NRL Tips Previews Sports Betting 17 Round 11
NRL Tips Previews Sports Betting 17 Round 11
MrG provides NRL Tips Previews Sports Betting content each week for our Reading The Play NRL subscribers.
NRL Tips Previews Sports Betting 17 Round 11
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NRL Tips Rd 11 Game Handicaps
-8.5 Sharks vs Cowboys
-8.5 Warriors vs Dragons
-16.5 Broncos vs Tigers
-7.5 Titans vs Sea Eagles
+5.5 Eels vs Raiders
+10.5 Knights vs Panthers
+6.5 Bulldogs vs Roosters
+10.5 Rabbits vs Storm
NRL Round 11 Recommended Bet List
Bet 2 units Broncos -12.5 $1.90 Tabsportsbet / $1.90 William Hill
Bet 2 units Broncos-Tigers over 34.5 $1.93 Pinnacle / William Hill / Sportsbet
Bet 2 units Titans -3.5 $1.92 Ladbrokes / $1.87 Unibet
BB – Indicates Best Bet
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, FAQ – Why do you talk and bet in units? > answers here).
Longer Term Recommended Bets
Premiership (22nd February)
Bet 2 units Storm to win Premiership $8.00 Tabsportsbet
Most Losses / Wooden Spoon (9th March)
Bet 2 units Rabbits most losses $11.00 Ubet / William Hill
Individual Game Tips
Sharks, Warriors, Broncos, Titans, Raiders, Panthers, Roosters, Storm
Note: FYI, with the introduction of Thursday night games 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 weekend. 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).
Key Contest Stats
Kind thanks to Mark Hull a good friend and keen NRL follower who complies a weekly list of key stats and insights for each game. You can also follow Mark on Twitter here @
Sharks vs Cowboys
The Sharks ended the Cowboys hopes of B2B titles when they last met in the Preliminary Final as they headed towards their own maiden Premiership. Cronulla holds a 25-16 all time advantage over the North Queensland and have won 4 of the previous 5 clashes with the Cowboys played in Sydney, with North Queensland’s last win at Shark Park back in 2014. Recent meetings have been closely fought contests, with only 1 of the last 7 decided by more than 12 points. There are usually plenty of points on offer when these 2 sides have met in the Shire, with only 1 of the previous 14 tallying fewer than 40, at an average of 46. The Sharks have won 6 of their last 7 which has them holding down 2nd spot, they are ranked 8th in attack but have the best defensive record in the comp, conceding an average of 13.2 PPG. After losing only 1 of 13 at Shark Park in 2016, Cronulla have struggled at home in 2017, with all 3 of their losses coming with the home ground advantage. The Sharks are split 5-5 ATS and are yet to cover at home, with a 0-4 record, while they have covered in only 3 of their last 12 at home as a favourite. In total match points they are 8-2 Under, with their last 8 on end finishing that way, while they have a 15-5 Under record from their last 20 as a home favourite. Only on 4 occasions in the last 20 clashes with the Cowboys have the Sharks outscored North Queensland in the 2nd half. Back to back away games for the Cowboys after an upset win over the Bulldogs, but they haven’t won consecutive road games in Sydney since winning the title in 2015, while they have won only 2 of their last 10 as a road outsider. North Queensland is back in the Top 8, dropping out for just the 1 Round, with attack and defence records that both rate 9th. The Cowboys are 6-4 ATS, with a perfect 4-0 cover record on the road, but have covered in only 1 of their last 7 against Cronulla. They are 6-4 Under in total match points, but have had Overs results in 6 of their last 7 away from home. The Cowboys have won 3 from 3 with a half time lead, but have lost 4 of their last 5 when trailing at the break. Justin O’Neill has scored 4 tries in his last 7 games against the Sharks, but is yet to score in 2017. Home favourites have covered in only 2 of the last 12 matches with Ashley Klein in charge
The Sharks are hard to trust at present and so have stayed out. They are handicapped to advantage here being near full strength, at home, sitting 2nd on the table against an opponent with key injury outs and back to back away games. My issue though is the form and execution of the Sharks through their last 3 games which could well ready 3 straight losses, a late win last week vs Dragons where they should have been beaten, their handling, errors and execution was very sloppy (low 68% completions); a late and possibly lucky win over the Tigers and their loss to the Titans. The Cowboys bobbed up with a surprise effort last week but against a horrible Bulldogs offering, are still without Thurston but likely to have Granville and Coote who finished last week with injury concerns.
