NRL Tips Previews Sports Betting 17 Round 7
NRL Tips Previews Sports Betting 17 Round 7
MrG provides NRL Tips Previews Sports Betting content each week for our Reading The Play NRL subscribers.
NRL Tips Previews Sports Betting 17 Round 7
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NRL Tips Rd 7 Game Handicaps
-2.5 Bulldogs vs Rabbits
+11.5 Knights vs Roosters
-13.5 Broncos vs Titans
+4.5 Eagles vs Storm
-10.5 Raiders vs Warriors
-7.5 Dragons vs Cowboys
-1.5 Panthers vs Sharks
-2.5 Eels vs Tigers
NRL Round 7 Recommended Bet List
Bet 2 units Broncos 13+ $1.84 Topsport / William Hill
Bet 3 units Raiders -7.5 $1.91 William Hill / Unibet BB
Bet 2 units Dragons -7.5 $1.91 William Hill / Sportsbet
Bet 2 units Sharks +2.5 $1.91 William Hill / 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
Bulldogs, Roosters, Broncos, Storm, Raiders, Dragons, Sharks, Eels
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 @
Bulldogs vs Rabbits
The traditional Good Friday clash between the Bulldogs and the Rabbitohs kicks off Round 7. The Bulldogs hold a 15-9 all time advantage over Souths at ANZ Stadium, but the Rabbitohs have won 4 of the last 6 clashes, none better than the 2014 Grand Final win. In 4 of the last 5 meetings the winning margin has been by 13+, while 6 of the last 9 clashes have failed to top 38. The Dogs are looking for 3 straight wins, while the Rabbits will be looking to go B2B. The Dogs have won 6 of their last 7 at ANZ Stadium and 5 of their last 6 as a starting favourite. They are 4-2 ATS and have covered in 4 of their last 5 and 3 of their last 4 against Souths, but have failed to cover in 10 of their last 11 as a home favourite. In total match points the Dogs are 5-1 Under and only 2 of their last 14 matches have tallied more than 40. Canterbury has trailed at half time in 5 of their 6 matches, but only once have they been outscored in the 2nd half. Only once in the last 9 meetings have the Dogs scored more 2nd half points than Souths, with an average of 8. A Bulldogs try has been the 1st scoring play in 5 of the last 6 clashes with the Rabbitohs. Souths have won only 3 of their last 13 games played at ANZ Stadium and have covered a line in that same number, while they have conceded the 1st points in 14 of their last 17 at the ground. They are 3-3 in total match points and ATS, while they have covered in only 2 of their last 8 at ANZ Stadium as an outsider. Souths have led at half time just once, while thy have been outscored in the 2nd half only once. The Rabbits have scored the last try of the match in 5 of the last 6 meetings with the Bulldogs.
Nightmare game best just watched for what it is and anything more we may glean from it. Both sides are 3/6 but each in questionable form, spluttering for mine through these opening weeks. The Bulldogs if anything may be slightly on the improve off two wins, getting the Broncos on a bog wet heavy track and then a late yet unconvincing win over the Knights. The introduction of Frawley over the last two weeks has looked a positive, unlike the two that Hasler has persisted with through the last 18 months he actually looks like a real #7, he directs play straight, he plays straight himself, he can play to the line and he looks to have the makings of a decent kicking game.
The Rabbits are no better. They come off a weak last minute 1 point win against the Panthers, which seriously is as thin as tissue paper right now with the Panthers missing up to 8 players. But if their best 3 in SBurgess, Reynolds and Walker turn in anything special then they can aim up, but they have been well short forward play and consistency.
There’s not a lot to like about either of them. The Bulldogs have failed to cover at 10 of last 11 as home favs, while the Rabbits have only covered 6 of last 24 at the ground (with both sharing this ground as their home ground). I have a lean to the Bulldogs but a game I shall just be watching.
