NRL preview, steve green

Champion Bets’ rugby league analyst, Steve Green, has built an impressive winning record with NRL Tips since joining us in 2016.

Steve Green is, first and foremost, a rugby league lover! From playing the game in his younger days, to watching it religiously, to now betting on it in an extremely dedicated manner. Rugby League occupies a large part of Steve’s life.

Steve worked for international and local bookmaking firms some years. Combining the experience he gained with his in-depth knowledge of rugby league, Steve became convinced he could bet successfully on the sport. So he took the leap, breaking away and developing his own process for ‘doing the form’. That was an ever-expanding and evolving statistical database and player ratings system which is still growing.

Steve’s database analyses player, team, referee and weather statistics to provide complete match previews and identify where the market may have it wrong each week. But as we said, when it comes to rugby league, Steve is far from just a number cruncher…

Steve watches every second of every NRL game (generally more than once!) looking for trends and angles that other punters miss.

“In summer other people might switch their attention to cricket, or other sports… not me,” says Steve. “Rugby League is all I do. It’s the game I love and the only thing I bet on. I spend the summer watching replays of games to get a better understanding of how and why certain results happen. The only change during the summer is my wife tends to kick me off the TV. So I’m relegated to my tablet to watch replays… which is probably fair enough!”

This combination of data and qualitative knowledge makes Steve an elite rugby league judge and punter. His results confirm that. We asked Steve a more questions to get a better insight into what he does.

Steve Green on… Data vs opinion

“Certainly out of those options, I’d say I’m way more data influenced. Basically, my background in betting was as a sports bookmaker, about 20 years ago. And that was where I came across the really stats-based way of looking at things.

“At the time, rugby league was pretty unsophisticated in that sense. There were about two or three key stats they would stick up on the TV once every game, and that was about it. There wasn’t the fantasy sports or anything. So I started kind of trying to collect what the stats were out there and build a bit of a player rating model based on that.

“So it was very much data focused on the players that were lining up each week, each team made plays, and some of those player ratings. But, I mean, as things have gotten a bit harder in the sense that the bookies have sharpened up and people are now a lot more savvy with stats, I’ve also kind of evolved and started looking at team momentum, which is also gauged by stats, but also gauged by a little bit of judgement and opinion.

“Particularly early in the season. The strength of opponents is very relevant as each team has only played a few others. You might have some that have played all of the the top four from last year. There’ll be other teams that haven’t played any, and everything in between.

“So, when those teams meet and I have their win/loss records and stats, you have to be a bit more sophisticated. Think about the quality of their opponents. There’s lots of elements, but at its foundation, that’s kind of what my approach is. It’s stats-based, and then on top of that you build up a bit of an educated opinion based on a range of factors.”

Steve Green on… a rugby league obsession

“It’s absolutely 99% rugby league for me. I am absolutely obsessed and re-watch every game. I’m a bit of a nightmare to watch with because I’ll often rewind things. Just because if someone has missed a tackle or there’s been a gap in defence, I want to know exactly who was liable. I’m not going to rely on the commentators to tell me that someone has missed a tackle or there’s a poor read in defence somewhere else. I’ll take a note of that. So I do watch the games very intensely. I think you have to and that’s what complements the data approach. If I was just looking at the numbers and the abstract, sometimes you’d be led astray.

“It’s makes it interesting with some players. There’s be guys who are just horrible on my ratings, whereas the media will be talking them right up. And it’s sometimes fair enough, because there can be things in the stats that cloud his rating. You have to be willing to move away from objective stats and use your instinct and your knowledge to be a bit more accurate.

“So yeah, I love the game. I watch tonnes of it. And I think that’s a key advantage I maybe have over the pure stats punters.”

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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