NRL Tips Previews Sports Betting 17 | Round 2


NRL Tips Previews Sports Betting 17 Round 2

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

NRL Tips Previews Sports Betting 17 Round 2

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NRL Tips Rd 2 Game Handicaps

MrG’s Ratings

-6.5 Roosters vs Bulldogs

-1.0 Warriors vs Storm

-1.0 Broncos vs Cowboys

+8.5 Knights vs Titans

-8.5 Eagles vs Rabbits

-6.5 Raiders vs Sharks

+6.5 Tigers vs Panthers

0.0 Dragons vs Eels

NRL Tips Round 2 Recommended Bet List

Bet 3 units Sea Eagles -3.5 $1.80 Tabcorp BB

Bet 1 unit Titans -5.5 $1.88 William Hill

Bet 2 units Raiders -4.5 $1.90 Ubet / William Hill

Bet 3 units Panthers -1.5 $1.90 Sportsbet BB

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

While Knights look the obvious wooden spooners I give the Rabbits significant hope of challenging them longer term. They had a rocky road last yr with internal instability, infighting and issues with the Coach, clearly there is now a fall out with two of the Burgess brothers which has the potential of unsettling key player Sam, GI is gone and for mine they have questionable depth. I want to be against them and expect this prices shortens quickly into the next few weeks.

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).

Individual Game Tips

Roosters, Warriors, Cowboys, Titans, Eagles, Raiders, Panthers, 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

Roosters vs Bulldogs

-6.5 Roosters


Bulldogs returned serve in 2016 with a clean sweep against the Tri-Colours, just as the later had done to the Dogs in 2015. The Roosters have won 6 of the last 9 against the Bulldogs, both head to head and at Allianz Stadium. In 5 of the previous 6 clashes the Roosters have covered at the line, while they also covered in 6 of their last 8 games at Allianz Stadium in 2016. Clashes between the Roosters and Dogs have more often than not, been high scoring affairs, with 3 of the last 4 totaling 50 or more, while 13 of the last 15 clashes have totaled 38 or more. Only once in the previous 9 clashes have the Bulldogs led the Roosters at half time and the Dogs lost 6 of 7 in 2016 when trailing at the break. Canterbury failed to cover a line in their final 5 away games in 2016, while they have lost their last 5 matches as an underdog on the road. Canterbury have however, won 5 of their last 6 away games off a home loss. The Bulldogs are a big Unders side when starting as a road outsider, producing a 15-6 result from that said position since 2014. Daniel Tupou has been the Roosters 1st try scorer in 4 of the last 5 clashes with the Bulldogs and he has also scored a total of 6 tries in his last 5 matches versus Canterbury. The home team has won the last 6 matches with Ben Cummins in charge


Roosters produced an impressive first up and first half offering last week, all be it assisted by some ordinary edge defence from the Titans – but plenty of positives. What I did like was their attacking set up and patterns, Keary linked very well with Pearce and Robinson has clearly given them an open role of playing a) what they see and b) both sides of the play the ball as opposed to any rigid structure of left and right. They then have the advantage of two big men / bodies on either edge (Mitchell and Ferguson) who can punch a hole and really cause some damage in attack, which they played to well with Mitchell carving up the Titans right edge D.

The Bulldogs weren’t that far away and the Storm’s form line I expect to stand up ok in weeks to come. They got jumped early with two tries but then went neck and neck for the next 60 mins, but had plenty of chances to score but didn’t against quality defence. They have changed up their attack pattern playing less one out forward plays and favouring a preparedness to play width. Still have a watch on what they are doing, where they are heading.

I have the Roosters marked 6.5 advantage, they play well at home but its Rd 2, not a game for me to be betting into.

Warriors vs Storm

-1.0 Warriors


More often than not, clashes between these sides have been tight and torrid affairs, with 9 of the last 13 and 12 of the last 14 meetings at Mt Smart Stadium having been decided by a margin of 1-12 points. The Storm have won 3 of the last 4 encounters, including their 2nd biggest win ever against the Warriors in a 42 point shut out from the most recent meeting. There have been plenty of points on offer in recent meetings, with 5 of the last 7 matches totaling 42 or more, but 9 of the last 10 clashes at Mt Smart Stadium have finished Unders. The team to score the 1st try of the match has gone on to win the last 6 meetings, while the 1 st try of the match hasn’t been scored until after the 8th minute in 4 of the last 5. The Storm won 9 of 12 away games in 2016, while the Warriors were a 50/50 proposition at home, winning 6 of 12. Melbourne has covered in 9 of their last 12 on the road when conceding a start of 6 points or less, while the Warriors have failed to cover a line in 6 of their last 7 at home, but, home teams with a small start have a 25-12 cover record since 2014 in the opening month of the competition.