Defensively the Sharks should have the advantage here, while their attack has been sloppy and lacking finesse they have still maintained quality defence, still sit at a game average of 13.2 pts a week, and this should again get them home here. But only once in their last 5 games has there be a 10 pt or higher margin play in their favour, for mine that’s the risk again here and I’m happy to leave alone.
Warriors vs Dragons
The Dragons have completely dominated the Warriors since 1999, winning 20 of the 25 matches, including 11 straight from 2008 to 2015, before the Warriors finally broke through for a win in their only meeting last season. Only on 3 occasions from the last 13 meetings have the Warriors scored more than 12 points, while the Dragons have scored 19 or more in 11 of the last 13. Since 2008 the total match points have finished above 44 only once, while 5 of the last 6 have failed to top 38. In 3 of the last 4 encounters a Dragons Penalty Goal has been the 1st scoring play, while the Dragons have scored the last try of the match in 6 of the last 7. The Warriors have lost 3 of their last 4, but haven’t trailed at half time in any of them, it’s their 2nd half performances that have been the issue, where they have the worst attacking record in the comp, averaging just 4.6 points after the break and there was no better example than last week’s loss to Penrith, giving up a 22 point half time lead and losing the 2 nd half 30-0. The Warriors have won 4 from 5 at Mt Smart this season, but have taken this game to FMG Stadium, an interesting move, considering they have never won a game there. They Warriors are currently 12th and only on 3 occasions have they sat higher than a bottom 5 side, they are ranked 13th in attack and 12th in defence. They are 3-7 ATS and have covered in only 2 of their last 10 as a home favourite, while they have covered in only 1 of their last 5 against the Dragons. They are 7-3 Under in total match points with only 2 of their last 9 totaling more than 38, while 5 of their last 6 against the Dragons have also finished Under. The Warriors last 6 matches have all been decided by a margin of 1-12 points, while a Warriors try has been the 1st scoring play in 5 of their last 6. David Fusitua has been the Warriors last try scorer in their last 3 matches. The Dragons have lost 3 on the trot which has seen them fall from 1st to 5th on the ladder. Despite last week’s loss, they still have the 2nd best attack and moved from 6th to 5th in the defensive standings. Only on 2 occasions in their last 8 matches have the Dragons trailed at half time and only once have they conceded more than a single figure score at the break. They have won 7 of their last 9 matches in New Zealand and have won 3 from 4 on the road this season. The Dragons are 7-3 ATS and have covered in 5 of 7 as an underdog, including their last 3 straight as a road outsider. In total match points they are split 5-5, but are 16-8 Under as a road dog since 2014. Henry Perenara is a former player of both the Warriors and Dragons and in the 4 previous matches involving the Dragons with Perenara as the lead referee, St George Illawarra remain undefeated.
While I give the Dragons a fair chance here with their key outs and into an NZ road game on paper I just couldn’t get this any closer than 8 to 10 points between them.
The Dragons have a great head to head record and advantage over the Warriors winning 9 of the last 10. They come off 3 straight losses, two of them very close (Roosters, Sharks) and should have been the winner last week. But they 3 key outs in Widdop, Dugan and Aitken brings them back a level and has taken the sharpness and polish off their attack and kicking game. For mine in their last two efforts they have played way too much footy off at the wrong end of the park thanks to the incompetence of McCrone’s kicking game, and they just haven’t had the points in them when it has mattered. Bar the first half vs Storm their defence has still been good, they’ll be keen to win again off 3 straight losses as a table slide, and they have a great record head to head, if the game was in Sydney I’d be with them.
What do we say about the Warriors. Sure there are some credible excuses in how everything went the Panthers way last week from the very start of that second half, the bounce of the ball, a run of penalties, all the flow of procession, and so on, but seriously at this level you just don’t blow 22 point leads and roll over as they did.
