Rd 7 NRL Preview & Betting Tips
A top of the table clash highlights this week’s fixtures.
Bulldogs v Roosters
It’s always a fierce clash when these sides face each other and expect things to be just as big tonight. The Bulldogs produced their best performance of the season with their 27-10 win over the struggling Cowboys. In particular, Aaron Woods had his best game in the blue and white jersey so far, combined with David Klemmer who had a powerful performance with 191 meters. The Roosters looked disjointed and had numerous errors in their disappointing loss against Souths. Star recruit, James Tedesco is yet to find his brilliant form that we saw last season. Good news for Roosters fans is the Chooks have won the past three matches over the Bulldogs. We have seen the Roosters bounce back the week after a surprising loss this season and we expect to see that again tonight. The Roosters won this clash back in Round 2 by 18 points, however, looking at the three previous encounters, the margin was decided by single figures.
Josh Morris has had a great start to the season notching up five tries in six games. He also likes playing against the Roosters. He has scored four tries in his past three matches played against them. Watch out for him to score again tonight.
Best Bet: Roosters 1-12 (Margin) @ $2.90*
Value Bet: Josh Morris to score 1+Try
Warriors v Dragons
Mt Smart Stadium
At the start of the season, no one would have predicted this to be such an exciting clash. The Dragons have become the first team since Melbourne in 2013 to start the season 6-0 after recording a dominant 40-20 win over the Sharks. The Dragons are now outright premiership favourites for the first time since 2011 and come into this round with the best attack in the NRL, averaging over 30 points per game. The Warriors recorded their first loss of the season last week, going down to the Broncos 27-18. It was also the first time this season they had conceded more than 20 points. The head-to-head record between these sides is very one sided towards the Dragons, who have lost just once in their past 14 clashes against the Kiwis. Another concerning stat for the Warriors is that these losses have been decided by double figure margins in the past six games. The Dragons should be too good here.
Matt Dufty absolutely shone in the local derby and showed why he is one of the most exciting fullbacks in the NRL. He notched up two tries, which included the first for the evening. Matt has now scored six tries in his past four games this season.
Best Bet: Dragons (Margin) 1-12 @ $3*
Value Bet: Matt Dufty 1st Try Scorer
Broncos v Storm
Both sides are coming into this clash of the back of big wins. The Broncos ended the Warriors dream run and handed them their first defeat of the season 27-18. Melbourne had been under the microscope after they recorded a second loss against the Tigers and responded with a performance like we’ve become accustomed to, racking up a 40-14 win over the Knights. The big question for Wayne Bennett this weekend will be whether to put Kodi Nikorima back in the halves after the successful combination of Jack Bird and Anthony Milford. Looking at the recent clashes between these teams and Melbourne have had the wood over Brisbane, winning the past three and five of the past six matches. Playing at Suncorp Stadium isn’t an issue for the Storm with only one loss in their past nine matches played there.
Melbourne have won the past two matches very convincingly with a 30-point margin in both games, including keeping the Broncos scoreless in the Preliminary Final last year. For players of total points three of the past five matches have totalled 40 or more points with two of those topping 54 points.
Best Bet: Over 43.5 points @ $2.50*
Value Bet: Melbourne 13+ (Margin) @ $3.20*
Rabbitohs v Raiders
Central Coast Stadium
South Sydney stunned the Roosters last week, notching up a win without their big man, Sam Burgess. Greg Inglis looked to be back to his brilliant best, while George and Tom Burgess produced one of their best games. The Raiders are making up for their slow start to 2018 with back-to-back wins recorded for the first time this season. Blake Austin returned from reserve grade for the Raiders in outstanding fashion, scoring a try. South Sydney are taking this game to Central Coast Stadium, a venue they haven’t played at since 2014, where they lost to Manly. The Raiders haven’t played here since 2005 and have only ever played at the venue on two occasions. The head-to-head stats favour Canberra, who have only seen one loss in the past five matches, which includes three straight wins over the Rabbitohs. For players of total match points, games between these sides tend to be high scoring affairs with the past four matches totalling 50 or more points.
Jarrod Croker has recorded four tries this season and he has also has scored a try in the past two matches against South Sydney. Watch out for him to score again tonight.
