NRL Tips Previews Sports Betting 17 Round 14


NRL Tips Previews Sports Betting 17 Round 14

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

NRL Tips Previews Sports Betting 17 Round 14

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NRL Tips Rd 14 Game Handicaps

MrG’s Ratings

+1.5 Sharks vs Storm

-17.5 Eagles vs Knights

-16.5 Broncos vs Rabbits

-2.5 Titans vs Warriors

-2.5 Panthers vs Raiders

+2.5 Eels vs Cowboys

+14.5 Tigers vs Roosters

-6.5 Bulldogs vs Dragons

NRL Round 14 Recommended Bet List

Bet 2 units Sharks-Storm under 33.5 $1.90 Tabsportsbet

Bet 2 units Broncos -10.5 $1.90 William Hill

Bet 3 units Roosters -10.5 $1.90 William Hill

Bet 2 units Bulldogs-Dragons under 38.5 $1.85 CrownBet / 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, Eagles, Broncos, Warriors, Raiders, Cowboys, Roosters, Dragons

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

Sharks vs Storm

+1.5 Sharks


Round 14 gets underway in what is clearly the match of the Round with the 2 nd placed Sharks hosting the ladder leaders Melbourne. Cronulla has won 3 of the previous 4 meetings with the Storm, including the 2016 Grand Final. Recent meetings have been low scoring affairs with 10 of the last 13 meetings all finishing Unders, including the last 5 straight, which have all tallied 32 or fewer, while the previous 5 clashes at Shark Park dating back to 2007 have failed to surpass 33. A Penalty Goal has been the 1st scoring play in 4 of the last 5 meetings, while the 1st try of the match hasn’t been scored until after the 8th minute in 10 of the last 11 encounters. The Sharks should be fresh off the Bye last week but it hasn’t served them well previously, with just 2 wins from their last 6 at home when coming off the break. They have won 3 of their last 4 at home, giving them a 3-3 home record in 2017 and all 6 of those matches have been decided by a margin of 1-12. The Sharks have won 8 of their last 9 and in 7 of those matches they have conceded 2 points or less in their 2 nd halves. They are holding down 3rd spot on the ladder with an attack that ranks a lowly 13th, while they remain as the No 1 ranked side in defence. They are 5-7 ATS and remain as the only side yet to cover at home, producing a 0-6 record, while they have covered in only 1 of their last 4 when laying a small start. In total match points they are 10-2 Under, with their last 10 straight finishing that way, while they have a 17-5 Under record from their last 22 as a home favourite. The Sharks are becoming the comeback Kings after overcoming a half time deficit in their last 5 when trailing at the break and they have scored the 1st try of the 2nd half in 10 of their last 11 matches. Melbourne remains on top of the table and became the 1st team to register 10 wins with a comprehensive win over Newcastle last week, without the services of Cam Smith. They are the only side yet to be beaten as the away side in 2017, winning 6 from 6, with 5 of those wins coming by a margin of 1-12. Melbourne is ranked 4th in attack and 2nd in defence, conceding an average of less than 15 PPG. They are 6-6 ATS and have covered in 4 of 6 away from home, while they have covered in 5 of their last 6 as a small road dog. In total match points they are 8-4 in favour of the Under, while they have also had Unders results in 28 of their last 37 away games. Melbourne has scored the 1st try of the match in 5 of their 6 away games. Home favourites have covered in only 2 of the last 11 matches under Matt Cecchin, but the Sharks have won and covered in 7 of 8 under him since 2016.


Excellent clash to start the round with 1 vs 2, tempered by Cronk being a key out for the Storm and likely heavy wet conditions. The late Cronk out has seen the markets move the line from Sharks +1.5 to now -4.5, which I am in line with.