The Warriors host this game in Waikato and they have a poor record at all NZ venues away from Auckland with just the 1 win. If we take them on tehir first half offering last week, and what they have done in the weeks prior then on paper they should be well placed here given the Dragons key outs, but these guys can also be mental nutcases and chose to fold quicker than a 3 leg card table. Slight lean to Warriors, wish I could find something more in the Dragons, but not a game I could touch.
Broncos vs Tigers
The 2nd of 2 matches on Friday night where 1 team has dominated the other, with Brisbane winning 10 of the previous 12 clashes with the Tigers. The Tigers caused an upset in the corresponding match last year to record just their 2nd win at Suncorp Stadium in 11 years but that match was played through the Origin period when Brisbane were without 6 regulars. A winning margin of 1-12 points has been the result in 8 of the last 11 encounters, while only 3 of the last 10 match ups have tallied more than 38. The Broncos have now recorded 5 consecutive victories which has them in the Top 4 and they are 1 of 3 teams just 1 win away from leading the comp. They are ranked 6th in attack, while they have the 4th best defensive record. Brisbane has won 9 of their last 10 at Suncorp Stadium and 12 of their last 14 as a double digit favourite. They are 5-5 ATS, while since 2014 they have a 10-6 cover record at Suncorp when laying a double digit advantage. Brisbane are 6-4 Over in total match points and have had Overs results in 14 of their last 21 as a favourite. James Roberts is a key in for Brisbane and he has scored 6 tries in his last 5 matches played at Suncorp Stadium. The Tigers have lost 3 of their last 4, conceding 22 points or more in all 3 losses. In their last 9 matches they have failed to score more than 1 2nd half try, while they have been beaten in 9 of their last 12 on the road as a double digit outsider. The Tigers are currently 15th and have been positioned in the bottom 4 since Round 2. They are ranked 14th in defence and have both the worst differential and attacking records in the NRL. They are 3-7 ATS, but have covered in 5 of their last 6 with a double digit start. In total match points they are 7-3 Under, but have had Overs results in 12 of their last 14 as a road outsider. The Tigers have lost 6 of their last 7 heading into a Bye.
Brisbane hold a key long term advantage over the Tigers winning 8 of the last 10 head to head, further advantaged with this being at Suncorp, a home game for the Broncos on a 7 day home turn around and for the Tigers a distant away interstate leg which they also have a poor record with.
Broncos have now won their last 5 straight, are 4 from 5 at home, get Roberts back and have a quality record when in against teams in the bottom section of the table. This should be a game that they treat with heightened focus as it is their last prior to the Origin phase of the season and a very valuable 2 pts, and I see Bennett has now named his strongest Forward line up to start the game looking I expect to get on the front foot early, start well, especially in dam conditions and look to manage the game on their terms. They have all the right ticks here, forward strength, bench depth, ability to spread and or run the ball and points. The key is kicking game, it was poor in the first few weeks of Hunt’s absence but has improved through recent games.
Tigers put in a very ordinary offering last week in being thumped by the Rabbits, a low form game as I don’t rate either of them. Moses has now been moved on so changes in their halves combinations, they now also lose Lawrence, if Woods plays likely to be under done, and while I expect a possible improved offering off last weeks low I still have a decent gap between these two.
The forecast is for lighter rain into the afternoon and evening so I expect the ground conditions to be ok and I hope not hamper the Broncos attack advantage. I’m looking for them to start strong, play physical through the middle, get the advantage early and take the sting out of the Tigers, play long and smart with their kicking game as the Tigers are prone to error and build points. Even with wet conditions I have this something like an 18 point handicap.
I just can’t see how there is not 36 or more points in this game, I think the markets have over reacted to the talk of supposed rain and wet conditions and wound it back too far. The Tigers leak 25.4 points a week, nearer to 28 points when away, and this is not just an away Sydney game but an interstate away trip. The Broncos at near full strength have attack and points in them, averaging at least 26 a week across their last 5 games and are now into a far weaker D and on the back of winning 5 games and positive improvement. Which ever way I slice some numbers I am at at least 36 pts, more likely 40 to 42.
