The Early Line: Round 21

Filed in NRL, The Early Line by on July 24, 2012

St George Illawarra are getting 5.5 points at home against Melbourne in what shapes as a dour grind. The Storm are 16-3-1 in this match-up dating back to 2001 with the Storm scoring 11 and two point victories in the only two matches these two have played the last two years. Both teams have been in dreadful cover form – the Dragons making the number just five times this year, the Storm losing four straight. The Dragons are 21-15 ATS at home since 2010 while the Storm are 38-23 ATS as a favourite. Lean the Dragons but no bet.

There is a 2 unit play the under in this one if the line is 34 or bigger. These two have averaged 26.5 points in their last four since 2009 while the Storm are 22-11 under on the road since 2010. The Dragons are 47-24 under over the same timeframe. Looks a grinder.

COVER FORM: Dragons 5-13 (LLLWL), Melbourne 12-6 (WLLLL)
OVER-UNDER FORM: Dragons 6-12 (OUOUO), Melbourne 9-9 (OUOUU)

TheSydney Roosters and the Gold Coast tackle each other at the Sydney Football Stadium on Friday night with the Chooks getting 2.5 points. The Titans have a 5-4 all-time edge over the Roosters, but the Titans have won 2 of the 3 played at the SFS. The Roosters have lost 5 of 6 at the SFS while the Titans are 4-3 in their last seven on the road. The Titans are 14-10 ATS since 2010. Bet them for 0.5 units.

There is no total play.

COVER FORM: Roosters 10-8 (WLWWL), Gold Coast 11-7 (WWLWW)
OVER-UNDER FORM: Roosters 10-8 (OOUOU), Gold Coast 7-11 (OUOOU)

Two hot teams here with Canterbury spotting North Queensland 2.5 points. Canterbury are the leading cover team in the premiership while the Cowboys have made the number on four of five occasions. The Bulldogs have won four straight against the Cows, by an average of eight points. The Cowboys have gon 5-4 ATS on the road this year. I'd be all over Canterbury here – their defensive weaknesses are on the edges – but the lack of a halfback is a worry. No bet.

The Cowboys are 17-12 over on the road since 2010 as an underdog while the Bulldogs can pile the points on. With no halfback, scoring could be an issue, so just a 0.5 unit play if the line is 42.5 or lower.

COVER FORM: Canterbury 14-4 (WWWWW), North Qld 10-8 (WWLWW)
OVER-UNDER FORM: Canterbury 9-9 (OUOOU), North Qld 11-7 (UOOUO)

Manly are giving New Zealand 5.5 points in their Grand Final replay in Perth. Manly have won 12 of 15 against the Warriors but are too reliant on Brett Stewart, with their winning percentage dropping by over 24 per cent over the last four years when their fullback is missing. He will be a late-week call. There is a lean Manly if Stewart plays but can't recommend a bet at this stage.

Both are over teams here but both have gone under the last fortnight. We will try a 1 unit bet the over if the line is 44 or smaller.

COVER FORM: Manly 9-9 (LWWLL), New Zealand 8-10 (LWWWL)
OVER-UNDER FORM: Manly 10-8 (OOOUU), New Zealand 13-5 (OOOUU)

Cronulla and Penrith square off on Saturday night with the Sharks spotting 5.5 points to a Panthers team coming off a win. The Sharks have won 4 of 7 against Penrith but have lost two straight. Penrith have lost six in a row on the road. The Sharks are sliding at the moment so Penrith, embittered by the Sharks' poaching of players, can win if they lift for this. Try for 1 unit.

The Sharks are 22-11 under at home since 2010. Play the under for 1 unit.

COVER FORM: Cronulla 11-7 (WWLLL), Penrith 7-11 (LLLWW)
OVER-UNDER FORM: Cronulla 6-12 (OUUUU), Penrith 10-8 (OUOOU)

Canberra are surprisingly spotting Newcastle 4.5 to 5.5 points. The Raiders are horrendous favourites and not much better in the day-time, going 6-18 ATS when in the chalk and just 9-20 ATS in the day. The Raiders have won 7 of 12 in this match-up and 4 of 5 at Canberra Stadium but have to be taken on here. Bet the Knights for 3 units.

These two have totalled 44 on 5 of 7 occasions with the Raiders a top under team in the dry this year. Bet it for 1 unit if the line is 46 or lower.

COVER FORM: Canberra 8-10 (LWWLW), Newcastle 8-10 (WWLWW)
OVER-UNDER FORM: Canberra 12-6 (OOOOU), Newcastle 7-11 (OUOUU)

South Sydney will lay 5.5 points against the injury-ravaged Wests Tigers on Sunday afternoon. The Bunnies have won 4 of 5 against the Tigers and two straight at ANZ. The Bunnies are 13-5 ATS as home favourites the last three seasons and 24-11 ATS at home. The Tigers have failed to cover in five straight.  The likelihood of no Greg Inglis is a worry but bet the unit for 1 unit.

A lean over but no play.

COVER FORM: South Sydney 10-8 (LWWLW), Wests Tigers 6-12 (LLLLL)
OVER-UNDER FORM: South Sydney 11-7 (OOOOO), Wests Tigers 12-6 (OOOOO)

Brisbane are giving 9.5 to 10 points to Parramatta in an interesting Monday night affair. The Broncos have won 5 of 7 against the Eels but have struggled of late as the form of halfback Peter Wallace has faded. A lean the minus but no bet.

No total in this one.

COVER FORM: Brisbane 9-9 (LWLLL), Parramatta 8-10 (WLWLW)
OVER-UNDER FORM: Brisbane 8-10 (UOUUUU), Parramatta 11-7 (UUOOU)
Remember, a 2 unit under bet at any line stands for games in the wet.

Tips:St George Illawarra, Gold Coast, Canterbury, Manly, Penrith, Newcastle, South Sydney, Brisbane

2 units on Under (Dra-Mel) if the line is 34 or bigger
0.5 units on Gold Coast -2.5 at Centrebet at $1.90
0.5 units on Over (Bul-Cow) if the line is 42.5 or lower
1 unit Over (Man-NZ) if the line is 44 or lower
1 unit on Penrith +5.5 at Centrebet at $1.90
1 unit on Under (Cro-Pen) if the line is 38 or bigger
3 units on Newcastle +5.5 at Centrebet at $1.90
1 unit on Over (Can-New) if the line is 46 or lower

1 unit on Souths -5.5 at Centrebet at $1.90

Overall: 221.5 units bet for 225.5 units returned for a POT of 1.81%
Line: 97 units bet for 101.73 units returned for a POT of 4.88%
Total:124.5 units bet for 123.77 units returned for a POT of -0.59%



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