The odds are short but sweet about the Storm to kick things off in Round 13.
Melbourne are nearly at prohibitive odds but back at AAMI Park and taking on the bottom-placed Newcastle Knights this should be two more points coming the way of Craig Bellamy’s side.
The Storm head into this game off the back of a tough 14-6 win over Souths at nib Stadium in Perth in which the game was in the balance for a long way before a late try sealed it.
Newcastle were competitive once against last time out but blew a halftime lead to go down 30-20 against the Panthers.
BACKING UP AFTER ORIGIN
Craig Bellamy’s biggest concern going into this match will be how his Origin stars back up after Wednesday’s Game I at Suncorp Stadium.
Melbourne will have a number of players engaged but none more important than Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith.
Should they come through the game unscathed and take their spots in the field then the Storm are specials!
NEWCASTLE has made significant inroads this season despite winning only two games in 2017.
They are far more competitive than they were in 2016 and have led at halftime in six matches during the current campaign, however, their second halves haven’t been as fruitful. Of those six games, they’ve gone on to win just once and that was against Canberra a few weeks ago.
Nathan Brown’s side has to get better in second halves if they want to add a few more wins to the board but the positive thing is that they have outgunned some strong teams (Penrith, Canberra, Gold Coast, North Queensland, Canterbury and Souths) in the opening 40 minutes.
Luxbet are paying $3.90 for the Knights to be leading at the break here.
MELBOURNE has been the dominant partner in this relationship.
Bellamy’s men have won 10 of the past 13 clashes but the positive thing for the Knights is that their three wins during that span have come since 2013.
Although Newcastle had a wretched year in 2016 their two efforts against the Storm were full of merit where they lost by four points on both occasions.
It’s hard not to like the Storm in this even though they are tight in the market. Luxbet @ $1.25 is offering top odds.
A lot depends on whether Cronk and Smith back up after Origin but should they take their place then we can’t see the Knights causing one of the upsets of the season even allowing for their uplift in form.
The value here will be in exotics and the Knights to be leading at halftime could be the way to go or if you want to go a bit wider, the Newcastle/Melbourne half-full double returning $8.50 (William Hill).
NEWCASTLE / MELBOURNE HALF-FULL DOUBLE