As we’d expect with two teams at the top of the table they are off winning form (Sharks 9 of 12, Storm 10 of 12) and defensively strong (Sharks 12.8 per game, Storm 14.7). While the Sharks have been winning they have also consistency with the quality of attitude and performance, atypical of a side who has recently achieved it all (premiership), but they are still very good at getting up for the key games and making it count, and this again I expect will be one of those. These two teams met in similar wet conditions back in rd 6 in Melbourne with the Sharks late winners 11-2, but for mine I though the better side on the night, and clearly up for the contest against a key arch rival. The Sharks also seem better suited to wet conditions, happy to graft and grind away, and while the Storm can match the defensive effort and grind the wet can nullify their attack down edges, the speed and skill of their wingers or Slater, and or their aerial play.

I had a slight lean to the Sharks prior to the key Storm out, I liked the facts that they were home and off a bye and would have been set for this game with a solid 7 day prep, but there is little between them. Cronks out and missing experience, direction and kicking game certainly changes things, while Smith is said to be carrying a sternum injury which is also not ideal.

The obvious option especially now with the rain is the under total. We have the top two defensive sides in the comp and their last 5 head to head contests have failed to break 32 point totals, while they each side strongly with under when Sharks at home and Storm away. The heavy rain should only tighten things up.

Bet 2 units Sharks-Storm under 33.5 $1.90 Tabsportsbet

Eagles vs Knights

-17.5 Eagles


The Sea Eagles have won 10 of the last 12 games played against the Knights, including the last 6 straight, while Newcastle has not won a game at Brookvale Oval for 11 years. In recent seasons, meetings between the Sea Eagles and Knights have been 1 sided affairs, with 13 of the last 14 decided by a margin of 13+, while 6 of the last 8 have been decided by 20 or more. In 5 of the previous 6 meetings, the Sea Eagles have scored the 1st points of the match. Back to back home games for the Sea Eagles sandwiched between 2 Byes will ensure they remain in the Top 8. They have won 4 of their last 5 and remain unbeaten in Friday night football, winning 3 from 3. Manly are ranked 3rd in attack and 6th in defence with a 58 point differential that also ranks 6th. They are 8-4 ATS and have covered in 5 of their last 6 against the Knights, but have covered in only 3 of their last 8 when laying a double digit advantage. In total match points they are 8-4 Under and have also had Unders results in 4 of their last 5 against the Knights. The Sea Eagles have led at half time in 6 matches this year and have gone on to win 5 of them, while they have led at half time in their last 10 matches with the Knights when playing at home. The Knights are on the road for the 2nd week in a row and have now lost 19 straight without the home ground advantage. They have conceded 19 points or more in all of their 12 matches, while they have conceded 26 or more in 5 of their last 6 at Brookvale Oval. Newcastle ranks 14th in attack and last in defence, with a -137 point differential that ranks 15th . Newcastle is 5-7 ATS and has covered in 8 of their last 17 with a double digit advantage, while they have failed to cover in their last 7 Friday night matches. The Knights are split 6-6 in total match points with their last 4 all going Over at an average of 50.5. They have led at half time on 6 occasions this season but have been run down in 5 of them, while they have lost 5 from 6 when trailing at the break.


On numbers I have a clear advantage to the Eagles, and should Tom Trbojevic play this should only be further plus, but the potential wet track at Brookvale then raises questions I don’t want to play with.

Eagles again did all the hard work to lead comfortably 20-6 at half time last week, at home, and against a side who’d lost two front rowers for the game by the 20 minute mark, yet then fell apart through the second half forced into a late golden point shoot out. It’s this inconsistency of nailing the result and playing out the 80 minutes that worries me with them at present. The game prior they were good, winning well away (Titans 30-10) but onto a wet track I want to stay away. The Knights were very poor last week touched up in Melbourne were off a bay I expected a much better effort, they are again on the road with back to back road games into a venue where they also have a poor record, hard to have.

I thought the 42 pts total looked potentially too high, should the weather remain poor into Friday on a ground that doesn’t normally drain or dry well that looks too high, tipping Eagles but not a game I want to go near.

