2017 Season Results:
Head-to-Head Tipping: 41/64 (64%) [Last week: 3/8]
Margin Betting: 16/29 (55%) [Last week: 3/4]
2016 Season Results:
Head-to-Head Tipping: 71%
Margin Betting: 54%
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NRL Round 9 Tips and Previews
Broncos v Panthers
Offense VOA: Broncos -2.70% (8th), Panthers -26.50% (14th)
Defense VOA: Broncos -30.77% (5th), Panthers -1.12% (8th)
Round 9 opens with Bennett v Griffin XI, a contest in which the Panthers mentor has an impressive record of 8 wins, a draw and just a single loss. He’ll need every ounce of that dominance if the struggling Panthers are to overcome the Broncos this week though.
Since hammering the Roosters three weeks ago, the Broncos have fallen into something of a slump (as much of a slump as a team on a three-game winning streak can be in). They’ve looked totally unconvincing in fluking a late win over the Titans, and required divine intervention (the referees are gods, right?) to beat the Rabbitohs. And that’s the same Rabbitohs who barely squeaked past what was essentially Penrith’s reserve grade team three weeks ago. So yes, the Broncos form line is scratchy at best.
However, if the Broncos form has been scratchy, the Panthers have been rolling around in poison ivy (and in their particular case, they’ll need more than just an ocean of the proverbial calamine lotion). Up until they met the Storm, the Panthers had been rolling along alright, and arguably should have been 3-1 after four rounds. However, the afore-mentioned loss to Souths, sandwiched between hidings from competition heavyweights Melbourne and Cronulla, left the Panthers’ confidence shot, and they certainly played like it against the Eels. The Panthers and Eels put on a bludger of a game, combining for 32 errors between them, as both sides appeared to do their best to lose the match. It was ultimately the Panthers who proved the worst, and as a result their season sits precariously on the brink of disaster.
We still believe the Panthers have the talent to go on tear soon enough, but they first need a confidence-boosting win. Will it come this week? Probably not, but it’s not as ridiculous as it first seems.
The Broncos have been unusually ill-disciplined the past two weeks, making a combined 26 errors across those two games. And despite scoring 24 and 25 points respectively in those matches, it’s worth noting that the Broncos were facing the league’s 16th and 13th ranked teams in Defense VOA. The Panthers, in contrast, rank 8th.
Combined with the Panthers’ well-documented attacking struggles, this leads us to expect a relatively low-scoring affair, which would tend to give the Panthers a better chance of an upset. We don’t have the courage to tip them, but we do think this shapes as a more competitive game than most prognosticators are expecting.
Our tip: Broncos