NRL Tips Previews Sports Betting 17 Round 13

NRL Tips Previews Sports Betting 17 Round 13

MrG provides NRL Tips Previews Sports Betting content each week for our Reading The Play NRL subscribers.

NRL Tips Previews Sports Betting 17 Round 13

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NRL Tips Rd 13 Game Handicaps

MrG’s Ratings

-22.5 Storm vs Knights

-2.5 Eels vs Warriors

-11.5 Dragons vs Tigers

-1.5 Roosters vs Broncos

-5.5 Cowboys vs Titans

-2.5 Eagles vs Raiders

+3.5 Bulldogs vs Panthers

NRL Round 13 Recommended Bet List

Bet 2 units Storm-Knights under 44.5 $1.90 Unibet / Sportsbet

Bet 1 unit Dragons-Tigers over 42.5 $1.90 Sportsbet

Bet 2 units Panthers -3.5 $1.92 William Hill

Bet 1 unit Bulldogs-Panthers under 41.5 $1.90 Sportsbet

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

Storm, Eels, Dragons, Broncos, Cowboys, Eagles, Panthers

Game Previews

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 @FootyAssist

Storm vs Knights

-22.5 Storm


Round 13 gets underway with the table topping Storm at home against cellar dwellers Newcastle. The Storm has won 16 of the last 21 clashes with the Knights and only twice in the last 12 years have Newcastle recorded a victory in Melbourne. In 8 of the previous 10 clashes, the winning margin has been by 1-12 points, while in 6 of the last 8 meetings, including 4 of the last 5 at AAMI Park, the match points have totaled 36 or less. Both teams will be fresh after the week off and only once since 2005 has the Storm been beaten at home when coming off a Bye, while since 2011, the Knights have lost 10 of 12 after their Bye. Melbourne remains on top of the table with a 9-2 record. They are currently ranked 7th in attack and 2nd in defence, with a 73 point differential that also ranks 2 nd . They have won 14 of their last 17 at AAMI Park and 9 of their last 10 at the ground when laying a double digit start. Melbourne is 5-6 ATS and has covered in only 1 of their last 5 at AAMI Park, while they also failed to cover in their last 8 straight against the Knights. The Storm is 8-3 Under in total match points and has had Under results in 12 of their last 15 and in 9 of their last 10 at AAMI Park. Melbourne is at their shortest price since they last met the Knights in Round 5 of the 2016 season. Storm winger Josh Addo-Carr has scored 5 tries in his last 5 games, while he has scored in 3 of Melbourne’s 4 games at AAMI Park. The Knights have lost 9 from 11 and haven’t won on the road since Round 24 of the 2015 season, losing 18 in a row. They remain anchored at the bottom of the ladder and have done so for the last 6 weeks, with an attack that ranks 14th and a defence that rates last. Newcastle is 5-6 ATS and has covered in 8 of their last 16 with a double digit advantage, while they are 6-12 ATS since 2014 when playing interstate. Road underdogs getting more than a 16 point advantage have covered in 9 of the last 13 matches. In total match points Newcastle are 6-5 Under, but their last 3 have totaled 46 or more, while they are 12-6 Over when interstate since 2014.


Very tricky round this week folks, post Origin, and one of the better ones we have seen for many years, many key outs and then doubts into the next few days of who plays and how they might back up. This week looks to have spiders on it, I have spent the last two days evaluating and reevaluating lines, ins and outs and potential total points positions and its like wrestling with a black snake. For the most point I’m happy to keep my hands in my pockets, the round has difficulty and high risk written all over it.

Clearly the key here is the final ins and outs for the Storm, in particular Smith and Cronk. Bellamy has always shown in the past that he has left the final decision up to his key players, and these two key players have normally chosen to play – but they come off a very fast physical game so time will tell how they pull up.

Both sides come off a break and I have suspected that the Knights will do well through this Origin period as these breaks allow them time to freshen up and Brown to get more training sessions into them, but performing well in Melbourne let alone winning. They get some depth back into their list with the returns of Ross, Starling and Fitzgibbon named in their 19. Although bottom placed the Knights have a very good recent term record against the Storm including 8 of the last 10 results finishing 1-12.

The Storm come off their win in Perth and then a break and have an excellent record at home. The one thing Bellamy also has shown over many years when off a break is his traditional focus on defence and regardless of who backs up for them their mantra will be defend to your best.

