NRL Tips Previews Sports Betting 2017 Round 17

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NRL Tips Previews Sports Betting 2017 Round 17

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


2017: Profit +12.98 units | 32 winners / 56 bets | strike rate 57.1%

2013-17: Profit +110.47 units | 329 winners / 602 bets | strike rate 54.7%

2017 Results File Rd15_RTP_NRL Results_2017


Rd 17 Game Handicaps

MrG’s Ratings

-6.5 Eels vs Bulldogs

-1.5 Titans vs Dragons

+3.5 Broncos vs Storm

+1.5 Roosters vs Sharks

-6.5 Sea Eagles vs Warriors

-2.5 Raiders vs Cowboys

-1.5 Knights vs Tigers

+5.5 Rabbits vs Panthers


NRL Round 17 Recommended Bet List

Bet 2 units Eels -4.5 $1.89 Unitbet

Bet 2 units Sharks +3.5 $1.91 William Hill / +2.5 $1.95 Ubet

Bet 2 units Cowboys +5.5 $1.95 CrownBet

Bet 2 units Knights-Tigers under 44.5 William Hill

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

Eels, Dragons, Storm, Sharks, Eagles, Cowboys, Knights, Panthers


Game Previews

Note: FYI, with the introduction of Thursday night games it is now near impossible with the work and list of things that I chose to do to have all game previews written and finished until late in each week or early weekend. With the final team lists not announced until Tuesday afternoon, which I then re rate against (current performance, key ins and outs / final team lists and then look to handicap each up coming game then consider a range of form and match up factors towards final potential bets and written game previews. In short with team lists announced late Tuesday that then leaves two days to work through these tasks. I will focus the first preview notes at any game that has a recommended bet so that any key factors and reasoning is then known in advance, and then be working through each game there after in order of day and time (from Thursday onward).

Key Contest Stats

Kind thanks to Mark Hull a good friend and keen NRL follower who complies a weekly list of key stats and insights for each game. You can also follow Mark on Twitter here @FootyAssist


Eels vs Bulldogs

-6.5 Eels

Stats

A full Round of NRL gets underway when the Eels host the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium. The Bulldogs had won 9 of 10 against Parramatta until the Eels hit back and recorded B2B wins in 2016 for the 1st time since 2010. In 3 of the last 4 clashes the winning margin has been by 13+, while points have proven hard to come by in recent match ups, with 5 of the last 6 meetings tallying 34 or less. The Eels have had the week off but will need to turn around a poor record off the Bye as they have lost 11 of their last 13 off the break. They have won 5 of their last 6 at ANZ Stadium with a 5-1 cover record, while they have won 3 of their last 4 as a home favourite. The Eels have moved back into the Top 8, but have some work to do in attack and defence rankings where they rate 12th and 13th, giving them a negative 36 differential that ranks 11th. They are 8-7 ATS and have covered in 7 of their last 10 as a favourite, while they have a 9-4 cover record when laying a small start, with 5-1 record at ANZ Stadium from that said position. In total match points they are 9-6 Under with 4 of their last 5 totaling 38 or less, while they are 15-5 Under at ANZ Stadium since 2014. The Eels remain unbeaten with a half time lead, winning 7 from 7, while they have lost 5 of 6 when trailing at the break. Semi Radradra has scored 4 tries from his last 6 matches played at ANZ Stadium and has been the Eels 1st try scorer in 3 of the last 6 clashes with the Bulldogs. The Bulldogs returned to form last week to make it 5 losses from their last 6 games and for the 14th time from 15 games they went to half time with a single figure score, while it was the 4th time from their last 6 games they couldn’t score a 1st half try. They have lost their last 7 straight as the away team when starting as an outsider, while they have lost 5 of their last 6 at ANZ Stadium as a small underdog. Canterbury has dropped to 13th on the ladder, their lowest position for the season, they rank 8th in defence and continue to rank as the worst attacking team in the NRL, averaging less than 14 PPG. They are 9-6 ATS and have covered in 7 of their last 9 as an underdog, while they have also covered in 5 of their last 6 from the same position. The Bulldogs have a 12-3 total points record in favour of the Unders, while they have had the same result in 11 of their last 13 at ANZ Stadium as an outsider and in 5 of their last 6 against the Eels. The Dogs have led at half time just twice to be 1- 1, while they have lost 8 of 13 when trailing at the break. Only twice in their last 13 games have the Bulldogs scored more than 3 tries.

