2020 Season Results:Head-to-Head Tipping: 118/160 (74%) (Last week: 2/8)
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.)
- Welcome back to all two of our readers who could be bothered returning to the site after the absolute horror that was the final round. Why exactly that round was filled with inexplicable meltdowns by some of the league’s best teams will forever remain a mystery to us, so let’s just put it behind us and move on.
- The most notable poor showing of the weekend was that of the Roosters, who surprisingly opted to end their own 5-game winning streak by capitulating 60-8 to Souths. On this, we have two thoughts. First, don’t expect them to play like that again. Part of the demolition was that they were simply terrible, but another significant factor was the lopsided 61-39 possession distribution. With so little ball, it was virtually inevitable they’d get flogged (though admittedly, it needn’t have been that bad). The reason for the difference is obvious – though they made 2 extra errors and conceded 1 extra drop-out, the real culprit was the 13-2 total penalty count in favour of the Bunnies. To be clear, the Roosters are ill-disciplined and in general their penalties conceded did not seem particularly ill-deserved, butit is somewhat difficult to believe that South Sydney really went 80 minutes without making more than two infringements. Regardless, you can be sure that the penalty count will be far closer to even this week (not least because Penrith are frequent offenders when it comes to conceding set restarts). Secondly, though we’re not putting much stock in the Roosters’ last effort, it wouldn’t affect our tip here anyway. Broadly speaking, we like the way the Panthers match up against Sydney. Though the Roosters are experts at carving up retreating defenses, the Panthers are one of the few teams in the league capable of slowing the Roosters’ middles down. When the Roosters got their pants pulled down by a Cameron-less Melbourne Storm team in Round 14, this was how the game was won – the dominant Storm pack outgained Sydney by almost 300m, on their way to holding them to just 6 points (one of just 4 games all year in which the Roosters scored less than 18 points – and one of the others was against Penrith). Ranking 2nd in the league for RMCVOA, the Panthers are well-equipped to repeat the process. From there, there’s little doubt the Panthers have the points in them to win, having themselves been held to less than 18 points just twice (and no, the Roosters weren’t one of them). For the Roosters to win this game, we expect they’ll need to run up a bit of a score, and to be frank, we’d be surprised if Penrith let them. Instead, we’re expecting a brutal, forwards-dominated grind, plenty of repeat sets, and the Panthers to suffocate the Roosters out of the game.
- If the Sharks couldn’t stop Canberra’s reserve grade side racking up 38 points against them last week, it’s very difficult to envision any possible way they contain the Raiders proper. The Sharks should be a bit more dangerous with Jesse Ramien, Sione Katoa and Siosifa Talakai all returning, but none of these guys will help that horrendous defense. This looks like a formality and the most straightforward pick of the week.
- If you’re looking for the second most straightforward pick of the week, look no further than the Storm on Saturday night. Melbourne’s back-ups very nearly rolled the Dragons last Sunday – the very same Dragons who are just six weeks removed from beating the Eels. Quite frankly, at this point Parramatta are a wet fart of a football team, and have no business competing in the finals, let alone figuring in the Top 4 (we’d argue they’re the worst Top 4 side since… the 2017 Eels, who got bundled out of the playoffs in straight sets, in much the same fashion as this year’s model is about to do). Parramatta fans may point to their unconvincing Round 15 victory over a group of no-names wearing Storm jerseys, but the laundry was just about all that side had in common with the regular Melbourne Storm. Regular names absent from that match included guys like Vunivalu, Munster, Hughes, Smith, Bromwich… the Eels also won the total penalty count 11-4, and yet the game was still somehow in the balance deep into the second half. With a full-strength side in action here, we’d expect Melbourne to look more like the Penrith side that crushed Parramatta 20-2 three weeks ago. We like Melbourne, and we give them a good shot at doing it by 13+.
- Finally, we get to the weekend mystery box between the Knights and Rabbitohs. Predicting this game is darn near impossible due to the erratic form lines of both combatants. Working backwards, the Knights’ last five games are: a 30-point loss; 24-point win; 30-point loss; 28-point win; and another 30-point loss. We suppose that should put them on track for a 20+ point win, but if you had the misfortune of sitting through their insipid effort against the Titans, we’re sure you’d share our reluctance to tip them again. The Rabbits, meanwhile, are coming off the most dominant win of any side this year – a 52-point massacre of the defending champs. So, why aren’t we enthusiastically falling in behind Souths? Because they’re just a fortnight removed from an embarrassing loss to Canterbury, themselves. If both sides play to their abilities, there’s a struck match between them – their Round 10 clash saw them separated by just 11 metres (advantage Souths), 5 tackle busts (advantage Newcastle) and 1 line break (again Newcastle). For this reason we’re inclined to just back the home team – which is now Souths, after the Knights blew it for their fans last weekend. But we’re not inclined to bet on it, and if we were, we’d actually prefer Newcastle at the current price ($3.40).