2017 Season Results:
Head-to-Head Tipping: 89/136 (65%) [Last week:4/6]
Line Betting: 33/66 (50%) [Last week: 1/3]
2016 Season Results:
Head-to-Head Tipping: 71%
Line Betting: 54%
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NRL Round 20 Tips and Previews
Broncos v Bulldogs
Offense VOA: Broncos 11.46% (6th), Bulldogs -37.51% (16th)
Defense VOA: Broncos 3.48% (9th), Bulldogs -22.47% (4th)
Round 20 opens with what many expect will be a one-sided demolition of the Bulldogs, but we’re not convinced that will be the case.
In a vacuum, the Broncos are a better team than the Bulldogs; that’s largely undisputed. But as it happens, these two teams, specifically, seem to match up unusually even – as was seen in the Bulldogs’ upset Round 5 win over Brisbane.
The Bulldogs are at their best when they’re able to dominate field position, largely because their offense is so bad. They need an inordinate number of opportunities in order to score points, and camping up their opponent’s end gives them their best shot. Here’s a fun fact: of their 7 wins so far in 2017, the Bulldogs have outgained their opponent every single time. On the other side of that coin, they’ve been outgained in 9 of their 10 losses. So it’s fair to assume that the battle between the bigs will have an enormous influence on this match. And while the Bulldogs’ forwards have been largely disappointing so far in 2017, the Broncos also have the capability to be quite accommodating.
Brisbane rank a distant last in RMCVOA (8.55%), and have particularly struggled with their run defense of late. The Knights’ 1313 run metres against Brisbane last week was their 2nd best total of the year, and they achieved it with just 43% possession. The week prior, the Storm ran for 1509 metres versus the Broncos, their 4th best total of the year (and again, with negative possession). Where the Broncos are typically able to compensate for being gashed for metres is with their discipline – they make the 2nd least errors in the league, which has seen them win an equal or better possession share in 13 of 17 matches. However, the Bulldogs rank equal 5th in that regard, and if they’re able to get an equal share of the ball, they stand a decent chance of competing.
The expectation of a flogging is quite surprising to us – the Bulldogs have conceded over 13 points in a game on just 8 of 17 occasions this year; yes, they lose a lot but that’s more on account of their inability to score any points. Their defense is typically too good to get toweled up, and we don’t see any reason this week should be any different. When these teams last met, the Bulldogs snuck home 10-7, and we’d expect another low-scoring affair between these sides. We wouldn’t go so far as to tip against the Broncos, but this does shape up as a good contest.
Our tip: Broncos