Bet 2 units Broncos -12.5 $1.90 Tabsportsbet / $1.90 William Hill
Bet 2 units Broncos-Tigers over 34.5 $1.93 Pinnacle
Titans vs Sea Eagles
The Titans host the Sea Eagles in the 1st of 2 Saturday matches in Round 11. Gold Coast won the only meeting between the 2 sides last year to end a 3 game winning run for Manly over the Titans, while the last 12 H2H have been split 6 apiece. In 5 of the last 6 clashes the winning margin has been by 13+, while 7 of the last 11 have tallied 40 points or more. The Titans have won 3 in a row and claimed another big scalp last week in knocking over table toppers Melbourne, giving them victories against the two 2016 Grand Finalists in their 3 game winning run. They scored 38 points against the Storm, who were conceding an average of just 13.4 PPG prior to that match. Gold Coast are currently 11th, with the 2nd worst defensive record, but have the best attacking record in the League and they have posted scores of 20 or more in 6 of their last 7. The Titans are 6-4 ATS and have covered in 5 of their last 6, but have covered in only 3 of their last 12 at home when favoured by less than a converted try. The Titans are the No 1 Overs side in total match points, producing a 9-1 result with an average of 51 PPG. The Sea Eagles had won 5 from 7 heading into their match against Brisbane and looked set to improve on that with a 14-0 half time lead, only to capitulate in the 2nd half, conceding 28 unanswered points and to make things worse they will be without fullback Tom Trbojevic for the next 6-8 weeks. Manly are ranked 7th in both defence and the ladder proper, while they rank 3rd in attack, scoring 18 points or more in 7 of their last 9. They are 6-4 ATS and have covered in 8 of their last 11 away from Brookvale. The Sea Eagles are 6-4 Under in total match points, while they are 13-3 Under away from Brookvale since Round 8 last year.
Good contest but I do like the Titans at home. As they have been getting key players back from injury outs across the last 4 weeks clearly their form has improved and importantly they have been winning games, 3 straight now. But the key here is in looking at the strength of the formline with two of these wins being against the two top of table sides in the Storm (last week) and Sharks (at Cronulla). They have also played 3 of their last 4 games away, their one home game in this stretch a thumping 2nd half result over the Knights so they’ve some further advantage playing back here for this. They have a good mix, physical middle, smart #9, preparedness to offload and then develop second phase spreads, smart halves and #1 and Hayne. They are still a concern at times in defence and can open up in and around the middle as again exposed by the Storm’s clever ball and angle shifts last week, but they are like that nagging dog who have a will to win, are always in the fight and just won’t go away.
A key issue for me in accessing the Eagles is the loss of Tom Trbojevic. This kid is a superstar, he does some very special things in attack, he reads the play plays ahead of its making, has an uncanny knack of how he knows where to be and then what angle and run to make and turns half moments into scoring plays. In my opinion he is now well in advance of the Tedesco’s and Hayne’s for the NSW #1 role (but Daley wouldn’t have had the brains to pick him there) and now such a pity that he is out for Origin 1. But it is this key loss that I think also then is likely to have a marked impact on the Eagles attacking flow, punch through the middle and points – we only have to see what happened last week following his second half exit and the fact that the Eagles were scoreless in the second 40 minutes and had 24 pts then knocked up against them. I have been generous in only penalising the Eagles 2 pts at the handicap here for his out yet still have this a likely 8 pt gap, I think he might well be a 4 to 5 pt impact.
The Eagles have been positive, they are 5 from 10, have improved their defence and like their opening 30 minutes last week have some quality footy in them led well by Taupau. But they also have some key holes in their D especially down their edges and still struggle with long periods of concentration and attitude.
While there has been heavy rain on the Gold Coast for the last 24 hrs this ground is one of the best draining and drying grounds in Oz so with a 5.30pm start unless it is teaming down during the afternoon I suspect we should see a good playing surface.
I like what the Titans are doing, they are slowly building, should be favoured here at home and the Eagles have a significant out.
