As well as providing his best value bets every week, our NRL guru Steve Green also previews every NRL game for members. Each week on the blog we’ll feature three of his match previews from the eight games. Check out his NRL Round 7 Triple Preview…
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NRL Round 7: Titans vs Rabbitohs (Friday)
The Titans put in their worst performance in an awfully long time against Manly on the weekend. They are now without Tino Fa’asuamaleaui due to a two-week suspension for a shoulder charge. So I understand why the market has Souths a significant favourite away from home.
However the Titans are back at home and have a strong squad with not many injuries. They have plenty of options to replace Tino (Ese’ese, Whitbread, McIntyre).
The form of Fogarty and Taylor is obviously key but I think Rein, Brimson and Peachey (who has bounced back to career-best form) and the halves can find a way to get to 20 points against a Souths team missing Mitchell at the back.
Without Mitchell, the Souths attack is less lethal and this brings the Titans plus within the value range for me.
Souths struggled against Wests on the weekend and that was with Mitchell in their team. On my ratings, the Titans squad is very competitive against this Souths team and at home, I have to also bet them to win this game – in case they do manage to go on with it.
I think Souths will likely just get the W, but it might come down to who can kick a field goal in golden point.
Predicted score Titans 20 – Rabbitohs 20
NRL Round 7: Cowboys vs Raiders (Saturday)
A few weeks ago the Raiders looked good for a top 4 spot, whereas the Cowboys were favourites for the spoon.
However off back-to-back wins to the Cowboys – and the Raiders worst performance in a year – the Cowboys fans would be slightly confident of an ambush here.
Holmes is starting to put together some classy touches, while unheralded guys like Taulagi, Condon and Molo are producing good performances under Payten. Even Hess played well last week, showing why he should never play on the edge again.
With older guys like Hampton, O’Neil and Granville playing the kind of smart footy that Payten is asking of his squad, the Cowboys will force the Raiders into an arm wrestle.
And so far in 2021, the Raiders have lost their fair share of arm-wrestles….so Coach Stuart has started dropping guys and promoting from reserve grade.
I really like the inclusion of Corey Harawira-Naera and Corey Horsburgh on the bench, with both guys proving a handful all year in reserve grade. James will also be a boost back in the starting side.
Tapine and Hodgson are senior players to get dropped, so will be interesting to see how they respond and how the squad handles such ruthlessness.
I like the Raiders squad overall, though I am a little concerned about the form of guys like Croker out wide and think the likes of Drinkwater, Holmes and Feldt will be hard to contain.
However the Raiders string of losses has come against teams like the Panthers and Eels, whereas the Cowboys have beaten Wests and the Bulldogs in recent weeks. So when class of opposition is factored in, I think the Raiders will bounce back here and win by a few tries
Predicted score Cowboys 12 – Raiders 26
NRL Round 7: Wests vs Manly (Sunday)
Both of these teams have form lines that are all over the place, so this is a very hard one to price up.
Wests have gone from losing to the Cowboys (a wooden spoon chance) at home, to nearly beating Souths (a premiership heavyweight).
Whereas Manly destroyed the Titans last week. And with Tom T back in the squad, it’s tempting to just ignore the first 5 weeks of footy that Manly delivered.
Asu Kepaoa is the only out for Wests, and it looks like Chee-Kam will be brought into that role… though Leilua might also be a chance.
The form of Simpkins, Laurie, Doueihi and Brooks is promising for Wests fans, with these guys showing they might be the future spine of this club for a few years going forward.
As for Manly, their squad is looking much stronger now and there is genuine competition for positions. Their front row rotation is going great, with Aloiai one of the buys of the season and Keppie a very underrated bench option.
Although betting against a Manly resurgence off the back of Tom T returning was about the worst bet I have placed all year, I do think the Titans filthy attitude made Manly look better than what they are.
Wests showed plenty of promise against Souths last week and I am tempted to back them to back that up and win this weekend at Bankwest… but instead I am going to take the plus only and hope Wests can at least keep it close.
Predicted score Manly 21 – West 20
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