2020 Season Results:Head-to-Head Tipping: 15/24 (63%) (Last week: 4/8)
2019 Season Results:Head-to-Head Tipping: (64%)
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.)
- The scoreline wasn’t flattering, but it’s difficult to judge just how bad the Broncos were last week, as their 37% possession share (largely the result of being hammered 9-3 in the penalty count) denied them any hope of being competitive. That being said, bleeding 9 line breaks is inexcusable regardless of possession, and it doesn’t get any easier this week against the league’s best offense, the Roosters. After losing their first two matches, the Roosters are rounding into some form, making 6 line breaks in each of their past two games. They must be licking their lips at the thought of facing a D that just got shredded by Parramatta.
- Though the Panthers‘ inability to put away a wounded Newcastle side may lead some readers to mistakenly assume Penrith’s offense is cactus, we’d warn you not to be so hasty. The Panthers’ lack of second half points (or, for that matter, much of anything) was clearly the result of a coaching directive, not any lack of ability from the players. Penrith came out and kicked early in the their opening three sets after half-time – indicating a half-time adjustment to control field position and grind out the win (an infuriatingly shit half-time adjustment, but an adjustment nonetheless). Against an opponent reduced to a 2-man bench and missing their entire first-choice spine, we can understand why Ivan Cleary thought his side could win this way, but we vehemently disagree that that’s it’s how they should have approached it. The Knights were so shot that a single try would have iced the game, but Penrith’s conservative approach left the door open for an unlikely comeback – a comeback that ultimately arrived on the back of 4 set restart penalties. Our hope is that Cleary learnt his lesson and from here on out will let the boys play – even after including the most uninspired attacking half of footy this year, the Panthers still rank 1st in the league for overall line breaks and LBVOA, and 5th for points scored (and two of the teams above them have had the chance to inflate their totals, after already receiving the Gold Coast Gift).
- Should the Panthers instead decide to persist with their safety-first conservative second-half style, then this weekend’s clash with the Warriors could be the dreariest 80 minutes of the season. Ivan Cleary merely adopted a dull attacking style; Stephen Kearney was born in it. New Zealand’s drudgery ultimately culminated in a record-setting completion rate last weekend, going error-free for over 72 minutes. But let’s not kid ourselves – it didn’t result in a significant influx of points, and the side’s 4 total line breaks for the season has been exceeded by Penrith in every individual game they’ve played so far.
- Though Canberra’s 22-6 thumping of the Storm was the story of the week, we warn you: reports of Melbourne’s death has been greatly exaggerated. The Storm stomped all over the Raiders in just about every statistical category imaginable: line breaks, tackle breaks, run metres, errors, forced drop-outs, post-contact metres… you name it. Over a large enough sample size, that sort of dominance will lead to an outrageous volume of wins – and who were they were dominating? The competition favourites. So, we shouldn’t be giggling about the apparent downfall of the juggernaut from down south; we should be terrified. We like them here, and expect them to win handily.
- We certainly weren’t expecting it, and we’re still not that impressed by the Eels running up the score on Brisbane. They had all the running in the first half, and yet without the help of a few set restart penalties, they’d have failed to score a first half point. So no, that’s not why we’re tipping them here. Rather, it’s because of how surprisingly dominant they’ve been in yardage. The Eels’ back three are all among the top 25 in run metres in the league, in addition to key middle, Junior Paulo. In effect, this gives them three extra forwards, and allows their largely unheralded pack to play far above its weight, by attacking a retreating defense. This huge run metre advantage is then further compounded by their run defense (ranked 2nd in RMCVOA), leaving opposition sides eternally camped down their own end. Though we like the Sea Eagles better as a team generally, we don’t like this as a match-up. Marty Taupau and Addin Fonua-Blake are already forced to do too much of the heavy lifting for Manly, due to a lack of forward depth; in the face of negative field position, they’re likely to be forced into longer minutes, or else Manly run the risk of getting crushed while they’re off the field. Either way, we just don’t like it.
- The Cowboys/Sharks game is difficult to pick, on account of their weird form lines. The Cows are known for their dreadful attacking footy, but look to have turned it around a bit this season with the addition of Valentine Holmes. But look closer: though they’ve made line break totals of 4, 5 and 9 in their three games so far, those came with possession shares of 54%, 56% and 64%, and against defenses that have all conceded at least 8 line breaks in a game to other teams. In short, there’s plenty of reason to suspect that their uptick in production has been a mirage. And just quietly, their own D hasn’t been too flash, allowing the 2nd worst LBCVOA in the competition. This makes us think that the Cowboys may be just ripe to play the Sharks back into a little form. Cronulla have struggled so far offensively with Matt Moylan limited to just 46 minutes this season, but he’s starting at five-eighth this week, and remains one of the most consistently effective players in the league at generating line break assists. His return, against a D we believe looks suspiciously brittle, has us backing Cronulla for an upset.
- To be honest, we don’t particularly want to watch the Bulldogs/Dragons game any more than you do. Both these teams are superbly one-dimensional, and frankly, that one dimension isn’t very good. For the record though, we do believe that the Dragons are at least capable of playing good football in theory (though admittedly we can’t remember the last time we saw it). Shifting Corey Norman to fullback is a huge plus, as it both removes Matt Dufty (who inexplicably keeps coming back into first grade no matter how emphatically he demonstrates he’s not up to it) and opens up a spot in the halves for the highly-regarded Adam Clune. Meanwhile at the Bulldogs, Dean Pay has managed to revive the corpse of Keiran Foran, who joins Lachlan “The Statue” Lewis in the halves, with Lewis aiming to add to his 1 line break assist and 0 line breaks on the season (perennial punching bag Ben Hunt, by the way, has 3 and 1). Can’t wait.