2019 Season Results:Head-to-Head Tipping: 126/198 (64%) (Last week: 2/2)
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.)
- Every man and his dog is on the Raiders bandwagon at the moment, and as founding members, you can consider The Obstruction Rule no different. However, we’re not smitten with the fairytale story – we’re taken with the Green Machine’s defense. Though on the season the Raiders’ aren’t significantly better (Defense VOA of -17.25% vs -11.94%), you have to remember that the Rabbitohs‘ defensive numbers are bolstered by their impressive early season form. As for what they’ve done lately… well, outside of a brace of strong performances against the Warriors and Roosters, they’ve been at least disappointing, if not outright BAD. Shockingly (for the team ranked 4th in defense), the Bunnies have conceded 5 or more line breaks in 5 of their past 8 matches, and average 8 conceded per game over their last 2. Compare that to the Raiders, for whom you’d have to go back 18 matches to find 5 such outings, and who have yet to concede 8 line breaks in a game all season. It’s chalk and cheese.
- Offensively, the two sides aren’t all that different, though we ought to point out that the Raiders perform far more consistently than South Sydney. The Raiders have produced a positive LBVOA in 7 of their past 8 matches, compared to just 5 for Souths. However, the ceiling for South Sydney is significantly higher, with the Rabbitohs’ LBVOA peaking at 75.29% (last weekend against Manly), compared to just 34.65% for Canberra. This should warn us of something – though the Rabbitohs are hot and cold, they’re still good enough to rip sides apart on their day – their day just doesn’t arrive as often as coach Bennett would like. On the balance of probability, we feel more confident with the consistent Raiders than having to pray that South Sydney pick this weekend to turn it on.
- As for the Grand Final That Will Never Be, we can’t help feeling like the odds are a bit curious, to say the least. The Roosters have been phenomenal lately and enter the match as deserving favourites, but let’s not forget that (including the finals) the Storm have lost just 5 matches all year, and by a combined total of just 10 points. How they could ever be paying as long as $2.40 is simply baffling to us.
- As for how it’ll play out, this is about as much of a coin-flip as you can possibly get. Excluding last year’s GF (in which the Storm played their worst game of the past half-decade), you’d have to go back to 2016 to find a game between these two sides decided by more than 3 points; it’s turning into a Broncos-Cowboys style rivalry. And it’s that very rivalry that has us leaning towards Melbourne. You’d have to think that since October 1st last year, Craig Bellamy has done little else besides plot his revenge against Sydney. And though they split the chocolates in their two meetings earlier in the year, it’s notable that two things were different in the second meeting – that the Storm won. First, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves was missing (as he will be here). And what effect did his absence have? The Roosters ran for almost 100 fewer metres, despite earning an extra 2 points of possession. Secondly, the Storm were playing Ryan Papenhuyzen at fullback (though he didn’t cement his starting role until five weeks ago). If you’re wondering how good Papenhuyzen is, he’s made a ridiculous 10 line breaks in his 7 starts at fullback (a strikerate of 1.4 per game – 1st in the league, ahead of James Tedesco’s 1.3). With these two differences – and a year’s worth of frustrated energy – we’re not just giving the Storm a chance; we’re picking them for an upset.