Preview

Eels have won 5 of last 6 at Homebush, 3 of last 6 H2H. Bulldogs have lost 4 of last 6 at the Ground, and have failed to score more than 14 pts at 11 of their last 19 games. They now also lose Graham and Eastwood.

Bulldogs have lost 5 of their last 6 games and now sit bottom 4, 13th on the table. That one win of their last 6 three weeks back against the Dragons look some short term heat off the coach and management but if they continue to offer up what we saw last Friday in their poor loss to the Warriors (on the back of the ordinary rubbish that they have already served up this season) they’ll be jumping out of tree’s demanding change. Clearly the issue is their attack, which is just listless and directionless, while they have attempted to shift the ball more they are still going forward first and so having not made yardage and created any room are then easy pickings as they push sideways (as opposed to hitting the ball with speed, direct, and then passing to support. If they can get themselves into a tight arm wrestle with teams like the Dragons or a depleted Sharks or alike then they can make it close or even come up with a win, but against sides with up tempo attack and some brains about their ball use and so with the potential to mount points then they are high risk.

The Eels get the bye at the right time, and with that break have named possibly their strongest line up for months. I was happy to risk them a few weeks ago when they looked a bit busted and on the road vs Cowboys (Darwin), they then got a few players back and were able to beat a poor Dragons, then get a week off just when they needed it. With the right list they can power forward through the middle and make some room for their halves, fullback and edges to play, and in each of those positions they have attack and points. When at their best in each of their recent wins they have scored 22 to 30 points in attack, and defended well, which most weeks would blow the Bulldogs out of contention, and 5 of their last 6 wins have been at margins of 6 or more.

The game style and opponent looks right here for the Eels. While they like to play physical Brad Arthur also likes to play with some tempo to then give his key backs some room to attack. He can come up with some astute game plans, and likes to play smart attack and set play options, all of which can work against the Bulldogs.

Bet 2 units Eels -4.5 $1.89 Unitbet


Titans vs Dragons

-1.5 Titans

Stats

The Dragons travel to the glitter strip to take on the Titans who return home after B2B away legs. There has been little between the 2 sides in recent seasons, with both sides winning 5 of the last 10 clashes, while the last 4 meetings on the Coast have also been split evenly. The Titans ran out easy winners in the only encounter last season and will be looking to record B2B wins over the Dragons for the very 1st time. In 5 of the last 7 clashes the winning margin has been by 5 points or less, while 3 of the last 4 have totaled 40 or more. The most recent meeting is the only time from the last 11 match ups that the Titans have led at half time, but they have outscored the Dragons in the 2nd half in 6 of the last 8. A Dragons try has been the 1st scoring play in 6 of the last 7, while the Titans have scored the last try of the match in 8 of the last 9. The Titans returned to the winners circle last week to end a 4 game losing run and will be looking to improve on a poor record at home where they have lost 4 of their last 5. They have also lost 5 of 7 this season against the current Top 8. Gold Coast remain in 14th spot and rank 7th in attack, but have the equal worst defensive record in the comp, conceding an average of 26.4 PPG. They are 7-8 ATS and have a 16-8 cover record as a small underdog since 2014. In total match points they are 11-4 Over with only 2 of their 15 matches totaling less than 40. The Titans have their 2nd and final Bye after this match and have a poor record in the Rounds leading into the break, losing 7 of their last 8. The Titans have lost 5 from 6 with a half time lead, while they have overcome a half time deficit in 3 of 8. The Dragons also recorded a win last start following B2B losses in a come from behind win against the Knights where they posted more than 16 points for the 1st time in more than a month. They have lost 3 of their last 4 on the road and in 5 of their last 6 away games the margin result has been 13+ (3 wins & 2 losses). The Dragons have held stationery on the ladder to remain in 6th spot, with an attack and defence that also rank 6th . They are 8-7 ATS and have failed to cover in their last 4 straight, while they also failed to cover in their last 4 as a road favourite. In total match points they are 8-7 Under, with a 5-2 Under record on the road. The Dragons have won 8 of 11 with a half time lead and have lost 3 from 4 when trailing.

