigers and won this game at this ground last year 50-22. They still have a few outs but still offer an imposing side especially with Grant, Hughes and Munster combining.

Tigers went up the table v Eels last week and soundly beaten, Storm and away should be a far more difficult task. They have a key out in Adam Doueihi, a centre pairing now who are poor defenders and have lost 6 of the last 7 when they have been travelling interstate.

Storm look clear cut winners, just a matter of where we put the foot down on the handicap. At 22 to 24 its a big position, but both the Storm’s record and that of other teams at the top of the table winning and covering this position is very strong, as they again did last week (Warriors). Pending weather and final teams I could entertain it, but happy to just wait and see how the weekend and weather is unfolding

-18.5 Eels v Bulldogs

Ground: Parramatta
50.5 Total Points (market position)

Eels come off two good wins against teams in the bottom half of the table, and now again meet the Bulldogs in a suitable position (16th) and at home. The two have a long history as rivals, but through recent years the Eels have dominated winning 9 of the last 11. They are also at home (Bankwest) where they have been well advantaged over the last 18 months.

Which Bulldogs turn up? They were very good last Monday, I would argue the best they have offered across the last 3 years, the bye weekend off and getting some of their best players back over the last 3 weeks lifted the quality nd performance of what they offered, far more aggression and overall commitment in defence coupled with better use of the ball and a poor opponent that helped overall. They should take some confidence out of that, but this is a much harder test.

18 to 20 looks about right. If I had to side with an option I’d likely take the plus position on the expectation that the Bulldogs compete. But way too much risk either side of that line here for me, happy to stay well away.

+11.5 Titans v Eagles

Ground: Robina
51.5 Total Points (market position)

The market position at 7.5 has looked generous to my numbers all week and happy to be with the Eagles. Tommy T back is clearly significant, he could well rip this apart himself and rattle up a winning margin, he then has so much influence all over the Eagles attack and either creates, inspires or finishes so much of what they do. Cowboys ended up a very easy get last week but they should take some confidence out of winning so well and some of their younger players improving so quickly by the week.

Titans D has been very poor for some time now, leaking 34 to 36 a week across their last 9 games, smacked 36-0 when these two last met, down 30-4 last week, they put a strong one in against the Storm (who also looked a bit off), but there ahs been this overall pattern of fragile and crumbling defence and a want to leak a number of tries quickly. I suspect back in against a smart well organised attack with plenty of strike this game can be opened up.

Want to be with the Eagles to cover the line and their attack to do the talking.


Longer Term Recommended Bet List

Bet 3 units Eagles to make Top 4 $5.00
Think the price is way too high, Eagles have a very soft run home with only 2 games vs Top 4 contenders then a further 10 vs bottom 8 sides/contenders. Clearly they are very reliant on the fitness of Tom Trbojevic which is factored into the odds and my bet, but if he plays most of these games they give this a huge shake

Bet 3 units Raiders to miss Top 8 $2.00 Topsport $1.95 Tab
Lost 5 straight and should have been beat by 16th placed Bulldogs last week, not a happy crew from everything I hear, think bottom of the 8 gets very competitive in second half of the yr and have to take them on

Bet 4 units Panthers Minor Premiers $3.30 Topsport
Market is also available at Tab and Sportsbet $3.00
Undefeated after 3 rounds, quality longer home record and have depth in key positions, my numbers right now suggest they now appear as $2.00 chance

Bet 5 units Titans top QLD team $1.77 Topsport
Market is also available at Ladbrokes $1.75 and Sportsbet $1.67
We have a small interest speculator on Titans Top 4, think this is a positive way to cover our stake longer term. Three way contest, what we are betting is the final table position between Titans and Cowboys and I’m confident on the Titans progression late last yr (won last 5 games), key signings, positive off season + quality coach that this is the right play. Should Cam Smith turn up mid season as I expect then icing on the cake!

Bet 6 units Storm Top 4 $1.85
Looks an excellent longer term anchor bet, Bellamy’s record of top 4 finishes each season is unparalleled, as is his ability to replace players and bring his team back to the top. They will win near 90% of home games (Melb or Sunshine Coast), have near the best D once again and likely finish top two.