Knights vs Roosters
The Roosters have won 6 of the last 7 meetings with the Knights, including a 38 point shut out when they last met in Round 9, 2016. Both sides come into this match off losses, the Roosters losing 2 straight, while the Knights have lost their last 4. In 6 of the last 7 meetings, the winning margin has been by 13+, with the Roosters winning all of those. There has been 38 points or more scored in 5 of the last 6. The Knights have lost 8 of their last 9 at home as a double digit outsider, while they have lost 16 of their last 18 as a home underdog. They come into this match with an attack that ranks 13th and a defence that ranks 14th, giving them a -53 point differential that rates 15th . Newcastle is 3-3 ATS and has failed to cover in 5 of their last 6 at home, while they have also failed to cover in their last 3 at home with a double digit advantage. Since 2014 double digit home underdogs are 12-13 ATS and have failed to cover in the last 4 straight. The Knights have had Unders results in their last 4, giving them a 4-2 Under record, while they are 6-3 Under against the Roosters since 2011. The Roosters are away from home for the 2nd week in a row and had won 3 from 3 on the road, before suffering a 24 point loss to Brisbane. That defeat now makes it 9 losses from their last 10 matches played outside of Sydney. An 80 minute performance is something they are yet to produce and they remain as the only side still to outscore their opponent in the 2nd half. The Roosters are 3-3 ATS and have covered only 1 of their last 5 on the road when laying more than 8 points. In total match points they are also split 3-3, but have had Overs results in 12 of their previous 19 away games. The Roosters have scored the 1st try of the match in 5 of the last 6 against the Knights, while they have scored the last try in 7 of the last 8. Blake Ferguson has scored 6 tries in his last 3 matches against Newcastle.
The Roosters should well win but I find them very hard to read at present. Just when it looked like they had some quality building in their form they faulted v Eagles in what at the time looked a decent game and then rolled over meekly to the Broncos last week poorly conceding 32 (and could well have been many more) while the Eagles also got thumped. Typical early season roller coaster form, but ugly to try and read.. One would expect off two losses, the latest a very poor attitude effort that they aim up here, but certainly on trust.
Typical of a team expected to lose, and short on luck and the right bounce of the ball the Knights fell short last week (Bulldogs), but seriously they were not that far away. They could well have scored 3 additional tries in the first 40, and had a tricky decision go against them late in the second half. They are again advantaged at home where they have play their best footy.
I just don’t have any confidence or trust in the game, Knights best puts them in the contest, Roosters best puts them 3 to 4 tries in front, but way too much guess work. In a round of games where the markets look to have most of the handicaps about right I expect the Roosters win, if I had to do something on the game I’d be with the Knights and the plus start, but happy to stay out.
Broncos vs Titans
An all Queensland affair closes out Good Friday when the Broncos host the Titans from what will be a packed out Suncorp Stadium. Brisbane has a dominant record over the Gold Coast, winning 16 of the 21 clashes since the Titans entered the competition in 2007 and they have also won the last 10 straight at Suncorp Stadium, with the Titans only win coming in the 1st meeting at the ground. Brisbane are at home for the 2nd week in a row after downing the Roosters last start, while the Titans are coming off 3 straight defeats and their biggest loss in 22 matches after going down to the Raiders by 26 points. In 11 of the previous 14 meetings the total match points have failed to surpass 40, including 6 of the last 7 at Suncorp. Brisbane moved back into the Top 8 after last week’s win to sit in 7th spot. They have been below their best in attack, which is reflected in their attack ranking of 10th, while they sit 3rd in defence, conceding less than 14 PPG. Brisbane is 3-3 ATS, with a 21-13 cover record at Suncorp Stadium since 2014 and has covered in 4 of the last 5 against the Titans, while they are 11-4 ATS at Suncorp when favoured by 10 or more since 2014. They are split 3-3 in total match points, while they are 26-17 in favour of the Over since 2014 when playing at home. The Broncos have scored the 1st try of the match in 8 of the last 9 meetings with the Titans at Suncorp, while they have also scored the opening try in all 6 Rounds of 2017. Anthony Milford has 6 tries in 6 matches against the Titans. The Titans have lost 5 from 6 and continue to struggle with a long list of injuries. They currently sit 15th, with an attack that rates 13th and a defence that ranks 14th . The Titans have conceded 28 points or more in 5 of their 6 matches and are the only side to have conceded the 1st try of the match in all 6 Rounds. They are 2-4 ATS and have covered only 2 of their last 8 as a road dog with a double digit advantage. In total match points they are 6-0 in favour of the Overs, while their last 6 matches as an underdog have also finished Overs. The Titans have been beaten by a margin of 13+ in the last 8 meetings against the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium.
If there is one team who has owned the other its the Broncos record over the Titans, winning 13 of the last 15 head to head and the last 10 straight when at home, many of those 13+.