Trick game. Warriors get back to back home games and a likely wet track, are still without Matulino and Foran and have a few key players who had been in doubt but now named to play (Luke and Mannering). The Storm are without two key forwards in Jesse Bromwich and Harris and have their second away game back to back.

Storm were just the Storm last week winning their 13th Round 1 game in a row, staggering record, and of course conceding just 6 points.Their game management is so professional, they play kicking game and field position better than most and then back themselves in defence. With the likely wet field here it again brings this low error, disciplined approach to the fore. But I have a concern with two key forwards out on a wet track whether the big Warrior might be a handful?

The Warriors have a healthy longer term record v Storm and are gifted their two opening games at home. Thought they looked typical Warriors last week, moments of good, some lazy ordinary moments and were lucky to get away with a win. But they do lift for the Storm, and with ex player now Coach in Kearney I expect the same. They need to play tough and direct through the middle and create some physical dominance and then room for their halves to ball play.

A game I found hard to separate any key advantage, looks very close, slight lean to Warriors at home and if they use their brains in how they play this (tough throught the middle).

Broncos vs Cowboys

-1.0 Broncos


There has been nothing between these 2 in recent seasons, with the last 5 clashes decided by 4 points or less, 3 of them going to Golden Point. The home side has won 12 of the last 13 clashes (excluding the 2015 GF), making it 5 years since the Cowboys last won at Suncorp Stadium, with the Broncos winning 5 straight at home. The team to score the 1st try of the match has gone on to win 13 of the last 16 encounters, with Brisbane scoring the opening try of the match in 6 of the last 7 meetings and they have also led at half time in 6 of the last 7. The half time leader has gone on to win 15 of the last 19 match ups, while the Cowboys have won the 2nd half in the last 7 clashes and in 6 of the last 7, they have scored the last try of the match. The Broncos have covered a line in 67% of their matches at Suncorp Stadium since 2014, while the Cowboys have covered in 49% of their matches as an away side over the same period. 5 of the last 7 clashes at Suncorp Stadium have totaled 41 points or less, while the Cowboys have had Unders results in 8 of their last 10 away games since they last played Brisbane at Suncorp. Brisbane has won only half over their opening home games of a season over the last 10 years, while the Cowboys have won only 3 of their opening road games over the same period. Cowboys centre Justin O’Neill has scored 4 tries in his last 4 matches against the Broncos


Good contest, and these two sides have provided us with some absolute classics through recent years including numerous 1 point games. Thought the Broncos were so so last week, scrappy game including 20 total first half handling errors, still to be convinced how they aim up through the middle against big forward lists, but they took their opportunities to win. Hunt’s form and confidence is a major issue.

Cowboys come through the form game of round 1, excellent stand out quality offering with the Raiders which should do them some good. They played big and tough through the middle, Taumalolo was simply outstanding, Hess and Kaufusi excellent off the bench and young Javid Bowen is going to be a player. They were gifted by some one sided refereeing, which you get the advantage of at home, but they are clearly up and running again.

Full house, should be a super atmosphere for this game and for mine a really nice test as to where the Broncos might be at and measuring up. I’m with teh Cowboys big men through the middle, looks a nice edge, but home advantage (4 to 6 points) brings these two teams closer and think the markets have it about right.

Knights vs Titans

+8.5 Knights


Knights hold a 9-7 all time advantage over the Titans with a 5-4 record at home, but the Titans have won 3 of the last 5 meetings at Hunter Stadium and will be looking to make it 3 straight victories over the Knights for the 1st time in their history after a clean sweep over Newcastle in 2016. In 6 of the previous 7 meetings the winning margin has been by 13+, while 6 of the last 8 clashes have finished Unders in total match points. The Titans have scored the 1st points of the match in the last 5 encounters and in 6 of the last 7 meetings, the 1st try of the match hasn’t been scored until after the 8th minute. The Titans were the best cover side in the NRL in 2016 and covered in 75% of their away games during the regular season and they have also covered in 4 of the last 5 against the Knights, who had a 37% cover record in 2016, with only Canterbury covering fewer games than they. The half time leader has only been run down once in 16 clashes between the Knights and Titans. Titans’ winger Anthony Don has scored 4 tries in his last 5 games against the Knights, 2 of them as the 1st try scorer of the match.


Knights very plucky last week and should well have won, but also lose a key long term out with talented Phythian (ACL) now gone. Their best footy over the last 12 months has been at home, and early into the season they get their chance here. Their issue is sustaining their concentration and play for full 40 minute sections, last week after leading and being in the game up to their ears they then quickly conceded 3 tries and were probably lucky half time came when it did to stop the obvious momentum. They can quickly drop their bundle and see a game and the result fall through their hands.