Bet 2 units Titans -3.5 $1.92 Ladbrokes / $1.87 Unibet
Eels vs Raiders
The only match of the Round featuring 2 last start losers, with the Eels hosting the Raiders at ANZ Stadium for the very 1st time. Both sides will be keen to bounce back after last week, with the Eels suffering their biggest loss in 40 matches, while the Raiders are in a form slump, with 3 straight losses. Parramatta conceded 48 points against the Roosters, which was the most that they had conceded in a match since Round 2 of the 2014 season (also against the Roosters). They will be without key playmaker Corey Norman and have lost 6 of their last 9 without his services. They have however, won 6 of their last 8 at ANZ Stadium and have covered a line in all of those 6 wins. The Eels are currently ranked 9th, with an attack and defence that both rank 11th. They have conceded 20 points or more in 6 of their last 8, but have scored more than 20 only 3 times after 10 Rounds. Parramatta is 5-5 ATS and has covered in only 2 of their last 6 against the Raiders, but has covered in 4 of their last 5 as a home underdog. In total match points they are also split 5-5, while they have a 12-4 Under record at ANZ Stadium since 2014. Eels centre Michael Jennings has scored 5 tries in his last 4 games against Canberra. The Raiders have won 8 of the last 10 meetings with Parramatta, but have lost 4 of 5 on the road this season. Canberra remains in 10th spot, with an attack that ranks 4th but a defence that ranks 8th and they conceded 34 points last week against the Knights, who at the time were ranked last in attack. They are 6-4 ATS, failing to cover in their last 3 straight, while they have covered in 4 of their last 9 as an away favourite. In total match points they are split 5-5, but since 2015 they are 6-3 Over on the road when laying a start, while the previous 5 clashes with the Eels have all gone Overs, with all of them totaling 42 or more. A Raiders try has been the 1st scoring play in 10 of the previous 13 meetings with the Eels while in 5 of the last 6 matches involving the Raiders, the 1st try of the match has been scored by the 7th minute. Small home underdogs have lost 7 of the last 9 matches under Ben Cummins.
I just can’t access this game with any confidence. The Eels have been all over the place, put together 3 wins when desperate but against sides who have been equally inconsistent if not poor then crumbled last weekend against the Roosters in what looked a much closer match up. Leaking 48 points a horrible sign. They are now without Norman and have Moses as an in, but he to has some significant “head” and “ego” issues so we have no idea what turns up.
The Raiders look out of sorts at present and a number of key players very short of confidence. Hodgson has lost his zip and dart out of dummy half, they miss the impact Baptise made off the bench, Austin has lost his mojo and spark, a couple of their forwards look bigger (and slower) than Texas, right now they are off. And all of this had happened in just a matter of weeks. They face their 3rd away game and have to somehow pick themselves up mid week and get their mindset right.
Just a game of guesses for mine. The Raiders anywhere near 80% of what we know they are would win this and cover the line but I want to see some positive footy from them before stepping it. Raiders the tip but no interest.
Knights vs Panthers
The Panthers have won 5 of the last 6 clashes with the Knights, including a 40 point shut out when they last met in Round 4. The previous 7 encounters have resulted in a winning margin of 13+, while 6 of the last 7 clashes have topped 40 points. In 7 of the last 10 meetings, the home team has finished victorious. The Knights caused a boil over last week when they downed the Raiders to record only their 3rd win since the start of the 2016 season. They have won 4 of their last 6 against the Panthers in Newcastle and will be looking for B2B home wins for the 1st time in more than 2 years. Despite their win, Newcastle remains in last place with the worst defensive record, but they moved up 2 spots in the attack rankings to be 14th. Newcastle has conceded 22 points or more in 9 of their 10 matches. The Knights are 4-6 ATS and have covered in only 1 of their last 5 at home with a double digit advantage, while they have covered in only 1 of their last 6 against the Panthers. They are 6-4 Under in total match points, while 5 of the last 7 meetings with Penrith in Newcastle have tallied 40 or more. The Knights have conceded the 1st try of the 2nd half in 7 of their last 8. The Panthers broke a 5 game losing streak with a come from behind win against the Warriors last start. After trailing 28-6 at the break, Penrith managed to score 30 unanswered points in the 2nd half to record a much needed win. Like the Knights, the Panthers are languishing in the bottom 4 and have done so for the last month, with an attack and defence that both rank 10th . Penrith have conceded 18 points or more in all 6 matches since they last met Newcastle at an average of almost 26 PPG, while they have scored more than 18 in only 2 of their last 6. They have lost 4 from 5 away from home this season. The Panthers are 3-7 ATS, but have covered in their last 4 on the road when laying double digits. In total match points they are 6-4 Under, but are 7-3 Over since 2014 in day games as a road favourite. A Panthers try has been the 1st scoring play in their last 3 against the Knights, while they have scored the last try of the match in 9 of the last 10 meetings.
