Rabbitohs v Tigers
Fri 13 Jun, 7:45pm, ANZ Stadium
Rabbitohs: 1. Nathan Merritt 2. Alex Johnston 3. Bryson Goodwin 4. Kirisome Auva’a 5. Joel Reddy 6. John Sutton 7. Adam Reynolds 8. George Burgess 9. Issac Luke 10. David Tyrrell 11. Kyle Turner 12. Sam Burgess 13. Ben Lowe
Round 14 of the 2014 season probably won’t hold the most appealing betting options but there is value in this match up to be found at the line.
The round is littered with backup players and up and comers who have been thrust into starting line-ups to fill the voids left by representative players, and if you’re a serious punter, then like me you’ll probably be hoping that one day the State of Origin series won’t interfere with the regular NRL season and might get relocated on the calendar to become a standalone series.
Of the 30 weeks in an NRL season, anywhere between 6 and 8 of those weeks are affected by State of Origin which can make the successful punting caper a difficult endeavour.
Don’t take that as a knock on Origin; I love the annual, three game clash of the titans as much as the next person, but it’s always to the detriment of the NRL.
To the game at hand and this game’s afflictions start with the loss of Greg Inglis, Chris McQueen and Ben Te’o to the Queensland side. Those boys are followed into the Origin arena by Robbie Farah and Aaron Woods departing for the NSW camp. It should also be noted that Rabbitohs centre Dylan Walker, who had a blinder of a game last week, will also be absent from the side with a broken thumb.
So the basic answer we need to find here is which team will be most affected by their losses? The short answer is the Tigers who are an entirely different side once Robbie Farah takes a hooking hiatus from NRL and more often than not watches on helplessly as his side self destructs from the ruck outwards.
Sure the Rabbitohs are less potent in attack and cover defence without Inglis but they have already proven this year that they can still be a point scoring force that can’t be taken lightly just because other players are missing.
Depth is the key and the Bunnies have it in spades with Nathan Merritt slotting straight into the fullback role.
The other major factor that favours the Rabbitohs is the ANZ Stadium home ground advantage and with no real threat of rain forecast for Friday night, the Rabbitohs will be well suited.
Both sides will roll into a bye next week but I just get that feeling that the Tigers have their eye on the break and will be yearning for the rest a bit more than the Rabbitohs.
Having weighed up all these factors, I’m pretty confident we will see the Rabbitohs cover the -8.5 line and if you can wait until the 2 hour period before kickoff, you’ll get $2.00 odds for the Rabbitohs to cover that spread @ Ladbrokes.
Mike’s Tip: Rabbitohs
Mike’s Best Bet: Rabbitohs -8.5 @ $2.00 (Ladbrokes [2 hours before kick off])
Panthers v Dragons
Sat 14 Jun, 5:30pm, Centrebet Stadium
Panthers: 1. Matt Moylan 2. Josh Mansour 3. Dean Whare 4. Isaah Yeo 5. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 6. Jamie Soward 7. Peter Wallace 8. Sam McKendry 9. James Segeyaro 10. Brent Kite 11. Tyrone Peachey 12. Sika Manu 13. Elijah Taylor
It would appear the Panthers are about to be handed another win in 2014 when they take on a depleted Dragons side on Saturday evening.
Merrin and Dugan are in camp with the NSW side and Brett Morris remains on the sideline injured.
If there is to be any hope of winning for the Dragons it will have to come from Benji Marshall who seemed to find some old form last week particularly off the back of his running game. Even his combination with Joel Thompson in the opposition 20 looked quite impressive and you can expect Thompson to be hitting holes off Marshall’s left hip once more.
The Panthers moved to first place on the ladder last week and a lot of the credit for their newly found position can go towards their ability to grind out home games at Sportingbet Stadium. Another home game against a Dragons side without its Origin stars looks like a gift two points but Coach Ivan Cleary knows how badly complacency can hurt you and he will be making sure his men are intending on playing to their full capacity. Particularly considering their victory over the Titans last week wasn’t exactly their greatest performance and certainly needs to be improved on if the Panthers are to compete with the big boys in the back half of the season.
I won’t be spruiking any best bets here as I think the Panthers are unders and the line on offer for the Dragons doesn’t really appeal to me. Especially when the outcome of line bets will depend heavily on how Benji Marshall and I for one can’t tell if he’s going to back up last week’s performance with another solid effort this week.
Mike’s Tip: Panthers
Mike’s Best Bet: None
Mike’s Casual Bet: Tyrone Peachey to score a try at anytime @ $4.00 (Bookmaker.com.au)
Roosters v Knights
Sat 14 Jun, 7:30pm, Allianz Stadium
Roosters: 1. Anthony Minichiello 2. Nene Macdonald 3. Mitchell Aubusson 4. Shaun Kenny-Dowall 5. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 6. James Maloney 7. Mitchell Pearce 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Jake Friend 10. Sam Moa 11. Dylan Napa 12. Sonny Bill Williams 13. Frank-Paul Nu’uausala
More power to the Knights if they can produce an upset against a near full strength Roosters side at Allianz Stadium but to be honest I don’t give them much of a chance. Probably about a 10-15% chance to be honest.
The Knights’ administrative problems have been well documented in recent months and Coach Wayne Bennett has stated that ‘Newcastle’s fortunes are unlikely to change while ever the front office remains in disarray.’ I would have to agree with him.
