The Early Line: Round 26

Filed in NRL, The Early Line by on August 29, 2012

Newcastle are getting 3.5 to 4 points in their clash with South Sydney. The Knights have a 25-9 all-time record over the Bunnies including 11 of the last 12 in Newcastle. Souths have lost their last two on the road. The Knights have lost their last four to top five sides (all played in the last eight weeks) but played three of those on the road. The Knights are a chance here. Take the plus for 1 unit.

There is a little interest in the under here but not quite a play. Newcastle are very much an under team while the Bunnies' scoring drops on the road.

COVER FORM: Newcastle 11-12 (WLWLW), Souths 13-10 (WWLLW)
OVER-UNDER FORM: Newcastle 8-15 (UUUOU), Souths 12-11 (UUUUO)

Despite losing six games on the trot, Brisbane are favoured by 10.5 to 12.5 points against Penrith. The Panthers have won just 3 of 10 against Brisbane and this is a must-win match for the Broncos. Nothing resembling a bet in this one.

No total in this one. A real no bet game.

COVER FORM: Brisbane 11-12 (LLWWL), Penrith 10-13 (WLLWW)
OVER-UNDER FORM: Brisbane 9-14 (UUUUU), Penrith 13-10 (OOUUO)

Gold Coast will get 10.5 points at home in their clash with Manly. The Sea Eagles have covered three straight while the Titans are 4-7 at home this year. The Titans have won 4 of their last 6 against Manly including a shock 26-14 win at Brookvale in round seven. Not super keen but the 10.5 at home about the Titans is tempting. Play for 0.5 units.

The Titans are 14-5 under as a home underdog since 2010. With these two tallying over 42 just twice in nine games, play the under for 1 unit if the line is 38.5 or bigger.

COVER FORM: Gold Coast 14-9 (WLWWL), Manly 13-10 (LLWWW)
OVER-UNDER FORM: Gold Coast 10-13 (OUOUO), Manly 12-11 (OUUOU)

The Wests Tigers are getting 2.5 points at home against the Melbourne Storm. Both teams are horribly out of nick with the Tigers getting belted by the Roosters last weekend and the Storm only getting home in the dying seconds against Cronulla after an uncharacteristic loose display. The Tigers are just 2-8 since 2009 without Robbie Farah. The Tigers are 7-2 ATS as a home underdog and I lean that way but not after last week. No bet.

These two have gone under their last five but this could be anything. No total.

COVER FORM: Wests Tigers 9-14 (LWWWL), Melbourne 13-10 (LWLLL)
OVER-UNDER FORM: Wests Tigers 15-8 (UOUOO), Melbourne 12-11 (OOOUU)

Despite a loss last week, Canterbury are laying 14 to 16.5 points against the Sydney Roosters. The Bulldogs have won 7 of 11 against the Sydney Roosters, including 5 of the last 6 at ANZ. The Roosters have won just 2 of 9 at the ground. A lean the Roosters here but funny things tend to happen in these games. No bet.

These two haven't had a game tally under 40 since 2009. This is worth a 0.5 unit spec the over if the line is 46 or lower.

COVER FORM: Canterbury 16-7 (WWLLL), Roosters 13-10 (LWLWW)
OVER-UNDER FORM: Canterbury 11-12 (OUUOU), Roosters 13-10 (OUOUO)

New Zealand are getting 4.5 points at home in their clash with Canberra, a match Canberra can secure a spot in the finals with if they win. The Warriors have lost seven straight while the Raiders have won 7 of 9. The Warriors have won 7 of 8 against Canberra at Mt Smart while the Raiders are 6-20 ATS as a favourite and 10-21 ATS in the day. The Warriors are going awful but they are a 1.5 unit play.

The Warriors are a big over team but the Raiders have played in seven straight under matches. A lean the over but no bet.

COVER FORM: New Zealand 9-14 (WLLLL), Canberra 11-12 (LWWLW)
OVER-UNDER FORM: New Zealand 17-6 (OOOUO), Canberra 12-11 (UUUUU)

Cronulla are favoured by 1.5 to 2.5 points at home against North Queensland. The Sharks and Cows have split the last 14 but the Sharks have won 3 of 4 at Shark Park between the two. The Cowboys have been a little shaky of late, while the Sharks are playing finals footy. There is a lean towards Cronulla here but not enough for a play.

