2019 Season Results:Head-to-Head Tipping: 103/160 (64%) (Last week: 5/8)
2018 Season Results:Head-to-Head Tipping: (58%) Line Betting: (46%)
2017 Season Results:Head-to-Head Tipping: 66% Line Betting: 55% (NOTE: If this is your first visit to the site, be sure to click here for an explanation of what we’re all about.)
- Sea Eagles
- Many have already written off the Tigers for this week, but don’t count The Obstruction Rule among them. Obviously last weekend’s loss to the crummy Bulldogs was disappointing, but it could be argued that they performed admirably under the circumstances. Let’s remember that the Tigers lost their two best players (Moses Mbye and Robbie Farah) within the opening quarter of the match, leaving them to play the rest of the match with a 2-man bench. The slow turning of the tide towards Canterbury was almost inevitable as fatigue took its toll on Wests, and yet still they were able to put themselves in position for a match-leveling kick at goal on the siren (the less said about that, the better). Indeed, the fact that the Tigers were able to generate 4 second half line breaks with a patch-work attacking unit speaks volumes to how well their offense has been operating of late. No Farah? No problem, as Benji Marshall took the reins and turned back the clock, almost single-handedly putting the team on his back through the late-game rally. We can’t quite pull the trigger on tipping them head-to-head, due to the quality of their opponent this week. However, at $3.40, they may be the best value of the week for an out-and-out smokie.
- Speaking of their opponents, don’t feel too down about the Sea Eagles last-start loss to New Zealand. Typically, losing to the Warriors is so shameful you’d keep it hidden from your wife, and instead claim you were away in Auckland for “a business trip”. On this occasion though, Manly weren’t even particularly bad – the Warriors were just awesome. Of course, there’s every possibility that we won’t see New Zealand play anywhere near that level again for the remainder of the season. But it serves as a timely reminder of just how good they can be.
- The Titans couldn’t have come at a better time for the Eels, whose offense has gone curiously AWOL over the past couple of weeks. Yes, they’ve been winning, but for a team whose early season success was built on their high-octane attacking game, it’s slightly concerning that they’re suddenly struggling for points, four weeks out from the finals. Over the past fortnight – during which they’ve played two bottom-eight teams, including the league’s 3rd-worst defense – they’ve mustered just a combined 5 line breaks. This would be disappointing for any team, but for a side who’ve made 5 or more line breaks in a single game on 7 separate occasions this year, it’s quite a drop-off. And when you remember that their defense ranks in the bottom-8 of the league, it’s mildly alarming. Thankfully, the Titans are on the menu here, and their “defense” has played many a struggling offense into form this year, most recently the Dragons, who came into their clash with the Titans having scored 3 tries or fewer in 5 games in a row… only to torch the Gold Coast D for 7. If the Eels sputter again here, we’ll be officially worried.
- The Broncos-Cowboys clash last Thursday night was the worst game of rugby league played this year. Let’s never speak of it again.
- If you’re wondering how exactly the Panthers managed to roll the more talented Sharks outfit last weekend, the answer is simple: possession and field position. This is the recipe to beating any team armed with an offense as dangerous as Cronulla’s. The fact that Penrith were able to convert their early dominance into points was certainly beneficial, but the real key here was the fact that it protected their defense. Remember, this is a Cronulla team with the 3rd-highest LBVOA in the league, and coming off a 6-try effort against the 2nd-best defense in the NRL. The fact that Penrith were able to hold them to a single first half try is how they won this game. In the second half – when possession and field position tipped in favour of Cronulla – the Panthers’ defense was futile in attempting to stop the Sharks’ juggernaut… but the damage had already been done. The Panthers will be looking for more of the same here against the Broncos, who depend almost exclusively on winning through the middle of the field to generate points. FUN FACT #1: When the Broncos make over 1500m in a game, they’ve scored 3 or more tries in 9 of 11 games. FUN FACT #2: When the Broncos make less than 1500m in a game, they’ve scored 3 or more tries in just 2 of 9. FUN FACT #3: The Panthers have the 2nd-best RMCVOA in the league, and have conceded 1500m or more just 3 times all year.
- We’ve written at length of late about the Knights‘ recent defensive issues, but now their offense has also fallen off a cliff. Over the last fortnight – in which they’ve played two bottom-8 defenses – the Knights have somehow scored just 3 combined tries, and made just 2 combined line breaks. The loss of Jesse Ramien’s tackle-busting ability was particularly glaring last weekend against the Eels, where Newcastle made just 10 tackle breaks all game – against an opponent with the 3rd-worst TBCVOA in the league. Against almost any other team in the league (and that “almost” is the Gold Coast), there’s no way in the world we’d be picking Newcastle. However, they’re at home, and have the luxury of playing the only offense in the league traveling worse than theirs (last week, the Cowboys made zero line breaks against the Broncos, and somehow broke just 8 tackles in 80 minutes of football. Woof). So, we’re holding our noses and backing them in.
- If you’re wondering why we rarely write about the Storm, it’s because they’re that much better than everybody else in the league, that it really goes without saying (and if you need to be told that the Storm are awesome, we’re not really sure what you’re doing on this site to begin with). Last weekend was just another day in the life for Melbourne, as they torched the NRL’s 2nd-best defense to the tune of 10 line breaks. To give you an idea of just how phenomenal the 2019 Storm actually are, consider the following: so far this year, there have been just 7 occasions in which a team has made double-digit line breaks in a game. The Melbourne Storm have made three of those. Oh, and they also have the best defense in the league, to boot. Ricky Stuart said post-match last week that if the Raiders had to play the Grand Final tomorrow, he believes they could win. It seems the rugby league genie was listening, as he gets his wish immediately – a date with the Storm. Good luck, Sticky.
- The undeserved smugness emanating from Belmore after back-to-back wins for the Bulldogs will be brought to an abrupt halt this weekend. They still can’t score (they’ve scored more than 3 tries in just 3 of 20 matches this year), and are running into an offense just about ready to explode. The Rabbitohs are averaging over 5 line breaks per game over the past month, yet have scored more than 20 points just twice. We know that tries tend to follow line breaks, so we’re expecting an avalanche of points to arrive soon. And while the Rabbitohs’ defense has been ripped apart over the past fortnight (they’ve conceded 10 tries and 18 line breaks in their past two games combined), that was against the two most in-form attacking units in the league (Melbourne and Cronulla) – something the Bulldogs most certainly aren’t. Souths by plenty.
- Both the Warriors and Roosters were terrific last week, but as mentioned earlier, the Roosters are terrific every week; the Warriors are… not.
- Though the Dragons managed a win last weekend against the Gold Coast, let’s not forget that they still managed to concede 28 points to the team coming last (and who hadn’t scored more than 20 in over 2 months). Against a Sharks squad who’ve now made 8 line breaks in each of their past 3 games, there’s a very real risk that this could get ugly.