2022 Season Results:Head-to-Head Tipping: 55/88 (63%) (Last Week: 5/8)
2021 Season Results:Head-to-Head Tipping: (74%)
2020 Season Results:Head-to-Head Tipping: (74%)
2019 Season Results:Head-to-Head Tipping: (64%)
2018 Season Results:Head-to-Head Tipping: (58%) Line Betting: (46%)
2017 Season Results:Head-to-Head Tipping: 66% Line Betting: 55% (NOTE: If this is your first visit to the site, be sure to click here for an explanation of what we’re all about.)
- Storm by 12 – Having been struggling away for the past two weeks in the absence of star fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen, the Storm will no doubt be thrilled to finally catch a level playing-field, drawing the Sea Eagles the week after they lost Tom Trbojevic for the season. To be fair, the Eagles actually did OK without Turbo earlier in the season, winning 2 of 4 (though it’s probably worth mentioning that those wins came against sides currently tied for 2nd-last on the NRL ladder). Nevertheless, we don’t love their chances of success here. Although both sides are struggling badly with injuries, the Storm should be welcoming back Jahrome Hughes, after seeing their LBVOA collapse in his absence (despite being at 28.69% for the season, it’s been at -58.70% over the past two weeks). Of course, Paps is also a big part of that, but getting back Hughes and his 18 try involvements and 14 line break involvements is a huge boost. Secondly, we’d argue that the biggest issue with the Storm’s performances over the past fortnight have been how badly they’ve been destroyed for field position. After holding their previous three opponents all to less than 900m, the Storm have been lit up for 1350m+ in their last two losses. Going back through the season, in all 4 games in which they tied or lost in regular time, the Storm gave up 1290m+. When they’ve given up less than 1290m, they’re undefeated. This is relevant because Manly have some of the weakest go-forward in the league, which will only be worse with the additional loss of Marty Taupau this week. Manly have hit 1290m in just 5 of 11 matches, and are only two weeks removed from getting outgained by over 700m by Brisbane. Unlike Penrith and North Queensland, we give Manly very little chance of keeping Melbourne out of their end, and with Hughes back and Melbourne smarting from a humiliating fortnight, we expect the Storm to have a little too much for Manly here.
- Panthers by 12 – A week after stopping the ascent of the Roosters dead in its tracks, the Panthers will this week be shattering the Cowboys‘ hopes and dreams. Though we’re not necessarily expecting North Queensland to get blown out completely (we fancy their defense is too good to let that happen), we still think there’s a gulf in class between these sides, and believe that stylistically the Cowboys are a matchup that suits Penrith. North Queensland are a team who like to dominate field position (they’ve won the yardage battle in 10 of 11 games), possession (they’ve had 50% or more of the footy in 9 of them), and have built their identity around their defense (they’ve conceded 2 or fewer tries in 8 games). If that sounds familiar, it’s because this is essentially the same type of grinding style that Penrith play, but frankly, Penrith do it better. In terms of yardage, the Panthers rank higher in both RMVOA (2nd vs 5th) and RMCVOA (3rd vs 5th); in terms of possession, Penrith have earned a whopping 55% of the possession in more than half their games (the Cows have only managed it twice). A big part of this recipe is the Panthers’ attacking kicking game, with Penrith ranked 2nd in the league for forced dropouts (the Cows rank 10th). Oh, and the Cows have lost Jason Taumalolo and his 14 runs at 10 metres-per-carry per game. Actually, the more we look at this, the more we think that perhaps there is a chance they get pumped.
- Broncos by 6 – We’re not really sure how much you can take out of the Broncos‘ eventual win over Newcastle last week in the absence of Adam Reynolds. Though the scoreline suggests that Brisbane got home comfortably, it ignores the fact that they were pretty badly dominated by Newcastle throughout the first half, with the Knights outgaining them by almost 150m in the opening stanza, on their way to earning 21 tackles in Brisbane’s 20 (vs just 8 for Brisbane). Ezra Mam was terrible, and were it not for Newcastle dropping it over the try-line on 3 separate occasions, this could have easily been an embarrassing defeat. With all that being said, it wasn’t an embarrassing defeat – the Broncos stayed competitive, eventually got gifted a try by the worst bunker decision is living memory, and then proceeded to put the cleaners through a Newcastle side who had clearly given up. The Broncos’ wingers were phenomenal (we wouldn’t be unhappy to see both picked for Queensland), posting 6 line breaks between them, while their forwards gradually seized control the deeper into the game they got. Without Adam Reynolds to distribute line break assists, the Broncos just shoveled the ball to their edge players and let them steamroll blokes – a plan that we suppose makes sense when they have 3 players in their squad ranked in the NRL’s Top 20 for tackle breaks (Selwyn Cobbo, Kotoni Staggs and Corey Oates). We’re not completely sold on how repeatable that kind of performance is, but at least they’ve shown an ability to score points somehow. The Titans, on the other hand, have scored less than 20 points in 5 of their past 6, while posting a negative LBVOA in their past 5 straight. In the absence of David Fifita, the Titans’ offense has been reduced to essentially just be a combination of Jayden Campbell’s bombs and barge-overs from Jarrod Wallace. The Broncos might be limited without Reynolds, but they’ve surely got more than that.