The Sharks are 23-12 under at home since 2010 while the Cowboys are 18-12 over as a road dog the same period. No bet.

COVER FORM: Cronulla 14-9 (LWLWW), Cowboys 12-11 (LLWWL)
OVER-UNDER FORM: Cronulla 8-15 (OOUUU), Cowboys 14-9 (OUOOU)

Parramatta are receiving 1 to 1.5 points in their clash with St George Illawarra at ANZ. The Eels are horrible at the ground, losing nine straight, not scoring more than two tries in their last seven. The Eels have beaten the Dragons just once in their last nine meetings. The Dragons are probably the play but have been terrible away. Just sit this one out and say goodbye to some real legends.

The Dragons are 28-under on the road since 2010 but this has a real over stink. No play.

COVER FORM: Parramatta 10-13 (WLWLL), Dragons 7-16 (WLLLW)
OVER-UNDER FORM: Parramatta 15-8 (OOOUO), Dragons 9-14 (OUUOO)

*Remember, a 2 unit under bet at any line stands for games in the wet.
Tips:Newcastle, Brisbane, Manly, Wests Tigers, Canterbury, New Zealand, Cronulla,St George Illawarra

1 unit on Newcastle +4 at Centrebet at $1.91
0.5 units on Gold Coast +10.5 at Centrebet at $1.91
1 unit on Under (GC-Man) if the line is 38.5 or bigger
0.5 units Over (Bul-Roo) if the line is 46 or under
1.5 units on New Zealand +4.5 at Luxbet at $1.91

Overall:269 units bet for 274.19 units returned for a POT of 1.93%
Line:125 units bet for 135.10 units returned for a POT of 8.08%
Total:144 units bet for 139.09 units returned for a POT of -3.34%



Comments (2)

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  1. markmcgrath says:

    Hi Nick,

    I generally don't have any problems with your analysis here and think you're a pretty good judge (despite some of your ingrained prejudices…which I guess is part of the colour of rugby league).

    But one thing that bugs me is your quoting of medium term historical trends between teams at specific venues. The majority of the trend would have been accrued from teams of yesteryear that bear no relationship to the current teams playing this weekend, as many of them would hardly have any of the players that were responsible for the past results. You get away with it when the trend roughly matches the current performances of the teams involved (eg regular top 4 team currently in the top 4 playing a regular bottom 4 team currently in the bottom 4, or middle of the road sides playing each other). But where this analysis comes unstuck is when a team's current performances are in stark contrast to their medium term trend, South Sydney being the best example here this season.

    I think you would be better off:

    1. Using power ratings derived from a minimised margin of error, that include compensation for home ground advantage. This effectively explains the points differential between teams via ratings that produce least margin of error to explain all the season's results. Its pretty easy to construct using a spreadsheet and provide a good base rating for teams. Wayne Winston's Mathletics book gives you the how to on this.

    2. Adjusting these base ratings for strength of recent form (say the last 4 matches), team changes and home ground advantage for the upcoming match, using a combination of your personal judgement and maybe some statistical models for these factors to give you some objectivity and consistency here.

    Your selections overall are producing a profit and that's commendable and I suspect your comfortable with your own methodology. But I think you could do better.

    BTW I'm a frustrated rugby league ratings man who would love to do more of this but doesn't have the time to.


    • SemiiPro says:

      Mark, I would pay you $10K a year if you could acurately predict when a team simply 'doesn't turn up.' Stats are nice and all, but mean zero at kick-off.

      I myself hardly use stats besides wins/losses and I occassionally take note of the number of NRL games played by individuals/teams.

      I'm more of a gut instinct man, only ever bet the line and am running at a season win percentage of 58.57% It's in the money, but barely.

      My spidey instincts are telling me Manly will win this thing. I've been on the Bulldogs for about 10 weeks, but a team does not get flogged by a David Furner coached side 2 weeks before the semis and wins a comp. That's a stat you can take to the bank!

      If I were to bet the outsider, I'd take Greg Inglis at $7 to win the comp. If he turns up every semi.