Our last 8 NRL bets have won and 31 of the last 45 which is a 69% strike-rate and in direct contrast to the upset results this season. I want to bring you up to date with where we are and where we are heading, but importantly enlighten you why we are achieving well above the average. The NRL made some subtle, but key changes to the rules and this has had a dramatic impact on results, and like the market, most coaches have been slow to adapt which is why after seven rounds we had almost 80% of outsiders covering their handicap. This figure long term is 50% worldwide in every sport. The fact that so many “roughies” were winning and/or covering the line meant that the coaches, the players, the bookies and the punters were all getting it wrong. While everyone was scratching their heads, this presented a huge investment opportunity for us, but to take advantage of this unique situation, I literally had to throw out my entire data base and re-build so the analytics would reflect and compliment the new NRL rules. Like all “honeymoons”, it does not last long, and it is key that we continue to “massage” our data in line with changes. Roosters coach Trent Robinson told me last week that he could see things getting back to normal. How right he was. You can see from the chart below how the favoured teams have dominated in rounds 8 and 9 compared to the previous 6 rounds.

NRL Line Fav 2nd Fav Total %
1 Covered 2 6 8 75
2 Covered 2 6 8 75
3 Covered 0 8 8 100
4 Covered 2 6 8 75
5 Covered 2.5 5.5 8 68.8
6 Covered 2 6 8 75
7 Covered 1 7 8 87.5
8 Covered 5 3 8 37.5
9 Covered 6 2 8 25
2014 Covered 22.5 49.5 72 68.8

The favoured team has been only winning at around 40% of the matches, but after the last two weeks we are now on parity for the season. Given that many teams are long odds on this figure should be in the 60s.

NRL Outsiders Fav 2nd Fav Total %
2014 H to H 36 36 72 50

Our plan to maintain profitability is simple; we must find genuine value first and foremost. Value means that our rated price is lower than the market price and provided we know what we are doing them simple maths will dictate that we must win. It is not always that simple. Yes we must find and get value, but the MOST critical action is how we stake our investments. An example was last week when we backed Manly to beat the Storm with 6.5 points start and the Storm won the match 22-19. Our team didn’t win, but we did. The same can apply to a first try scorer or even the match total points. I normally do not subscribe to multi betting as you are simply giving the bookie a double margin, but we have had very good success in recent years with backing certain teams at the Halftime/Fulltime (HT/FT) exotic option. We would only ever consider this option if the ratings were so high that the team should dominate in both sets of 40 minutes. Ideally, this would be a home team, as our figures indicate that the home crowd advantage is most influential in the first 20 minutes. We try to avoid backing “unstructured” teams simply because anything can happen with the Warriors being a good example. We will only be successful if we have a high comfort factor in being able to predict what will happen. I am fascinated to see how deep the Bulldogs go in this competition as they have a different game plan than other teams and they have a different type of player with size and power. They are leading the NRL and have been brilliantly coached to take advantage of everything in front of them, and while I will always be open minded and ready to adjust, I am prepared to oppose them later in the season when the crunch games comes along. They will add value to the top 4 market. I am keen to back a long priced team >51.00 to make the top 8, but not yet. We will focus more on our Futures bets over the next few weeks as we get closer to Origin, but clearly our bet on Josh Reynolds at 34.0 is looking good as he leads the Dally M points. Scott Woodward – NRL analysis and betting tips.