Dragons vs Sharks
The Dragons have been robbed of their two best players and so the bookies have rightfully installed the Sharks favourite. However as I stated in the Betting 360 podcast interview I recorded with Mark, I really thought the Sharks were over-achieving based on their statistical performance, and in recent weeks this has been partially vindicated.
After losing to the Titans in Cronulla, the Sharks then scraped home against a heavily depleted Wests outfit. So although the Sharks do have the edge here, I don’t think it is as big an edge as the bookies think.
The Dragons were blown off the park early by the Storm in their last encounter, but they actually managed to fight back and win the second half. I think that once they started to get used to being without Widdop and the unlikely halves pairing of McCrone and Mann found some rhythm, this gusty Dragons outfit showed what they can do.
The loss of Dugan is a big loss, but Nightingale won’t let anyone down at the back and his replacement (Taane Milne) is a strong runner of the ball and will complement the underrated Dragon’s outside backs.
Tip: Sharks by 1.
Bet: Dragons +7.5 (at Unibet and MadBookie)
Tigers vs Rabbitohs
This is one where betting early hasn’t paid off, but hasn’t hurt either. The market hasn’t moved and that is probably fair enough, as this is only a slight value 1 unit play. Although Wests looked good against the Sharks a fortnight ago, I did think that the Sharks played poor footy.
Brooks had his best game of the year for the Tigers and Moses shows the brilliance of what he can do, but he is just too reckless with his passing game. He often throws miracle cut-out passes and it seems to be that with his Eels contract signed, he is throwing caution to the wind and playing a carefree style of footy. While that may pay off on occasions, it is not what this inexperienced Tigers side need. And without Woods lining up, I think Wests will be lacking leadership big time.
As for Souths, they have let us down some times this year… but on my ratings, the likes of Walker, Sutton, Reynolds, Farah and Burgess are all playing very solid footy and some of the lesser known guys like Musgrove, Crichton, Hunt and Talakai are all improving by the week.
This game is being played at what I consider to be a neutral venue and on this basis, I think the Bunnies get the win here.
Tip: Souths by 4
Bet: 1 unit, Souths -1.5 ($2 at Centrebet)
Steve runs the Champion Bets NRL Best Bets package, providing value bets on rugby league by combining his stats and ratings database with an in-depth knowledge gained from watching every minute of every NRL game.