Broncos vs Rabbits

-16.5 Broncos


The Broncos have recorded 4 consecutive wins over the Rabbitohs, with 3 of those wins having a margin of 20 points or more. A winning margin of 13+ has been the result in 7 of the last 9 clashes, including 4 of the last 5 meetings at Suncorp Stadium, while 6 of the last 7 match ups have tallied 40 points or more. After 6 straight wins, Brisbane is coming off B2B losses, but they haven’t lost 3 in row in more than 12 months. They have won 4 of their last 6 heading into a Bye week as well as winning their last 6 straight at Suncorp. Despite last week’s narrow loss to the Roosters, the Broncos remain in the Top 5, a position they have held for the last 6 weeks. They currently rank 5th in attack and 4th in defence with a 70 point differential that also ranks 4th. Brisbane is 7-6 ATS and has covered in 4 of their last 5 at Suncorp, while they have covered in 11 of their last 16 at the ground when laying double digits. In total match points they are 7-6 in favour of the Overs, while they are 11-5 Over as a double digit home favourite and 5-2 Over against the Rabbitohs since 2014. Brisbane has won 4 of their last 5 off a loss when starting as a double digit favourite. The Broncos have scored the opening try in 5 of their 6 home games, while Corey Oates has scored 5 tries in his last 3 games against the Rabbitohs. Souths have had the week off and had lost 5 of 6 prior to the break, while they have lost 5 of their last 6 matches played interstate. They are ranked 13th in attack, 11th in defence and have conceded 20 points or more in 7 of their last 9, while they have conceded 25 points or more in their last 4 against the Broncos. Souths have lost their last 6 straight as a double digit outsider, with 5 of those losses being by 13+. They are 6-6 ATS and have covered in only 1 of their last 6 with a double digit advantage, while they have covered in only 1 of their last 4 against Brisbane. In total match points they are 7-5 Under, with 4 of their last 5 away games totaling 36 or less. The Broncos have covered in their last 5 with Gerard Sutton in charge.


Broncos are into Origin period and have dropped to 5th spot and two straight losses, back at home and full strength I expect they’ll be very keen to aim up here. Bennett has also put the wind up performance dropping Hunt and sending a clear message of what he wants. they’ve had plenty of excuses through the last few weeks, key Origin outs and injury when across to NZ vs the Warriors, then numerous Origin back ups and injury outs in a close good quality game vs the Roosters (away), so fair to say that while losing they haven’t been that far away. Back to a routine of a normal week, everyone on deck, back at home, important 2 pts prior to a further Origin interruption, I expect a serious offering.

The Rabbits have been poor, and hard to place, but off their last star poor offering (Eels) and the pasting they got from their coach into then having a bye week off they can improve and rebound here. The problem is what depth they have to their form, and any early effort, as for the most part the majority of their efforts have lacked quality and consistency. Their forward line up has thinned to be very much Sam Burgess, there is indecision on how to play their two #9’s in Farah and Cook, Reynolds should he play has been very indifferent this year and Cody Walker seems off at present with all the ongoing contract speculation. They are now consistently leaking 24 pts a week and often crumbling with some very poor defensive periods, especially through the middle and ruck edge.

This looks the right game and the right week for the Broncos. They are normally very good at home and very reliable as a big fav here, covering the line at 13 of the last 18 when as a double digit home fav. They have also covered at 20 of their last 30 when off back-to-back losses.