As suggested earlier with the Warriors, where and how do we line up the Panthers efforts last week. Shot to bits at half time yet turned a 22 pt game upside down and won – but kissed on the backside by a rainbow with how just everything went their way in that second 40 minutes. They had the ball from the outset, every pass or play stuck, 67% of the ball, 1081 to 386 in run mtrs, it was all just one way traffic blessed with every element of luck. We then see the Warriors crumble in Friday nights game vs the Dragons so there is little credibility to take out of that game last week. If they start well and can build into their game, and not be weighed down by structure then they can loosen up and play some natural skillful footy which is their best approach then they could do something like they did earlier this year and win this comfortably. Their mental approach is 80% of the result here.
The Knights are plucky, the little underdog that still has a kick in them and come off probably their best effort in 18 months last week. They stay at home, a huge advantage to them, probably get an extra 5k in the crowd off their win and will have some improved confidence and belief. If they get a slight sniff they will trouble the Panthers, and if the game opens up and gets loose as is likely it will also suit them. It’s pleasing to see some of the young kids they have coming through playing well, the likes of Sione Mata’utia, Stone and the Saifiti brothers, plus Fitzgibbon who was super on debut last week but now unfortunately out injured.
I think the 10 to 12 pt advantage looks right in favour of the Panthers. They have been poor on the road (1/4) and are leaking 25 pts a game, so they are no good things here. If they take some confidence out of last weeks second half and can start positive without too much structure then they should be too strong.
Bulldogs vs Roosters
The Roosters have won 7 of the last 10 matches against the Bulldogs, including 3 of the last 4 contested at ANZ Stadium. There have been plenty of points on offer in recent meetings, with 6 of the last 7 totaling 44 or more, while 4 of the last 5 have had a margin result of 1-12. In 5 of the last 7 encounters, including the last 4 straight, the starting favourite has gone on to win the match. The Bulldogs have lost 2 of their last 3, but had won 3 in a row prior to that. They continue to splutter in attack and are now the equal worst attacking team in the NRL, averaging 15.2 PPG and their 1st half performances have been woeful, scoring just 46 points in 10 games. Only once this season have they led at half time, while they have also led at the break in just 1 of the previous 10 clashes with the Roosters. Despite the unappealing numbers the Dogs remain in the Top 8, mainly due to their defence, where they rank 6th. They have won 7 of their last 9 at ANZ Stadium as the home team, but have lost 6 of their last 9 at the ground as an outsider. Canterbury has a 6-4 record ATS and has covered in their last 4 with a start. In total match points they are in heavy favour of the Unders, producing an 8-2 result, while they are 10-3 Under at ANZ Stadium since 2014 when starting as an underdog. The Dogs have conceded the 1st points of the match in 8 of 10. The Roosters have won 3 of their last 4 and their 48 point haul against the Eels last week was the highest score that they have posted since 2014. They have moved into 3rd spot on the ladder and are the only side that hasn’t been positioned lower than 5th all season. They have the 7th best attack, while they rank 2nd in defence and have conceded 14 points or less in 6 of their last 8. The Roosters have won 4 of their last 5 matches played at ANZ Stadium. The Tri-Colours are 5-5 ATS, with a 4-2 record on the road, while they have won and covered in their last 5 at ANZ Stadium when laying a start. In total match points the Roosters are 6-4 Under, with only 1 of their last 8 breaching 40. Daniel Tupou has been the Roosters 1st try scorer in 4 of the last 6 clashes with the Bulldogs and he has also scored a total of 8 tries in his last 6 matches versus Canterbury. In matches where the home team is an outsider, the total match points are 9-1 Under over the last 12 months with Gerard Sutton in charge.