Coach Bennett provided a masterclass as a coach last week tactically completely outplaying his opponent (Roosters) with the Broncos smashing them with a commanding 32-8 result. As has always been Bennett’s way each season he likes to just focus on defence through the opening months, and does very little work on attack believing rightly that if he gets the former right then they will put themselves into a position to be winning most games given their team talent, and he can build from their as the season unfolds. Through the first 6 weeks of this new season the Broncos are conceding just 13 pts a week, so lets suggest he gets a tick for getting this right, yet again. What was then impressive in his tactical approach last week was he clearly decided that given how the Roosters had started the season (playing up tempo, quick ball shift, attack focus game plan) he’d take them on at their own game and obviously spent the week rehearsing a similar approach – quick play the ball where ever possible, early ball play and shifts, playing with some speed and either to the edges or turn back inside, run the Roosters raggered, deliberately move their big forwards around, unsettle them and and open them right up. As I suggested above, a masterstroke, completely caught the Roosters (and everyone) off guard and paved the way for an impressive win. Oh, and they conceded just 8 pts in doing so.
The Titans have had a disastrous start to their season, a massive injury toll and they are now 1/6, conceding 30 pts a week and their season almost off the rails. They have named 4 key ins this week, notably two important ones in Peats and McQueen who are both quality defenders and will help improve things, but they still have a long list of key outs that leaves them with a weakened list.
Hunt is also a key out for the Broncos, and while I’m not his greatest fan it does break a key combination in their halves and I want to see how Kodi Nikorima slots into a full 80 minute play making role as opposed to his past off the bench impact assignment.
I have the line marked at a similar position to the markets and it continues to be well backed opening -11.5 at the start of this week. The Broncos look well advantaged here and now news (Thurs am) that Hurrell and Vidot have not trained with the final captains run further disrupts their list, and its strength (in particular down their edges). Given the Broncos long term advantage, at home, and these ongoing injury outs for the Titans I want to now be with the 13+
Bet 2 units Broncos 13+ $1.84 Topsport / William Hill
Sea Eagles v Storm
+4.5 Sea Eagles
Another chapter to one of the great modern day rivalries will be written when the Sea Eagles host the Storm at Brookvale Oval. There has been little between the 2 sides since making the 2008 Grand Final, with both sides recording 8 wins, coupled with 1 draw, while 5 of the last 7 clashes have been decided by 3 points or less. In 4 of the previous 5 encounters, the match points have totaled 41 or more. Both sides come into this match as beaten favourites last start, with both of them putting up ordinary performances. Manly had won 3 straight before last week’s loss which saw them drop from 5th to 8th. They have lost 5 of their last 6 at Brookvale Oval and 7 of their last 9 as a home underdog, while they have conceded 20 points or more in 5 of their last 6 matches at Brookvale. Manly has the 4th best attack, while they rank 8th defensively. The Sea Eagles are 3-3 ATS and have covered in only 4 of their last 16 at Brookvale, while they have covered in just 1 of their last 8 at the ground as an outsider. They are 4-2 Under in total match points, while 8 of their last 10 at Brookvale have finished Overs. In Manly’s last 20 matches played during the day, the 1st try of the match has been scored by the 7th minute in 15 of them (10 for, 5 against). Jorge Taufua has been the Sea Eagles 1st try scorer in 3 of their last 4 matches and has scored 7 tries from his last 9 games at Brookvale Oval. After 5 consecutive wins to open their season, the Storm was finally beaten, going down to Cronulla in a match for the purists, dominated by defence, but they remain unbeaten on the road, winning 3 from 3. Melbourne are 2nd on the ladder, with the best defence in the NRL, but they have been average in attack, ranking 12th. They are 4-2 ATS and have covered in 9 of their last 12 as a small road favourite, while in total match points they are 11-1 Under from that position and are a perfect 6-0 Under in 2017. Suliasa Vunivalu scored 4 tries in his 1st match against the Sea Eagles in Round 24 last year.
The Sea Eagles are very tricky to read at present. Poor efforts in their opening two games then 3 positive wins when back at near full strength, then with their strongest line up to date and at home they were terrible last week compounding poorly to the Dragons. They do have a relatively young list so some of them may well have felt the pressure of being up and expectation, but some of the defensive offerings right across the park was very poor. They are now to be weakened up front with the outs of Taupau and Myles which is a concern as prior to their first win this was where they were soft and initially opening up. Brookvale was once (only 18 mths ago) a significant advantage and home fortress, certainly no longer.
Storm come off their first loss and are without Chambers. Jesse Bromwich and Munster have been named but have to be doubtful. The Storm should appreciate being back on a dry track, and defensively should be able to control this game.
With questions over final lists and or key outs for both sides, and the Eagles hard to read at present I have no betting interest for this game. I expect the Storm bounce back, but happy to watch.
