2022 Season Results:
Head-to-Head Tipping: 125/182 (69%) (Last Week: 6/8)
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%
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- Storm by 12 – Well, at this point we have to begrudgingly admit that the Eels are playing better than we anticipated. As recently as a couple of months ago, the Eels ranked dead last in Defense VOA, but as the season’s gone deeper, they’ve gradually improved to be a not-completely-embarrassing 9th. Given the fact that the defensive side of the ball has been our primary knock on Parramatta this season, the improvement is enough that we’re prepared to concede that when the dust settles, they will in fact be deserving of a Top 8 finish. Do they deserve to be in the same conversation as the competition heavyweights, like the Storm, though? Oh God, no. Sure, Parra’s D has steadily progressed from “woeful” to “below average”, but their offense still isn’t of a quality that’s likely to be good enough to mask their remaining defensive shortcomings. Let’s examine their recent big scores: over the past two months, they’ve dropped huge totals against Brisbane, Canterbury, Manly and Penrith. For three of those four sides, Parra’s “huge” score wasn’t even the single biggest score those sides have conceded in the past month; while for Penrith, they were torching a side who only had 12 men (and even then, they managed just 1 try in the second half). Around those games, they got nilled by Souths, and put just 14 on Brisbane (back when Brisbane were good). In fact, even while hanging 95 points on a pair of sub-standard opponents over the last fortnight, they weren’t even close to the best offense in the league over that period. Sure, they produced an impressive LBVOA of 34.70%, but that’s dwarfed by the 53.06% that the Storm produced over the same period, and the Storm also have a good defense. So yes, we admit that Parra are better than we gave them credit for – it’s the only reason we don’t have Melbourne by 20+.
- Sea Eagles by 8 – Picking a winner in the early Friday night contest is no easy feat, with the wheels having long since fallen off for both sides. At Manly, their defense has completely imploded since Rainbowgate, with Manly giving up an average of 42 points per game over the last four weeks (ouch). Yes, they’re missing a few troops, but their defensive standards have clearly slipped – up to and including the rainbow game, the Eagles had made 30 or more missed tackles in just 8 of their first 19 games; since that game, that done it in all 4 (averaging 36 per game). They’re giving up enormous metres (1500+ every week) and conceding more tries than they are line breaks (a reflection of the defensive limitations of their fullback options). Put simply, their D is absolutely shot. But on the other hand, they’re coming up against an offense that hasn’t made more than 17 tackle busts in any game over the same period, hasn’t run for 1300m, and has posted just 6 combined line breaks over the past month (we’d say that their offense has come to a grinding halt, but was it ever really moving in the first place?). 3 of the Bulldogs’ 5 worst performances this season in terms of LBVOA have come in the past 4 weeks, and their early-season form was so bad that it got Trent Barrett fired. Honestly, both these sides are so obviously finished, that the winner is likely to just be whoever turns up and plays remotely decent football. We’ve rolled with Manly on the assumption that they’ll get up to give Kieran Foran an appropriate send-off, but it’s far from guaranteed.
- Roosters by 6 – Meanwhile, the second Friday night game presents the polar opposite – two sides absolutely humming, playing the best football that either side has produced all year. Both sides have lost key players for this match – Daniel Tupou, Victor Radley and Lindsay Collins for the Roosters, and Damien Cook for the Rabbitohs – but they’re otherwise about as healthy as either side could hope to be this late in the season. Though the Roosters are missing more players, it’s arguable that the Roosters’ absentees are a little more replaceable – they’re able to slide Paul Momirovski and Siosiua Taukeiaho straight into the starting side, while Terrell May (1st among Roosters forwards for metres-per-carry) joins the bench. In contrast, the Rabbits lose a spine member in Cook, who’s replaced by the experienced – but stylistically very different – Siliva Havili. With Havili at hooker, the Bunnies lose the threat of speed from dummy-half, with Havili essentially just there to shovel balls on to his playmakers. He can do this capably enough, but it nevertheless makes defending Souths that little bit easier – in the 3 games Havili’s started, their LBVOA dropped from a league-best 30.31% to a pedestrian -0.79% (and before you ask: yes, Latrell Mitchell played in all 3 of those games). And if the Rabbits’ offense drops that little bit, we think that’s enough to give an edge to the more balanced Roosters, who not only bring a pretty handy offense themselves (just ask the Tigers), but also a significantly better defense (Defense VOA of -18.90% v 7.68%).
- Warriors by 6 – As with the Bulldogs/Eagles clash, the Warriors/Titans game appears to provide another match-up of two sides outside the 8, with essentially nothing to play for. Nothing to play for, that is, unless you’re the Warriors, because being back in Auckland means something to them. As dismal as the Warriors have been for most of this year, you can’t knock their efforts when they’ve been back home at Mt Smart. In those 3 games (vs the Tigers, Storm and Bulldogs), they’ve conceded just 2.3 tries per game, with a ludicrously good LBCVOA of -45.02% and TBCVOA of -32.24% (both of which if extrapolated across the whole season, would place them 1st in the competition). Their offense is… ok-ish, but playing at home they’ve so far had exactly the type of attitude that the Titans have been looking for all year. The Titans are probably marginally more talented, but in a match where only one side is likely to be giving it 100%, we’d rather be on that team.
- Broncos by 8 – This really should be a bit of a gimme for a Broncos side that spent almost the entire season embedded in the Top 8, but after losing 4 of their last 5 – including giving up 113 points in two weeks – a Brisbane win no longer feels like a foregone conclusion. The good news for Broncos fans though is that as extraordinarily bad as their D has been over the past fortnight, the Dragons‘ was actually worse. Yes, while the Broncos were copping back-to-back hidings and the Dragons were putting together 2 wins on the trot, the underlying numbers heavily favoured Brisbane’s defensive “performances”. Despite leaking 19 tries to the Dragons’ 8, the Broncos actually had a better LBCVOA (35.17% v 70.93%), RMCVOA (-0.53% v 10.81%) and TBCVOA (17.07% v 54.79%) – meaning that the difference between the Broncos’ historically awful points conceded total and the Dragons’ large-but-can-be-overcome tally was essentially just the calibre of offenses they faced (the Broncos faced the offenses ranked 1st and 6th; the Dragons the offenses ranked 10th and 14th). This being the case, we’re taking some heart in the fact that on the season, Brisbane have the better quality O (8th v 12th). We’re sure Brisbane will still give up a few tries, but if the Dragons defend at the same level they have been, Brisbane are a good shot to hang 30 on them.
- Cowboys by 10 – Without pretty much their entire regular line-up, only the most rusted-on Panthers fan would be giving their side a hope against the Cowboys. While we’re stopping short of actually tipping the Pennies, we are giving them a sporting chance of being competitive, and a huge shot at beating the 19.5 point start. The appeal in Penrith is partly in the quality of their reserve grade unit (there’s an argument that the forward pack Penrith are trotting out this weekend would beat a few NRL sides), but also the fact that the Cows tend not to completely bury inferior opposition. Outside of their 44-point creaming of the Warriors a fortnight ago (which was itself book-ended by two losses), they have a laundry list of wins in which they’ve outplayed but not annihilated weak opponents – 14 points over the Bulldogs, 26 over St George, 1 over Wests, 14 over Brisbane… and so on. The point here is that while the Cows are indisputably better than Penrith’s reserve grade unit, there’s an argument that they were similarly better than all the sides mentioned, yet they weren’t running up the score in all those games. Expect the Cows to win, but don’t be surprised if the Panther Cubs give a good account of themselves.
- Sharks by 16
- Raiders by 14