The Early Line: Round 21

Filed in NRL, The Early Line by on July 28, 2011

Manly have opened up 5.5 to 6.5 point favourites against the Wests Tigers in their clash on the Central Coast on Friday night.

There is plenty of feeling between these two so expect both teams to be near their best. Leave me out of the Tigers until they actually show something. Tim Sheens can bleat all he likes about the Tigers' stats in shifts and the like, they were extraordinarily lucky to roll the Roosters and, of course, didn't cover.

Manly were covering right up until the final minute against Penrith. Manly have won six of eight against the Tigers and six of their last seven in Gosford. It should also be noted the Tigers are 6-12 ATS this year. Play 2 units on Manly -5.5.

The last three Manly games at the Central Cost have totalled 48 plus but both these teams are unders teams so best to avoid a total play.

COVER FORM: Manly 11-7 (LLWWL), Wests Tigers 6-12 (LLLWL)

OVER-UNDER FORM: Manly 7-11 (OUOOU), Wests Tigers 7-11 (UUUOU)

Brisbane have opened up big 12.5 to 13.5 point favourites against Cronulla.

Brisbane have won 11 of 14 against the Sharks with Cronulla not winning at Lang Park since 2004. No Paul Gallen will also hurt the Sharks no end. The line seems just a little big for my liking though, particularly with Darren Lockyer in some doubt.

No side bet. And nothing stands out total wise.

COVER FORM: Brisbane 11-7 (WLWWL), Cronulla 9-9 (WWWLL)

OVER-UNDER FORM: Brisbane 7-11 (UOUUU), Cronulla 11-7 (OUOOU)

The Sydney Roosters have opened 1 to 1.5 point favourites against Canterbury.

Betting wise, the Roosters have come good the last three weeks, covering on each occasion despite close back-to-back losses. Canterbury may have turned a corner with their close win against the Eels last Friday.

Canterbury have won five of eight against the Roosters but managed only two wins from eight matches at the SFS since their 2004 premiership. I have a slight leaning the Roosters but can't recommend a side play.

This looks like an under play for mine though when it comes to totals. Both are big under teams and Jim Dymock has re-jigged Canterbury's defensive structure. The only concern is the big scores (44-plus) these two have totalled in their last three. Bet 1.5 units on the under if the total is 37.5 or bigger.

COVER FORM: Sydney Roosters 8-10 (LLWWW), Canterbury 9-9 (WLLLW)

OVER-UNDER FORM: Syd. Roosters 4-14 (UOOUU), Canterbury 7-11 (UOOUU)

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North Queensland go into their home clash with Penrith 2.5 to 4 point favourites.

Penrith have been decimated by injury with Lachlan Coote and Travis Burns out and Luke Lewis in some doubt. The Cowboys have won two of three without Thurston, both on the road, and the inclusion of Brent Tate the last two weeks has them looking far stronger out wide. There is some talk that Thurston could make a shock comeback this week too. With the Cowboys winning seven of their last eight at home and Penrith having won only one of their last seven on the road, we will take two units on the Cows giving up 2.5 points.

No total play.

COVER FORM: North Queensland 13-5 (WLWLW), Penrith 12-6 (WWLLW)

OVER-UNDER FORM: North Queensland 10-8 (UOUOO), Penrith 8-10 (OUOOU)

New Zealand have opened up 6.5 to 7.5 point favourites in their home clash with Canberra.

The Warriors have certainly hit form with three straight wins/covers including a decimation of Souths last Sunday. The Raiders though are coming off a huge win over the Dragons. The Raiders are not without a hope here. They have won five of eight against the Warriors including a shock upset last year at Mt Smart Stadium and Josh Dugan seems to be in rare touch. The start may be just a little big here. Play 1.5 units on the Raiders +7.5.

No total plays are of interest here.

COVER FORM: New Zealand 10-8 (LLWWW), Canberra 6-12 (WWLLW)

OVER-UNDER FORM: New Zealand 6-12 (UUUOO), Canberra 10-8 (UOUUO)

Newcastle will jump 8 to 9.5 point favourites in their clash with the last-placed Gold Coast.

Newcastle have won four of their last six against the Titans but have only once rolled the Titans by more than eight. The Titans are an abomination this year but I expect Beau Henry to lift after being let go mid-season by Newcastle. I am close to pushing a Newcastle bet but will let it slide as the number may be just a little big.

Newcastle are a massive under team and my inclination is to side with the under but the last five between these two have totalled 40-plus so we will let it go.

COVER FORM: Newcastle 8-10 (WWLLW), Gold Coast 4-14 (LLLLL)

OVER-UNDER FORM: Newcastle 5-13 (UUUOU), Gold Coast 9-9 (UOUOO)

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St George-Illawarra are big favourites against South Sydney bookmakers opening them 14 to 15.5 points on the minus side of the ledger.

Souths were embarrassing last week against the Warriors. They threw the towel in early with the Bunnies seemingly allergic to tackling. If they play like that, the Dragons will put 50 on them. The Dragons loss to the Raiders was probably the worst thing to happen to Souths. The Dragons have not lost two in a row without Origin interference since round 21 last year and they have won 14 of the last 16 between the two. Of those 14 matches, 11 have been by over 14 points.

Bet the Dragons giving 14 points for 1.5 units.

I can’t see the Bunnies scoring too many points here but the Dragons could run in a score. No total.   

COVER FORM: Dragons 10-8 (LWLWL), South Sydney 5-13 (LLLLL)

OVER-UNDER FORM: Dragons 6-12 (UUUOO), South Sydney 9-9 (UUOUO)

The struggling Parramatta Eels will get 8 to 8.5 points as a home underdog against the Melbourne Storm.

You simply can’t bet against the Storm at the moment. They just keep on covering, going 14-4 against the numbers. I expect that to be 15-4 come Monday evening. The Storm have a class edge all over the Eels and they will just grind it out against an ill-disciplined Parramatta team. The edges are particularly vulnerable for Parramatta. Bet 2 units on the Storm spotting 8 points.

Both of these teams are under teams. The Storm are 12-6 under and Parramatta are 10-8 under. The Storm have held opponents to a single try in seven of their last eight matches, are 4-1 under in their last five road games and the Eels last three at home have all failed to total more than 28. Bet 3 units on the under if the line is 34.5 or bigger.

COVER FORM: Parramatta 8-10 (LLWWL), Melbourne 14-4 (WWWWW)

OVER-UNDER FORM: Parramatta 8-10 (UUUOU), Melbourne 6-12 (UUOUU)

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

2 units on Manly -5.5 at Centrebet at $1.92
1.5 units on Under (Roosters-Bulldogs) if total is 37.5 or bigger
2 units on North Queensland -2.5 at Centrebet at $1.92
1.5 units on Canberra +7.5 at Luxbet at $1.92
1.5 units on St George-Illawarra -14 at IAS at $1.92
2 units on Melbourne -8 at Luxbet at $1.94
3 units on Under (Eels-Storm) if line is 34.5 or bigger

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

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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
19                11        20.5              13.40                            -7.10
20                 9         16                 22.94                           +6.94

Total      Bets     Units Bet    Units Returned          +/-

                149         265.5              282.78                       +17.28

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