The one thing that does stand out here are all of the stats of these two sides consistently playing tight lower scoring games, with 6 of the last 8 including 4 of the last 5 at this ground resulting in total match points of 36 or less. Add to this the Storm are 15-5 under when off a break of 11 or more days.

Bet 2 units Storm-Knights under 44.5 $1.90 Unibet / Sportsbet

Eels vs Warriors

-2.5 Eels


The Eels host the Warriors in Friday Night Football for the 1st time ever at ANZ Stadium. The Eels are sure to have a welcoming committee for former team mate Kieran Foran after he walked out on Parramatta last season. It’s the only match of the Round featuring 2 last start winners, with both sides returning to the winners circle after 2 straight losses. The Eels hold a 20-17 all time advantage over the Warriors, but the Warriors have won 4 of the 5 most recent encounters. A winning margin of 13+ has been the result in 9 of the last 12 meetings, while 7 of the last 9 have had total match points of 42 or more. The Eels are at ANZ Stadium for the 3rd week in a row, where they have won 4 from 6 in 2017 and will start as a home favourite for only the 2nd time this season. They are currently 9th and haven’t been positioned in the Top 8 since Round 3. The Eels are ranked 10th in attack and 11th in defence and only on 3 occasions have they conceded fewer than 16 points. Parramatta is 6-6 ATS and has covered in 7 of their last 10 at ANZ Stadium, while they have also covered in 10 of their last 15 as a small favourite. They are 7-5 Under in total match points and have had Unders results in 14 of their last 18 at ANZ Stadium. Bevan French missed the Round 6 clash, but scored a hat trick in his only meeting with the Warriors last year, he hasn’t scored in his last 2 matches, but has never gone 3 Rounds without a try. As expected, the Warriors got home last week against a decimated Broncos outfit, posting their biggest score of the season, but remain in the bottom 4. After spending 2 weeks at home they are back on the road where they are yet to win this season, losing 5 from 5, while they have lost 9 of their last 10 away from home and have won just 2 of their last 23 as a road outsider. The Warriors are ranked 11th in attack, 12th in defence and their -43 differential ranks 13th . They are 4-8 ATS and have covered in only 8 of their last 26 matches played away from home, but have covered in 7 of their last 9 in the Rounds following Origin. In total match points they are 8-4 Under, while 7 of their last 8 as an underdog have also finished Unders. A Warriors try has been the 1st scoring play in their last 6 matches and also in 4 of the last 5 matches against the Eels. Home favourites have covered in only 2 of the last 13 matches with Ashley Klein in charge.


Dragons vs Tigers

-11.5 Dragons


The Dragons hold an 18-15 all-time advantage over the Tigers and they have won 4 of the last 5 clashes played at ANZ Stadium. In 6 of the previous 7 encounters the winning margin has been by 13+, while 4 of the last 5 have totaled 40 points or less. Both sides have had the week off, but both sides have poor records post Bye, the Dragons losing 9 of their last 11 and the Tigers have lost 7 of their last 9, while both sides had lost 3 of 4 leading into the week off. The Dragons moved from 5th to 3rd on the ladder, courtesy of the Bye and the Broncos and Roosters both suffering defeats. They are 2nd in attack rankings and 3rd in defence, giving them an 86 point differential, which is the best in the League. The Dragons overall record at ANZ Stadium is a poor 1, winning only 5 of 14 games at the venue since 2014, but 4 of those 5 wins have been against the Tigers. They have also won 8 of their last 9 over the same period when starting as a big favourite. St George Illawarra is 8-3 ATS and has covered in 8 of their last 11 day games when laying a start, while they have also won all 11 of those matches. In total match points they are 6-5 in favour of the Over and are 11-5 Over in day time matches since 2014. Josh Dugan has scored 4 tries in his 7 matches against the Tigers, while Jason Nightingale scored a hat trick in the Round 5 clash. The Tigers have lost 8 of their last 10 and have conceded 22 points or more in all of those losses. Only once during that period have they outscored an opponent in the 2nd half, with no side scoring fewer 2nd half points than the Tigers with 50. They have lost 6 of their last 7 day time matches and 8 of their last 10 day games as the away side. The Tigers are 3-8 ATS and since 2014 they have a 6-12 cover record on the road when getting a start of 8 points or more. In total match points they are 7-4 Under, but have had Overs results in 13 of their last 15 as a road dog, including their last 7 straight day games. Since 2014 the Overs have hit a 55% in day time matches, but this increases to 71% during the Origin period.


