The Early Line: Round 19

Filed in NRL, The Early Line by on July 14, 2011

New Zealand have opened up 5.5 to 6 point favourites against Canterbury in their Friday night clash.

Both teams have covered only once in their last five so neither is in great form. The Warriors looked better with Micheal Luck back last week but the Bulldogs have won 8 of their last 11 against the Warriors and five of their last six at Mt Smart. A small lean the points but no play.

Recent history suggests this should be an under match but these two have only totalled under 40 once since 2003 and have gone 50-plus in five of their last six. No total.

COVER FORM: New Zealand 8-8 (LLLLW), Canterbury 8-8 (LLWLL)

OVER-UNDER FORM: New Zealand 4-12 (UUUUU), Canterbury 6-10 (OUUUO)

Brisbane have opened up 10.5 to 12.5 point favourites in their local derby clash with the Gold Coast.

This looks set to be an old fashioned touch-up. The Broncos have won four straight and six of seven against the Titans with an average margin of victory of 13.33 in their last three at Lang Park. The Broncos are 10-6 against the line this year while the Titans are lucky to be 4-12. Play 2 units on Brisbane giving up 10.5 points.

The last three between these two has totalled 34 or less and Brisbane are a big under team (10-6 this year) with the Titans managing only 26 points total over the last three weeks. We will take 1 unit under if the line is 38.5 or bigger.

COVER FORM: Brisbane 10-6 (WWWLW), Gold Coast 4-12 (LWLLL)

OVER-UNDER FORM: Brisbane 6-10 (OOUUU), Gold Coast 7-9 (UOUOU)

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South Sydney have opened up 1 to 1.5 point favourites against the Sydney Roosters in what is sure to be a fiery affair.

The Roosters have won 21 of 25 against Souths and with a team resembling that which made it to the Grand Final last year and looked reasonably competent against Penrith. I am not confident about a team that is 6-10 ATS this year and I'm not convinced they have turned the corner yet but with massive injury worries at Souths, the Roosters really should win here. Play 1 unit on the Roosters +1.5.

These two tend to play open affairs but the Roosters are an under team despite consecutive overs the last two weeks. No total play.

COVER FORM: South Sydney 5-11 (WLLLL), Sydney Roosters 6-10 (WLLLW)

OVER-UNDER FORM: South Sydney 8-8 (UUUUO), Syd Roosters 4-12 (UUUOO)

North Queensland have opened up 1.5 to 2.5 point home outsiders against the struggling Wests Tigers.

The Cowboys were magnificent in winning on Monday night in Newcastle without Johnathan Thurston. They are up against it this week but they have won seven straight at home, Brent Tate is set to debut for the club and the Tigers have managed only three tries over the last three matches. A small 1 unit play on the Cowboys with 2.5 points start though this is more a reflection on the Tigers as I am still not sure the Cowboys can win consistently without Thurston.

These two have a history of high scorers but the Tigers' attacking woes and no Thurston has me leaning towards the under. No total bet.  

COVER FORM: North Qld 12-4 (WLWLW), Wests Tigers 5-11 (LWLLL)

OVER-UNDER FORM: North Qld 8-8 (OUUOU), Wests Tigers 6-10 (UOUUU)

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Penrith will start 2.5 to 3.5 point favourites in their bitter local derby clash with Parramatta.

The Panthers have been the punters pal this year but they let everyone down last Sunday with a shock loss to the lowly Roosters. The Eels, meanwhile, were impressive against the Wests Tigers with Hayne moved to pivot and Burt to custodian. Penrith have won 8 of 14 against the Eels but Parramatta recovered from a 22-0 deficit in the corresponding match last year to win 34-28. You never want to get too excited about Parramatta but they look over the odds here. Play 1.5 units with 3.5 start.

No total play.

COVER FORM: Penrith 11-5 (WWWWL), Parramatta 7-9 (WWLLW)

OVER-UNDER FORM: Penrith 7-9 (UUOUO), Parramatta 7-9 (UOUUU)

I have come to loathe the Canberra Raiders this year and even with the 4 to 4.5 points at home against the Melbourne Storm, I will be well against them.