- Warriors by 1 – Naturally, the other side of the coin from the Knights‘ loss to Brisbane is the fact that they really weren’t as bad as the score made them look. Throughout the first half, the Knights were successfully able to control field position, they just couldn’t convert it into points (in the second half though, they couldn’t really do either of these things). With Addin Fonua-Blake out for the Warriors (as well as the recent desertion by Matt Lodge), the Warriors’ pack comes in here looking small and realistically beatable. New Zealand rank dead-last for RMVOA (-6.98%), and outside of Ben Murdoch-Masila and Bunty Afoa, the Warriors don’t have any other forwards averaging over 8m per carry. But field position or not, can you have any faith that Newcastle can actually score? The Knights haven’t managed a positive LBVOA since Round 6, and are averaging less than 2 tries a game over the past five weeks. The Warriors haven’t been great, but they’ve been better than that (for the record, they haven’t scored less than 2 tries in a game this season at all). We don’t feel confident (do you ever feel confident tipping the Warriors?), but we think New Zealand have 3 tries in them here, and on Newcastle’s recent form, 3 tries can be plenty.
- Rabbitohs by 12 – The Rabbitohs‘ offense continued their bizarre Jekyll-and-Hyde run through the past six weeks, in which they’ve averaged 36 points per game in even-numbered weeks, and just 15 in the odd-numbered weeks (SPOILER ALERT: this week is an even week). For what it’s worth, we don’t put much stock into their supposed “troubles” – regardless of how many points they score, they’ve had no difficulties creating scoring opportunities. They rank 2nd in the league for LBVOA, and have produced 5 or more line breaks in 8 of 11 games this season (a mark the Tigers have hit just twice). Rather, the Rabbitohs continue to sabotage themselves via a staggeringly high level of dick-fingeredness. The Bunnies average 2.5 errors per game more than the 2nd-worst team in the league, with their errors typically coming at the most inopportune times. If Souths can just clean up their handling a little bit, there’s still plenty to like about their offense. Sure, their defense has looked brittle the past fortnight, but by comparison, the Tigers’ has fallen off a cliff. We were singing the Tigpies’ praises as recently as a month ago, but over the past three weeks, they’ve conceded 18 tries, while posting an atrocious LBCVOA of 111.28% (for comparison, the worst LBCVOA in the competition belongs to Parramatta and is only 46.24% – meaning that the Tigers have been more than twice as bad at leaking breaks than the worst team in the comp). If the Rabbits can continue to create opportunities at their usual rate and the Tigers continue to defend this poorly, Souths will have so many opportunities that they can afford to bomb half a dozen and still win. And if they don’t drop the ball? Look out.
- Sharks by 8 – The big “in” this week for the Sharks is undoubtedly Will Kennedy – not necessarily because we think Kennedy is that spectacular, but because it returns Cronulla’s spine to full-strength, and should allow them to settle back into their regular groove. Not that they were bad – in the two games he missed, they still averaged 3 tries per game, with a LBVOA of 28.97%. But those numbers climb to 4.2 and 37.90% with their spine at full strength – numbers they may need if the Roosters get going. Which isn’t such a ridiculous prospect – despite getting hammered 32-12 by Penrith last week, the Roosters made the 4th-most tackle busts and 2nd-most run metres any team has put on the Panthers this year. Which is to say that while the result may not look impressive, their effort was actually quite good considering the quality of their opposition. The going should be easier this week, but the Sharks’ D is no joke either (they rank 5th in the league). We’re anticipating two high-quality offenses putting on a bit of a show on Saturday night, with the difference coming down to the team with the better defense. On form, that looks like being Cronulla.
- Dragons by 1 – If there was a glass half-full for the Bulldogs in their 9th loss of the year, it was surely in the 22 points they scored against the Tigers – the most they’ve scored since Round 25 last year (also against Wests). Unfortunately, it came accompanied by a complete defensive capitulation, in which they gave up 7 tries to a team who had yet to score more than 4 in a game this season. However, that 22 point effort is what’s stopping us from enthusiastically endorsing the Dragons here – while it may have been the 1st time this year that Canterbury have managed more than 16 points in a game, the Dragons have only done it 3 times themselves. If Canterbury can somehow drop 22 points again, there’s a decent chance they could actually win here. As it stands though, we have this projected with both teams landing around the 14-18 point range, and likely coming down to the wire. In that situation, we’re banking on the Dragons getting home through the experience of actually closing games out (experience that will be boosted here by the return of Andrew McCullough).
- Raiders by 8 – And finally, we continue to test our credentials at death-riding the Eels for the third straight week. Having successfully picked their 7-point loss to the Roosters (we had them losing by 6), and last week tipping them to sneak home by 2 in a nail-biter against the struggling Sea Eagles (check!), we’re chasing 3-from-3 here via an upset win for the Raiders. If you’re a regular reader, you already know what we think of Parra – they’re a competent-enough offense (though we note they’ve only made more than 4 line breaks in a game 4 times this year – far fewer than you’d expect given their inflated reputation), paired with an absolutely dismal D (currently ranked 2nd-last in the league). Frankly, that’s not a combination that’s Top 4 standard, and in many seasons, they’d struggle to make the 8 (and they may yet might). Yes, they’ve jagged upset wins over Melbourne and Penrith, but we can’t ignore the fact that they were outgained by over 100m in both those matches, and gave up 4 more line breaks than they made in both. With those sorts of numbers, they’d likely lose 99 times out of 100, with an inability to score enough points to keep up with their leaky defense. Which is exactly what’s happened the other 3 times they’ve run into a Top 6 defense – losing by an average score of 24–14 (if you’re wondering, the Raiders rank 4th for defense). After a slow start to the year, Canberra appear to be on an upward trajectory, having scored 30+ in their past two outings (both against higher quality defenses than what they’re facing here), and they back that up with an elite D that’s conceded more than 3 tries in a game just once in the past 6 weeks. Finally – for those of you who believe in historical trends – we note that the Raiders have won 9 of their last 10 against Parra at GIO. The Eels’ annual post-Origin fall from relevance could be starting early this year.