Preview

Titans cracked a win for us last week and while that was a positive they were still lucky to be up against a weak Tigers outfit who offered meek opposition. They’d lost 4 prior, still sit 14th and have had a season riddled with key injury outs and disruption. Returning home off two away legs will help them but their record against teams in the top half of the comp is still poor at just 2 from 7 (vs current top 8 sides), and worst still they are one side also with a poor record the week before a bye (with it appears often them more interested in relaxing prior to their break) losing 7 of their last 8 such contests. Their looseness in defence is the key issue, 28 points a week and although just 14 points last week their continued to be the signs in the middle of the field of them opening up way too easily that they are likely to be hammered by better sides.

Dragons clearly are no good thing at present either, their last 4 offerings very limp, soft win over Tigers, losses to Bulldogs and Eels and then squeaking home late after being 18 pts behind at home to the bottom placed side in Knights. Vaughn is a major out, they get de Belin back but some doubt over Frizzel (ankle), and they are not necessarily the best distant travelers. I just think they have some smarts in their halves and coaching staff to target the Titans in the right areas in and around the middle, and if they get their roll forward and kicking game right do have some attack in them. The change in the halves with McCrone dropped and Mann moved looks a positive change, and some shake up won’t hurt them.

We wouldn’t trust either team to help an old lady across the road they have both been so inconsistent, going with Dragons having a near full strength line up and likely smarts to play this the right way against an opponent who open up to points way too easily.


Broncos vs Storm

+3.5 Broncos

Stats

The 1st of 2 Top 5 blockbusters in Round 17 sees the Broncos hosting the Storm from Suncorp Stadium. Melbourne has dominated the Broncos since losing the 2006 Grand Final, winning 18 of the 22 matches, including 8 of the last 9 at Suncorp Stadium. A winning margin of 1-12 points has been the result in 5 of the last 6 meetings, while 6 of the last 8 clashes have finished Unders in total match points, with only 2 of them surpassing 38. Only on 5 occasions over the last 10 years spanning 22 games have the Broncos led the Storm at half time, while no team has had more half time leads in 2017 than Melbourne. The last time either of the 2 sides tasted defeat was against the Roosters, Brisbane in Round 13 and Melbourne in their last start. The Broncos return home after an upset win against the Raiders in Canberra. They have their 2nd Bye following this match and have won 3 of their last 4 at home heading into the week off, with their only loss being a 42 point thrashing in the corresponding match last year. Brisbane has moved to 3rd on the ladder with the 5th best attack and the 3rd best defence, giving them an 86 point differential that ranks 2nd only to Melbourne. They are 8-7 ATS and have covered in 3 of their last 4 at Suncorp Stadium, while they have covered in 6 of 8 at the ground since 2014 as an outsider. In total match points Brisbane is 8-7 in favour of the Overs, with 4 of their last 5 at home going that way, while they are 6-2 Over at home as an underdog since 2014. Brisbane has scored the opening points of the match in 6 of their 7 home games this season. Corey Oates has been the 1st try scorer of the match in his last 2 matches, while he has scored 5 tries in his last 5 games for Brisbane. The Broncos have won 6 of 8 with a half time lead and have overcome a half time deficit in 3 of 6. Melbourne is on the road for the 6th time from their last 8 matches, while it’s their 4th match in a row against a Top 8 opponent. Their last 2 matches have been decided by Golden Point and for the 2nd time this season they have conceded 22 points or more in B2B matches. They remain on top of the table however, with the Number 1 ranked attack and differential, while they rank 2nd in defence. They have won 7 of 8 away games and 12 of their last 13 as a road favourite. The Storm is 8-7 ATS and has covered in 8 of their last 12 as a road favourite, while they have covered in 5 of their last 6 at Suncorp Stadium. Melbourne is 9-6 Under in total match points, while they have had Unders results in 14 of their last 20 as a road favourite. They have won 9 of 12 with a half time lead, while they have won 2 from 2 when trailing at the break. Storm winger Suliasa Vunivalu scored a hat trick against the Broncos in the corresponding match last year. Home teams have won 6 of the last 7 matches refereed by Ashley Klein.

Preview

Smith to play for Storm, so significant in, they now back to full strength and I’d suggest very focused on their effort here. They have held a major hold over the Broncos winning 18 of the last 22 matches, including an excellent record also at Suncorp winning 8 of their last 9 at the ground. Broncos remain with key outs in Boyd and Milford.

