The Early Line: Round 22

Filed in NRL, The Early Line by on August 4, 2011

St George-Illawarra go into their clash with the Wests Tigers at the SFS as 4 to 4.5 point favourites.

The Dragons have been most disappointing of late, collecting only five premiership points in the last eight rounds and blowing big leads against both Canberra and South Sydney. Wayne Bennett questioned the attitude of his players and that should see them refocus. In the clash between the NRL's two most experienced coaches of all-time, Bennett holds a 28-10-2 lead over Sheens. Since 1996, Sheens has beaten Bennett only three times and never since Bennett headed south to the Dragons.

The Tigers won well last week but I remain unconvinced and the style of this match should be grinding, favouring the Dragons. Bet 2 units on St George-Illawarra giving up 4 points.

I get the impression this will be a low scorer but if the Dragons switch off again, it could open up so no total play.

Cover Form: Wests Tigers 7-12 (LLWLW), St George-Illawarra 10-9 (WLWLL)

Over-Under Form: Wests Tigers 7-12 (UUOUU), St George-Illaw. 7-12 (UUOOO)

Canterbury have opened up 1.5 point home underdogs against betting darlings North Queensland.

The Cowboys have been the punters pal this year, covering in 14 of 19. Without Thurston, on the road and with Canterbury needing to win, they are vulnerable this week. The Dogs have also won the last three. I am tipping an upset here but I couldn't in good conscience recommend betting Canterbury in current form.

No total play.

Cover Form: Canterbury 9-10 (LLLWL), North Queensland 14-5 (LWLWW)

Over-Under Form: Canterbury 8-11 (OOUUO), North Queensla. 11-8 (OUOOO)

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Melbourne go into their clash with Penrith on Saturday night as big favourites, spotting 13.5 to 14 points.

Penrith are in for a caning here, particularly if Luke Lewis doesn't come up, as is expected to be the case. The Storm are 15-4 at AAMI Park while the Panthers are 3-11 in their last 14 road games. The Storm have also won eight straight. There have been a glut of double-figure favourites rolled outright this year but I am confident the ever-consistent Storm can cover. Bet 1 unit on Melbourne -13.5.

We are also going to play 1 unit on the under if the line is 38 or bigger. The last four between these two have all finished with less than 35 and the Storm are 12-7 under, including their last four at AAMI Park.

Cover Form: Melbourne 14-5 (WWWWL), Penrith 12-7 (WLLWL)

Over-Under Form: Melbourne 7-12 (UOUUO), Penrith 9-10 (UOOUO)

The Brisbane Broncos will jump 6 to 6.5 point favourites in their clash with New Zealand, where Darren Lockyer will equal Terry Lamb's and Steve Menzies' all-time games record.

Despite the emotion surrounding the latest honour for the fabled Broncos No.6, the Warriors look outstanding bets here. They have covered four straight and have looked brilliant in recent weeks. They have a 10-6 record against Brisbane in their last 16 and they smoked Brisbane on both occasions in 2010. The Broncos, while going well, are punishing bad teams but aren't looking so flash against good teams. I expect Shaun Johnson to give the big Broncos pack nightmares while Manu Vatuvei will make Jharal Yow Yeh pay for any defensive lapses.  Bet 2.5 units on New Zealand +6.5.

No total play though a little under.  

Cover Form: Brisbane 12-7 (LWWLW), New Zealand 11-8 (LWWWW)

Over-Under Form: Brisbane 8-11 (OUUUO), New Zealand 6-13 (UUOOU)

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Cronulla have opened up 6.5 to 8 point favourites in their likely-forgettable clash with Gold Coast at Shark Park on Saturday.

The concern here is Paul Gallen. If he plays, you would have to be confident about a big Cronulla win, particularly with Greg Bird joining the Titans injury list. He remains in doubt though. Regardless, we will be playing the Sharks giving 6.5 for 1.5 units. The Sharks have won all three contests against the Titans at home and over that time, the Titans have nearly always had the superior line-up. The Titans have already waved the white flag.