I expect much better from the Titans here. There is some argument that all the Hayne issue may well be distracting, I’m not so sure. The majority of what is being reported is 3 months old and has been sorted in house back then, just that some sections of the media have now got on to the story and its all blown up. Hayne is a tool, big head and very selfish individual, but that’s been on the record for the last 6 to 7 years, but some of the motivation behind these stories is a get square from a few people (past coaches and current journos) who Hayne has a very poor relationship with and the opportunity has arisen for them to stick the boot in. All of that aside, if he wants to he can play and he has some freakish talent, he’s a rare game changer and he’s certainly been poked in eye this week to see what sort of response he might offer.

Titans looked complacent last week, flat footed, right edge D was disgraceful, Roosters tempo caught them out and then within 25 minutes the game was gone from them. Henry is a straight  shooter, I have no doubt he has told a few people a few home truths this week and will expect a much improved attitude and effort here. Even in Newcastle I rate this a 10 point gap and I want to be with the Titans aiming up and turning this around, they have some smart attack in their halves, Hayne at the back and a good big list in the middle.

Bet 1 unit Titans -5.5 $1.88 William Hill

Eagles vs Rabbits

-8.5 Eagles


The Rabbitohs have won 4 of the previous 6 clashes with the Sea Eagles, but they have only recorded 5 wins in 24 years when travelling to Brookvale Oval, while they have won only 1 of their last 10 when coming off a 13+ defeat. It’s the 1st of 4 games on the road in the next 5 weeks for the Rabbitohs who will be without Inglis and Reynolds and when either 1 of them, or both of them have been missing, the Rabbits have lost 9 of their last 10 with a 2-8 cover record. The Rabbitohs have scored the 1st points of the match in 6 of the last 9 meetings at Brookvale Oval and 5 of those were by way of a Penalty Goal, while the 1st try of the match has been scored by the 8th minute in 7 of the last 10 meetings. In 9 of the last 11 clashes the total match points have resulted in Unders with an average of 35. The Sea Eagles have won only 2 of their last 10 matches at Brookvale Oval, but have won 3 of their last 4 when starting as a home favourite. The home team has covered in 8 of the last 11 matches with Gavin Badger in charge.


Eagles weren’t that far away last week in what looked a good tough form game, while their recent win record at home is poor it should still be some advantage plus a soft home turn around (no travel) and look to drop in class into a struggling opponent. They lose two key front rowers and a bench forward, but into game two of the season should still have enough depth to cater for this, and importantly should take some key learnings (handling and attack errors) out of last week.

There is some suggestion Reynolds may play, pending a final contact and training session Friday. Gee they will need him should he play, and possibly another 3 of him… Inglis is clearly a massive long term out, but lets put that to one side for the moment, their attitude last week was disgraceful and inept and just staggering that a team would turn up like that into game 1 of the season when most players and teams are jumping out of their skin to want to play. What then concerns me is that this is on the back of similar offerings last season. My mail is that two of the Burgess boys are very much on the outer and the club have been trying to offload them for 6 months, they are now being played in lower grades to piss them off even more to hasten an exit – but what impact does this have in unsettling Sam and the general playing group? I’m not convinced that the Coach is calling all the shots, nor that he has everyone onboard, or that the right people are being played in the top 17. Their other massive problem is they are top heavy in the middle and lack mobility against sides (like the Tigers last week) who are prepared to ball play, change the angle of the runner, play up tempo and move them around – they got opened up so easily last week.

Barrett is a smart coach (all be it in the wrong joint), he has some key learning’s about his team from last week, and some key learnings out of the Rabbits game and how he should look to play them this week. Their opponents have a poor record at the ground with just 3 wins from their last 11 visits, and while are likely to improve early under any sustained field position and pressure should see cracks appear. Thought the Eagles get teh right game, right opponent to aim up here.

Bet 3 units Sea Eagles -3.5 $1.80 Tabcorp BB

Raiders vs Sharks

-6.5 Raiders


The Sharks have won 3 of the last 4 clashes with the Raiders and hold a 36-31 all-time advantage over Canberra, while they also have an exceptional record at GIO Stadium, winning 10 of the last 13 clashes, including the last 4 straight. In fact, the home ground advantage has meant little between these sides, with the away team winning 9 of the previous 11 match ups. High scoring affairs have been the norm between the Raiders and Sharks in recent times, with 9 of the last 11 totaling 40 or more. It’s the 1st home game of the season for the Raiders where they won 11 of 14 in 2016, while it’s the 1st away game for Cronulla, who have lost their opening road game of a season in 9 of the last 10 years. The Raiders have covered in 5 of their last 7 as a small home favourite, while the Sharks have also covered in 7 of their last 9 as a small road underdog. Jordan Rapana set a new club record at the Raiders in 2016, scoring 23 tries and he has scored 5 tries in his last 5 games against the Sharks. Home favs have covered in only 1 of the last 9 matches with Ashley Klein at the helm.


