Ladbrokes is the gift that keeps on giving, with $2 lines on all matches for the third straight week! And the missus will be in for a treat of her own – an evening out for dinner Saturday and with no bets Sunday, a shopping spree to end the weekend, provided the punt goes well of course.
2 units Melbourne Storm +6.5 @2.00
2 units Total Points Under 35.5 (Melb vs Roosters) @1.90
2 units Canberra Raiders -9.5 @2.00
2 units Penrith Panthers -4.5 @2.00
1 unit Cronulla Winning Margin 1-12 @3.10
NRL Round 8 Match Previews
Melbourne Storm vs Sydney Roosters
Assessed Line: Storm +5.5
Ladbrokes: Storm +6.5
Both teams come into this match with key injuries. The Roosters will be missing some firepower upfront but welcome back Tedesco and Morris to offset this. The Storm is without playmaker Munster but should be the fresher of the two teams after playing a much less physical encounter than the Roosters in Round 7. And despite being moved away from AAMI Park, the Storm relish playing at Suncorp and will have settled nicely into their new home on the Sunshine Coast. In what has been a relatively tight, low scoring contest in recent years (5 of their last 7 decided by 3 points or less with an average total score of 30), I expect the same again.
Canberra Raiders vs StGeorge/Ill Dragons
Assessed Line: Raiders -10.5
Ladbrokes: Raiders -9.5
After struggling in attack lately, the Raiders will welcome their return home to GIO Stadium in front of a small but no doubt vocal (and freezing!) crowd. The Saints have clearly improved in recent weeks and Ricky will need to have Canberra on top of their game for this one. I get the feeling that the Dragons may be a little flat after their effort against the Roosters and back at home with a point to prove, the Raiders should prove too slick on a very, very cold Friday night.
Parramatta Eels vs North Qld Cowboys
Assessed Line: Eels -8.0
Ladbrokes: Eels -7.5
Parramatta clings to the top spot on the ladder but will have to compete without Mitchell Moses for the next few weeks in a real test of their Premiership credentials. With such a solid roster, I have no doubt Brad Arthur will manage this quite well in the short term. North Qld bounced back last week at home but were flattered by a lacklustre Knights first half, and now face the daunting task of travelling to “fortress Parra”. The possible return of Valentine Holmes would be a boost for the Cowboys and that leaves enough doubt to classify this as a no bet match.
Gold Coast Titans vs Cronulla Sharks
Assessed Line: Titans +4.5
Ladbrokes: Titans +5.5
Surprisingly, both teams are coming off last start wins, albeit against weakened opposition. Confidence is a wonderful thing and this should be a lively, well fought, and enjoyable encounter to watch. Every piece of statistical data suggests a 4-6 points victory to the Sharks and I’m predicting that this will be very close to the final result. With no value in the line, a small margin bet is definitely worth a play.
NZ Warriors vs Brisbane Broncos
Assessed Line: Warriors +4.0
Ladbrokes: Warriors +5.5
OH DEAR!! Throw the stats out the window for this one. Two teams who would rather kiss their sister than win a footy match. You’d expect the Broncos to lift after possibly their worst ever performance and an absolute caning in the press but the Warriors should also improve after getting over the shock sacking of Kearney. But who knows where all their heads are at?!? Further adding to an already impossible puzzle, the last five encounters have been split 2 apiece and 1 draw. With the suspension of RTS, the Broncos deserve favouritism but I have absolutely no confidence to wager on such a confusing match. My only suggestion would be to skip this one altogether and gain some brownie points with the missus by taking her out to an early slap-up dinner – an investment that is sure to pay dividends when the lights go out after the late game!
Wests Tigers vs Penrith Panthers
Assessed Line: Tigers +6.0
Ladbrokes: Tigers +4.5
Both teams line up for a hat-trick of victories in what has turned out to be an unexpectedly enticing encounter on Saturday night. The Panthers (who still arguably could be undefeated) have superior form and a stronger team on paper. If they turn up to play, they should be simply too good for an inconsistent Tigers outfit. With the rule changes in 2020, winning margins have increased, and I’m not only confident that Penrith will win but also cover the relatively small line of only 4.5.
Manly Sea Eagles vs Newcastle Knights
Assessed Line: Sea Eagles +1.5
Ladbrokes: Sea Eagles +1.5
Following their gutsy win against Canberra, the Sea Eagles put in a very ordinary performance without their injured star “Turbo Tom” and also Dylan Walker against the Sharks. They will no doubt have relished another week’s rest and preparation, and be pumped for their return to “fortress Brookie” against long time rivals Newcastle. The Knights themselves looked a little flat last week against North Qld and will also be looking to bounce back, the return of Bradman Best a boost (try saying that 5 times quickly!). This should be a hard-fought contest but the betting is spot on having Newcastle slight favourites.
Canterbury Bulldogs vs South Sydney Rabbitohs
Assessed Line: Bulldogs +10.5
Ladbrokes: Bulldogs +10.5
The poor old Dogs, shunted to the low rating Sunday night time slot once again, like an old rerun of Cheers – not that they’ve received many of those lately. And come next week, Dean Pay might be drinking alone at the bar. Souths put in an average performance against Penrith (one can only hope Latrell has thrown out his non-stick hand sanitizer) but should be too classy for a struggling Canterbury team who continue to lack any fresh ideas in attack. The Dogs only shining light is English import Luke Thompson who has been named in the reserves but they simply won’t be able to score enough points to beat the Rabbitohs, the line of 10-12 is spot on.
Good luck and great punting,
Punt Club NRL Guru