Best Bet: Over 49.5 points @ $2.50*
Value Bet: Jarrod Croker to score 1+ try
Tigers v Knights
This game pits two of the most improved sides in the competition against each other, however, we think we have found a solid bet here in Wests Tigers.
The Tigers are 5-1 after six rounds - their best start they’ve had in club history. Ivan Cleary’s men completely dominated the game against Manly last week, racking up a 38-12 win at Lottoland which was their first win at the ground in 14 years.
Currently, the Tigers have the best defence in the competition (11.16ppg) and with two wins against Melbourne and one against the Roosters, that holds them in good stead for this match. Newcastle has lost heavily against both teams already in 2018 so naturally our tip is for the Orange and Black.
Punters should take note that this game is at a neutral venue in Tamworth and off the back of that, we are inclined to back the Tigers yet again with Newcastle’s away form (1-3) being poor so far this season.
Looking for some value? Tigers half Luke Brooks is having a great start to the season and doesn’t mind playing against the Knights. He has scored a four-pointer in consecutive games against the Novacastrians and has two tries already this year.
Best Bet: Wests Tigers (Win) @ $1.60*
Value Bet: Luke Brooks To Score A Try
Cowboys v Titans
This is one of the more interesting games of the weekend. The Cowboys are 1-5 and have dropped their past five matches which is the first time they’ve done that in five years. North Queensland need to get going but errors have been killing their game. If they can hold onto the ball then they’re a big chance of winning here.
Gold Coast won’t be an easy kill though and at 3-3 they’ve had a good start to the season but coming into this game they are up against it, injury-wise, with the likes of Nathan Peats, Dale Copley and Jai Arrow all under a cloud.
Paul Green’s men have found the perfect opponent to break out of their rut as they have beaten the Gold Coast on a club record five straight occasions, with four of those being by double figure margins. Making things that little bit harder for the Titans here is that they’ve dropped five straight in Townsville although it isn’t the fortress it once was as the Cowboys have lost five of their past six there.
A difficult affair but we’re going for the Cowboys in a tight one. Surely they can’t be as bad as they were last week against the Bulldogs, can they?
Best Bet: North Queensland (Win) @ $1.55*
Value Bet: Kyle Feldt First Try Scorer
Eels v Sea Eagles
Is this the week that Parramatta fans will finally get to celebrate a win? The Eels are 0-6 for the first time since 1991 and are the only team in the competition yet to register a win this season. They are currently ranked last in the NRL in attack and defence.
There is one positive for those wishing to take the $2.45 about the Blue and Golds though – they are looking for seven wins from their past eight clashes against Manly.
The Sea Eagles were humbled 38-12 on their home turf by the in-form Wests Tigers last week and have a shocking road record of late. Trent Barrett’s side has dropped nine of their past 10 clashes on the road while their record at Homebush is just as bad with seven straight losses.
Sure there is bound to be some ‘bounce back’ factor from the Sea Eagles but the Eels should be getting really desperate now, especially if they want to salvage something from the season. We’re giving the Eels one more chance.
Best Bet: Parramatta (Win) @ $2.45*
Value Bet: Clint Gutherson First Try Scorer
Sharks v Panthers
Southern Cross Group Stadium
Penrith looks a strong way to finish the round this weekend when they travel to Shark Park. The Panthers are now equal second on the premiership ladder after going 5-1 through six rounds and face a Cronulla side that is without co-captains Paul Gallen and Wade Graham.
The Mountain Men completely dominated the Titans last week and ran for a whopping 1654 metres and with two leaders out of their forward pack, Cronulla looks set to struggle against Anthony Griffin’s side.
If punters think that the trip to the Shire will worry the Panthers side then that could be the case as they look to avoid four straight losses at the venue. The Sharks, however, haven’t been great at home lately with just one win from their past five matches dating back to last season with their losses against the Roosters (twice), Dragons and Raiders.
Penrith is ranked equal second in the defence so far this season and that may be enough to stifle the Sharks spluttering attack on James Maloney’s first game back at Shark Park since leaving there in the offseason.
Best Bet: Penrith (Win) @ $1.50*
Value Bet: Penrith To Score 21-30 Points @ $2.80*