Raiders vs Warriors
The 2nd and final match of the Round featuring 2 last start winners sees the Raiders host the Warriors from GIO Stadium in the Nation’s Capital. The Raiders clean swept the Warriors in 2016 and put an end to a 5 game winning run for the Warriors over the Green Machine. There hasn’t been much between the 2 sides, with the Raiders holding a slight 19-17 advantage, but they have dominated at GIO Stadium, winning 11 of the 14 clashes. In 10 of the previous 14 meetings the winning margin has been by 13+, while 7 of the last 10 matches have topped 44 points. Canberra is up to 6th on the ladder after back to back wins, with the 2nd best attack and differential in the League, while their defence ranks 9th. They have won 11 of their last 13 at GIO Stadium and have averaged almost 30 PPG during that time. The Raiders are currently the equal best cover side in the NRL, producing 5-1 result and have covered in 6 of their last 7 when favoured by more than a converted try. They are 4-2 Over in total match points, with 4 of their last 5 topping 48, while 6 of their last 7 have gone Over as a big favourite. Raiders Captain Jarrod Croker has scored 16 tries in 14 games against New Zealand, including a hat trick when they last met. Like the Raiders, the Warriors are also aiming for 3 consecutive wins, but will need to overcome a poor road record, winning only 2 of their last 10 away games and just 2 of their last 20 as a road outsider. They are currently in 10th position, while they rank 11th in attack and 13th in defence. They have conceded 22 points or more in 5 of their 6 matches. The Warriors are 1-5 ATS and since 2014 they have covered in only 8 of 23 matches away from home. They are 4-2 Under in total match points and 6 of their last 7 away games have also finished Unders, with only 1 of them totaling more than 40. Only once this season have the Warriors scored more than 6 second half points, while no team has scored more 2nd half points than Canberra.
Raiders return home off strong away win, are 3/6 and have won 3 of their last 4 with the loss a 1 point result against them (Broncos) a strong form reference. The Warriors have won two home games and now also sit 3/6. Both sides last two games / wins have been against the same opponents, Eels and Titans but for mine the Raiders form looks to have much greater depth, as does their combinations and positive execution.
The Raiders look well advantaged at home and have won 11 of their last 13 here, including 2 of 3 this season to date. Such is their positive form here across this winning home run (last 11) they have been averaging approx 30 pts per game in attack and covered the line at 6 of their last 7 when favoured by 6 pts or more. Their strengths are the right game to trouble the Warriors, roll through the middle with their big men, off loads and second phase play when possible will break and open them up, or play off the go forward created with their creative and running halves or to their edges. As we know its a positive formula, its winning form and has done them well through the last 18 mths.
I still want to oppose the Warriors. Yes they have won their last two, and have Foran a key in, but as noted advantaged with both being home games and against current low performing teams, each of who have little winning form or quality of form reference. I still believe that the Warriors can be tested through the middle with physical intent, and the Raiders certainly have this. They are also prone to basic handling errors under any sort of pressure which can gift field position and attack advantage to their opponents something you don’t want to be giving the Raiders any extra leg up with. They have also been very poor travelers, lost 8 of their last 10 away games only covered the line at 2 of their last 20 as a road underdog, and covered only 8 of their last 23 when away from Auckland.
The Raiders are playing with some confidence, winning form, advantaged at home and at full strength against an opponent who have won just 2 of their last 10 away games.
Bet 3 units Raiders -7.5 $1.91 William Hill / Unibet BB
Dragons vs Cowboys
The Cowboys have won 5 of the last 7 clashes with the Dragons, including winning 3 of the previous 4 meetings at WIN Stadium, but they are without plenty of key personnel for this meeting, including Johnathan Thurston and since 2013, the Cowboys have won only 2 of 11 without him. In 6 of the last 8 meetings the total match points have failed to top 38, while 5 of the last 6 clashes have been decided by 8 points or less. The half time leader has won 21 of the previous 22 clashes. The Dragons are holding down top spot for the 2nd time in 2017 and are ranked 1st in attack and 2nd in defence. They have scored 163 points in attack after 6 Rounds at an average of just over 27 PPG and it took them until Round 15 last year to score that amount. The Dragons have won 5 from 6 and 4 in a row, with their last 3 wins having a margin result of 13+. They have an 8-5 record, both H2H and ATS from their last 13 matches played at WIN Stadium, while 13 of their last 17 at the ground have been decided by a margin of 1-12 points. The Dragons are 5-1 ATS, the equal best cover record in the comp, while they have a 12-8 cover record as a home favourite since 2014. They are split 3-3 in total match points, but 10 of their last 12 at WIN Stadium have finished Unders. The Cowboys had won 4 of 5 before an awful home loss to the Tigers. This will be their 1st match of the season played outside of Queensland and they had a poor record at the back end of 2016 when travelling interstate, losing 7 of their last 8. They have also lost and failed to cover in their last 5 regular season matches as an interstate outsider. North Queensland are 5th and are 1 of only 4 sides yet to be positioned out of the Top 8, while they rank 7th in attack and 10th in defence. They are 3-3 ATS and have a 4-2 cover record since 2014 when getting more than a converted try advantage. In total match points they are 4-2 in favour of the Under, while 11 of their last 14 as an underdog have also finished Unders. Kane Linnett has scored 6 tries in his last 6 games against the Dragons.
