NRL Tips Previews Sports Betting 17 | Round 4
NRL Tips Previews Sports Betting 17 Round 4
MrG provides NRL Tips Previews Sports Betting content each week for our Reading The Play NRL subscribers.
NRL Tips Previews Sports Betting 17 Round 4
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NRL Tips Rd 4 Game Handicaps
+8.5 Rabbits vs Roosters
-15.5 Panthers vs Knights
-4.5 Broncos vs Raiders
+2.5 Sea Eagles vs Bulldogs
+2.5 Eels vs Sharks
-1.5 Titans vs Cowboys
+7.5 Tigers vs Storm
-1.5 Dragons vs Warriors
NRL Round 4 Recommended Bet List
Bet 3 units Roosters -5.5 $1.70 Tabsportsbet / -6.0 $1.90 Sportsbet BB
Bet 2 units Titans +5.5 $1.91 William Hill / Luxbet
Bet 1 unit Dragons H2H $1.89 CrownBet
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
Roosters, Panthers, Broncos, Bulldogs, Sharks, Titans, Storm, Dragons
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 @
Rabbits vs Roosters
It’s 1 of only 2 matches this Round featuring 2 last start winners, with the Rabbitohs winning 2 straight, while the Roosters remain undefeated. A win for the Tri-Colours will make it 4 straight wins to open their season, a feat they haven’t achieved since 1996, while it’s their shortest starting price since their Round 9 match against the Knights in 2016. The Roosters have won 2 of the last 3 clashes with the Rabbitohs, but they have won only 2 of the previous 5 clashes played at ANZ Stadium. They have a 2-1 record in both total match points (Overs) and ATS, but have covered in only 2 of their last 10 as a road favourite. The Roosters are 1 of only 2 sides to have led at half time in all 3 matches, but they are yet to outscore an opponent in the 2nd half. Winger Daniel Tupou has been the Roosters 1st try scorer in their past 5 matches played at ANZ Stadium and he has scored 3 tries in his last 4 matches against the Rabbitohs. Souths have won 6 of 7 since the back end of 2016, but have won only 4 of their past 13 matches played at ANZ Stadium. Like the Roosters, the Rabbitohs are 2-1 Over in total match points and ATS, but they have covered in only 1 of their last 9 when getting a start at home. Alex Johnston has scored 4 tries in 4 appearances against the Roosters. Since 2014 road favs only have a 32% cover record in the opening 4 Rounds, while home underdogs getting a start of more than a converted try are 6 and 0. In 4 of the last 6 meetings, the total match points have finished Overs, while the team to score the 1st points of the match has gone on to win 5 of the last 6.
Rabbits have a further 3 outs (and dislocation of their team list), for mine they come through a thin questionable form line against 3 sides (Knights, Eagles, Tigers) who I expect will all finish there abouts bottom 4 by season end. They play at home but Homebush has hardly been of any advantage through the last 12 moths, they’ve lost 8 of their last 11 at the ground, and also failed to cover the line at 8 of those 11.
Roosters come with 3 straight wins but through what looks much better form. They are without a couple of key players but Manu has stepped in ok for Ferguson and they appear now only without 1 forward. They are attempting to play a much quicker style and attack, quick play the balls where ever possible, quick ball shifts and change of attack focus so as to constantly catch the defence on the back foot, and their preparedness to shift the ball. There’s a lot to like what they are doing.
I was very surprised that even with the knowledge of the teams outs the markets had this game posted at 5.5 and that has quickly moved. I’m looking for the Roosters to make a positive start, play to these strengths and take control of the game.
