NRL Preview and Sports Betting Tips 2015 – Round 23

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NRL Preview and Sports Betting Tips 2015 – Round 23

MrG’s recommended weekly game by game previews and any recommended betting plays are listed below. Each NRL Preview and Sports Betting Tips thread will normally open on a Thursday and list any early game ratings and betting plays. 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 (Fridays).

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NRL Preview and Sports Betting Tips

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NRL Round 23

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Rd 23 Game Handicaps (MrG’s assessments)

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-7.5 Cowboys v Rabbits

-12.5 Broncos v Dragons

-7.5 Tigers v Knights

-5.5 Panthers v Warriors

-26.5 Roosters v Eels

+5.5 Raiders v Eagles

-15.5 Bulldogs v Titans

-1.5 Sharks v Storm

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NRL Round 23 Recommended Bet List

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Bet 4 units Cowboys -5.5  $1.93 Pinnacle

Bet 4 units Broncos -9.5  $1.90 Centrebet  or  -10.5  $1.90 elsewhere

Bet 3 units Broncos H2H  $1.26 x Roosters >6.5  $1.20 x Bulldogs >6.5  $1.42 /  $2.14  Sportsbet

Bet 2 units Tigers-Knights Over 44.5  $1.90 Sportsbet

Bet 2 units Raiders-Eagles Over 44.5  $1.90 Sportsbet

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Two line plays for this round, while I think the best way through the two obvious stand outs (Roosters and Bulldogs) is to couple them up in shorter market positions. The two day time games are each between noted open play attacking teams and some where defence is not such a high priority (Tigers, Knights, Raiders), both games look over plays but with 44.5 a bit of a reach I have made each only 2 unit plays. 

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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).

Individual Game Tips

Cowboys, Broncos, Tigers, Panthers, Roosters, Eagles, Bulldogs, Sharks

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Game Previews

Cowboys v Rabbits

-7.5 Cowboys

Happy to be with the Cowboys here. They have been slow starters at their last two, whether that’s a bit of an issue of complacency who knows but back at home with Scott back, off a loss against a top 4 side I think they’ll be ready to put right in here.

The Rabbits have to be an ongoing risk, for all weeks to come it appears. I got them right last week and they were off, their away record is now very poor and as much as they are making noises that its not the case they just look to be treading water. Stewart is out, Luke looks to have his mind on other things they lack the punch and aggression through the middle and if chasing and under the pump (circa last week) they just freeze under their structured approach.

I’m sure the Cowboys are tapering themselves for the week ahead, hence some of the patches of play at present, but they’ve shown a) they don’t like losing and b) they have some gears that enable they to either hit back, step up or just knife a team when in the mood. I like the fact that they are the first game of the round this weekend (stand alone) with the Broncos and Roosters expected to win so these two points are critical in this race toward final top 4 spots (and home semis).

I think the Rabbits might be struggling and are weakest on the road, can be a risk here. Cowboys back at home with something to prove, happy to go with that form line.

Bet 4 units Cowboys -5.5  $1.93 Pinnacle

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Broncos v Dragons

-12.5 Broncos

I have this marked -12.5 and expect a good performance from the Broncos. After their surprising poor effort 3 wks ago vs Eagles (which it seems Bennett was expecting) they put in a much better attitude and effort last Friday night although beaten by Bulldogs by 2 points I also think that game to be a strong form pointer. The Broncos made 13 errors and completed at just 70% inviting the Bulldogs into the contest and field position from which they eventually positioned themselves to win, I’m sure the issue of handling, completions and focus won’t be lost of the Broncos into what they offer again at home this week. The Dragons have failed to cover the line at 4 of their last 5 away games, have lost 8/9 H2H and lost their last 7 straight in Brisbane, come through a very soft form line with wins against the Knights and Warriors (who will both continue to be losers into the weeks ahead) and will be without Marshall and Mathews.

Think there is a notable gap in class and form between these two, Broncos well suited back to back at home with 7 day turn around and off two losses will be primed for a good effort, I expect they’ll win by a comfortable margin.

Bet 4 units Broncos -9.5  $1.90 Centrebet  or  -10.5  $1.90 elsewhere

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Tigers v Knights

-7.5 Tigers

3pm day time game between two teams who are not noted defenders and will I’m sure look to attack and counter attack in an open point scoring game.

6 of the Tigers last 7 games have all gone over, the one that didn’t was line ball last Monday night. 7 of the Knights last 8 games have also all gone over. 3 of the last 4 H2H contests between these two have also all gone over. The weather forecast is for fine clear sunny days through to and including game time.

Tigers best long term form is at Campbelltown and they should have the advantage of facing an opponent with a shocking away record (and recent record in general), but winning 3 on end is a challenge and they do come off a short turn around Monday away game. Farah has made a notable difference to their direction and leadership through their last two wins, they can win here but they are never good things especially in what looks a very open attacking game.

Knights are all but a basket case and look heading for the wooden spoon, have lost 10 of their last 11 leak near 32 pts a game when on the road and have done nothing to turn things around after the coach being speared. If and when they get any run of ball and momentum they can score some points, but they can they just as quickly leak them again.

Tigers to win, tricky attaching looking game in likely perfect conditions, lets hope both sides want to turn it on.