Anything like the Roosters efforts of recent games, in particular their thumping of the Eels last week should see them win here. They are 7 from 10 and importantly playing well on both sides of the ball, consistently defending well at 2 to 3 tries max a game while also being well constructed and positive in their attack patterns, in particular against the lower table sides. They also have a number of players playing for final Origin selection.
Bulldogs are an enigma, so hard to rate or find. Horrible last week vs Cowboys in defeat, 5 from 10 season to date and a spluttering attack that has seen them only score more than 14 points at 12 of their last 15 outings. In against an opponent who’s defence has been strong once again it’s hard to see how they score more than 14 again, and or a total high enough to be in a winning position. But at Homebush their defensive record has also been their best, struggling with points but consistently keeping their defence in order.
I expect the Roosters win. But I can’t get the handicap out to 8 or more to play the line.
Rabbits vs Storm
The final match of the Round will see the Rabbitohs take a home game to NIB Stadium in Perth where they will host the Melbourne Storm. It’s the 9th consecutive year that Souths have moved a home game to the West and the 1st time they have met the Storm at NIB Stadium since 2010. Melbourne has owned the Rabbitohs since 2005, winning 17 of the 19 clashes, while both sides have won 1 each in Perth. Recent meetings have been low scoring affairs, with only 1 of the last 11 surpassing 34. The Rabbitohs ended a 3 game losing streak last week, easily accounting for a toothless Tigers side 28-8, posting their highest score since Round 2. They have a 4-6 win loss record which sees them sitting in the bottom 4, with an attack that ranks 12th, while they rank 13th in defence. Last week was the 1st time all season that they had conceded less than 18 points, while only on 4 occasions in 26 matches against Melbourne have they scored 20 points or more. Souths are 5-5 ATS and have covered in 6 of their last 8 away from ANZ Stadium, but have lost and failed to cover in their last 4 as a home outsider away from their true home ground. In total match points they are split 5-5, but have had Unders results in 7 of their last 8 when getting a start of 8 points or more. Alex Johnston has scored 4 tries in his 3 games against Melbourne and in all 3 matches he has been the Rabbioths 1st try scorer. Melbourne were unexpected losers last week, going down to the Titans in what was a try fest. Despite scoring 36 points, the Storm were beaten and became the 1st side since the Titans in 2010 and just the 4th side in history to score 36 points and lose. They are still the outright competition leaders though, with an 8-2 record, while they rank 5th in attack and 3 rd in defence. The Storm has won 11 of their last 12 as an away favourite. Melbourne has a 5-5 record ATS and has covered in 5 of their last 6 as the away team. In total match points they are 7-3 in favour of the Under, while they have also had Unders results in 27 of their last 36 away games.
Game to be played in Perth. There has been showers across the last 24 hrs, and further light rain forecast for Sunday.
The Storm have a long term hold over the Rabbits winning 17 of the last 19 contests (9 to 1 of the last 10) and I find it hard to see anything different here. The Storm dropped their 2nd game last week to the Titans when conceding 38 points, a very unlike Storm offering and Bellamy made it very well known they’d been in for plenty of work on their defence and attitude this week. They were loose in the middle last week on the back of missing 3 key middle forwards, while still a possible weakness they may have one of those players back for this and I’m sure will be tighter with their whole defensive approach, against a weaker opponent.
Rabbits have lost 5 of their last 7 and have been leaking points at will, and unable to put together back to back wins or performances. They won comfortably over the Tigers last week but we know that is a pathetically weak form line. Off a break through much needed win they have in the past dropped their effort and attitude, and with this distant trip I’m expecting something similar.
The Storm have a very good record in responding off a poor offering, especially when having leaked points like last week. I’m sure we see a very focused defensive effort here, and this lead the way to an important win prior to Origin.
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NRL Tips Previews Sports Betting 2017
MrG’s recommended weekly game by game previews and any recommended betting plays for this individual round are listed here. Each NRL Preview and Sports Betting Tips message thread will normally open on a Wednesday 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). All subscribers can also receive all recommended bets via sms message.
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