NRL – Round 2 Free Friday Night Previews

NRL – Round 2 Free Friday Night Previews

NRL – Round 2 Free Friday Night Previews

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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Round 1

MrG went 3 from 3 with his recommended bets for Round 1. His full preview detail and recommended bets for Round 2 is available by subscription here

NRL Round 2

Rd 2 Game Handicaps (MrG’s personal assessments)

-7.5 Bulldogs v Eels

+1.0 Sharks v Broncos

-19.5 Panthers v Titans

+2.0 Eagles v Storm

-13.5 Cowboys v Knights

-2.5 Rabbits v Roosters

+3.5 Raiders v Warriors

-2.5 Tigers v Dragons

Individual Game Tips

Bulldogs, Sharks, Panthers, Storm, Cowboys, Roosters, Raiders, Tigers

Notes

Opening rounds notes (5 to 6 rounds):

Favs have won just an approx 50% of games straight up

Favs have only covered the line an approx 36%

Home Favs have only covered an approx 40%

Away Favs have only covered an approx 24%

Clearly the Underdog has had an outstanding record through these opening rounds.

Early Round Bounce Backs

I have mentioned a few times over recent weeks us being careful of the inconsistent and bounce back form through these opening weeks. Many teams can start poorly and into wks 2 to 5 we see the pressure of the bounce back where attitude, pressure, expectation and all sorts of issues contribute to a significant form turn around.

Phil Gould touched on this during the week in a press article, including the following key notes –

In the past six seasons (2009-2014), in round two there have been 26 clashes between round one losers and winners. Round one losers have won 18 of the 26 matches (69.23 per cent) when playing a round one winner, while three of the other eight were beaten by two points or less.

This weekend, six of the eight matches feature clashes between round one winners and losers. Based on recent history, Parramatta, Penrith, Melbourne, Newcastle, Canberra and Wests Tigers are facing particularly tough matches this weekend against losing teams.

Game Previews
Bulldogs v Eels

-7.5 Bulldogs

Bulldogs have won 3/5 H2H, 7/8 at Ground. Eels have a shocking Away record, but at its near worst here having lost a staggering 15 of their last 16 at the Ground, 8 of those losses here have been by 20 points or more.

Lots to like about Eels first up, but tempered with a) being at Home (where they grow a leg), b) very poor opponent who rolled over when it mattered, and c) let’s be frank the Eels won but offered a game riddled with error, ill discipline and poor handling. The big plus was their willingness to play tough and physical through the middle and on the back of some quality go forward be prepared to shift with some depth to their edges (in paticular left).

Bulldogs will improve second up. Day heat didn’t suit them, some basic error, poor run in to half time against the ball (just 20% possession at one stage late 1st half). Clearly they have a list of big forwards who need match fitness, into a night game here will suit. Hasler looks to have tweaked their forward play to be playing direct with less offload, but they may have some further adjustments to make now with Reynolds out.

This will be physical and a dam nice test for both in the middle. The Bulldogs are well advantaged back at Home, and a looser off wk 1. I like Arthur’s hard arse approach, I’m sure he has done a lot of worth this week on some of their basic discipline – this a nice test to see what improvement and or change on the road. Like the Bulldogs to bounce back at Home.

Sharks v Broncos

+1.0 Sharks

Sharks have lost last 8 at Ground, have won last 3 straight v opponent. Broncos have won last 2 at Ground but have a poor record bouncing back off a big loss losing (losing last 4 straight off 30 point defeats).

Thought both sides were terribly poor last wk, but it’s very early days while we let some form unfold. Broncos were out muscled, disjointed, built no pressure nor back to back sets, weak bench depth. Their 7 and 6 may as well sat in the stands on either side of the park as they had zero combination, while Hunt’s offering was by far his worst in the top grade. Copley is a key loss, Thaiday has been benched and I’m sure a few have had an attitude shake up during the week.

Sharks never looked likely last week and but for the Raiders inviting them back into the game after half time they could well (and should) have been touched up by at least 3 tries at home. Their forwards were off, in particular their middle, Barba caught short (way too much cheap talk through recent weeks?), as a whole they looked complacent and flat well short on any intensity.

Both sides would have had a real shake up this week, I suspect Flanagan might have a bit more to work with right now. I’d expect he’ll tweak his list and the likes of Bird and Holmes to be inclusions. Sharks should be advantaged at Home and I expect a far more willing offering from them but off 8 straight losses at the ground they hardly reek confident support.

Don’t like the game, two last start losers looking for luck and either can win. Sharks at Home, likely Unders game but with both on trust.

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