The Early Line: Round 3

Filed in NRL, The Early Line by on March 14, 2012

St George Illawarra have opened up pick 'em to 1.5 point favourties over the Wests Tigers.  Tough game to get a grip on. The Tigers are 11-5 ATS over the last two years when an outsider of less than a try while the Dragons are 17-10 ATS at home over the same time. This will be a quality match but this is way too hard to call. A minor lean on the Dragons if a gun is put to my head as they have won 7 of their last 8 at Kogarah.

The Tigers are 25-14 under over the last three seasons at night while the Dragons are 23-11 under at night over the same time. The Dragons were 6-6 over at home last year though and the tigers 7-5 over on the road so excitement is tempered but there is still enough for a 1 unit under play if the line is 35.5 or bigger.

COVER FORM: Dragons 1-1 (WL), Wests Tigers 0-2 (LL)
OVER-UNDER FORM: Dragons 0-2 (UU), Wests Tigers 1-1 (UO)

Betting in the Newcastle-Brisbane game is just as close with the line opening pick 'em to Newcastle getting 1.5. The Broncos have won 9 of 13 against the Knights and Wayne Bennett is surprisingly poor against his old sides, going 2-6 since leaving the Broncos. Brisbane are 19-13 as a fave since 2010 but more notably, 8-3 as a road favourite. The Knights also happen to be 3-9 ATS at night since the start of 2011. Very keen on Brisbane at pick 'em here. Play them for 2 units.

The Knights look a real under team this year (Bennett teams have become that way since 2006) and they were 8-3 under at night in 2011 and are 18-9 under their last 27. Brisbane don't present any trends but we will try the under here for a 0.5 unit if the line is 38 or bigger.

COVER FORM: Newcastle 1-1 (LW), Brisbane 1-1 (WL)
OVER-UNDER FORM: Newcastle 0-2 (UU), Brisbane 1-1 (UO)

The Gold Coast Titans, who have won only 1 of their last 8 at home, have opened up 6.5 to 7 point outsiders against defending minor premiers Melbourne. The Storm put 40 on the Titans twice last year but the overall record between the two is just 4-3 in favour of Melbourne. The Titans were a poor 2-5 ATS as a home underdog last year  but the Storm were only 6-4 ATS as a road favourite and 5-8 ATS when spotting more than a converted try. A lean Melbourne but no side bet.

Another very confident under play here. The Storm are 17-8 under away going back to 2010 and were 15-9 under as favourites last year. The Titans are 9-2 under as a home underdog over the last three seasons. Play the under for 2 units if the line is 34.5 or bigger with the only risk being the Storm putting on too many.

COVER FORM: Gold Coast 1-1 (WL), Melbourne 2-0 (WW)
OVER-UNDER FORM: Gold Coast 0-2 (UU), Melbourne 1-1 (OU)

In a most uninspiring game, North Queensland will go in 8 to 8.5 point favourites against a Parramatta team in crisis without Jarryd Hayne and who have won only 2 games since May 23 last year. The Eels have won 6 of 8 against the Cowboys but only 1 of their last 7 in Townsville, where the average margin has been 12.8 in favour of the home team. The Cowboys are 10-5 ATS in their last 15 as a home fave but Parramatta were 5-7 ATS last year on the road and 10-8 ATS as an underdog. We'll have 0.5 units on the Cowboys but only because the home fave situation dictates.

There is no total play here.

COVER FORM: North Queensland 1-1 (LW), Parramatta 0-1 (LL)
OVER-UNDER FORM: North Qld 1-1 (UO), Parramatta 1-1 (UO)

New Zealand play at Mt Smart Stadium for the first time this year, hosting Canterbury as a 5.5 point favourite. The Warriors are 12-8 ATS as a home fave since 2010 and are 17-10 ATS as a favourite while Canterbury are 4-10 ATS as a road underdog over the last two years. Canterbury look a different team this year though so I've got to let this one go.