Excellent clash with two heavy weights of the competition. I’m happy to enjoy it for what it is, and importantly see who measures up, how and what learnings we then take out of it for the coming months ahead and September (finals series). The Broncos were good last week, their opponent (Raiders) poor, but a good way win, unlike the media I’m not convinced on Marshall in the halves, he has many high risk hit or miss plays in him and defensively can be a major (and successful) target, the outs of Boyd and Milford in opponents like the Storm are key. The Storm have shown some quality depth through recent weeks, and again should have won last week with a 14 point lead into the 2nd half against an all but full strength Roosters, they have something in this group at present that is quality, a belief and a focus. Getting all key Origin rep players plus McLean back they’ll be ready to go.

I think the handicap looks about right, and as suggested I’m happy to watch, enjoy and learn. The Broncos make a habit of normally aiming up vs the Storm, clearly the Storm make a habit of playing well (and winning) vs the Broncos. I’d expect that Marshall and Hunt will be heavily spotted, while the edge of Tonumaipea and Carr looks the obvious for the Broncos to be working over. Storm for me in a likely close game.

Bet 2 units Sharks +3.5 $1.91 William Hill / +2.5 $1.95 Ubet


Roosters vs Sharks

+1.5 Roosters

Played in Gosford

Stats

The 1st of 3 Saturday matches and the 2nd Top 5 clash of the Round, with the Roosters taking a home game to Gosford where they will take on the reigning Premiers Cronulla. The Sharks have recorded 5 straight victories over the Roosters, including a 25 point thrashing when they last met in Round 25 2016, which was the Sharks biggest win over the Tri-Colours since 2000. A winning margin of 1-12 points has been the result in 6 of the previous 7 meetings, while 6 of the last 8 clashes have topped 40 points. The Roosters have won 56 of the 91 matches against the Sharks but they meet at Central Coast Stadium for the very 1st time. It hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for the Tri-Colours, who have lost 8 of their last 9 at the venue. The Roosters have won 3 on the trot and 5 of their last 6 to remain in 2nd spot and they have spent just 1 week outside the Top 4 all season. They are ranked 3rd in attack and 4th in defence, giving them an 83 point differential that also ranks 3rd. The Roosters are 6-9 ATS and have failed to cover in 5 of 6 this year as a small home favourite, but have won 5 of those matches, while they have also failed to cover in their last 7 against the Sharks. They are 8-7 Under in total match points, but only 1 of their last 6 has tallied less than 40, while 10 of their 12 matches played at Gosford have also topped 40. The Roosters are unbeaten this season with a half time lead, winning 9 from 9, while they have lost 3 of 5 when trailing at the break. A Roosters try has been the 1st scoring play in 4 of the last 5 clashes with the Sharks, while Connor Watson crossed in both matches against Cronulla last year. The Sharks have lost 2 of their last 3 and 4 of their 5 losses this season have been against sides currently in the Top 8. They are unbeaten on the road, winning 6 from 6, while they have also won 6 of their last 7 as a road outsider. Cronulla have dropped from 3rd to 5th after last week’s loss to Manly and their attack remains an issue with a ranking of 11th , while defensively they rank as the best in the League. They are 5-10 ATS and have failed to cover in their last 6 straight, but have covered in 8 of their last 9 as a road dog. In total match points they are 11-4 Under, with their last 5 on the road totaling 38 or less. The Sharks have trailed at half time on 10 occasions but have come back to win 6 of those, while they have won 4 of 5 with a half time lead. Valentine Holmes has scored 3 tries in his 4 games against the Roosters.

Preview

Roosters without Cordner and Taukeiaho, Evans also in some doubt, so 3 key forwards. Sharks without Bailey at #9 but bring in Fa’amanu Brown who has played a lot of lower grade rep footy as a #9. Gosford an interesting venue, the Roosters are only 1 from 9 when playing here and come into this off a long distant away game (Adelaide) and so back to back road trips. Sharks come off a poor home offering and loss, tempered slightly by their poor long term record vs Eagles, but soundly beaten looking very disinterested for much of the game. But we’ve discussed this previously this season, as the current title holders this week to week stuff doesn’t always hold the fire it should, but they have also shown that off the back of a poor offering and a kick up the backside they do respond. They have won their last 5 straight vs Roosters, won 6 from 6 away from home so far this season and covered the line at 5 of those 6 away games.

While the Roosters sit in 2nd spot they also run hot and cold, in and out of games and in and out every other week, and this has been happening all year long. It’s a bad habit to develop, and the sort of attitude and lack of performance that does become habit, and can really hurt you when it matters, especially late in the season. They got out of that game at the death last week, down 14 late in the game vs the Storms very under strength side, very luck, and I thought all the celebration and back slapping in winning masked over they once again under performance and complacency. This is a different offering, if the Sharks are half serious as I expect they’ll be a very tough nut to crack. I’ve been happy to take the Roosters on when it’s looked the right scenario, this again looks something similar.