Bet 2 units Broncos -10.5 $1.90 William Hill

Titans vs Warriors

-2.5 Titans


The 1st of 3 Saturday matches sees the Titans at home to the Warriors. The Warriors have a dominant record over the Gold Coast, winning double that of the Titans from the 21 matches contested, including 12 of the last 13 and the last 6 straight on the Coast dating back to 2011. There are usually plenty of points on offer between the 2 sides, with 9 of the previous 10 meetings (and 16 of the last 19) all having topped 40 points. A winning margin of 1-12 has been the result in 4 of the last 5, while the 1st try of the match has been scored by the 7th minute in 5 of the last 6. After recording 3 consecutive wins, the Titans have now suffered B2B losses, while they have won only 2 of their last 9 at home. They moved from 12th to 11th on the ladder despite last week’s loss to the Cowboys, which is their highest ladder position all season. The Titans are ranked a respectable 7th in attack, but are a lowly 15th in defence and have conceded 20 points or more in 9 of their 12 matches. They are split 6-6 ATS, but have lost and failed to cover in both 5 of their last 6 as a small home favourite and 5 of their last 6 day games at home. In total match points they are 9-3 Over and 11-5 Over against the Warriors since 2010. Only on 2 occasions from the previous 13 clashes with the Warriors have the Titans scored more than 8 2nd half points. Anthony Don has scored 6 tries from his last 8 matches played at Cbus Super Stadium. The 2nd of B2B away legs for the Warriors who remain winless on the road in 2017, losing 6 from 6, while they have lost 10 of their last 11 away from home and have won just 1 of their last 17 as a road outsider. Their current record against the Titans would suggest they get no better opportunity this week to end their losing run away from home. The Warriors are 1 spot lower than that the Titans to sit 12th, with an attack that ranks 10th and a defence that ranks 13th . They have conceded 20 points or more in 8 of their last 9 away games, but have scored 22 points or more in the previous 12 clashes with the Gold Coast. They are 4-9 ATS and have covered in only 8 of their last 27 matches played away from home. In total match points they are 8-5 Under, with 5 of their last 8 totaling 38 or fewer. The Warriors have scored the 1st try of the match in 12 of the last 15 against the Titans and the 1st try of the 2nd half in 12 of the last 13 clashes. The starting favourite has won 9 of 11 matches since 2016 under Dave Munro.


Two teams very hard to catch, and both with significant defensive weakness. Both have been disappointing and poor through the last month, the Titans dropping two straight games that 3 or 4 weeks ago looked in advance like likely wins for them, and while back at home at just 2 from 6 here into an opponent who has an outstanding record against them at every venue this is another ask. The move of Hayne to fullback is timely, and certainly a positive, they need him in the game as much as possible and look for a touch of his brilliance to spark something or turn half chances into points. The Warriors have this amazing recent record over the Titans winning 12 of the last 13 times they have met, including winning the last 6 times they have played here at the Gold Coast, and as is the norm each time they play here they have a massive Kiwi supporter turn up to help them along!

Both teams are better than what they have been offering, but I am with the Warriors. On paper its a strong line up, they’ve a poor record in Sydney and against the Eels but they desperately need to string some wins together through this Origin period. Titans were again pretty poor last week when they have a chance to get the Cowboys with out key rep players including Thurston yet were again dusted up 20-8, they’ve a number of forwards playing poorly while Elgey has been very ordinary for the last 6 weeks.

Don’t like the game, went with the Warriors and their obvious hold over their opponent.

Panthers vs Raiders

-2.5 Panthers

Played in Bathurst


The 1st meeting in 2017 between the Panthers and Raiders, which will be played at Carrington Park in Bathurst. It’s the 4th straight year that Penrith have moved a home game to this venue where they have won 2 of 3, including a win over the Raiders last year with a 79th minute field goal sealing the result. There has been little between the 2 sides since Canberra entered the comp in 1982, with the Raiders holding a slight 35-34 all time advantage, while there has been 1 draw. The Raiders have won 4 of the last 5, while the home team has won 7 of the previous 9. In 7 of the last 8 clashes the winning margin has been by 1-12 points, while 4 of the last 6 have totaled 46 or more. It shapes as a crucial game for both sides with both teams sitting on 12 points just outside the Top 8. The Panthers have won 3 in a row but come through a questionable form line, with a home win against the Warriors before beating cellar dwellers Newcastle and the out of form Bulldogs. They are currently 10th with an attack and defence that both rank 8th. Their record win over the Bulldogs last week was the 1 st time since Round 4 that they hadn’t conceded 18 points or more. Penrith is 4-8 ATS and has failed to cover in 3 of 4 this year when laying less than 4 points. They are 7-5 Under in total match points, with a 4-1 Under record in home games played away from Pepper Stadium since 2014. In 5 of their last 6, the Panthers have scored 6 or fewer 1st half points. Penrith have lost 6 of 8 when trailing at half time, but have won 3 from 3 when leading at the break and haven’t conceded a 2nd half point in all 3 of those wins. Matt Moylan has scored in his last 4 matches for Penrith. The Raiders are another who find themselves on the road for the 2nd week in a row where they have a 2-5 record in 2017, including 2 Golden Point losses. Canberra are in 9th spot, with a 6-7 result after 13 Rounds, they are the Number 1 attacking side in the NRL, but have been average in defence where they rank 10th . They are 8-5 ATS and have covered in 12 of their last 14 (including their last 5 straight) as a small road outsider, while they have also covered in their last 5 against the Panthers. Canberra is 8-5 Under in total match points, including 6 of their last 7, but since 2014 they are 11-3 Over as a small road underdog. Raiders winger Jordan Rapana scored a double against Penrith when they last met at Carrington Park.


