NRL Tips & Game Previews | Round 17 | 2021

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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

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).

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