2022 Season Results:Head-to-Head Tipping: 119/174 (68%) (Last Week: 7/8)
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.)
- Broncos by 1 – It should probably come as no surprise that we’re backing the Broncos again this week, after we picked them ahead of their 36-14 thumping of the Eels a month ago. That being said, this time around the tip comes with a lot less enthusiasm as a result of a pretty ordinary past month turned in by Brisbane. Since whacking Parramatta, they’ve gone 1-3, including losing to the current Wooden Spoon favourites (Wests) and giving up 60 points to Melbourne last week. Their defense has absolutely fallen off a cliff, missing 40+ tackles in their past 3 losses. The upshot here then for Brisbane is that while all 3 losses came against sides ranked in the Top 8 for TBVOA, the Eels are actually one of the worst sides in the comp when it comes to busting tackles, coming in at a lowly 13th (-8.46%), and having failed to break 40 tackles in a game this season. And if Brisbane can shore up that aspect of their D, the rest has actually been relatively comparable to Parramatta, even while getting gashed. Over their past four games – a run that includes giving up 10 line breaks to Melbourne – Brisbane have a bog average LBCVOA of 19.86%. But Parra on the other hand (the side supposedly coming in playing well) are right there alongside them at 18.58% over the same period. Brisbane’s outcomes look embarrassing because their tries conceded are tracking along with their line breaks conceded, whereas the Eels’ look better than they are thanks to an abnormally low tries-to-line-breaks-conceded ratio (0.5). This is completely unsustainable (no team in the league scores at a lower ratio of tries-to-line-breaks than 0.7), and if they continue to get gashed for line breaks at a similar pace to Brisbane, we fully expect them to soon be giving up tries at a similar pace to Brisbane. Accordingly, these sides project extremely even. The loss of Selwyn Cobbo hurts Brisbane, but it’s worth noting that he didn’t play in their Round 19 win over the Eels, anyway. With their season on the line at Suncorp, we’re leaning towards the home crowd getting them home.
- Panthers by 20+
- Storm by 6 – Friday Night Footy brings an absolute belter this week, with two of the most in-form sides in the competition facing off. After shaking off a case of the mid-season yips, both the Storm and Roosters have been looking utterly phenomenal. In the case of Melbourne, they’ve now won 4 straight; over at Sydney they’ve now made it 6. If there’s any question marks surrounding the authenticity of their runs, it’d be that in both cases only 2 of each side’s wins have come against Top 8 opposition, but you can only beat who’s in front of you, and they’ve certainly been winning by decent margins. If we have to choose which offense is running the hottest, we’re inclined to side with Melbourne on account of the slightly stiffer quality of defenses they’ve faced – though they only scored 16 point against Penrith, putting 6 line breaks past the NRL’s best defense was enough to make us sit up and take notice, and was arguably more impressive than Sydney putting 13 past Wests (who had also given up 10 to Cronulla just a week earlier). If you prefer to use a common benchmark, the Storm put 60 points past the Broncos last weekend; two weeks earlier, the Roosters managed “just” 34 against the same team. Sydney’s offense has still been very good, but we’d argue it hasn’t quite hit the heights of Melbourne’s, and that’s with a lot breaking their way. The Roosters’ 6-week avalanche of points has coincided with a stretch of games in which they’ve outgained all their opponents by at least 230m per game (prior to their hot run, they’d been outgained in their previous 3 straight, and had only outgained an opponent by 230m+ 5 times all season). That’s great, but it’s also extraordinarily unlikely to be replicated here. The Storm bring the league’s 2nd best run defense (a RMCVOA of -6.87%), and are a good shot to win the possession battle, given their superior error rate (9 per game vs 11) and penalty rate (9 vs 9.3). If the home crowd can draw a few extra penalties out of the match officials, the Roosters will have an almost impossible task getting the sort of field position advantages they’ve enjoyed in recent weeks. And without it, we just don’t know if they can win – they’ve literally won just 2 of 8 games this year in which they’ve been outgained for run metres (and those wins came by a combined margin of just 11 points). If you think the return of Lindsay Collins and Siosiua Taukeiaho sufficiently move the needle, then by all means, we can get on board with backing Sydney. But we’re expecting the Storm to get the better of the field position, and if they do, this offense will be very difficult to stop.
