It seems a little stranger, yet much more exciting the second time around, and COVID-19 sure hasn’t stopped us all dancing around the lounge room in our underwear on TikTok and shouting it to the rooftops (a la Nathan Cleary). So stock up the bar fridge, fire up the barbie, gather 9 of your mates, and settle in for the opening clash on Thursday night, ready to back plenty of winners for the round ahead.
2 units MULTI (Alternative Handicap) Gold Coast +16.5/South Sydney +13.5 @1.90+
3 units St.George Illawarra win @1.60
2 units Wests Tigers +2.5 @1.90
3 units Melbourne Storm win @1.65
1 unit Manly to win by 1-12 (Winning Margin) @2.90
Total outlay: 11 units
Updated NRL Power Rankings
Team Rated Price (Ladbrokes)
- Melbourne Storm – $5.5 ($5)
- Canberra Raiders – $6.5 ($6)
- Parramatta Eels – $7.5 ($6)
- Brisbane Broncos – $9 ($11)
- Manly Sea Eagles – $13 ($10)
- Sydney Roosters – $15 ($6)
- South Sydney Rabbitohs – $17 ($13)
- North Qld Cowboys – $17 ($17)
- Newcastle Knights – $21 ($15)
- Penrith Panthers – $21 ($15)
- Cronulla Sharks – $41 ($34)
- Wests Tigers – $81 ($41)
- Canterbury Bulldogs – $151 ($151)
- St.George/Illawarra – $151 ($101)
- New Zealand Warriors – $251 ($101)
- Gold Coast Titans – $501 ($251)
After 2 completed rounds, an excruciatingly long break, some interesting new rules, and a completely new draw, the Premiership market has reopened close to what was expected. Not surprisingly, the Storm are now into favourites, but clearly, for mine, the team grossly under the odds is still the Roosters. Dare I say, they WON’T even make the top 4 and CANNOT possibly reach the Grand Final, let alone win the comp in 2020. The Broncos and Cowboys are the two that represent some value and are worth a spec in Premiership markets.
Suggested Futures Bets:
NRL Premiership 2020 – To Miss Top 4
3 units Sydney Roosters @1.90 (Ladbrokes)
NRL Premiership 2020 – Winning Region
2 units QLD @7.50 (Ladbrokes)
Note: added bonus of having Gold Coast who would, however, need Ash Taylor to actually be Jesus and produce a comeback to rival Lazarus for them to be any chance!
NRL Grand Final Winner
1 unit Brisbane Broncos @11 (Ladbrokes)
Total Futures outlay: 6 units
NRL ROUND 3
Brisbane Broncos vs Parramatta Eels
Assessed Line: Broncos -0.5
Ladbrokes: $1.90 each of two
What an absolute belter of a match to recommence the season. It almost brings tears to the eyes thinking how good this would have been with 2 full strength sides and a packed house at Suncorp Stadium – damn you COVID! The Broncos, despite missing 2 of their dynamic young forwards, will give this a real shake. Not enough value to wager on the match but worth cheering them on for future bets.
North Qld Cowboys vs Gold Coast Titans
Assessed Line: Cowboys -7.5
Ladbrokes: Cowboys -8.5
A solid Cowboys outfit (minus Morgan) against what has been an abysmal Titans team of recent times. Even this early in the season, it’s do or die for the Titan’s year ahead, and I think this might be closer than anticipated, definitely not a blowout match. Taumalolo vs Arrow worth the price of admission alone, if only there was one. Value in the plus and worth cheering from the lounge at least.
Sydney Roosters vs South Sydney Rabbitohs
Assessed Line: Roosters – 5.5
Ladbrokes: Roosters -7.5
A desperate Roosters outfit comes up against a Bunnies team in a bit of turmoil but expect the unexpected here as this rivalry always produces something special. Relying on Latrell lifting (or at least trying) against his former club and a bit of sneaky Wayne Bennett magic to keep this one close and no doubt entertaining. Leaning towards the plus here.
New Zealand Warriors vs St.George/Ill Dragons
Assessed Line: Warriors +4.5
Ladbrokes: Warriors +3.5
Fair to say, this has to be one of the lowest clashes of the year. Book me into the nearest insane asylum for even contemplating a bet here but once again (and I promise, for the last time, if they lose) the Saints look value. The inclusion of McInnes is huge (their best player by a mile last year) and with several players missing from the Warriors side, the Saints should prove too strong.
Cronulla Sharks vs Wests Tigers
Assessed Line: Sharks -1.5
Ladbrokes: Sharks -2.5
Two fringe Top 8 teams that will be desperate for the 2 points against similar strength opposition. Both sides have key players returning for this clash (despite the loss of Xerri late) but I think the Tigers are more settled this early in the season. Predicting this match could be a see-sawing affair and will be no shock to see this decided by a late field goal.
Melbourne Storm vs Canberra Raiders
Assessed Line: Storm -4.0
Ladbrokes: Storm -3.5
Another mouthwatering clash showcasing the 2 competition heavyweights, both at near full strength. Early in the season the Storm are basically unbeatable and after the break, this will feel just like another Round 1 clash for them. At home and with the Bellamy polish, it’s hard to see them losing this one. Come finals time, this match would take on a whole different dimension, but on this occasion, Melbourne should be at their clinical best.
Penrith Panthers vs Newcastle Knights
Assessed Line: Panthers -2.0
Ladbrokes: Panthers -2.5
Two more undefeated teams clash here but, unlike the Storm and Raiders, both are still yet to prove they are genuine premiership contenders. With each team missing their best player, this one is more difficult to predict than Nathan Cleary’s next dance move. It should be an entertaining clash nonetheless and with little value is one to watch only.
Manly Sea Eagles vs Canterbury Bulldogs
Assessed Line: Sea Eagles -7.5
Ladbrokes: Sea Eagles -7.5
Manly will be very hard to beat in this one, boasting an extremely solid line-up combined with their experience playing on the Central Coast. However, they love to grind out their wins and against a Bulldogs team which is gritty if nothing else, this one could easily be a 4-10 point victory for the Sea Eagles. The line is spot on but the value can be found in the margin betting.
Good luck and great punting,
Punt Club NRL Guru