2017 Season Results:
Head-to-Head Tipping: 31/48 (65%) [Last week: 3/8]
Margin Betting: 11/20 (55%) [Last week: 2/3]
2016 Season Results:
Head-to-Head Tipping: 71%
Margin Betting: 54%
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NRL Round 7 Tips and Previews
Bulldogs v Rabbitohs
Offense VOA: Bulldogs -28.26% (15th), Rabbitohs 3.18% (8th)
Defense VOA: Bulldogs -29.07% (5th), Rabbitohs 19.55% (13th)
Good Friday begins with a meeting of two sides who’ve been largely unimpressive thus far in 2017, but have somehow scraped together 3-3 records. (It seems like an injustice that one of these sides will somehow finish the Round having won more games than they’ve lost.)
The Bulldogs have been consistently underwhelming with the ball in hand, and as a result the future of their spine has been the subject of much media conjecture. Nonetheless, they’ve still managed impressive wins against the Warriors and Broncos (and a less impressive win against the Knights), built on the back of their notoriously stubborn defense. Against the Warriors, they absorbed more than 50 opposition play-the-balls in their own 20, while allowing just 2 tries; against the Broncos, they played managed a scrappy 3 point lead in the 2nd half, then defended as if their lives depended on it. It should go without saying that if the Bulldogs are going to be any sort of threat going forward, they’ll have to play a lot more games defending at that standard.
The Rabbitohs story looks almost identical, but with one key exception – their wins have come off the back of their attack. The Rabbitohs have registered two decent wins against Manly and Penrith (and one less decent win against the Knights). In those two wins, the Rabbitohs registered a combined LBVOA of 58.06% (which, if continued across the season, would be good enough for 1st by a long way). Across their other matches however, they average -26.89%.
And therein lies the rub. Both sides at their best have the ability to win a game single-handedly, but both sides’ best has been seen only sparingly so far this season. For this reason, the match is particularly difficult to predict. Both sides will happy to rip into each other in the middle of the field, but that’s not likely where the match will be decided. In spots like this, we typically prefer the team with the better defense (for reasons outlined here), but we’re not doing it with much conviction.
Our tip: Bulldogs