Bet 2 units Tigers-Knights Over 44.5  $1.90 Sportsbet

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Panthers v Warriors

-5.5 Panthers

Hard game to like between two sides riddled with key injury outs and poor recent losing form. Panthers were pathetic last week in Darwin in a game they should have won comfortably given teh amount of ball they had against an equally weak opponent, the form and leadership of Soward through recent months for mine leaves a lot to be desired. They are back at home, Cleary has attempted to again shake up his team selections and attitude.

Warriors have again meekly rolled over at seasons end when a finals spot looked possible, they are terrible under expectation and even with key out in Johnson they have dropped their heads and attitude and folded quicker than a 3 legged card table through the last month. Their Sydney away form is also poor, this is not an attractive match up.

Going with the Panthers at home but I think this looks a lot uglier and closer than the markets do.

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Roosters v Eels

-26.5 Roosters

The decision here is by how far do you place the Roosters.  They have Pearce back, play at home where they offer their best, have won 10 of their last 11 and will dust up the Eels here. They hold a commanding recent record against their opponent winning 3 of the last 4 H2H including two of those by 50 point margins. Their problem is releasing the pressure on tehir opponents and allowing momenteum back into the game against them and then conceding poor errors and points. They led 32-0 nil last week into teh second half yet then had a number of soft tries put therough them and finally failed to cover an 18 point line, something I think they’ll be out to turn around here. The Eels face their 4th back to back away game, come off 3 interstate travel weeks and are another team list riddled with key outs.

Roosters will win, I think this week they’ll give the 26 pt line a shake but I think the best way through the game is as suggested with them in a multi leg all up with a more conservative position.

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Raiders v Eagles

+5.5 Raiders

Another 2pm day game that looks very conducive to attack and points. The Raiders are a noted overs team and have gone so at 7 of their last 11 home games, while there has only been 2 occasions of their last 12 outings where they have contributed less than 20 points to a game total. The Eagles are in fine attacking form at present, 2 of their 3 day games this season have gone over while 2 of their last 3 contests have also gone over. They to are also averaging 20 plus points per game season to date, with this increasing through recent outings as their attacking and winning form has improved. The weather forecast is also for fine clear weather right through to and including game time.

The Raiders are 2 from 10 at home and off a Monday night offering, but I do expect them to at least compete here. They did roll the Eagles earlier this season and while now likely to be out of finals contention they do play a far more relaxed and positive offering when without expectation. The Eagles are rolling along nicely and come through some strong winning form lines (Broncos, Rabbits), with a likely loss by the Dragons on Friday and any potential margin gain on differential on them the Eagles should be very focused on not only winning but also clocking up many points here.

Looks a good contest, Eagles to win but I am expecting some positive open attacking footy from both.

Bet 2 units Raiders-Eagles Over 44.5  $1.90 Sportsbet

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Bulldogs v Titans

-15.5 Bulldogs

To be played at Gosford

Bulldogs have a good winning record at this ground winning 6 of their last 8 here.

The Titans were very poor last week into the second half and are showing signs of having all but had enough of this season, they have now lost 9 of their last 12 and sit near bottom table. Elgey is in doubt which would break up their successful halves combination while Myles again looks likey to miss this game. The Storm opened them up through the middle last week with some ball play and running set plays, the Bulldogs have the muscle to just roll through them here in a similar fashion.

Bulldogs need to keep winning and building some positive attacking combinations. They come off a good tough win last week and will now meet an opponent easier to open up and roll through, which should give their halves and back 5 and opportunity to play with greater room and opportunity and they face an opponent who have now conceded 126 points at their last 4 away games.

Bulldogs to win, like the Roosters I think the best way through them is with a all up multi leg option.

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Sharks v Storm

-1.5 Sharks

Looks a great clash on Monday night. The Storm hold a commanding long term record over their opponent, winning 11 of their last 13 contests including the last 4 straight (but all in Melbourne). But their away form this season has been poor and they meet a confident side in winning form having now won 7 of their last 8 including numerous top of table scalps.

I have a real question over the depth of the Storms recent form, with their last 5 games coming through teams who are hardly strong form references in Titans, Tigers, Dragons, Panthers, Warriors and Dragons with just one of them a finals contender and only winning 3 of the 5. They have only won 4 of their 10 away games and only recorded 3 victories this season against solid top of the table opponents. They have not stood up against sides who defend well and or are prepared to take them on physically, which is what they will face here.

I though the Sharks winning effort and more notably their attack plan last week was as good as I have seen them for some years. They had a preparedness to move the football with some smarts, not over playing their hand but tactically playing two and three pass plays to move the Cowboys big middle around as well as target key field positions away from the ruck, and they executed this very well. They did have a touch of luck with two long range tries from opponent kicks with flavoured the moment, but that aside they had earnt their winning position off the back of some quality team play and positive tactics (and rolled a top 2 side). 

The key now for the Sharks is backing up that good win (and this winning run of form) into another solid opponent against whom they haven’t enjoyed a great record. They get Lewis back which is a huge in, he adds significant class and skill in particular in attack. Playing back at home off last weeks win should also be a further advantage. 

Going with the Sharks, I think they are a top 4 challenger and I have serious reservations on the Storm’s depth of form quality – for mine they are not a top of the table threat. Sharks can stamp their recent form again here, in front of healthy home support I expect they will. 

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