In a major shock to begin Grand Final week, ASIC in conjunction with the NRL Integrity Unit have raided the Guru’s premises during the early hours of Tuesday morning. Following the release of an unsubstantiated sex tape, a major newspaper leak and a string of viral texts reporting that he had a perfect round of tipping on the weekend to back up his recent 3 month winning streak, both official bodies have confiscated his computer and seized numerous documents. Punt Club have been informed that he is “under suspicion of insider trading on rugby league” but his lawyers have vehemently denied the claims and stated “unless being a great footy judge is illegal, then they have no case. In fact, he should be lauded by the community as a Robin Hood type hero for beating the bookies and lining the punters’ pockets with cash!” In a prepared statement just released our very own Guru has stated: “This is nothing more than a defamatory social media campaign to disrupt my preparations and ruin my reputation before the big game on Sunday. I have employed cybercrime experts to track down the guilty parties and am confident of being able to continue my essential service to all Punt Club members.”
NRL Grand Final Preview
Penrith Panthers vs Melbourne Storm
Assessed Line: Panthers +2.0
Ladbrokes: Panthers +2.0
What an absolute cracking Grand Final to finish off an incredible year of NRL, one which many expected to be over even before it really began. Kudos to all those involved for making that happen, with special mention going to the Warriors for their unselfish sacrifice. At season’s end, 1st plays 2nd, two teams that have arguably been the best all year and deserving of their spot, something that is not always the case. Surprisingly, however, they both arrive with full squads and none of the usual injury or suspension drama that can often mar the big decider. There’s no doubt Melbourne was the more impressive of the two sides in last weeks Preliminary Finals but it’s fraught with danger to assess any match on what happened just the previous week. Penrith definitely played one of their worst games of the season against Souths but still managed to get away with the win. I suspect they were more nervous about actually making the Grand Final than they will be about winning it. Now that they have secured their berth they will be able to loosen up and have a real crack. The underdog tag suits them immensely and they are bolstered by the return of key attacking weapon Viliame Kikau. Melbourne clearly has the edge in experience and boast complete dominance over Penrith winning an incredible 17 of their 18 clashes between 2006-2017, however, the Panthers have won 2 of the last 3 since then, including an impressive 21-14 victory earlier this year. All things considered, the Storm deserve their favouritism and the bookies have assessed the line spot on. No meat on the bone to bet on the match result so let’s just cheer our Melbourne Storm premiership bet and have a look at a few exotic plays.
Clive Churchill Medal
Top pick: Cameron Smith $4.00
Danger: Cameron Munster $11
It’s hard to go past the Storm captain in his likely farewell match and if Melbourne wins on Sunday, they will do everything they can to award the Medal to him, making it a fairytale finish for one of Rugby League’s future immortals. The other half of Melbourne’s “Twin Cam” engine is the value.
Top pick: Nathan Cleary $4.50
Bolter: Isaiah Yeo $26
If Penrith wins, it will be on the back of their star halfback. As redemption for controversially missing out on the Dally M Medal, he will be the number one choice for this award. Yeo was close to Penrith’s best last week and if he reproduces that effort he will be considered an outside chance to snatch the prize.
Same Game Multi
Depending on who you have as your Grand Final pick, I’ve suggested a value bet for either team, or you could even take both and hope for the miracle double!
Melbourne Storm to Win/Alt Total Points Over 29.5/Jahrome Hughes to score a try @$8
Penrith Panthers +2.0/Alt Total Points Over 29.5/Viliame Kikau to score a try @$9
Good luck and great punting,
Punt Club NRL Guru