The Raiders welcome back Josh Dugan but they are a low 5-11 against the number this year and they have lost 16 of 18 against the Storm. With Melbourne going 12-4 against the spread, winning six on the trot and holding opponents to an average of 8 points a game over the last six weeks. The Storm are just too strong. It should also be noted that the Storm haven't lost twice in a season to a team who missed the eight since 2005 when they went down twice to Penrith. Play 2.5 units on Melbourne giving 4 points.

The Storm are a big under team but the Raiders leak a lot of points. No total though a leaning the under.

COVER FORM: Canberra 5-11 (LLWWL), Melbourne 12-4 (WWWWW)

OVER-UNDER FORM: Canberra 9-7 (OOUOU), Melbourne 6-10 (UUUUO)

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Newcastle have opened up 6 to 6.5 point home underdogs against the high-flying Manly in what shapes as a cracking match this Sunday.

If Kurt Gidley was in and Jarrod Mullen was out, this would be a 3 unit play on the Knights. I just don't rate Mullen though and I think he hurts the team. The Knights are 5-7 with Mullen this year and 3-1 without him. I have high hopes for Ryan Stig though and even with Mullen, the start looks a little big. Manly were flattered by the margin against South Sydney and the home team has won this clash the last nine times.

Bet 1.5 units on Newcastle +6.5.

The Knights are on a monster under run here and Manly are also a big under team. Bet 2 units under if the line is 37.5 or bigger.

COVER FORM: Newcastle 7-9 (WLWWL), Manly 10-6 (WWLLW)

OVER-UNDER FORM: Newcastle 4-12 (UUUUU), Manly 6-10 (OUOUO)

Monday Night Football shapes as a real ripper with the Southern Derby between St George-Illawarra and Cronulla with the Dragons 8 to 9.5 point favourites.

The Sharks have been in great form of late while the Dragons have been a little flat and the Sharks did shock the Dragons in round two. I have a leaning towards the Dragons here but can't have a bet with the Sharks covering their last four.

There is a total play though with a 3 unit bet on the under recommended. The Dragons are 12-4 under and not one of the last eight played between these two has totalled more than 38. Play 3 units under if the line is 35.5 or bigger.

COVER FORM: St George-Illawarra 9-7 (LLLWL), Cronulla 9-7 (LWWWW)

OVER-UNDER FORM: St George-Ill 4-12 (UOUUU), Cronulla 10-6 (OUOUO)

Tipping winners: New Zealand, Brisbane, Sydney Roosters, North Queensland, Parramatta, Melbourne, Manly, St George-Illawarra

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2 units on Brisbane -10.5 at Sportingbet at $1.91
1 unit on Under (Broncos-Titans) if line is 38.5 or bigger
1 unit on Sydney Roosters +1.5 at Sportsbet at $1.91
1 unit on North Queensland +2.5 at Centrebet at $1.92
1.5 units on Parramatta +3.5 at Sports Alive at $1.91
2.5 units on Melbourne -4 at Centrebet at $1.92
1.5 units on Newcastle +6.5 at Luxbet at $1.89
2 units on Under (Knights-Eagles) if line is 37.5 or bigger
3 units on Under (Dragons-Sharks) if line is 35.5 or bigger

Remember, a standing 2 unit bet exists on any game when the rains have come

Round    Bets     Units Bet       Units Returned         +/-
1                   3         1.5                 0.95                            -0.45
2                   6          6                   0.92                            -5.08
3                   7         11                  7.38                            -3.62
4                   8         13                 16.51                           +3.51
5                  10       16                  13.15                           -2.85
6                   8         14.5              19.60                           +5.10
7                   8         15                 11.66                           -3.34    
8                   9         18.5              27.74                           +9.24   
9                   4         6.5                 9.64                            +3.14
10                 7         14                 15.29                           +1.29
11                 5          11                 4.78                             -6.22
12                 9         18                 15.38                           -2.62
13                 7         14.5              13.38                           -1.12
14                 6         10.5              15.32                           +4.82
15                 6         11                 18.19                           +7.19
16                 9         16.5              23.89                           +7.39
17                 7         13                 20.13                           +7.13
18                10        18.5              12.43                            -6.07

Total      Bets     Units Bet    Units Returned          +/-

                129         229               246.44                        +17.44


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