2018 Season Results:
Head-to-Head Tipping: (58%)
Line Betting: (46%)
2017 Season Results:
Head-to-Head Tipping: 66%
Line Betting: 55%
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- Last year, the Storm frequently mixed and matched their spine, with Jahrome Hughes, Brodie Croft and Ryley Jacks coming in and out of the Cooper Cronk’s vacated spine slot. With Billy Slater and Jacks both gone, the Storm now appear to have finally settled on a spine – the next question will be how they actually go.
- We love the Knights for 2019, and would argue that they may have the best 1-7 in the competition bar the Roosters. That said, the Sharks spine is pretty darn sharp in its own right. The deciding factor is the Sharks’ defense – they’ve been consistently elite for a few years now, while the Knights have struggled (to put it politely). Newcastle are trending up, but we’ll have to actually see it before assuming that they’ve suddenly added some starch.
- There could be boil-over alert over in New Zealand, with the Warriors naming a side that doesn’t inspire much faith. Their spine is largely unproven (outside the consistently brilliant Roger Tuivasa-Sheck), and Peta Hiku in the centres is total liability. We’re still backing them in, but that’s pretty much entirely due to home ground advantage. As ordinary as everyone expects the Bulldogs to be, we’d argue that they don’t look drastically worse than the Warriors; at least on paper.
- We’re quietly high on the Sea Eagles to be big improvers in 2019 with Des Hasler back on the Northern Beaches. Hasler-coached teams have been historically excellent defensively, and he’s had the most success when controlling teams filled with innate attacking talent – something the Sea Eagles typically have in spades. Unfortunately, this week they’re without their best attacking player, Tom Trbojevic, as well as centre Dylan Walker. Those absences – coupled with the question of how quickly Hasler than improve their D – leave us hesitant to back Manly here.
- Through the back end of last year, when they finally got some forwards back, the Cowboys offense finally got cooking. In Week One, they’re totally healthy, and are rolling out an engine room that’s so good, they have guys like Josh McGuire and John Asiata on the bench. Their backline looks a bit vanilla, but they should have a heck of a platform to build off of.
- The Titans are another side we have penciled in as big improvers this year. Their pack is absolutely monstrous, and we’ve long been huge fans of returning five-eighth Tyrone Roberts. Similar to the Knights game though, we just can’t back the Titans until we see their defense in action. They’ve been shockingly bad on that side of the ball the past few years, and naming a team with Brenko Lee in it doesn’t help matters.