Bet 3 units Broncos most losses $5.00
Expected / rate them closer to $2.00, this price looks very very generous. The squad is weaker than last yr (and they finished with the spoon), start the season with key injury outs, question mark on whether Coach is up to this task and have a hard draw.

Bet 2 units Titans to make Top 4 $4.50
Think the Coach is quality, started to put his imprimatur in them late into the season with some very positive and exciting play/results. They have purchased astutely, top 4 might be a reach (you can save top 8 at $1.85 if you wish) but I just see a) lot of up side and b) a comp with potential long tail. They look the team with the flashing red light for me this season. There is some $5.00 available in some places.


Market Odds Comparison – a quick link to assist with the available odds across many possible providers – nrl-odds-comparisons

Staking: The recommended units bet is indicated next to each bet in the above bet list. The base bet is 1 to 5 units (and is also a reflection of confidence. Everyone chooses to bet in different bet sizes, from differing betting banks (the personal funds they put aside for betting). Some will bet $20 per bet, some $200 per bet. So as to keep things simple and clear for everyone to follow we then talk in bet units. Our advice is to decide what size betting unit is likely to work for you and call this your betting unit, remembering that you may have approx. 5 to 10 units of recommended outlay per week per sport and that you also run the risk of losing.

Game Notes Preparation: FYI, with the introduction of Thursday night games in recent years it is now near impossible with the work and list of things that I chose to do to have all game previews written and finished until late in each week or early Saturday am. With the final team lists not announced until Tuesday afternoon, which I then re rate against (current performance, key ins and outs / final team lists and then look to handicap each up coming game then consider a range of form and match up factors towards final potential bets and written game previews. In short with team lists announced late Tuesday that then leaves two days to work through these tasks. I will focus the first preview notes at any game that has a recommended bet so that any key factors and reasoning is then known in advance, and then be working through each game there after in order of day and time (from Thursday onward).

Follow us on Twitter at

@readingtheplay

©Copyright Reading The Play

All care taken. No responsibility accepted. Please check all information at your own discretion. Any prices quoted for suggested bets are accurate at the time of writing. For personal use ONLY. This information may not be reproduced in any way whatsoever or re-used for any purpose whatsoever without the prior written permission of Reading The Play.

NRL Tips Previews Sports Betting

MrG’s game previews and analysis for this weeks round of NRL are listed above. Each NRL Preview and Sports Betting Tips message thread will normally open on a Wednesday and list any early game ratings and thoughts. It will be updated each day and then detailed game by game Previews, Ratings and final Bet List will be published online by 8am on the morning of the first game of the round (Thursdays). All subscribers can also receive all key information and updates by direct sms message.

Subscription Options

A range of subscription packages are available to suit everyone (from as low as $16.25 a week), with various multi week and season pass options available – or various subscription combinations can also be taken with our Horse Racing offering.

NRL Tips & Game Previews | Round 14 | 2021

nrl_tips_reading_the_play
MrG provides our NRL Tips Previews and content each week for our Reading The Play NRL subscribers. Further details on our NRL offering here

No game handicaps this week as its impossible to accurately do each game with out knowing likely final teams off the back ups or outs off Origin only 24 hours ago.


Recommended Bet List

Bet 2.5 units Eagles-Cowboys points under 50.5 $1.85 BB
Bet 1 unit Cowboys +6.5 $1.90
I expect Eagles will be without Turbo and have no Schuster, diminishes strike and attack, Cows away attack strike is poor, likely dam ground. Also think with these changes and conditions that the Cowboys with the plus start should be well advantaged.

Bet 1 unit Sharks +6.5 $1.90
Panthers again look to be without multiple key outs off the back of Origin which could be up to 5 and importantly include Cleary and or Luai, they were poor v Tigers, Sharks can be hard to trust but come off best offering this season, then a bye and have strong list named

Bet 2 units Roosters -11.5 $1.90
Am expecting number of key outs for Titans which would likely leave them very venerable in defence, Roosters get Walker, Crichton and Tedesco back and look to have the strike down their back 5 to hit the Titans suspect D down both outside edges

Bet 1.5 units Rabbits-Knights anytime try scorer Latrell Mitchell (Rabbits) $1.95