Bet 3 units Roosters -5.5 $1.70 Tabsportsbet / -6.0 $1.90 Sportsbet BB
Panthers vs Knights
Two sides looking to avoid back to back losses, with both the Panthers and the Knights starting their seasons with a loss, win, loss sequence. The Knights hold a 23-17 all time advantage over Penrith and recorded 5 consecutive wins over the Panthers from 2011 to 2013, but the Mountain Men have hit back in recent seasons, recording wins in 4 of the last 5 clashes. There have been plenty of points on offer in recent meetings, with 5 of the last 6 encounters topping 40 points, while the last 6 have all been decided by a margin of 13+. The Panthers are at home for the 2nd week in a row and only once since 2014 have they lost B2B home games in consecutive weeks. They are 1-2 ATS and have covered in 4 of the last 5 against the Knights, but home favs have covered in only 1 of 14 matches in the opening 3 Rounds. In total match points the Panthers are 2-1 Under, while they are 20-14 Under at Pepper Stadium since 2014. Only once in the last 10 meetings with the Knights have the Panthers led at half time, while they have trailed at the break in 2 of 3 in 2017. The Knights are on the road after spending 2 weeks at home and they haven’t won an away game since 2015, losing 14 straight, while they have won only 1 of their past 22 on the road as a big outsider. They are 2-1 ATS, with a 2-1 Over record, while 9 of their last 10 matches have topped 40 points. All 3 of the Knights matches have been decided by single figures, but they have conceded 24 points or more in all of them, to make it 21 consecutive matches where they have conceded 20 points or more.
Little to say here. Knights have been very plucky to date, close again last week in a game that they could have won, but in experience, basic errors and ill discipline with this squad mixture of so many young guys is always going to be an issue. Their best form has been at home, they now travel and to a difficult venue.
Panthers have been much better through the last 2 weeks but will be keen to win and get a further 2 points after being 1/3. They get a soft home 6 day turn around, they have the ball play and movement to open things up here and should win by at least 2 tries, but I have no interest at this stage playing with a 16 point line.
Broncos vs Raiders
It’s the 4th straight match for the Broncos against a title contender after matches against the Sharks, Cowboys and Storm in the opening Rounds. Brisbane has won 6 of the previous 8 clashes with the Raiders, including the last 3 straight, while they have also won 8 of the last 9 encounters played at Suncorp Stadium, with the Raiders recording 1 win in 12 years at the venue. Low scoring matches have been a common occurrence, with only 3 of the last 11 clashes totaling more than 40 points. Brisbane has lost 2 in a row after beating the Premiers in Round 1, but they return home where they have a 21-7 record since 2015. They are 2-1 ATS and have a 17-11 cover record at Suncorp since the return of Wayne Bennett. In total match points they are 2-1 Over, while they are 6-3 Over as a small home favourite since 2014. Brisbane are the only side to have scored the opening try in all 3 Rounds and they have also scored 1st in 4 of the last 5 against Canberra. Broncos Captain Darius Boyd scored a hat trick against the Raiders when they last met. The Raiders are 2-1 ATS and have covered in 14 of their last 15 when getting a start, while they have covered their last 9 straight away from home. They are 2-1 Over in total match points with their last 2 topping 50, while 7 of their last 9 away games have totaled 44 or more. Only once in the last 8 meetings with the Broncos have the Raiders led at half time. In 15 of the past 18 matches with Ashley Klein in charge the total match points have gone Over, while road dogs have covered in 14 of the last 18 with Klein at the helm.
While both sides are on 1 win each I think this is a bit of a crunch game for the Broncos, off a very strong form line and at home they do look to have an edge. They did the business on a difficult away leg (Sharks), went to a golden point loss at home (Cowboys) and with little ball but some outstanding defence led to the 78th minute last week when away at a tough venue (Storm) to get rolled by a kick from the sideline. Unless they put in a major dip off these tough opening games there is a lot to recommend them, in particular the defensive efforts that the keep quitting in against these good opponents (a hall mark of Bennett’s approach to the opening rounds).
Raiders bounced back as expected last week at home but against a soft Tigers. They have struggled against the Broncos, losing 6 of the 8 H2H, but aside of the Broncos they have had a strong road and cover on the road record across their last 9 away games. But, they have really struggled for some reason against the Broncs, and in particular in Brisbane. They have the obvious size, if they get room they have some ball play, can do some great things down an edge in particular the right, but this is a very different defence than last week.
Broncos at the short line at home tempts me, but week 4 into this season off 3 big weeks when we are not real sure where their match or mental fitness is I have stayed out.
