2018 Season Results:
Head-to-Head Tipping: 38/64 (59%)
Line Betting: 13/26 (50%)
2017 Season Results:
Head-to-Head Tipping: 66%
Line Betting: 55%
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NRL Round 9 Tips and Previews
Broncos v Bulldogs
Offense VOA: Broncos 0.11% (9th), Bulldogs -11.45% (10th)
Defense VOA: Broncos -25.55% (5th), Bulldogs 4.61% (8th)
Round 9 opens with the Broncos hosting the Bulldogs, and in many ways, it looks like one of the least interesting games of the week.
Neither side runs a particularly effective structured offense, and there’s a real possibility that this game could devolve into another dour arm wrestle like the Bulldogs-Roosters encounter two weeks ago (though we expect we’ll be saved by the Broncos’ ability to pull a few tries per game out of their posteriors).
You may have thought during the first half of the Bulldogs’ clash with the Panthers last week that Canterbury were traveling well, but to be honest, it was an illusion. Though they looked sharp running through the Panthers’ defensive line for a brace of tries, both those line breaks were the direct result of the Bulldogs abusing a coaching blunder from Anthony Griffin – specifically, moving the enormous (but slow-moving) Viliame Kikau to centre when Dallin Watene-Zelezniak shifted to fullback, rather than the smaller (and more agile) Isiaah Yeo.* Once Griffin adjusted and moved Yeo to the centres (as he should have done in the first place), regular transmission resumed for the Bulldogs offense – that is, they didn’t produce another line break for the remainder of the match.
And if they can’t crack the Panthers, they’ve got little chance of troubling the Broncos. As unimpressed as we are with the Broncos’ offense, their defense is typically watertight, and should comfortably be able to handle whatever the Bulldogs throw at them. It’s expected that Matt Frawley will be recalled to the Bulldogs halves (which would be an immediate upgrade over Jeremy Marshall-King, with Frawley still 2nd in the team for try assists, despite not having played since Week 2), however that’s accompanied by reports that Michael Lichaa is set to be dropped; which is making us wonder if Dean Pay is beginning to resort to throwing darts and hoping for the best (Marshall-King might be good at hooker, but he’s definitely a worse defender, with a tackle efficiency of just 87% v 92% compared to Lichaa, and that’s despite having made over 100 fewer tackles).
In short, we don’t have much faith that this game will lift to any great heights, and we don’t think that the Bulldogs have the attacking chops to put many points past Brisbane. The only way they win this game is by rolling up their sleeves and tackling themselves to a standstill, and like against the Roosters, even then, it probably wouldn’t be enough.
Oh, and Payne Haas is a specimen. That’s all.
Our tip: Broncos