Looks another good contest, but some questions remain for me on Sharks. I’m against them at this stage longer term into this season, they’ve now climbed the mountain, they have 3 to 4 key aging forwards on the wrong side of their career and will face the inevitable issues of cap balance and list rotation and management for a premiership winning team. My mail is Bird will play #1 here so that means some further reshuffle. Thy were scrappy last week, in a scrappy game, now step into an away game (although good record here) into a big physical side on the up.

Raiders super last week, really look a contender this year and taking the step up, as good as they were tho they came up with fresh air, zero points and must be keen to turn that form into premiership points back at home this week. They won 9 straight and 10 of their last 11 at home last year, this track and home support has really become a key advantage and I expect similar here. I think they can hurt through the middle, play off this strong yardage game, play to their attacking strengths and capatilise. I want to be with them.

Bet 2 units Raiders -4.5 $1.90 Ubet / William Hill

Tigers vs Panthers

+6.5 Tigers


The Tigers recorded 7 consecutive wins over the Panthers from 2010 to 2013, but the Panthers have hit back since then, winning 3 of the last 4 clashes. It will be 5 years almost to the day since the Tigers and Panthers last met at Campbelltown, where the Panthers haven’t won in 9 years, with the Tigers winning the previous 4 clashes at the ground. There have been plenty of points on offer in recent meetings, in 5 of the last 7 match ups the total points have tallied 44 or more, while 3 of the Tigers last 5 games at Campbelltown have totaled 60 or more. Home underdogs have a 63% cover record in the opening 4 Rounds of the competition since 2014, while the Panthers have a 6-5 cover record as a road favourite over the same period.


Gee I think there has been a massive over reaction in both directions here, and us presented with an opportunity. If this game was one week ago I’d have this rated a likely 8 point handicap gap and advantage to the Panthers. The Tigers won last week, on paper seemed to have impressed many, come through the one of the weakest form games of the round and seem to have now had a significant over reaction to their rated position by the markets. The Panthers were soundly beaten, very complacent, soft through the middle, played sideways and clearly have been reading all their own pres through recent months – and were found out by a motivated physical opponent. Yet they two have seen a significant over reaction the other way, and are now marked as a small fav into this contest?

Folks we are talking Round 1 games, very early days into the real heat of battle. I have watched the Tigers game three times, their opponent was all but disgraceful, yet if we look a little more closely at the Tigers their defence was loose, scrappy and at times soft, so while they had a walk in the park in attack 9and were probably made to look much better than they were) it was their D issues that I took away from the contest. They may aim up here, but right now I just don’t have their rating numbers any different than where I was.

The Panthers – as suggested above. But that one off complacent offering does send their rating south at a rate of knots in 7 days. Let’s see what is offered up here, and into the next few weeks before we make any major adjustments. I have no doubt that Griffin and Gould have been all over them this week, and certainly dented a few attitudes and egos, notably Moylan and Cartwright who between them accounted for just about every key error made last week. But I’m sure their forwards were also told a few home truths after such a poor soft offering. In short, they are much better than this and I expect significant improvement here.

Good game, will tell us much more about where their heads are at (both teams), but I think the Panthers looked placed and priced to advantage and can aim up here. I’m looking for them to play tougher, play physical, earn the right to do things and have their game heads on. The Tigers can improve, I’m no rap on last week but they have some key attacking stars, but I have numerous doubts if this unfolds into a real contest against a good opponent who really wants to play.

Bet 3 units Panthers -1.5 $1.90 Sportsbet BB

Dragons vs Eels

0.0 Dragons


The Eels will be looking to make it 5 consecutive victories over the joint venture but will need to overcome a poor record at the ground, with their only previous victory at WIN Stadium coming back in 2001. The Dragons have won and covered in 6 of their last 8 at WIN Stadium, while 12 of their last 15 at the ground have been decided by a margin of 1-12 points and 10 of the last 12 have finished Unders in total match points. Points have also been at a premium between these 2 sides, with 7 of the last 10 encounters failing to top 36 points. The Eels covered in 8 of 12 away from home last year, while they have covered in 6 of their last 8 when starting as a small road favourite, but history shows that teams in that position have a poor cover record in the opening 6 weeks, covering at just 35% since 2014. The Eels have rarely started as a road favourite in recent years, but have a very good conversion rate in that position, winning 7 of their last 8. Bevan French was Parramatta’s leading try scorer last season with 19 tries from 11 appearances, including at hat trick against the Dragons. A win for the Eels will be the 1st time since 1999, that they have had a 2 & 0 start, while the Dragons will be looking to do the same for only the 2nd time since 2011.



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NRL Tips Previews Sports Betting 2017

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