Sea Eagles vs Bulldogs
+2.5 Sea Eagles
Manly caused the upset of the season in their win over the Cowboys last week, while the Dogs snapped a 6 game losing streak to beat the Warriors in New Zealand. The Bulldogs have won 9 of the last 11 clashes with the Sea Eagles, including the last 6 straight and 4 of the last 5 meetings at Brookvale Oval. More often than not, these clashes have been closely fought contests in recent years, with 8 of the last 12 matches decided by single figures, including 3 Golden Point results. The Sea Eagles are 1-2 ATS and have covered in only 2 of the last 6 against the Dogs, while they have covered just 2 of their last 10 at Brookvale. They have also failed to cover in 8 of their last 9 as a home underdog. They are 2- 1 Under in total match points. Manly winger Jorge Taufua scored in both matches against the Dogs in 2016. The Bulldogs are 2-1 ATS and have covered in their last 2 matches, but they are their only 2 covers from their last 13 matches, while they have failed to cover in their last 6 as a favourite. Canterbury has however, won 9 of their last 11 as a small road favourite, including 3 wins over Manly from that position. They are 2-1 Under in total match points and 4 of their last 5 away games have also finished Unders. A Bulldogs try has been the first scoring play in 7 of the last 10 clashes with Manly, while the first try of the match has not been scored until after the 7th minute in 8 of the last 11 meetings. Bulldogs flyer Brett Morris scored a double against Manly when they last met, but they are the only tries he has scored from his past 8 outings against the Sea Eagles.
Found this game really difficult to line up. Eagles offered something way beyond my expectation last week, their attitude and effort super and deserved their resounding win. They get 2 key big men back up front here which should be a huge plus, but gee they have been hard to catch with little consistence. There home record has been terrible 3 from 12 and while untouched last week they still have some key defensive issues on their edges. I want to see them under pressure across a few weeks now and see what they offer.
Bulldogs are little different, 6 straight losses till last week, not sure that beating the Warriors without RTS and Foran is any rap, but they got their breakthrough win. They and Hasler have a staggering recent record against the Eagles, winning 9 of the last 11 clashes H2H including the last 6 straight and 4 of the last 5 meetings at the ground, so a significant edge. But they are still a massive work in progress, I’m just not sure what direction yet.
Line ball game, lean to Bulldogs with their heavy recent H2H advantage.
Eels vs Sharks
The 1st home game of the season for Parramatta after spending the opening 3 weeks on the road. All of their home games will be played at ANZ Stadium in 2017, where they won 4 of 5 in 2016, but have a poor long term record at the ground, winning only 6 of 25 since 2011. Wins have been split evenly across the last 10 clashes, with the Eels winning 4 of the last 5 meetings as the home team, but all of those matches were played at Pirtek Stadium. High scoring contests have been common place, with 9 of the last 10 clashes topping 40 points, while the last 2 encounters have topped 58. The Eels won their opening 2 games before going down to the Titans in a lack lustre performance without play maker Corey Norman who is a key inclusion this week. Parramatta is 2-1 ATS and covered in 7 of 11 in 2016 when conceding a start, while they have covered in their last 4 at ANZ Stadium as a favourite. They are 2-1 Over in total match points, but have had Unders results in 10 of their last 13 at ANZ Stadium. A Parramatta try has been the 1st scoring play in 8 of the last 10 meetings with Cronulla, who have conceded the 1st try in their opening 3 matches. Eels speedster Bevan French scored the 1st of his 3 hat tricks in 2016 against the Sharks in his only match against the Premiers. It’s been an indifferent start for the Sharks, with 2 home losses sandwiching their big win over the Raiders in Round 2. They have a poor record at ANZ Stadium, losing 8 of their last 11 but they won the 1 that mattered most. Cronulla is 1-2 ATS, with a 2-1 Over number and have covered in their last 4 away from Shark Park, while they have won and covered in 7 of their last 8 away from Shark Park with a start. Underdogs away from home currently have a 13-1 cover record after 3 Rounds. Leutele, Feki and Beale all bagged a double in the Round 17 clash with the Eels last year, while Feki has scored 5 tries in his last 3 matches against Parramatta.