Dragons are 5/6, have won 2/3 at home and importantly conceding just 13 pts per game in defence. They lose Dugan and Frizelle but have shown enough depth to date to cover this. Cowboys 4/6 into their first distant away game this season, off a very poor home loss when jumped by the Tigers. The Bigger issue for the Cowboys now though is their long list of key injury outs, having already lost Scott for the season, then key spine players Granville and Coote they now lose Thurston. Add to this Fensom and a few fringe top list players (Ray Thompson and Josh Chudleigh) and we have a long list of key outs. Clearly Thurston is key, an instrumental play maker, and their record with out him is terrible winning just 2 of the last 11 games where he has not played – a massive out.
The tweaks to the Dragons attack has had a positive impact to date, and while I still want to keep watching through the coming weeks the return to a home ground with advantage against an opponent on what looks the right week. Vaughn has been a big plus for them, he gets them forward, consistently, and they have thankfully got rid of a) the boring and predicable decoy plays when attempting to spread the ball, and b) Marshall, leaving them now with the options of playing far more direct, giving Widdop more room, and less structured attack allowing them to play what is in front of them. There also appears to be some confidence building, and patience, against a poor offering like the Eagles last week they could stick the boot in; against those they have had to grind and wear down (Tigers, Warriors, Sharks) they have with some discipline, minimal error and quality defence.
The Dragons have a good record at the ground, have won 4 of the last 6, covered the line here at 6 of their last 9 and so far this season also covered the line at 5 of 6. They look well advantaged here, in positive winning form, at home and up against an opponent with a list riddled with key injury outs, playing a number of rookies and a poor recent record of just 2 from 11 when without Thurston.
Bet 2 units Dragons -7.5 $1.91 William Hill / Sportsbet
Panthers vs Sharks
Just the 1 match on Easter Sunday, with the Panthers at home to the Sharks. The Sharks have won 7 of the previous 9 clashes with the Panthers, including 3 of the last 4 encounters at Pepper Stadium. A winning margin of 1-12 has been the result in 4 of the last 5 meetings, while 6 of the last 8 have been decided by 8 points or less. In 7 of the last 8 clashes, the match points have totaled 44 or less. Only once in the last 9 meetings have the Panthers led the Sharks at half time. Penrith has won only 1 of their last 4 and 1 of their last 3 at home, which has seen them drop to 12th on the ladder. Despite their lowly ladder position, they are ranked 5th in attack and 6th in defence, with a 17 point differential that also rates 6th. Their form has been up and down, highlighted in their attack, with scores of 36 and 40 surrounded by scores of 10, 12 and 6. The Panthers are 2-4 ATS and have covered just 1 of their last 6 day games as a home favourite, while they are 8-3 Under from that said position since 2014. The Panthers last 5 matches have totalled 41 or less, while 3 of the last 4 against the Sharks have failed to breach 38. The Sharks have now won 3 straight, moving them into 3rd spot on the ladder. They have the 4th best defence, while they rank 6th in attack. In 4 of the Sharks 6 matches the winning margin has been a single figure score. Cronulla are unbeaten in their previous 17 day time matches. Cronulla are 3-3 ATS and have covered in 8 of their last 10 as a road dog, while they have covered in 9 of their last 10 as a road outsider of 3.5 or less. They have also covered in 14 of their last 17 day games, including their last 9 straight away from home. They are 4-2 Under in total match points, with their last 4 failing to top 37 points. A Penalty Goal has opened the scoring in 3 of the Sharks last 5 games, while they have scored the 1st try of the 2nd half in their last 5.