The Sharks are what they are. It’s a strong list, they have belief and confidence when required, they just have to be hungry here. I expect they will, I think the market has over reacted this week, I have the Sharks marked a small favs and I want to be with them.


Sea Eagles vs Warriors

-6.5 Sea Eagles

Played in Perth

Stats

A home game for Manly but both they and the Warriors will travel to Perth for their 3rd ever clash in the West and their 2nd meeting at NIB Stadium. The Sea Eagles have owned the Warriors in recent seasons, winning the last 5 straight and 11 of the last 12, none sweeter than the 2011 Grand Final. Manly got home in a Golden Point thriller in the corresponding match with the Warriors last year. In 8 of the last 12 meetings the total match points have finished Unders with all 8 matches failing to breach 39, while only 3 of the previous 9 clashes have had a winning margin of 13+. The Sea Eagles have won 4 in a row and 6 of their 7 and look to be Finals bound for the 1 st time since 2014. They are unbeaten since Round 2 against sides currently out of the Top 8, while they have won 6 of their last 8 as a favourite at venues other than Brookvale Oval. For the 1st time this season the Sea Eagles are in the Top 4, with the 4th best attack and 5th best defence. They are 9-5 ATS and have covered in their last 5 against the Warriors, while they have also covered in 10 of their last 13 away from Brookvale Oval and in 7 of their last 9 under Gavin Badger. In total match points they are 9-5 in favour of the Unders, with 4 of their last 5 finishing that way, while they are 10-2 Under from their last 12 matches away from Brookvale. Manly have been great front runners, winning 6 from 7 with a half time lead, but have lost 4 of 6 when trailing at the break. Tom Trbojevic scored a try in each of his 2 games against the Warriors last season. The Warriors will once again embark on the NRL’s longest road trip when they head to Perth. They have a terrible record in the West and are yet to record a win in 20 years of making the journey, losing 8 from 8. The Warriors have won 3 of their last 4, but have lost 6 of 7 on the road this season and as mentioned many times previously, their long term away record is also poor, with 10 losses from their last 12 away, while they have won just 2 of their last 18 as a road outsider. They are currently 11th and rank 10th in attack and 12th in defence, conceding 20 points or more in 10 of their 15 games (including 8 of 10 away games). They are 6-9 ATS and have covered in only 9 of their last 28 matches played away from home. In total match points they are 9-6 Under, but their last 3 on the road have totaled 46 or more, while 8 of their last 9 day games have also tallied 46 or more. The Warriors have won 6 of 8 with a half time lead, but have lost 5 of 6 when trailing. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck has scored in his last 4 matches, but he hasn’t scored in his last 5 matches against Manly.

Preview

I think the 8 point margin looks about right and I’m happy to look on. For mine that was the Eagles best win last week, and with what looked their best player list this season, big forwards up front, another 3 big men off the bench, strong physical play and dominance through the middle against a good opponent (and away),  good quality win. They now have another away game, this time a distant one all the way across to Perth and lose Sironen with injury.

Warriors are 0/8 when playing in Perth, for what is the longest road trip in the game. They are without Luke and still have some doubt over whether Foran plays. While they have won 3 of their last 4 it’s still not a strong form line, Bulldogs, Titans, weakened Broncos? They need to open this up in to an open game, move the Eagles big middle around and play some footy at them, but hard to see that they will.

I’m yet to find a good thing out of an NRL game in Perth, like what the Eagles are doing but happy to pass on an 8 point handicap.