Dragons look to have key ins here with Widdop, Frizell and Dugan all training Friday. Tigers are also expected to get Woods and Tedesco back and have Lolohea playing his first game, but are also without Brooks, Aloiai and Sue.

Dragons when with key outs dropped 2 straight games on the back of their close loss to the Roosters but aside from being opened up for during the first 40 vs Storm they have been very good, and then bounced back with great enthusiasm and a smart game plan to flog the Warriors two weeks ago. I like the enthusiasm and smarts around their approach, they get 3 key ins and I like being with teams in good form playing with plenty of confidence.

Conversely the bye couldn’t have come more quickly for the Tigers after some terrible offerings with the last two being easily toweled up by the Broncos and Rabbits. Coach Cleary has now had an extended week to try and balance them up and I’m sure work on their defensive structures, but I still have it marked at least a 12 pt gap between these two with no decided ground advantage.

This game does look to have points in it, and a game style very much suited to day time and dry track. The Tigers have been conceding 28 points most weeks consistently, the Dragons attack has been very positive this season with key changes to their pattern and focus and scoring 24 or more pts a week, they are also a side that love day time footy with an 11-5 recent record in arvo games. The other positive factor is with Tedesco and Lolohea into the Tigers line up we should hopefully see them also help the Tigers attack contribute pts toward to game total. Dragons to win, I want to be with the total points over.

Bet 1 unit Dragons-Tigers over 42.5 $1.90 Sportsbet

Roosters vs Broncos

-1.5 Roosters


It’s 5th versus 4th when the Roosters host the Broncos at Allianz Stadium. The Broncos have won 3 of the last 4 clashes with the Roosters and will be looking for a clean sweep over the Tri-Colours for the 1st time since 2008. Recent meetings have been high scoring affairs, with 5 of the last 7 topping 40 points, while the 1st try of the match has been scored by the 7th minute in 6 of the last 7. The home ground advantage has proved crucial, with the home team winning 7 of the last 8 encounters, while the Roosters have won 4 of the last 5 clashes at Allianz Stadium. Both sides are coming off last start defeats, with both sides heavily affected by Origin. The Roosters have won 4 of their last 6, but have lost 3 of 4 against the current Top 8. They are currently 5th on the ladder, with an attack and defence that rank 6th and 5th respectively. They have won 6 of their last 7 at Allianz Stadium and 15 of their last 17 as a home favourite. The Roosters are 5-7 ATS and have covered in only 2 of their last 7 against the Broncos, while they have failed to cover in 7 of their last 8 when laying less than 4 points. In total match points they are 7-5 in favour of the Unders, but have had Overs results in 13 of their last 18 at Allianz Stadium. The Roosters have lost 3 from 4 when trailing at half time, but are unbeaten when leading at the break, winning 7 from 7. The Broncos 6 game winning run ended last Round, going down by 18 points in New Zealand, in what was their biggest loss since Round 20 last year and they are now on the road for the 2nd straight week with a number of players backing up from Origin. Brisbane is 6-6 ATS and has covered in 11 of their last 14 as a small road dog, while they have also covered in 6 of their last 7 as an interstate outsider. In total match points they are 7-5 in favour of the Overs, while they are 8-4 Under since 2014 when playing interstate as a small outsider. The Broncos have won 5 from 7 with a half time lead, while they have overcome a half time deficit in 2 of 4. Only 1 of the Broncos last 8 road games have been decided by a margin of 13+. Brisbane has scored the last try of the match in their last 6 matches against the Roosters.


A game riddled with key outs for both sides and best left alone. Pearce is out for the Roosters while Cordner and Napa are likely to play but carry injury. Milford and Nikorima key outs for the Broncos plus a long list of back ups with Thaiday, Oates, Gillett, McGuire and Boyd.

With two make shift halves combinations and these key outs looks a very tricky game, slight lean to teh Broncos given Hunt returns, his kicking game will be a positive, and Marshall has experience and a point to prove, but a game difficult to work out.