To be played in Bathurst, the ground conditions and weather will be key. Both teams sitting mid table, the Panthers have won their last 3 but come through questionable depth with the Bulldogs disgraceful last week and the hapless Knights and Warriors the two wins prior? There were some positive signs last week of quality ball offload and ball play from their backrow but they still get very lost when attacking the final 20 mtrs with next to no structure or plan on what to set up or execute, more pass and hope and waste play after play. I like Moylan at #6, much more involved, I think this move can blossom his current form and season and have a flow on effect on those around him. Raiders face another road game off Brookvale last week, they have build a very good road record (and cover the line when away record) across the last 18 months, and have won 4 of the last 5 head to head. They had excuses last week when losing two front rowers in the first 20 mins, at 20-6 down they could well have been flogged but showed plenty of fight to lift through the second 40 and take the game to golden point.

Looks a very even game, a good test for the Panthers as they have had a soft run and are yet to really offer up a high rating effort. Both teams get a bye next week so 2 pts here is valuable, the Raiders have had to scrap and fight through each of their last 3 games and I think that’s a strength and advantage against this opponent.

Eels vs Cowboys

+2.5 Eels

Played in Darwin


Another team relocating a home game this Round will see Parramatta travel to Darwin to take on the Cowboys. The Eels will be looking to do the double over the Cowboys for only the 2nd time this century after an upset win in Townsville 5 weeks ago. The Cowboys have won 7 of their last 10 against the Eels and will be sweating on the return of Thurston who has missed the Cowboys last 6 matches. Both sides are unbeaten at TIO Stadium, with the Eels winning 3 from 3, while the Cowboys won their only match at the ground back in 2012. The Eels are coming off B2B wins which has seen them move back into the Top 8 for only the 2nd time since Round 4. There are some questions around their current form, with only 2 of their last 9 matches against sides currently in the Top 8 and the Cowboys are the only Top 8 side they have beaten since Round 4. Parramatta ranks 9th in attack and 12th in defence, conceding 20 points or more in 8 of their last 11. They are 7-6 ATS and have covered in 6 of their last 9 as a home favourite, as well as in 11 of their last 16 as a small favourite. In total match points they are 7-6 Under, but have had Overs results in 7 of their last 8 as a starting favourite. The Eels have had 1-12 margin results in 7 of their last 8 as a home favourite, winning 5 of those. In 6 of the Eels last 7 games, the 1st try of the match has been scored by the 7th minute. The Cowboys will be looking for B2B wins for the 1st time since Round 5 and will see this as a must win game, with their next match being against the Storm in Melbourne. For the 3rd straight week, the Cowboys are holding down 7th spot, with an attack that ranks 11th and a defence that rates 7th. They have won 3 from 4 with a half time lead, while they have won only 3 of 7 when trailing at the break. North Queensland is 8-4 ATS and they have covered in 5 of their last 6, while they have also covered in all 4 matches this season as a road underdog. They are 8-4 Under in total match points, but only 1 of their 5 away games has tallied fewer than 41. The Cowboys have scored the 1st try of the match in 4 of their last 5.


Played in Darwin in likely hot and dry conditions, also watch for late team announcements as it is quite possible that Norman and or Thurston may well be late inclusions having both trained through recent days.