Raiders vs Cowboys

-2.5 Raiders

Stats

The Cowboys will leave the warm weather of North Queensland and travel to the Nation’s Capital to take on the Raiders in what is sure to be a chilly night in Canberra. The Cowboys have won 3 of the last 4 clashes with the Raiders, but have won only 1 of the last 4 meetings at GIO Stadium. Only 2 of the last 7 meetings have been decided by a margin of 13+, while 7 of the last 9 clashes have tallied 41 or more. The Raiders have lost 3 straight and 6 of their last 8, while they have a 4-3 record at home this season. In 6 of their last 8 matches the winning margin has been by single figures. They have dropped to 11th after last week’s home loss to Brisbane, with an attack that ranks 2nd, but they are ranked 10th defensively and have conceded 16 or more in their last 8. The raiders have lost 6 of 9 against sides currently in the Top 8. Canberra is 8-7 ATS and has covered in only 2 of their last 8, but they have covered in 5 of their last 6 against the Cowboys. They are 8-7 Under in total match points, while 5 of their 7 home games have totaled 40 or more. The Raiders have won only 1 of 5 when trailing at half time and they have 4 wins from 7 games when leading at the break. A Raiders try has been the 1st scoring play in the last 3 clashes with the Cowboys, while Jack Wighton has been the 1st try scorer in 2 of the last 3 meetings. The Cowboys have won 3 of their last 4 and 7 of 8 this season against sides currently out of the Top 8. For the 6th week in a row, the Cowboys are in 7th place, with an attack that ranks 8th and a defence that ranks 9 th. They are 11-4 ATS and have covered in their last 6 straight, while they have also covered in their last 7 straight as a road underdog. In total match points they are 10-5 Under, with 6 of their last 8 totaling 38 or less. The Cowboys have scored the 1st try of the 2nd half in 9 of the last 11 against the Raiders and in 8 of their last 10, while Kyle Feldt has been the 1st try scorer of the match in 3 of their last 6. The Cowboys Coen Hess has scored in both his matches against the Raiders and is the NRL’s most prolific try scoring forward in 2017 with 10. Home teams have won 6 of the last 7 under Ben Cummins, but home faves have covered in only 4 of his last 22.

Preview

Ah, what to make of the Raiders. They let me down again last week, and having had a couple of close looks at the game again since, and some of their recent form I’m just not sure that everything looks right. They’ve lost the grunt and yardage up front that has been the mainstay to their successful game plan through recent seasons. The form of their halves has been terrible for probably 8 or more weeks now, looking devoid of all confidence and belief. I’ve never been a fan of Leilua, significant ego and prone to so many dumb errors he to has lost all form and become nothing but a painful interruption and passenger with error, missed D and shite attitude. They now sit 11th, for mine won’t now make the 8, have now lost 6 of their last 8, lost their last 3 when it has mattered most and are consistently leaking 20 to 22 points a week. It’s certainly all a mess, and that loss at home to the depleted Broncos last week now reads even more poorly given the Storm’s thumping win in Brisbane last night.

Where as the Cowboys even with out JT have been ticking weeks over one after another in a positive way.  That was a good clutch win last week at home vs Panthers, they have won 3 of their last 5 and it could well read 6 straight wins with any ounce of luck. What Coach Green has done is change things up such they haven’t had the reliance on Thurston, he’s also given them some belief and game plans to make this happen, and they collectively have stood up. With Thurston now gone for the season I’d like to see Green tweak his attack plan a little further and play some more direct footy with the advantage that they have in the middle with their big men, the likes of Asiata, Taumalolo, Hess and Jensen. They opened the Panthers up through the middle and in behind the play the ball numerous times last week but also looked to play side ways through habit more than I thought they should have. The Raiders also have issues in these same areas with some lazy and slow big men and holes straight up or in behind which the Cows can target. Te Maire Martin might be a positive find, I’m interested to see how he settles in and aims up.

A very cold Saturday night and distant away leg is not ideal for Cowboys, but they have been full of enthusiasm and positive play and I see no reason why this can’t take them a long way into the game again. The Raiders can aim up, but they again look risk, I want to be with the positive.