Two bad teams and the Titans without Harrison, Friend or Bird suggests an over game. Bet the over if the line is 42 or less for 1 unit.

Cover Form: Cronulla 9-10 (WWLLL), Gold Coast 4-15 (LLLLL)

Over-Under Form: Cronulla 12-7 (UOOUO), Gold Coast 10-9 (OUOOO)

Newcastle have opened up 6.5 to 7.5 point favourites in their clash with Canberra.

Canberra really are a disgrace. They were just shocking against the Warriors when they had every opportunity. With a poor kicking game, the Raiders again look like they are in trouble. Newcastle should win this but the line may be just a little big. No side play.

There is a small 1 unit play on the under here. Newcastle are an under team and the Raiders' last two on the road have gone under. Play under if total is 38.5 or bigger.

Cover Form: Newcastle 9-10 (WLLWW), Canberra 6-13 (WLLWL)

Over-Under Form: Newcastle 6-13 (UUOUO), Canberra 10-9 (OUUOU)

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Manly are giving 10.5 to 12.5 points away against the Sydney Roosters on Sunday.

My initial reaction was that Manly would win in a cakewalk, having won all three Sunday afternoon matches over the last month by a cumulative total of 40 points. They did lose last week though and failed to cover the week prior against Penrith. The Roosters, meanwhile, have now covered in four straight as they get a team resembling their Grand Final one in 2010 back on the park. Manly have won 9 of 11 against the Roosters and the Tricolours haven’t won at Brookvale since 2004 but the start looks a little big to me.

Bet the Roosters with 12.5 start for 2 units.

Both of these teams are big unders outfits but their last seven have all totalled 42-plus. We will play 1 unit over if the line is 41.5 or lower.

Cover Form: Manly 11-8 (LWWLL), Sydney Roosters 9-10 (LWWWW)

Over-Under Form: Manly 7-12 (UOOUU), Sydney Roosters 5-14 (OOUUO)

South Sydney have opened up 3.5 to 4 point favourites in their lacklustre Monday night clash with Parramatta.

South Sydney have been the second worst team to bet this year and despite a big win over the Dragons, a bet exists on Parramatta. The Eels have forgotten how to win of late but they have taken it to a lot of decent teams. Souths have rolled the Eels only five times since 1996 so we will speculate on Parramatta with a 1 unit bet with the 4 start.

No total play.

Cover Form: South Sydney 6-13 (LLLLW), Parramatta 9-10 (LWWLW)

Over-Under Form: South Sydney 10-9 (UOUOO), Parramatta 9-10 (UUOUO)

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Tipping: St George-Illawarra, Canterbury, Melbourne, New Zealand, Cronulla, Newcastle, Manly, Parramatta

2 units on St George-Illawarra -4 at Luxbet at $1.92
1 unit on Melbourne -13.5 at Sportsbet at $1.91
1 unit on Under (Melbourne-Penrith) if line is 38 or bigger
2.5 units on New Zealand +6.5 at Betezy at $1.85
1.5 units on Cronulla -6.5 at Betezy at $1.86
1 unit on Over (Cronulla-Gold Coast) if line is 42 or smaller
1 unit on Under (Newcastle-Canberra) if line is 38.5 or bigger
2 units on Sydney Roosters +12.5 at Betezy at $1.85
1 unit on Over (Manly-Roosters) if line is 41.5 or smaller
1 unit on Parramatta +4 at Sportsbet at $1.92

Remember, a standing 2 unit under 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
19                11        20.5              13.40                            -7.10
20                 9         16                 22.94                           +6.94
21                 7         13.5              3.84                             -9.66

Total      Bets     Units Bet    Units Returned          +/-

                156         279               286.62                       +7.62


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  1. Keyboard Rambo says:

    Betezy – what a bunch of clowns.