BB – Indicates Best Bet

Any longer term plays that have been recommended in prior weeks will be listed at the base of this message


Individual Game Tips

Eagles, Sharks, Roosters, Rabbits, Raiders, Storm, Eels, Dragons   


Game Preview Notes

Eagles v Cowboys

Ground: Brookvale
50.5 Total Points (market position)

Interesting game this. Both now sis side by side on the table with 6 and 6 records, both have crept up the table over the last 5 or so weeks, I certainly think the Eagles are far stronger offering and form quality at full strength (or near to) but they come here with no Turbo and no Schuster and their other key rep players on a stupid short back up. We know how instrumental Turbo is to their attack and strike/points, then also having Schuster out at the same time has to really shorten them up up in attack. They will be smarting off the last game loss (Knights) where they were stitched up, but tehy are really going to have to roll their sleeves up as a group here to get the job done.

Cowboys have won 3 of their last 5 but through low table form lines and have only won the 1 away game season to date. Interestingly they do have a good record at Brookvale, and off the break will have had an extended 10 day or so period for Payten to work on their play and structures and combinations, and have a new half here now in Dearden. This looks a tighter game and well suited to them, likely dam track, opponent short on key players and some combinations, looks very much now like a bit of an arm wrestle.

Thought the plus start at anything better than 6.0 put the Cowboys into a healthy enough position here to compete, but the likely set up did look to suit a game with well less than 51 points. The Eagles scoring drops considerable when without Tom, and then they have no Schuster while the Cowboys when away from home drop to a game average of 16 pts in attack.

Sharks v Panthers

Ground: Kogarah
48.5 Total Points (market position)

Panthers key outs looks the key to this, and the Sharks likely get their chance for a win/upset. As initially expected into Thursday the Panthers have now confirmed 5 players will not back up in Cleary, Luai, Yeo, Capewell and To’o, key to this the middle play making and ball play quality combination of Cleary, Luai and Yeo. We saw last week the Panthers really struggle when these guys didn’t play and May looked all at sea and well out of his depth at #7 (all be it in a tough role with out that sort of quality around him). The combined effect saw the Panthers go from a normal 30 points a game in attack against the Tigers tp just 6 (hardly top to the table formline) and concede 26 as opposed to the normal 8 to 10 per game. Its an unfair and bloody tough ask for any top of table team through this period, and the Panthers will be up against it here.

The Sharks have been hard to trust and gone through this period of sacking their coach and turning in circles trying to sort out what they are now playing this season for, and in the process of this losing 6 straight and leaking points at will including their last effort to the Panthers at Penrith which saw a 48-0 flogging. The announcement of their new coach for next yr, some key signings or re signings and then getting all but their best available team on the park over the last few weeks might well have got them back on track if the resounding away upset win over the Titans has any depth to it. They then look to get an ideal set up here for an ambush win, they come off a bye and so likely extended 7 to 8 day prep, no major Origin dislocation and likely their best team list for recent months. They once again looked happy and in sync in their latest win, and a preparedness to play some attack, they get a home gig at Kogarah and what should now be every chance to knock up an upset win. Hope we see a solid attitude and approach from them, if so then I think the Sharks can win.

Titans v Roosters

Ground: Robina
50.5 Total Points (market position)

The final Titans line up and then Line handicap will be interesting here. The market at present is 11.5 which looks too short to me, even with the Titans being at home and coming off a near upset win over the Storm last week. They have been very inconsistent, did improve their defensive effort but looked to get their opponent on the right week where the effects of numerous outs took its toll. Fotuaika is already out, significant doubts on Brimson (now confirmed out), Fa’asuamaleaui, Fifita and possibly Rein (potentially 3 to 4 of their starting forward line up), all of that would punch a big hole into this line up against a strong opponent and if so I think then leave the line position too short. The other concern that adds to this is not only that collectively they leak points, they have spot targets like Kelly, Herbert, Sami, Taylor and Fogarty down each edge that plays into the hands of the Roosters attacking strengths and how I am sure they’ll approach this game.

Roosters get some key ins here and look strong. Sam Walker and Crichton return as does Tedesco from Origin who has been cleared to play. The bench still thins a little, but they have the strike and smarts in attack across their back 5 to really throw some ball play at the Titans and turn it into points and make their opponent chase the game and scoreboard and or compound, and we have seen much more of the later across the last 4 to 6 weeks, even when the Titans at home with a 3 and 3 record and still conceding 28 points here.