After a low key start to the season, The Sydney Roosters have been able to get their campaign to defend their premiership back on track thanks to 6 wins from their last 7 games and another victory looks likely which would most likely see them keep their position in the top 8.
They will still have a fight on their hands and as is always the case with games affected by State of Origin, complacency may be the biggest threat the Roosters face.
If I was Coach Trent Robinson I’d also be making sure that my left edge defenders keep a close eye on Akuila Uate, who managed to pick up a hat trick in a losing side last week and definitely appears to have recovered from recent injury.
Betting looks to me as a good option here and another away trip for the Knights could see them losing by a hefty margin once more this year.
The Roosters have won the last 3 matches against the Knights by an average margin of 20 points, and the last three contests between these two sides played at Allianz have also seen the Roosters win, this time by an average of 15.33 points. Now the current spread for the Roosters to cover is -14.5…see where I’m going here?
Mike’s Tip: Roosters
Mike’s Best Bet: Roosters -14.5 @ $2.00 (Ladbrokes [2 hours before kick off])
Bulldogs v Eels
Sun 15 Jun, 3:00pm, ANZ Stadium
Bulldogs: 1. Sam Perrett 2. Mitch Brown 3. Josh Jackson 4. Tim Lafai 5. Krisnan Inu 6. Reni Maitua 7. Damien Cook 8. Sam Kasiano 9. Michael Ennis 10. James Graham 11. Greg Eastwood 12. Tony Williams 13. Dale Finucane
Let’s start by going over the Bulldogs’ outs which include the obvious two in their halves Reynolds and Hodkinson who have been drafted once more into the NSW side. Josh Morris and Frank Pritchard remain out injured and joining them on the sidelines will be Chase Stanley and Aiden Tolman.
The Bulldogs do however get the favour of the home ground advantage which is ideally magnified by the fact that the Eels have lost their last 14 games straight at this venue.
A 2 game rookie in Damien Cook has been named to take up the halfback role for the Bulldogs in Hodkinson’s absence and Coach Des Hasler obviously thinks Cook is capable of getting a job done. Cook was named in the NSW Cup team of the year in 2013 and has plenty of potential.
The Eels absentee list is headed by none other than Jarryd Hayne who has been in scintillating form of late and will prove to be a major loss to the Eels. Will Hopoate joins Hayne in the NSW squad and the Eels will still be suffering with the loss of hooker Nathan Peats. Halfback Chris Sandow is going to have his work cut out for him trying to lead his weakened side to an away win.
The Eels away record this year has been abysmal and it’s difficult to see them snatching a win on foreign territory without key players in their line up.
I won’t be suggesting any best bets for this game with team line-ups having been turned on their heads so to speak but if you decide to outlay some cash on a result, my best suggestion would be the Bulldogs to cover the -5.5 line available on Pinnacle.
Mike’s Tip: Bulldogs
Mike’s Best Bet: None
Mike’s Casual Bet: Bulldogs -5.5 @ $1.95 (Pinnacle)
Titans v Storm
Mon 16 Jun, 7:00pm, Robina Stadium
Titans: 1. William Zillman 2. Kevin Gordon 3. Brad Tighe 4. Brad Takairangi 5. David Mead 6. Maurice Blair 7. Albert Kelly 8. Luke Bailey 9. Beau Falloon 10. Luke Douglas 11. Paul Carter 12. Dave Taylor 13. Ben Ridge
When these two sides met in Round 5 at AAMI Park, it was the Storm that were expected to walk all over the Titans as they went into the match as $1.30 favourites.
But come the final minutes of the match, it was up to Greg Bird to try and kick the winning penalty goal to win. With every sinew in his body coming together as one, Bird sent the ball over the black dot and the Titans were upset winners.
9 weeks on and the two sides are set to meet each other on the Gold Coast although under very different circumstances.
The Storm currently sit 9th on the ladder with the Titans one spot behind them in 10th, and as we gear up for State of Origin II in two days time, we are left with a couple of teams battling out Monday night footy minus their representative players.
Myles, Bird and Taylor will be missing for the Titans whilst on Origin duty and team mates Sezer and Harrison are both out with injury. One other will sit the game out and that is rising star Paul Carter who was stood down by the team for being caught drink-driving on the weekend after police found him driving the wrong way down a one way street. Ironically, Paul Carter’s big drinking session could make room in the team for young Caleb Binge.
The Storm arrived on the Gold Coast without Smith, Slater and Hoffman who will also contest Origin whilst halfback Cooper Cronk sits out with his broken arm still on the mend.
So now we have to decide which team will cope better with the aforementioned losses and I must say I’m finding it difficult to separate them.
The Storm are probably the better drilled of the two sides and a bit more adept at coping without the big players but they would prefer to be playing in front of a home crowd.
It was hard enough for the Storm to cope last week even with Smith in the side but they hung on for as long as they could and as best they could against an electric Roosters outfit.
It was the Titans that looked like a babbling basket case against the Panthers and the longer the game went, the further they went away from their game plan.
If the Titans produce that rubbish again then they can expect a consistent Storm crew to grind their way past them.
No bets here and I reckon it’s best to just sit back and watch quietly before getting ready for the clash of the titans on Wednesday night that is State of Origin!
Mike’s Tip: Storm
Mike’s Best Bet: None
Mike’s Casual Bet: Storm +6.0 @ $2.00 (Ladbrokes, 2 hours before kickoff)