Just be careful with the Eels being at home, as Homebush has not been a long term benefit in the past, recent form has been ok here but it’s nothing like their original ground that was a huge plus. Questions over who plays #9 with numerous injuries, Norman should play and he’s a massive in. After 15 minutes and an easy soft lead they folded poorly to the Titans, looked complacent, dumb errors, they are better than than and with Norman’s direction and skill they’ll improve. Nice match up through the big boys in the middle third here.
Sharks came up with a poor dip of their own last week, 2nd loss at home, probably as bad as they have played for 12 months, error riddled, down on intensity and attitude, they are much better than that. I do expect they have a major bounce back here, and they don’t have to tweak much. Flanagan is often clever with his tactics and I’d expect he sends a lot of traffic and attack plays at Gutherson.
Like Sharks to aim back up here, but weary of Eels also being off a loss and first game back in front of their home crowd.
Titans vs Cowboys
Cowboys travelling to the Gold Coast where the Titans lie in wait. It’s the 1st time in 3 years that the Titans have hosted the Cowboys, with the last 3 encounters all played in Townsville. The Cowboys have won 4 of the previous 5 clashes, while the Titans have won the last 3 with the home ground advantage, making it 7 straight wins for the home team. In 6 of the 8 meetings on the Coast, the winning margin has been by 13+, while 6 of the 7 matches played at Robina have topped 40 points. The Gold Coast has been unable to score more than 13 points in the previous 5 meetings and have conceded the last try of the match in the last 7 clashes. The Titans bounced back last week after losing their 1st 2 matches to get their 1st win in a gritty effort after trailing 12-0 early. They are 1-2 ATS and a perfect 7 & 0 since 2014 in the 1st 4 Rounds with a start of 6 or less, while home teams are 28-16 from that same said position. The Cowboys have been below par, with 2 Golden Point results before being hammered in 1 of their worst home performances in years. They were soft through the middle and after losing Tamau & Hannant in the off season, they are no without Scott (season) and Taumalolo (suspended) again this week. The Cowboys are 1-2 ATS with a 5-11 cover record as a small road favourite since 2014. In total match points they are 2-1 Under, while 8 of their last 11 on the road have also gone Under. Cowboys back rower, Gavin Cooper scored a double against the Titans in their only meeting last year to take his tally to 5 tries in his last 5 matches against his former club.
Hindsight can be a wonderful tool in this caper but I made a bad error with the Cowboys last week, expecting they had enough to aim up through the middle to cover their key outs – and at first offering I was certainly wrong. While not opened up, they were soft with easy yardage in defence and forever on the back foot, and had a similar problem trying to go forward and create the right room to play, while they also dearly missed some of the ball play and off load of those out. Taumalolo is clearly a massive out, and they desperately need him back next week.
Titans got their break through win last week, and while nothing super the one thing about the Titans most weeks (and especially at home) regardless of who is in and who’s not, they put in, and as the Eels dipped in effort and execution the Titans just kept coming. They get some key players back this week, have a back to back home turn around and should have some advantage with their big men through the middle. Henry is a smart coach and I’m sure he has poured over the video of the Cows offering last week and will have plenty of focus and tactics aimed through the middle and ruck edge here, and then use the ball to advantage. They’ve had some dumb errors in them through the opening weeks, improved last week, but again they need to minimise that here.
Think the Titans look well placed, expect better from Cowboys but they still look short up front. The plus start looked a nice advantage for the home team.