I have a real question mark over the Panthers at present. They are 2/6, remain at home and get a decent list of key players back for this game. But. If we peel back their form a little deeper it is very thin with their two wins coming against two teams placed at the bottom of the table in the Knights 16th and Tigers 14th. They have a list of promise and talent, depth, but they’ve had some disruption and disappointment sine the start of the season, came up way short v Storm and even with their outs last week should well have won. Even though getting their key personnel back this week they still have to be some risk of stepping back into a smooth quality offering and they haven’t been handed a soft low table opponent here, stepping into a Sharks side that will smell an opportunity. And the Sharks come here with a very good record winning 7 of the last 8 head to head and 3 of the last 4 at this ground.
While the Sharks have had a few indifferent offerings they are now 4/6 sitting in 3rd spot, come off a confidence building away win over the Storm and are conceding just 14 pts a game. they seem typical of a quality side that has some confidence in themselves, they have some complacency at times but they know how to win when it matters and can back themselves in. I think the wet conditions suited them best last week, and as noted at the time the Storm had a couple of key forward outs, but the Sharks were good going toe for toe with them and then finishing strongly late when it mattered.
The form and stats are very compelling for the Sharks here. They are 4/6 and come off a strong form win vs the Storm, defensively can be very strong and have both an excellent record vs this opponent and at the ground. They have put in a couple of complacent efforts in the early weeks but vs a premiership favoured opponent here (like Storm last wk) I’m happy to be with them. The Panthers have won just 1 of their last 4 at home and their attack very questionable against good defence scoring just 10, 12 and 6. I like Sharks, think Panthers a significant risk.
Bet 2 units Sharks +2.5 $1.91 William Hill / Sportsbet
Eels vs Tigers
The Eels and Tigers clash at ANZ Stadium to close out Round 7. Both sides have lost 4 of their last 5, which sees them sharing a spot in the bottom 4. It’s been a progressive slide for Parramatta, while the Tigers moved off the bottom of the ladder with an upset win over the Cowboys. The Tigers have won 7 of the last 10 encounters, while the Eels have won 2 of the 3 most recent meetings, including an 8-0 win in the corresponding match last year. In 4 of the last 5 meetings the total match points have tallied less than 40. The Eels are 13th, with the 3rd worst attack, while they are 11th in defence. After winning their 1st 2 games, Parramatta have now lost 4 straight and conceded 20 points or more in all of those losses. They are 2-4 ATS, failing to cover in their last 4, but have covered in 4 of their last 5 at ANZ Stadium as a favourite. The Eels are split evenly in total match points and are 11-3 Under at ANZ Stadium from their last 14 at the ground. The Tigers caused the upset of the season in defeating the Cowboys and in the process, snapped a 4 game losing streak. After spending 3 weeks in last place, the Tigers are now 14th with an attack and defence that both rank 15th. They have won 5 of their last 7 at ANZ Stadium and covered a line in 6 of those. The Tigers are 4-2 Under in total match points, while their last 7 day games at ANZ Stadium have also finished Under, giving them an 8-2 Under record in day games at the ground since 2014. James Tedesco has scored 17 tries from 20 matches at ANZ Stadium, including 13 from his last 14, but he has failed to score in the Tigers last 5 matches. Home teams have failed to cover in the last 6 matches with Ben Cummins in charge and 13 of the last 15 as a home favourite.
An ugly looking game with two teams in poor to indifferent form and little consistency, each having lost 4 of their last 5. The Tigers have won 7 of the last 10, but the Eels have turned this slightly through recent encounters winning 2 of the last 3.
After starting the season with 2 strong wins the Eels have then hit the wall, their most recent efforts riddled with some really dumb errors and all but zero momentum. I expect much more of them last week vs Warriors and again they failed to lift. They have no spark or skill at #9, no ball play in their middle, Norman has been below par, issues at #6, none of the past game breaking influence from Radradra and they certainly miss French.
The Tigers come through weeks of turmoil, sacked coach, ongoing drama over player list re signing issues but then bounced up last week with a surprise win in Townsville over the Cowboys, their first 40 minutes very good. But we have no idea what consistency is in store and what they are likely to turn out with this week. With their new coach I want to wait and see what’s on offer here.
The Tigers showed last week what some desperation and pressure can do to your performance through the early weeks of this season, bouncing up with a surprising effort. I suspect that the Eels might be somewhere near this point off losing 4 straight and desperately needing to get their season going again with a win, and so have a slight lean their way. They have the potential with their forward size and muscle to have an edge here through the middle, but we have not seen it aim up for many weeks. Not a lot to like about the game, just happy to watch and learn.
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