- Raiders by 4 – We’re backing the Raiders here in large part because they’re in win-or-go-home mode (and also because Manly have been shockingly terrible for the past month or so), but we’ve got to be honest – we don’t feel great about it. Canberra were awful in the first half last weekend against Newcastle, giving up 22 points and 5 line breaks to a Knights team who hadn’t scored 22 points in an entire match since Round 17. We suppose the upshot for Canberra is that they ultimately did find a way to win, but their offense simply isn’t good enough to bail out their D if they wet the bed again. Last weekend marked the 4th week in a row that they’ve given up 22 points or more, with them scratching out narrow victories in 3 of those against the defenses ranked 4th-last, 3rd-last and last. If they face any defense showing even a hint of resistance, we just can’t see them scoring 20+ again. That being said, while Manly have been a much better defense than the sides mentioned over the course of the season, over the past few weeks they… well, they haven’t been good. They’ve now given up 7 tries and 5+ line breaks in their past three straight games, and have a real look about them of a team that’s ready for Mad Monday. But there’s no questioning the quality that remains in the squad, and if they were to decide to turn up, they’re significantly more dangerous than Newcastle (who themselves almost pulled Canberra’s pants down a week ago). We don’t have the stones to tip Manly straight up, but we’ll certainly have a piece of them at their current price of $4, on the off chance the real Sea Eagles turn up.
- Sharks by 20+
- Rabbitohs by 2 – We’ve to-ed and fro-ed over this game all week, before eventually settling on the Rabbitohs. With the Bunnies in at $1.50, the bookies seem to think this is a relatively straightforward tip, and we’re the first to admit that their form line since Latrell Mitchell returned has been pretty darn tidy. They’ve won 6 of those 8 games, with both losses coming to Top 4 sides, by a combined margin of just 5 points. But this is a run that’s been built pretty much entirely on the back of their offense; defensively, they’ve given up 4+ line breaks in their past 7 straight, including 4 games giving up 6+ – and this is despite winning the possession battle in all but 1 of those matches. This isn’t the defense of a serious title contender, and will have them in real strife if ever they run into a side capable of slowing down their O. In this respect, the Cowboys and their league 2nd-best defense could provide a bit of a tricky matchup for Souths. In North Queensland, Souths will be running into a side who’ve conceded more than 4 tries in a game just 4 times all year – if the Bunnies give up another score of 20+, there’s every chance the Cowboys could slow the Bunnies down just enough to hang on for a win. Ultimately though, we settled on Souths after seeing Tom Dearden ruled out. Not because we necessarily think he’s an irreplaceable talent, but rather because after watching the Rabbitohs abuse Penrith’s replacement half Jaeman Salmon last weekend, we’re nervous about what they’re going to do to Scott Drinkwater (though it’s worth noting that Drinky will likely defend on the left, whereas Salmon got carved up on the right). It’s extremely close though, and if Drinky stands up, the Cows probably do have an upset in them.
- Dragons by 8 – We’ve gone for a low margin here essentially because both sides are so unrecognisable that it’s hard to draw anything meaningful from their season-long stats. From the team that got them into this mess, the Tigers have now sent Luciano Leilua and David Nofoaluma to other clubs, have a further 9 players in the injury ward, and have lost captain James Tamou to suspension, bringing their missing starters list to 12. We suppose the Dragons are doing a little better, with this week’s losses of Andrew McCullough, Moses Mbye, Francis Molo and Michael Molo bringing their own total to 7, but like Wests, they also weren’t particularly good in the first place. Our expectation here is that the game descends into some sort of shoot-out, given Wests have leaked 108 points in two weeks, while the Dragons have given up 24+ in 4 straight. On paper you’d have to think the Dragons are better placed to take advantage of this, but with new combinations and a lack of talent in the first place, we’re not about to rule out the Tigers entirely.
- Titans by 6 – Maybe we’re just suckers, but we just can’t seem to quit these Titans. We backed them in last weekend against the Dragons, and they were in it up to their eyeballs – right up until Francis Molo got sent off, and the Gold Coast suddenly got roasted by 12 men. Not to be put off, we’re going to back to this (extremely dry) well once again. The appeal here is in the 24+ points that the Titans have put on in 4 of their past 5 matches. These may not be the sorts of eye-watering totals that the good teams were dropping last weekend, but they’re nevertheless more than the Knights have scored in the past 6 weeks, and in fact, Newcastle have only managed to hit 24+ in a match 4 times all year. Of course, the Gold Coast and their saloon-door defense are the perfect opponent against whom the Knights can get started, but without Kalyn Ponga, Bradman Best and Kurt Mann (among others), we’re not entirely sure where these points are supposed to come from. So we say “sign us up for another week of disappointment please, Mr. Holbrook”.