Cowboys vs Titans

-5.5 Cowboys


The Titans travel to Townsville to take on the Cowboys in an all Queensland derby. The Cowboys have recorded 4 consecutive wins over the Titans, while they have also won 6 of the previous 7 clashes at 1300SMILES Stadium. The last 3 encounters have all topped 45 points but 5 of the 6 prior to that failed to surpass 40. In 6 of the last 7 match ups, the 1st try of the game has been scored by the 7th minute. Both sides had a Bye last Round and both have contrasting records post Bye, with the Cowboys winning 10 of their last 12, while the Titans have lost 12 of their last 14. The Cowboys will again be without Thurston and had lost 4 of 6 prior to the week off. They are currently 7th, with the 12th ranked attack and the 8th ranked defence. North Queensland is 7-4 ATS and has covered in their last 4 against the Titans, while they have covered in 13 of their last 19 at home when laying more than a converted try. Through the Origin period last year, big home favourites were a poor 1-9 ATS. In total match points the Cowboys are 7-4 Under, with a perfect 6-0 Under record at home, while their last 5 as a big home favourite have also gone Under. The Titans had won 3 straight, including 2 road wins, before a disappointing loss to Manly in what was a very average effort. All of their away games in 2017 have been decided by single figures, but their last 3 in Townsville have all been by decided by 19 points or more. Gold Coast are currently 12th, with the 5th ranked attack, while they rank 15th in defence, conceding an average of 26.5 PPG. They are 6-5 ATS, with 4 of those 6 covers coming from their last 4 away games, while they have covered in 9 of their last 11 on the road as a big outsider. In total match points the Titans remain as the No 1 Overs side in the NRL, producing a 9-2 result, with only 1 of their 11 games totaling less than 40.


O’Neill an out for the Cowboys, and Thurston remains on the sidelines. Peats out for Titans, Hayne will play.

The Cowboys sit 7th on the table and have teams around them winning, they would normally like to have a greater bank of points through this difficult Origin period. Surprisingly their record at home this season has also dropped with just a 3 from 6 record when normally near 90%, the week off should have been positive for them and aside from Morgan they would have all trained together a number of times this week and be ready for a positive offering. Having lost 3 of their last 5 this is an important game.

The trouble in accessing the Titans is their defence and mental approach. They collectively were just terrible last game at home vs Eagles, carved up down their left edge, Roberts was hopeless at fullback, and the yardage was soft through the middle. They have conceded 30 and 36 at their last two outings and now a season to date average of 28, teams with these sorts of defensive records are just so hard to trust. I concede their best would make them a real chance here, and they have a very good recent record as a road underdog, but most of that record was also well earnt last year when they also had their attitude and D in order, not on what we have seen in 2017.

I’m with the Cowboys at home but both teams hard to trust at present.

Eagles vs Raiders

-2.5 Eagles


The 2nd match of Round 13 featuring 2 Top 8 opponents sees the Sea Eagles at home to the Raiders. Manly were rank outsiders when the 2 sides met in Canberra 5 weeks ago but got the win with a Penalty Goal in extra time. That victory was the 11th win for the Sea Eagles from the last 15 meetings with Canberra, while they have won 6 of the previous 8 clashes at Brookvale Oval. Recent meetings have been high scoring affairs, with 6 of the last 7 topping 45, including the last 2 at Brookvale which have totaled 74 and 72. The Sea Eagles have had the week off and have won 7 of their last 9 at home off the Bye. They had won 3 of 4 leading into the break, but have a poor record at home this season, winning just 1 of 6. Manly are 6th and have spent just 1 week out of the Top 8 since Round 4. They are ranked 4th in attack and 6th in defence, with a 57 point differential that also ranks 6th . The Sea Eagles are 7-4 ATS, with their 7 covers coming from last 9 games, but have a poor recent record at Brookvale, with just 4 covers from their last 13 games. They are 7-4 Under in total match points, but have had Overs results in 9 of their last 11 at Brookvale, while 6 of their last 7 against the Raiders have also gone Over. The Sea Eagles have scored the 1st points of the match in 8 of the last 10 meetings with the Raiders. Canberra made it B2B wins to maintain their spot in the Top 8 after a hard fought win over the Roosters last Round. They have 6 wins after 12 Rounds, just as they did in 2016 and will be hoping history repeats as they went on to win 11 of their next 12, including a Round 13 win against Manly. Canberra currently ranks 1st for points scored with 276 at an average of 23 PPG and only once in the previous 5 clashes with Manly have they scored less than that average. They are 8-4 ATS and have covered in 12 of their last 13 as a road dog, while they have also covered in 8 of their last 10 day games from that same position. In total match points they are 7-5 Under, but are a big Overs side in day games, producing a 35-11 result since 2014, including 13 of their last 15 and 10 of their last 11 on the road as an outsider. Canberra winger Jordan Rapana has scored 4 tries in his last 2 matches against the Sea Eagles, while Manly have conceded 19 of their 34 tries down that same edge. Since 2014 the Overs have hit a 55% in day time matches, but this increases to 71% during the Origin period.