I'm going against my usual disposition in this and recommending an over bet for 0.5 units. Of their last 13 matches, 10 have tallied over 46 and these two combined 10-8 over in day games last year. On what should be a fast track, look for the over if the line is 41.5 or lower.

COVER FORM: New Zealand 1-1 (LW), Canterbury 2-0 (WW)
OVER-UNDER FORM: New Zealand 2-0 (OO), Canterbury 1-1 (OU)

Following their home shutout to Penrith, the Sydney Roosters host Canberra as 1 to 1.5 point favourites. Both these teams have been dreadful in day games: the Roosters have gone 3-8 ATS in the afternoon over 2011-12 while the Raiders have gone 1-9 ATS (and 4-15 ATS since 2010). Canberra have gone 9-17 ATS on the road since 2010 and 12-19 ATS as an underdog while the Roosters were 4-3 ATS as a home favourite last year. Not a huge go but it is wise to take on the Raiders away. Let's have 0.5 units on the minus.

No total here. The Raiders are 13-6 over in the day but are 14-8 under as a road underdog. The Roosters are 13-7 under at home.

COVER FORM: Sydney Roosters 1-1 (WL), Canberra 1-1 (LW)
OVER-UNDER FORM: Sydney Roosters 1-1 (OU), Canberra 1-1 (OU)

Penrith have won eight straight games against South Sydney at Centrebet Stadium with an average margin of 18.75. The numbers here certainly don't favour Souths: since 2011 they have gone 4-9 ATS on the road, 5-11 ATS as an underdog and 2-7 ATS as a road dog and 3-7 ATS in day games. They are some hope against Penrith – 3-5 ATS in their last eight day games – though. Souths have opened their last two seasons 0-2 and backed up to win their third game. I have a bad feeling about Souths but we are going to have 1 unit on Penrith and hope their forwards hold up.

We have another very nice over play here. Souths are 12-5 over as a road underdog and are 13-6 over in the day over the last two years while Penrith are 12-6 over as a home favourite over the same period and were 5-2 over in the day last year. Bet 1.5 units over if the line is 44 or smaller.

COVER FORM: Penrith 1-1 (LW), Souths 0-2 (LL)
OVER-UNDER FORM: Penrith 1-1 (OU), Souths 1-1 (OU)

Cronulla have lost six straight to Manly and are expected to make it seven on the trot with the Sharks getting 5.5 to 6 points at home. There is a lean on the plus here but the Sharks are a poor underdog team so no bet.

There is a 1.5 unit under play here. The Sharks are 17-8 under in their last 25 at home while 11-8 under in their last 19 at home. Try if the line is 38 or bigger.

COVER FORM: Cronulla 1-1 (WL), Manly 2-0 (WW)
OVER-UNDER FORM: Cronulla 0-2 (UU), Manly 2-0 (OO)

*Remember, a 2 unit under bet at any line stands for games in the wet.

Tips:St George Illawarra, Brisbane, Melbourne, North Queensland, New Zealand, Sydney Roosters, Penrith, Manly

Recommended Bets:
1 unit on Under (Dra-Tig) if line is 35.5 or bigger
2 units on Brisbane at $1.90 (Sportingbet)
0.5 units on Under (New-Bri) if line is 38 or bigger
2 units on Under (GC-Mel) if line is 34.5 or bigger
0.5 units on North Queensland -8 at $1.90 (Sportingbet)
0.5 units on Over (NZ-Cant) if line is 41.5 or lower
0.5 units on Sydney Roosters -1 at Sportsbet at $1.95
1 unit on Penrith -0.5 at Luxbet at $1.88
1.5 units on Over (Pen-Sou) if line is 44 or lower
1.5 units on Under (Cro-Man) if line is 39 or bigger

Overall:23.5 units bet for 26.78 units returned for a POT of 13.96%
Line: 9.5 units bet for 11.5 units returned for a POT of 21.05%
Over-Under: 14 units bet for 15.28 units returned for a POT of 9.14%


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