The Early Line: Round 4

Filed in NRL, The Early Line by on March 20, 2012

Parramatta and Penrith square off in a battle of ordinary western Sydney teams with the line set as Parra 2.5-point home underdog. Situation betting recommends playing Parramatta in this one: the Eels are 7-4 ATS as a home underdog since 2010 while Penrith are 1-5 ATS as a road favourite over that time. But I'm not going to recommend getting on Parramatta in any way shape or form, considering they have won just 7 of 32. No bet.

There is a small over play in this one. Penrith are 5-1 over in their last six as a road favourite while the Eels went 4-3 over as a home underdog last year. Parra have also gone 13-10 over in their last 23 night matches. Play the over for 1 unit if the line is 42.5 or lower.

Cover Form: Parramatta 0-3 (LLL), Penrith 1-2 (LWL)
Over-Under Form: Parramatta 1-2 (UOO), Penrith 2-1 (OUO)

Souths and Brisbane clash in Perth on Friday night with the Broncos favoured by 1.5. The Broncos have a 19-5-1 all-time record against the Bunnies though Souths won in torrential conditions out west last year. The Broncos are 17-10 ATS on the road over the last three seasons while Souths are 5-9 ATS in their last 14 road games. Also worth noting: Brisbane are 13-7 ATS as a favourite since the start of 2011 while Souths are 6-11 ATS as an underdog. The Broncos are the real deal. Play them for 2 units.

There is no real push either way with the total.

Cover Form: Souths 1-2 (LLW), Brisbane 2-1 (WLW)
Over-Under Form: Souths 2-1 (OUO), Brisbane 2-1 (UOU)

New Zealand have opened up big 10.5 point favourites in their clash with the Gold Coast at Mt Smart Stadium. My initial thoughts in this one was to bet the Titans, who are 11-7 ATS as an interstate underdog since 2010. But the Warriors are 12-9 ATS as a home favourite over the same time, 17-11 ATS as a favourite and 8-3 ATS when favoured by more than a converted try. Lean on the Warriors but not quite a bet.

The Warriors are 3-0 over this year and meet a Titans team 3-0 under. The Warriors are 13-4 under in their last 17 at night and 10-2 under on Saturday's the last two seasons. Let's have a 1 unit under play if the line gets to 38 or bigger.

Cover Form: New Zealand 1-2 (LWL), Gold Coast 1-2 (WLL)
Over-Under Form: New Zealand 3-0 (OOO), Gold Coast 0-3 (UUU)

St George Illawarra have had the wood on Manly, building a 13-5 all-time record against the defending premiers. As such, the Dragons have opened up 2 point favourites. The Dragons are 18-10 ATS at home since 2010 while Manly are 5-9 ATS over that time as a road underdog. The Dragons look to have a major edge in the pack and have won 8 of their last 9 at home, scoring 30-plus in six, holding opponents to 12 or less on six occasions and winning by 20-plus five times. Bet the Dragons for 2.5 units.

There is the slightest of leans on the over but no real play.

Cover Form: Dragons 2-1 (WLW), Manly 2-1 (WWL)
Over-Under Form: Dragons 1-2 (UUO), Manly 2-1 (OOU)

North Queensland have opened up 6.5-point favourites against Cronulla. I love the way Cronulla whipped Manly on Monday night but all the numbers are pushing for the Cowboys: the Cows are 11-5 ATS as a home favourite since 2010 while the Sharks are 7-13 ATS as a road underdog in their last 20 and have won only 3 of 20 road matches. Bet the Cowboys for 0.5 a unit as their honesty has impressed me. The Cowboys are 3-0 ATS when favoured by 6-12.

Cronulla are 10-3 over away from home going back to 2011 but have been a major under team this season. No total bet.

Cover Form: North Queensland 2-1 (LWW), Cronulla 2-1 (WLW)
Over-Under Form: North Queensland 2-1 (UOO), Cronulla 0-3 (UUU)

Melbourne will jump big favourites against the Sydney Roosters, with bookies opening the line at 11.5 to 12.5. The Storm are 29-17 ATS as a favourite and 17-9 ATS as a home favourite. The Roosters went 3-9 ATS on the road last year. The only concern here is Melbourne's record laying more than 6 points, where they have gone 7-8 ATS over the last two years. That is still not enough to push me off Melbourne. Bet the Storm for 1.5 units.

A nice juicy 3 unit under play exists here too. The Storm are 19-8 under at home and 13-2 under during the day while the Roosters are 19-9 under on the road and 15-7 under during the day. Bet the under if the line is 34.5 or bigger.

Cover Form: Melbourne 3-0 (WWW), Sydney Roosters 2-1 (WLW)
Over-Under Form: Melbourne 1-2 (OUU), Sydney Roosters 1-2 (OUU)

The red-hot Canterbury are now officially a bookies team, opening 6 to 6.5 point favourites in their clash against 1-2 pre-season title favourites Newcastle. The Bulldogs are 9-4 ATS when favoured by 6-12 over the last three seasons while Newcastle's biggest push is that Wayne Bennett is 9-2 against the Dogs dating back to 2006. Canterbury were 4-1 ATS as a home fave last year while the Knights were 8-5 ATS as a road dog. I actually lean to the Knights but can't recommend a play.

A nice total play here, getting with the under. The Knights are 10-4 under away since 2011 and 3-0 under this year. Bennett is trying to get their defence right. Play the under for 1 unit here if the line is 36 or more.

Cover Form: Canterbury 3-0 (WWW), Newcastle 1-2 (LWL)
Over-Under Form: Canterbury 2-1 (OUO), Newcastle 0-3 (UUU)

The Wests Tigers and the Canberra Raiders has turned into an odd match with so many injuries and suspensions to so many big names. The line is 7.5 with the match to be played at Campbelltown. I'd normally want to play the Tigers here, particularly riding a seven-match win streak against the Raiders, but injuries and their poor form have me off this match. No bet.

Looks like we have another nice under play. The Raiders are 16-7 under as a road underdog since 2010 while the Tigers are 19-9 under at home over the same time. Play it for 1.5 units if the line is 36 or bigger.

Cover Form: Wests Tigers 0-3 (LLL), Canberra 1-2 (LWL)
Over-Under Form: Wests Tigers 2-1 (UOO), Canberra 1-2 (OUU)

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

Recommended bets:
1 unit on Over (Par-Pen) if the line is 42.5 or lower
2 units on Brisbane -1.5 at $1.90 at Centrebet
1 unit on Under (NZ-GC) if the line is 38 or higher
2.5 units on St George Illawarra -2 at $1.90 at Centrebet
0.5 units on North Queensland -6.5 at $1.90 at Centrebet
1.5 units on Melbourne -11.5 at $1.90 at Centrebet
3 units on Under (Mel-Roo) if the line is 34.5 or bigger
1 unit on Under (Bul-New) if the line is 36 or bigger
1.5 units on Under (Tig-Can) if the line is 36 or bigger

Overall: 37 units bet for 44.86 units returned for a POT of 21.24%
Line: 13.5 units bet for 17.23 units returned for a POT of 27.63%
Total: 23.5 units bet for 27.63 units returned for a POT of 17.57%


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