Both sides have little Origin disruption, Myles an out for Eagles, Papalii to back up for Raiders.

The Eagles have a good recent record vs Raiders winning in an upset 5 weeks ago in Canberra to take their run to 11 of last 15, and here at Brookvale they have won 6 of the last 8 (but have been poor at the ground themselves this season).

Raiders seem to be treading water at present. I liked their first half last week, finally back to playing strong off the advantage line with their big forwards, creating some room, but not turning this into points. They then had a run of 7 consecutive penalties against them through the 2nd half, had no ball or field position and ended up in an arm wrestle and a narrow win. But the fact remains they still look short on confidence, not helped here into a venue they have a poor long term record at.

Plenty to like about what the Eagles have done through recent weeks winning 3 of their last 5 and their losses against top of the table sides in Storm and Broncos. Like some others this weekend the bye will do them some good and Barrett gets the chance to set them or an effort here. Looks a nice clash in the middle with some big boys and heavy hitters the strength for both teams, while the Eagles left edge defence should be well targeted.

I didn’t think there looked much between them, slight edge to the Eagles at Brookvale, and they have had a touch of confidence and belief about them. Plenty of historical reference and key numbers to suggest points in this game, but 46 is a big number and as we have already seen this weekend Origin period throws plenty of likely forecasts upside down. No interest for me.

Bulldogs vs Panthers

+3.5 Bulldogs


The final match of the Round and the 3rd game to be played at ANZ Stadium in Round 13 will see the Bulldogs hosting the Panthers. Recent meetings between the 2 sides have been tight affairs with 7 of the last 9 clashes decided by a single figure margin, while 8 of the last 10 encounters have totaled 40 or less. The Bulldogs hold a 51-36 all-time advantage over the Panthers, coupled with 3 draws. The most recent meeting resulted in a 16 point win to Penrith in an Elimination Final, the Dogs biggest loss against the Panthers since 2008. The Bulldogs have lost their last 3 on end and 4 of their last 5, which has seen them drop out of the Top 8 to 11th spot. They are the 2nd worst attacking team in the NRL and only on 4 occasions from their last 16 matches have they scored more than 18 points. They have won only 3 of their last 10 at ANZ Stadium as an underdog, but they have won 3 of their last 4 at the ground against Penrith. The Dogs are 8-4 ATS and have covered in their last 6 straight as an outsider. In total match points they are 9-3 Under and only 4 of their last 20 matches have tallied more than 40, while they have also had Unders results in 13 of their last 17 as a small outsider. Last week was the 1st time in 9 matches that the Dogs had gone to half time with a lead. The Panthers have won their last 2 but had lost 5 straight prior, while they have won just 2 games away from home, which were against sides currently ranked 15th and 16th. They are currently 10th on both the ladder and in defence rankings, while they rate 9th in attack. Penrith is 3-8 ATS and have covered in only 1 of their last 7. They are 6-5 Under in total match points, but their last 3 have topped 50. Like the Bulldogs, only once in their last 9 have the Panthers gone to half time with a lead, while only once in their last 5 have they scored a 1st half try. Small home underdogs have won and covered in only 1 of the last 7 NRL matches.


Two teams struggling for form and quality performances. The Bulldogs are 5 of 12 and have lost 4 of their last 5 and as we keep noting their attack is a spluttering mess. They have a number of key Origin back ups, Graham ins some doubt or will play with key injury and no Reynolds. Panthers come off the bye, get Mansour back and have a key positional move with Moylan moving to #6, which I think is a positive move and likely to spark his and teams attack.

I have a long list of factors that just suggest a difficult 80 minute arm wrestle and low scoring game. The Bulldogs rarely score more than 14 points, but also make a habit of defending their opponents into an ugly low scoring arm wrestle and this looks no different. The Panthers away record is poor and their two wins against bottom of the table sides, they too are another struggling with confidence and an over structured approach, plus they have a terrible longer term record at this ground.

I’m with the Panthers as if they click in any way they have at least 3 to 4 tries in them given their talent, skill and speed in key areas. But the 41.5 always looked high and I’m happy to play under.

With the confirmed out of Graham I want to bet the Panthers.

Bet 2 units Panthers -3.5 $1.92 William Hill

Bet 1 unit Bulldogs-Panthers under 41.5 $1.90 Sportsbet


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NRL Tips Previews Sports Betting 2017

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