If Norman plays for the Eels that’s a huge in as they desperately need his direction and class at #7, but they do look somewhat busted in the forwards carrying a number of players with injury and off a physical hit out against the Warriors last week. While they lasted to win 34-24 they were equally loose at times, and their form line has not been strong with a nice run of opponents in the bottom half of the table, this should be much harder. I have liked the Cowboys resolve through the last 4 weeks when up against a few things, a bad run of injury, key rep outs, they’ve taken it upon themselves to roll their sleeves up and aim up, a very positive win in Sydney, near win at Cronulla and then accounting for the Titans back at home last week. The effort and consistency has been first class, and I think it takes them a long way here.

All three Saturday games look and are handicapped as close tricky games, this one another at a neutral venue hard to mark and line up. I want to be with the Cowboys and the attitude and resolve they are showing.

Tigers vs Roosters

+14.5 Tigers


Just the 1 Sunday match in Round 14 which sees the Tigers at home against the Roosters. The Tri-Colours have completely dominated the Tigers in recent years, winning 12 of the last 13, including the last 8 straight and those 8 wins have all been by 13+ with an average winning margin of 27 points. There have been plenty of points on offer in recent meetings (mainly from the Roosters), with 7 of the last 8 totaling 40 or more and the Roosters posting scores of 30 plus in all of those games. The Tigers have lost 4 straight matches and have been average in both attack and defence during that period, conceding 16 or more in all of them, while they haven’t posted a score of more than 16. They are languishing towards the bottom of the ladder and have spent the last month in 15th spot. They have the worst attack in the NRL, averaging less than 14 PPG, while they rank 14th in defence, giving them a -142 point differential which is also the worst in the League. The Tigers are 4-8 ATS and since 2014 they are 6-11 ATS as a double digit outsider and haven’t covered against the Roosters for more than 5 years. They have also failed to cover in their last 4 matches at Campbelltown. The Tigers are 8-4 Under in total match points and have Unders results in all 6 matches this season as a home underdog. They have won only 3 of 6 with a half time lead and are yet to overcome a half time deficit, losing 6 from 6 and have trailed at the break in their last 10 against the Roosters. The Roosters have won 3 of their last 4, with their only blemish coming against the Raiders when they had a number of personnel missing through Origin. They are back in the Top 4 and are 1 of only 2 sides that haven’t been positioned lower than 5th all season. They have an attack that ranks 6 th, while they rank 5th in defence and only once in their last 7 matches have they conceded more than 18 points. The Roosters are 5-8 ATS and have a 12-11 cover record since 2014 as a double digit favourite. In total match points they are 8-5 Under. The Roosters have scored the 1st try of the match in the last 7 clashes with the Tigers, while Roosters winger Daniel Tupou has scored 12 tries in his 7 games against the Tigers and in 3 of the last 5 meetings he has been the 1st try scorer of the match. With Grant Atkins in charge, the home team has covered in only 2 of 13 matches this season, while home underdogs have also lost the last 9 straight. The Roosters have also covered in their last 4 straight with Atkins at the helm.


Roosters look to get key ins here with Pearce back, their key Origin players also get an 8 day turn around. Tigers have lost their last 4 but play at Campbelltown which has been some advantage in the past.

Tigers are hard to like at present, conceding 26 pts a week, struggling to score more than 12 pts themselves, numerous key player shuffles and changes. They’ve been touched up at 2 of their last 3 and had the Dragons been somewhat more serious last week when leading quite comfortably then it should have been another clear margin. I have major concerns that the next 10 weeks are likely to spiral the wrong way and they face many more difficult if not significant defeats. I expect that the Roosters game style of up tempo attack can also rattle them should they not be careful.

Roosters are 9 from 13 and ticking over nicely, they’ve won 3 of their last 4 and come off a very good win last week vs Broncos at home. They have everyone on deck, should be able to dominate through the middle and then let their halves play with some room, they have a very dominate record over the Tigers winning 12 of the last 13 and the last 8 straight, all 8 by 13+ margins. I expect if on their game they can do something similar here.