Am expecting number of key outs for Titans when finally decided which would likely then leave them very venerable in defence and depth. The Roosters get Walker, Crichton and Tedesco back and look to have the strike down their back 5 to hit the Titans suspect D down both outside edges, think all of this then leaves the 11.5 too short and want to be with the Roosters to cover.

Rabbits v Knights

Ground: Homebush
51.5 Total Points (market position)

Rabbits have excluded Murray, Arrow, Gagai and now Cook but if as expected Latrell Mitchell plays then they look way too strong here and the 17.5 line looks about right. I am working on the Rabbits being something like the much improved last game offering against the Eels, and off a bye week and freshen up hopefully bringing that sort of attitude and offering. If so we then know with Reynolds, Walker and Mitchell they have some tremendous strike, especially against a poor struggling defence and team on the road.

Knights generally have been woeful, how they won two starts back at home against the Eagles is still staggering (and ably assisted). Yes they still have key outs, but the overall body language and attitude just looks and exhibits a horrible offering, very basic handling errors an some consistent shite defence. They have lost 3 of last 4, now lost 8 in total and sit 14th on the table. Their away record is equally horrible, and if like last week against the Eels they are compounding early they then normally also fold quickly (leaking near 30 points by half time last week).

The trick here is the read on the Rabbits and how serious they are, and the fact that they then have 3 key outs factored into the game line and position (and 18 point line). I expect they cover it, but I’m happy to leave alone.

Raiders v Broncos

Ground: Canberra
49.5 Total Points (market position)

Just an ugly match up. Raiders have lost 7 of last 8 and last 4 at home and have had numerous internal team harmony issues. Broncos have lost 16 of last 17 away games, come off leaking 56 away last week into back to back away games. Horrible match up, and 7.30pm prime time Saturday night, yuk.

Raiders are off the bye weekend, and apparently had a BBQ and some get togethers over the last week to try and patch things up internally. Happy to tip them, but couldn’t touch the game.

Warriors v Storm

Ground: Gosford
50.5 Total Points (market position)

Warriors have now lost their last 10 straight to the Storm, an imposing record, and now face the visitors who are on a 10 game winning streak.

The Warriors do have a strong line up, especially in their forward list but will be without Walsh a key attacking out. They have lost 3 of their last 4 and have struggled to compete with these top of table teams. Key for Storm will be the in or out of Munster, if he plays then that will balance their spine offering and combinations and I’m sure provide the smarts to win here. They looked a bit off last week but got away with the win, I’m sure that likely smartens up their attitude into this.

A 16 point line makes the handicap very interesting. Most weeks against the teams mid table or lower the Storm have covered each time (but missed last week). But they’ll need Munster, and maybe the obligations of Origin and these key outs are catching up with them a little? Storm to win but happy to stay out.

Eels v Tigers

Ground: Parramatta
49.5 Total Points (market position)

Pending final teams and how we are travelling into the weekend the now market position of 12.5 interests me in the Tigers (+12.5). Both teams played last weekend, Tigers off two back to back wins (questionable form strength, but building some confidence). Eels off good yet soft win over Knights, but now have Mahoney out at #9 which I think is significant as he has been one of their best week in week out, does an enormous amount of work in the middle and has been very good with his attack play and service.

Back in Rd 4 the Tigers went very close to winning this match up and I think they’ll like their chances again here, and like as we keep discussing not being favoured or expected to win and or 12 point underdogs (and the right time to try and catch them). Their edge defence on both sides has improved a lot over the last few weeks on the back of the key positional changes made, Brooks has been much better (positive running game) as has Liddle and they have now won 3 of their last 4.

Eels look suited back at home, but as I said off a soft win (Knights) but two prior losses to Rabbits and Eagles, so a few question marks on the overall form. The dropping of Ferguson has helped in some way their defensive issues, but retaining Waqa Blake and then swapping him across to the their edge doesn’t work, and he has to be a major spot target. This game is another good test to where their credentials are as a top 4 contender, or not.