Bet 2 units Cowboys +5.5 $1.95 CrownBet


Knights vs Tigers

-1.5 Knights

Stats

Even with 10 Rounds to go, this meeting shapes as a potential play off for the wooden spoon. Both sides are anchored at the bottom of the ladder on 8 points with a long list of losses, the Knights losing 11 of their last 12 and the Tigers losing 12 of their last 14. The Knights have won 5 of their last 7 against the Tigers, including 4 of the last 5 played in Newcastle. In the previous 5 meetings the winning margin has been by 1-12 points, while 3 of the last 4 have failed to breach 34. The Knights return home after 3 consecutive road games and they were well in the mix in their last 2. Their only 3 wins over the last seasons have been at home and they start as a home favourite for the 1st time since Round 19, 2015. Newcastle is 15th and rank 14th in both attack and defence. They are 7-7 ATS and have covered in 4 of their last 5, but are 4-10 when covering as a home favourite dating back to 2014. The Knights are also split evenly in total match points, with a 7-7 record, but 5 of their last 6 have totaled 46 or more. They have led at half time on 8 occasions this season but have gone on to win only 1 of those, while they have lost 5 of 6 when trailing. Nathan Ross is the Knights leading try scorer with 10 and he has scored 4 tries from his last 6 games in Newcastle. The Tigers have lost 7 in a row and another defeat this week will be a new club record for the most consecutive losses. They have also lost their last 4 on the road and their last 4 away games leading into a Bye. For the 2nd week in a row and the 5th time this season, the Tigers are in last place on the ladder, with the equal worst defence and the 2nd worst attack. They are 5-10 ATS and have failed to cover in their last 4 against the Knights, while they have covered in only 2 of 8 day time matches this season. In total match points the Tigers are 9-6 Under, but are 5-2 Over on the road, while since 2014 they are 8-2 Over as a small road dog. The Tigers have won 3 from 7 with a half time lead and have lost 8 from 8 when behind at the break. A Tigers try has been the 1st scoring play in 7 of th last 8 meetings with the Knights.

Preview

Bottom two table sides face off in Newcastle. Knights have a good head to head record winning 5 of the last 7, and the Knights best offerings have been these Sunday arvo home games where they can also drag in a crowd. Tedesco is a very major out for the Tigers, they have lost their last 7 straight and certainly lost their way, and hope they have of attacking options and positive play certainly now look missing.

While it doesn’t look the most attractive of games the Knights do look suited back at home and against another struggling opponent now with this key out. I think the markets over stated the likely attack and points in this game, while it does look loose and open 46 it a big mark for them to chase, and with out the attack influence and spark of Tedesco. I want to be against it.

Bet 2 units Knights-Tigers under 44.5 William Hill


Rabbits vs Panthers

+5.5 Rabbits

Stats

Round 17 draws to a close with the Rabbitohs hosting the Panthers at ANZ Stadium. Souths have won 6 of the last 8 clashes with Penrith, while they are undefeated at ANZ Stadium against the Panthers, winning 6 from 6. The last 3 meetings have been decided by a single score, while 5 of the last 10 have totaled 50 or more. The Rabbitohs are coming off the Bye and have won 8 of their last 11 off the break, but have been poor at ANZ Stadium this season, winning only 2 of 7, while they have also lost 7 of their last 8 at the ground as a home underdog. Souths season appears to be on life support as they have had both of their Bye’s and are still only 12th, while they rank 13th in attack and 11th in defence. They are 8-6 ATS and have covered in 4 of their last 5, but have failed to cover in 5 of their last 6 at ANZ Stadium with a small start. Souths are 8-6 Under in total match points, including 4 of their last 5, while they are 5-2 Under off the Bye since 2014. They have led at half time on just 3 occasions in 2017, winning 2 of those, while they have lost 8 of 10 when trailing. Rabbitohs back rower Angus Crichton has scored 5 tries in his last 3 games, including a hat trick in his last start. The Panthers 4 game winning run came to an end last week, going doing to the Cowboys. That defeat made it 7 losses from 7 games against the current Top 8, but they have won 6 of 7 against their bottom 8 counterparts. Penrith are 9th on both the ladder proper and in attack, while they rank 7th in defence. They are 5-9 ATS and have covered in 5 of 7 against the bottom 8 sides. Penrith has an 8-6 record in total match points which favours the Unders, while 6 of their last 7 at ANZ Stadium have also gone Under. The Panthers have won 4 of 5 with a half time lead and have lost 6 of 8 when trailing. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak has been the Panthers 1st try scorer in 3 of the last 4 meetings with the Rabbitohs. Home teams have failed to cover in the last 6 matches with Matt Cecchin at the helm, while the Rabbitohs have lost 5 of their last 6 under Cecchin.

Preview

Rabbits come off a win (Titans) then into the bye, into an opponent they have a good record against especially at Homebush, winning 6 of the last 8 head to head and the last 6 straight at this ground. I don’t like their form, in particular their flimsy weak defence, especially against teams in the top side of the table. They came from behind to win last start, but for mine more to do with the a busted and weak Titans laying down than nay great play.

Well the Panthers, 0/7 vs top 8 teams, beaten away in Townsville, but these games against teams in the bottom 4 or 5 have been where they have stepped up, all but flat track bullies. It’s interesting that they have such a poor record vs this opponent, and at this ground, but this should be a game they win.

Like Panthers to win, but happy to stay out.


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