Bet 3 units Roosters -10.5 $1.90 William Hill

Bulldogs vs Dragons

+6.5 Bulldogs


Round 14 draws to a close with the Bulldogs hosting the Dragons at ANZ Stadium. The Bulldogs have a dominate record over the Dragons, winning 9 of the last 10 clashes, including 7 of the previous 8 meetings at Homebush. In 5 of the last 7 meetings the winning margin has been by 13+, while 11 of the last 16 have tallied 38 or fewer. The Bulldogs have lost 4 straight are coming off their biggest loss in 4 years but they have a solid record in the week following a heavy defeat, having won 8 of their last 11 off a 13+ loss. Their long term record also reads poorly, with 12 losses from their last 17 games and only once in those 17 matches have they gone to half time with a double digit score. For the 3rd time this season they sit in the bottom 4 on the ladder in 13th spot and only once in 7 games this season have they beaten a current Top 8 opponent. The Dogs rank 9th in defence and have been woeful in attack, where they rank 2nd last. They are 8-5 ATS and have covered in 4 of their last 5 at ANZ Stadium. Canterbury has a 10-3 total points record in favour of the Unders, while they have had the same result in 10 of their last 12 at ANZ Stadium as an outsider. The Dragons have won 2 in a row and have moved back into 2nd spot on the ladder. For the 1st time this season they will start as an away favourite and have won 4 of 6 since 2014 from that position. The Dragons have the 2nd best attack and the 3rd best defence, giving them a 90 point differential that rates 2nd. In 8 matches this season they have conceded 14 points or less, while they have posted scores of 16 or more on 10 occasions. The Dragons have won 13 of their last 15 as a starting favourite. They are 8-4 ATS and have won their last 5 at ANZ Stadium as a favourite, with a 3-2 cover record. The Dragons are split 6-6 in total match points, while 8 of their last 11 against the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium have also finished Under. Since 2016 the Under has hit at 65% in matches refereed by Ben Cummins, while underdogs have lost the last 7 matches with Cummins in charge.


Reynolds now named a late out for Bulldogs, Graham and Morris expected to play.

The Bulldogs might well have a few things in their favour here are their flogging at the hands of the Panthers last week, as they have an outstanding record vs the Dragons winning 9 of last 10 including 7 of the last 8 at Homebush. For some strange reason they are also one side who rebound well when off a big loss, winning 8 of their last 11 the week following a 13+ margin loss. Given all of the hype and media focus across the last week of their current form (14th spot, 4 straight losses) and this record I certainly expect the Bulldogs to put in to start this. As we have stated week after week their key issue is their terrible attack structures and execution, rarely punching a hole in anything and consistently struggling to score more than 14 points. Reynolds is a massive out, he at least could put some enthusiasm and speed into their play, so while we might see an improved attitude and effort I’m sure we are again looking at a tight grind of a game.

The Dragons should have gone on with their result last week and won far more convincingly than the 4 pt margin, they looked a bit lazy and complacent into the second half. With Widdop and Dugan back they are sharper and smarter with the ball, in particular Widdop’s kicking game. Their defence in general has been good this season, an average of 16 pts in all games, and an impressive 10 pts when away, so they to can match this in defence and keep this nice an tight.

A good battle in the middle, some big boys which should provide a nice physical clash. At their best two sides who can also defend well and keep it tight, I favour the Dragons kicking game and field position, plus they’ve show much more smarts and intent in attack this season. If this game had been at either of their traditional home tracks, and the Bulldogs not been off a big loss then the Dragons could well have been a play at the earlier 5.5 line, but given these key factors happy to stay out.

It does look tight, further helped with the key out of Reynolds, and plenty of key numbers supporting this. 11 of the last 16 have provided totals of 38 of less, the Bulldogs have gone under in 10 of 13 games so far this season (and we know they keep struggling to get past 14 pts), while the Dragons have also been a solid defensive performer conceding 14 or fewer in 8 of their 12 games season to date. The heavy wet across Sydney across the last 4 days also a likely influence of the final ground surface.

Bet 2 units Bulldogs-Dragons under 38.5 $1.85 CrownBet / Unibet


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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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Published on in NRL.