The Tigers will need to be up early here and take the game to the Eels, who have a habit of sometimes taking these lower table opponents lightly. Eels likely win, but a 14 point line makes it very interesting (and appealing). I will update on this into the weekend.

Bulldogs v Dragons

Ground: Homebush
48.5 Total Points (market position)

Bulldogs overall long term record has been very good against the Dragons, but through recent seasons it has crumbled to now losing 5 of their last 7 head to head. They come off a bye, likely freshen up and have a couple of positive team ins, but remain very very hard to like when conceding 34 most weeks (even when they look like they are trying).

Dragons get some key players back last week plus a few positive positional changes and dropped back a few grades to the lowly Broncos on the road and duly dusted them up easily with a 52-24 result. They again look to have the smarts at #7 and #1 to carve this up and create the necessary attacking plays to provide line breaks and attacking penetration and then mount points. The Dragons also remain within reach of the top 8 at present, so a credible win here remains important.

Pending final likely team changes and weather, if we see a dry track and sunny day then the Dragons 13+ looks the play.


Longer Term Recommended Bet List

Bet 3 units Eagles to make Top 4 $5.00
Think the price is way too high, Eagles have a very soft run home with only 2 games vs Top 4 contenders then a further 10 vs bottom 8 sides/contenders. Clearly they are very reliant on the fitness of Tom Trbojevic which is factored into the odds and my bet, but if he plays most of these games they give this a huge shake

Bet 3 units Raiders to miss Top 8 $2.00 Topsport $1.95 Tab
Lost 5 straight and should have been beat by 16th placed Bulldogs last week, not a happy crew from everything I hear, think bottom of the 8 gets very competitive in second half of the yr and have to take them on

Bet 4 units Panthers Minor Premiers $3.30 Topsport
Market is also available at Tab and Sportsbet $3.00
Undefeated after 3 rounds, quality longer home record and have depth in key positions, my numbers right now suggest they now appear as $2.00 chance

Bet 5 units Titans top QLD team $1.77 Topsport
Market is also available at Ladbrokes $1.75 and Sportsbet $1.67
We have a small interest speculator on Titans Top 4, think this is a positive way to cover our stake longer term. Three way contest, what we are betting is the final table position between Titans and Cowboys and I’m confident on the Titans progression late last yr (won last 5 games), key signings, positive off season + quality coach that this is the right play. Should Cam Smith turn up mid season as I expect then icing on the cake!

Bet 6 units Storm Top 4 $1.85
Looks an excellent longer term anchor bet, Bellamy’s record of top 4 finishes each season is unparalleled, as is his ability to replace players and bring his team back to the top. They will win near 90% of home games (Melb or Sunshine Coast), have near the best D once again and likely finish top two.

Bet 3 units Broncos most losses $5.00
Expected / rate them closer to $2.00, this price looks very very generous. The squad is weaker than last yr (and they finished with the spoon), start the season with key injury outs, question mark on whether Coach is up to this task and have a hard draw.

Bet 2 units Titans to make Top 4 $4.50
Think the Coach is quality, started to put his imprimatur in them late into the season with some very positive and exciting play/results. They have purchased astutely, top 4 might be a reach (you can save top 8 at $1.85 if you wish) but I just see a) lot of up side and b) a comp with potential long tail. They look the team with the flashing red light for me this season. There is some $5.00 available in some places.


Market Odds Comparison – a quick link to assist with the available odds across many possible providers – nrl-odds-comparisons

Staking: The recommended units bet is indicated next to each bet in the above bet list. The base bet is 1 to 5 units (and is also a reflection of confidence. Everyone chooses to bet in different bet sizes, from differing betting banks (the personal funds they put aside for betting). Some will bet $20 per bet, some $200 per bet. So as to keep things simple and clear for everyone to follow we then talk in bet units. Our advice is to decide what size betting unit is likely to work for you and call this your betting unit, remembering that you may have approx. 5 to 10 units of recommended outlay per week per sport and that you also run the risk of losing.