Bet 2 units Titans +5.5 $1.91 William Hill / Luxbet
Tigers vs Storm
The Tigers have dominated the headlines this week, but yet again, it’s for all the wrong reasons, while the Storm continue to go about their business as they look to win their 1st 4 games of a season for the 5th time since 2007. The Storm made it a clean sweep against the Tigers in 2016 and will be looking to make it 3 straight victories over the joint venture for the very 1st time. It’s 1st versus last and both sides have the same rankings in defence, with Melbourne conceding an average of less than 10 points a game, while the Tigers have conceded 100 points after 3 Rounds. The Tigers are off the back of 2 heavy defeats, where they conceded 14 tries and scored just 1 of their own. They are 1-2 ATS but have covered in their last 3 against Melbourne, while they have covered in 8 of their last 13 at Leichardt as a home underdog. Since 2014 home underdogs have covered at 68% in the opening 4 Rounds and have a perfect 10 & 0 record with a start of 6 or more. The Tigers are 2-1 Over in total match points, but only 2 of the previous 12 clashes with the Storm have finished higher than 40, with an average of 32. Tiger’s fullback James Tedesco has scored 4 tries in his last 5 matches against the Storm. Melbourne are 2-1 ATS and have covered in 8 of their last 12 on the road when laying a start, while they have covered 10 of their last 13 when laying a small start (6 points or less). They are 3-0 Under in total match points and have been a big Unders side on the road, producing a 21-6 result since 2015 when playing away from home. The Storm has scored the opening try in 10 of the last 13 meetings with the Tigers. Melbourne won and covered in all 4 matches last season under Ben Cummins.
Tigers have advantage playing at Leichhard where they have won 8 of the last 12 vs Storm, and with Coach now sacked one would expect that the aim up, but they are very hard to trust at present. If they play to their strengths of up tempo and ball play and bring their attacking strengths into the game then they are some chance, but they also meet an opponent who defend exceptionally well and are masters at slowing and shutting such down.
Had the Storm been near full strength I’d have been happy to be with them as a bet, but with notable key outs weakening their attacking strike happy to just watch. I lean to Storms discipline and defence, clearly big watch on what the Tigers turn up with.
Dragons vs Warriors
It’s the 3rd straight week where the final match of the Round will feature the Dragons, who come into this match with a 2-1 record, while the Warriors are 1-2 and looking down the barrel at 3 straight defeats. The Dragons have completely dominated the Warriors since 1999, winning 19 of the 24 matches, including 11 straight from 2008 to 2015, before the Warriors finally broke through for a win in the most recent encounter. Only on 3 occasions from the last 12 meetings have the Warriors scored more than 12 points, while the Dragons have scored 19 or more in 10 of the last 12. Since 2008 the total match points have finished above 44 only once, while 4 of the last 5 have failed to top 36. The Dragons are 2-1 ATS and have covered in 7 of their last 9 at Kogorah, but home teams laying less than a converted try are 0-8 in 2017. In total match points, the Dragons are 2-1 Over, with 6 of their last 7 at Kogorah also finishing Overs. St George Illawarra has won 8 of their last 10 matches played at Kogorah Oval. The Warriors are 0 & 3 ATS and are the only side yet to cover, they have also covered in only 1 of their last 6 on the road with a small start. They are 2-1 Under in total match points and 5 of their last 6 away games have also finished Unders, with only 1 of them totaling more than 40. The Warriors have won only 2 of their last 9 away games and just 2 of their last 19 as a road outsider.
On paper Foran looks a key in for the Warriors, and they’ll certainly need something, but I question how underdone and short on match fitness and combinations he will be first up and am happy to risk. The Warriors have a shocking H2H record vs Dragons, including losing 11 of their last 12 straight, and have an equally poor away record in Sydney.
Dragons have won 2 against good opponents (Panthers and Sharks) have no notable key injuries at present and should be turning up with some confidence. They also have a great record at Kogarah, covering the line at 7 of their last 9 here, winning straight out 8 of their last 10, what should be a healthy advantage. If at their best they can play the yardage and field position game to advantage here as the Warriors can make numerous basic handling errors and keep putting their opponent back into play in the right areas of the park.
With the weather having now cleared in Sydney across Saturday into a nice sunny dry Sunday I’m happy to be with the Dragons straight up. They should play with advantage here at home, and if smart play their opponents into errors and control play. The Warriors form line through the Bulldogs last week (and Knights prior) now also looks very questionable.
Bet 1 unit Dragons H2H $1.89 CrownBet
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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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