Match Previews

As well as providing his best value bets every week, our NRL guru Steve Green also previews every NRL game for members. Here’s Steve’s thoughts for every Bulldogs game.

To get Steve’s previews plus his best bets each week, join NRL Tips now!

NRL Round 17: Bulldogs v Roosters

This is one of those games where even die hard fans such as myself are not very excited about.

The Bulldogs are the worst team in the competition, and are currently dealing with a bad injury toll and a host of suspensions.

The Roosters are a shell of the team they once were and are further weakened this week with the loss of Crichton and Tedesco.

The Roosters still have plenty of talent, but last weekend most of these guys looked like they had given up on 2021. J Moz has not been the same since his brother retired, Lui and Taukieaho are well off their best, while JWH was manhandled by the Storm.

More concerning for the Roosters, is the fact that young Sam Walker is coming crashing back to reality, with the diminutive half now getting rag dolled in defence and attack. Teams are moving the ball to work him over and the rest of the Roosters defence is no longer strong enough to adjust and cover for him.

In terms of Coach Barrett, I have serious concerns about his ability to identify talent. Topine should still be in the 17 and L Lewis deserves another shot. Atoni has finally be brought back into the top 17, but only through necessity… so I am not sure Coach Barrett is using his limited resources as effectively as he could be.

Although the Roosters are falling away in 2021 and are not genuine contenders in my view, they should be far too good here. Radley’s return at lock and Manu at 1 should be enough to see the tries flow towards the end of each half.

If you are going to miss watching one NRL game this year, this should be the one!

Predicted score Roosters 30 – Bulldogs 10

NRL Round 15: Eels v Bulldogs

The Eels are great at demolishing the struggling teams and before last weekend, I think the Eels would be favoured to win by close to 30 here.

However the Doggies win over the Dragons was very impressive and so the line of 20 does seem far more appropriate. Averillo at 6 and Meaney at 1 both looked great, while Marshall-King at 9 is also a big improvement for the Doggies.

The hard working Doggies forwards totally dominated the Dragons pack and although this is a strong looking Eels team, it is not the strongest they have fielded this year.

On top of the loss of Mahoney, the Eels are now also without Sivo. Because Ferguson continues to play reserve grade, that means the Eels wingers for this match will be debutant Sean Russell and Haze Dunster.

One of the stronger aspects of the Eels line up is their outside back pairing of Cotric and Hopoate, so the Bulldogs will fancy their chances of pulling off another big upset here.

The Eels have also named Keegan Hipgrave in place of Bryce Cartwright, and I can only presume that Coach Arthur is using this game as a chance to rotate his squad around and give some fringe players some time in first grade – just in case he needs them to step up the business end of the season.

I am still a little concerned by some of Coach Barrett’s coaching decisions, such as playing an underperforming Napa ahead of Atoni, who was great in 2021 and has been tearing up the NSW Cup with the Mounties.

And while the Eels love Bankwest, the Doggies should have a few supporters there too and so I think this one could be slightly closer the market is predicting and the Doggies at the line is worth a small bet.

Predicted score Eels 30 – Bulldogs 16

NRL Round 14: Dragons v Bulldogs

With Dufty back, as well as guys like Ravawala and Sims from an amazing Origin performance, this Dragons team is looking very strong.

Hunt and Norman played better against the hapless Broncos last weekend and that might be enough for them to get their mojo back.

As for the Doggies, while they look a little stronger with Marshall-King at 9, this is a big ask for a team that looks destined for the wooden spoon.

Every other team in the competition, even the likes of the Broncos, have a few star players that the team can call upon to pull out something special. For the Doggies, they do not have anyone close to resembling a strike weapon.

With Addo-Carr and Matt Burton coming next year, things will get better, but at the moment – this playing roster is simply not good enough.

I have been reluctant to back the Dragons much this year, and after a bit of a lull in form, I think they are going to be too good here and should cover the line.

Predicted score Dragons 32 – Bulldogs 14

NRL Round 12: Panthers v Bulldogs

What can you say about this game? As big of a head start as I have ever seen. And while this is not the weakest Doggies squad they have put on the park, at home the Panthers will fancy their chances of getting to 50… such is the speed of the game in 2021.

With the Doggies welcoming back Jack Hetherington, as well as having other guys recently in trouble for high shots (Napa and Seumanufagai), the chances of the Doggies being without a player or two during the 80 minutes is high.

On my ratings, the Doggies are a decent chance of keeping this tight early and that would give them a great chance of covering the line.

However as we saw last night with the Broncos… the Panthers and the Storm are so good at taking advantage of tiring defences, that I am too worried about a second half points explosion to back the plus here….while I do not think this Doggies team will roll over as easy as many are predicting, so not willing to take on such a big line.

If I had to have a bet on this one, I would be taking the big plus on offer, but the way the game is being officiated this year has enabled the Panthers to play at a pace that cannot be matched by most of their rivals, so as foreshadowed earlier in the week, I am going to be very tight with my NRL betting this weekend.

Predicted Score Panthers 38 – Bulldogs 6

NRL Round 9: Dragons v Bulldogs

The Dragons losing Zac Lomax is a big blow to a team that is starting to show some really worrying signs.

Earlier in the season the Dragons looked to be playing tough, error-free footy… but in recent weeks their form has really dropped off. From Round 5 to 8 (the past month) the Dragons have the second-most missed tackles, the fifth-most line breaks conceded and the fourth-most run metres conceded. But worst of all, they have the least amount of metres made.

With Ravalawa and Pereira still missing, they are losing a lot of go-forward early in their sets, and the likes of Vaughan and Lawrie are having to do their hit ups without any momentum. Ramsay is also in doubt, meaning this could be a very understrength Dragons backline.

Norman also looks to be straying from the gameplan at times and falling back into the habit of making poor decisions, while the strong early season form of guys like Fuimaono, Kerr and Alvaro is dropping off.

While the Doggies stats are nothing too flash, they once again showed some heart to stage a mini fightback against the high-flying Eels last weekend.

After a strong game for the Mounties, there is a very good chance that Luke Lewis is promoted back into the top grade and this will allow Alvero to push out to the centres and strengthen their backline further.

I do not think the Dragons have done enough to be such heavy favourites for this one and I think the Doggies offer a little bit of value at the line.

Predicted score Dragons 22 – Bulldogs 16

Steve Green is back with NRL Tips in 2021. With all of Steve's best bets and full previews of every NRL game, it's the only way to bet the NRL. Join now to start beating the bookies!


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