Game Notes Preparation: FYI, with the introduction of Thursday night games in recent years it is now near impossible with the work and list of things that I chose to do to have all game previews written and finished until late in each week or early Saturday am. With the final team lists not announced until Tuesday afternoon, which I then re rate against (current performance, key ins and outs / final team lists and then look to handicap each up coming game then consider a range of form and match up factors towards final potential bets and written game previews. In short with team lists announced late Tuesday that then leaves two days to work through these tasks. I will focus the first preview notes at any game that has a recommended bet so that any key factors and reasoning is then known in advance, and then be working through each game there after in order of day and time (from Thursday onward).

Follow us on Twitter at

@readingtheplay

©Copyright Reading The Play

All care taken. No responsibility accepted. Please check all information at your own discretion. Any prices quoted for suggested bets are accurate at the time of writing. For personal use ONLY. This information may not be reproduced in any way whatsoever or re-used for any purpose whatsoever without the prior written permission of Reading The Play.

NRL Tips Previews Sports Betting

MrG’s game previews and analysis for this weeks round of NRL are listed above. Each NRL Preview and Sports Betting Tips message thread will normally open on a Wednesday and list any early game ratings and thoughts. It will be updated each day and then detailed game by game Previews, Ratings and final Bet List will be published online by 8am on the morning of the first game of the round (Thursdays). All subscribers can also receive all key information and updates by direct sms message.

Subscription Options

A range of subscription packages are available to suit everyone (from as low as $16.25 a week), with various multi week and season pass options available – or various subscription combinations can also be taken with our Horse Racing offering.

State of Origin | Game 1 | NRL | 2021

MrG provides our NRL Tips Previews and content each week for our Reading The Play NRL subscribers. Further details on our NRL offering here

QLD v NSW

Ground: Townsville
Markets c/ Topsport
To Win: QLD $2.55 NSW $1.54
Line Handicap NSW -4.5
42.5 Total Points

Venue

Key factor. QLD have won 12 of the last 14 contests when played on their home turf, obviously those 14 were all played at Suncorp Stadium (Lang Park Brisbane). But a full Townsville stadium with 95% as QLDer’s cheering on strongly their team will again be a major advantage.

Interesting to also add to this that the last 14 clashes have results in 7 wins each, so any advantage (like home ground) is a significant advantage.

Coaches

I am certainly disappointed that Wayne Bennett was not retained, regardless of him having club commitments. For mine his involvement last year made the Origin series, he pulled together a patchwork team list had them come from behind 0-10 at half time to win game 1, be flogged in game 2 in Sydney and then achieve the near impossible in winning when long odds outsiders in the decider in game 3 in Brisbane. In the process I thought he’d taken up residence renting a large space in Fittler and the NSW player’s head, more the pity that this battle doesn’t continue this year!

Green takes over the QLD team and brings in a range of team changes, while a successful club coach (and premiership winner) this is his first stint in a direct Origin role.

Fittler maintains his role with NSW, and as very warm favs once again into game one (and as the likely series winner).

Team Changes

For one reason or another both teams have many changes to their team list and final squads that finished the series late last year.

QLD are with out the selected Ponga (injury), Papalii and Friend and so have 7 changes. Munster and Grant return off injury and so potentially light on match fitness, but each game changers. Holmes comes in at #1. I like the stability of the same two centres who each did outstanding jobs last series, and then the quality combination of Munster and Cherry-Evans and now Grant who stood out like a shinning beacon in game 3. They have again go with a workman pack of forwards who’ll just be asked to roll their sleeves up and get the job done.

NSW have also have 7 changes, most notably losing their two backrowers in Crichton and Frizelle and Radley (on suspension, who would have been picked). Luai comes in at #6, To’o on a wing. Some of the forward line up looks surprising, Murray whose best is as a middle #13 moves to an edge, Sims on the other edge and Hass and Paulo to rotate with the starters in Daniel Safiti and Jake Trbojevic.  There has to be some risk in looking for a number of players to shine at this level in positions not normally their strong suite, and or if in looking or mobility in the middle is negated by not having enough work rate? An interesting watch.  

Game Style and Points?

The opening game in all but ever series each year is normally a tough even contest low on total points as each team attempt to have a look at each other, sort each other out and play a tight game style. Of the last 10 series openers not one has breached 34 points; in 6 of the last 9 three game series the opening game has been the lowest scoring total and even with a number of the new rules (6 agains) in play in game 1 in November last year in Adelaide this game only delivered 34 points.

