Trent Barrett’s side will be looking to bank another two points here.
Manly are one of the stories of the season and go into this off the back of a Golden Points 21-20 win over Canberra last week – their seventh of the year to put them firmly in the top eight.
Conversely, Newcastle has improved from their one-win season in 2016 to have notched double that already in 2017 but there is still plenty of work to do for Nathan Brown’s side. They were handled 40-12 by a Melbourne Storm side missing Cameron Smith last week.
ATTACK, ATTACK, ATTACK
MANLY’s success this year is down to their new-found attack.
Last season they were averaging a tick over 18 points per game but thanks to the improved play of Daly Cherry-Evans and new halves partner Blake Green, that figure is now up to 23.42ppg.
The Sea Eagles have one of the best attacks in the competition and are ranked third in the NRL in that department with only the Raiders and Dragons having scored more points.
NEWCASTLE has had a reputation for beginning quickly in their games this season and if they are to score an upset here they have to do just that.
Last week they were found out by the best beginners in the league – Melbourne – and were never in the hunt.
The majority of Newcastle’s points are scored in the first halves of games while the second 40 minutes hasn’t been so kind to them. Their attack has improved by four points per game on average from last year, however, defence is still a big issue for the Knights who are ranked last in that category and have leaked 333 points in 12 games this season.
MANLY are aiming for seven straight wins over the Knights.
Focusing on games at Brookvale (or Lottoland, depending on what you want to call it) and Newcastle hasn’t won at the venue since 2006.
We think we have found some value in the Winning Margin market here. In 13 of their past 14 clashes, the margin has been 13+ while eight of those have been by 20 points or more.
The Sea Eagles 19+ Winning Margin is returning $2.40 @ Sportsbet.
Manly represent one of the better bets of the weekend.
Sure, their record at Lottoland hasn’t been great this year with just two wins so far but they did beat the Raiders there last Sunday albeit needing Golden Point to do so.
The quick backup from Sunday will test the Sea Eagles as will the loss of tryscoring machine Jorge Taufua, who is out of the season after tearing an ACL. Interestingly, punters should keep an eye on team lists closer to kick off with Tom Trbojevic named to return from injury.
Their attack will simply be too much for the Knights defence and this should be win number eight on the board for Manly.
If you want a bit of value then take Newcastle to lead at half time. Luxbet @ $3.50 is the best price on offer for that betting option and considering they have led after 40 minutes more often than not this season, it’s not the worst bet you’ll have this weekend.
MANLY 19+ WINNING MARGIN
NEWCASTLE TO LEAD AT HALF TIME