And, just to underline the point of the general tightness of each opening game, 5 of the last 7 openers (game 1) have all resulted in a final margin between the two teams of 4 points or less. And so the market makers now have the line here at 4.5

Gerard Sutton has been given the role in the middle, a very experienced referee but his game results overall longer term seem to lean toward tighter low scoring results.

My expectation is that QLD look to play what has always worked so well for them, a focus on lots of work rate and defence, hang in, hang in and hang in some more and when given a chance let the key individuals like Munster, Cherry-Evans and Grant look to create something and or take any half chance they can. I also expect QLD will be more than happy to accommodate a more open style of game and ball movement if that is where this game style heads (which is what I expect).

I am sure NSW will want to play some footy and really look to throw some attack and ball movement at QLD, such is Fittler’s positive way (aka Homebush game two last year). use your strike, create and take opportunity, build a points and scoreboard advantage and then look to rub it in. But if it does not stick and or like the second half of game 1 last year (when QLD came from down 0-10 to win) and QLD keep their error rate low and keep kicking you into your corners NSW can be prone to some rush of blood and error and all but roll out the red carpet of invitation to Munster and co.

The key #9, 7 and 6 hold the outcome here, no different to most games at this level. Munster and Grant and with Cherry-Evans not far behind led QLD to victory in game 3 last year, the experience of having now done so will hold them in good stead here. The quality club combination of Cleary and Luai needs to now stand up at Origin level for NSW to win, Cook will also need some room and then these two good ball for their strike on either edge in Mitchell or Trbojevic to impact. NSW should have the added benefit of another star at #1 in Tedesco, as suggested if Cleary and Luai get some room and provide some quality ball to their back 5 then NSW look hard to hold out.

I am also sure that given the rule changes of this season (more 6 agains, more fatigue and high paced game play) at then this elite Origin level we are going to see plenty of ball movement and attack. Couple this with the possibility of any head contact sin bins and either team having a period one down, at this level the player maker smarts and ball play should capatilise and turn any overlaps or man down advantage into more points (and fast play). I am convinced 42.5 is too low, even for a game 1 contest that historically is always low scoring, mid to high 40’s certainly looks the total points mark for mine.

Outcome?

Small lean to NSW, they have strike power but their play style brings with it plenty of risk. I am keen thought on the points over 42.5 as my main bet and have provided a few extra exotic plays here below for those interested.

Tip: NSW

Best Plays for Charity Pass It On Clothing

Game total points over 42.5

Anytime Try Addo Carr

Same Game Multi – points over 42.5 into Addo-Carr anytime try into Toó anytime try $4.90

Same Game Multi players – if you like this option head to Topsport where you will achieve the best same game multi prices available anywhere (compare the odds, you’ll see the difference!).

Origin 1 – Podcast – Links Here!

Gerard Condon Jimmy Smith and Tristan Merlehan discuss all the angles, key stats and some potential betting plays for Game 1

Whooshkaa > Link > HERE

Spotify > Link > HERE

Apple > Link > HERE

If you love you NRL then subscribe for the weekly NRL Market Watch Podcast, full previews every week for all the round by round action!

NRL – MrG

Having coached at a senior level for 16 years including 3 years on the coaching staff of an NRL club Gerard Condon is a long term avid student of the game. He’s coached sides to win titles at a senior level, run the football arm of a successful district club, managed professional players and worked in various development roles, so it’s fair to say the game of Rugby League is certainly in his blood and supports an experienced and unique offering.

Mr G’s NRL previews and betting tips combine this knowledge and ‘read’ of the current weekly form with a statistical and betting analysis to provide his followers with a unique and successful approach. He spends hours each week watching and reviewing each and every game assessing the strengths and weakness of the form to then weigh against that of the betting markets. His previews and betting tips have been published on the internet via two sports forums for 7 years prior to his public offering through Reading The Play. Full details on our NRL offering here

©Copyright Reading The Play

All care taken. No responsibility accepted. Please check all information at your own discretion. Any prices quoted for suggested bets are accurate at the time of writing. For personal use ONLY. This information may not be reproduced in any way whatsoever or re-used for any purpose whatsoever without the prior written permission of Reading The Play.