The Early Line: Round 7

Filed in NRL, The Early Line by on April 21, 2011

The Wests Tigers-Brisbane Broncos clash from the SFS should be a real crackerjack. Brisbane are one of the form teams of the competition while the Wests Tigers are legitimate title contenders.

Injuries to the Wests Tigers and the stout defensive performances of the Broncos have me convinced on Brisbane here. The Tigers outside backs just don’t have the penetration to threaten the Broncos line while, as a club, they have always had trouble with Brisbane, winning only four matches all-time and only sneaking home against an undermanned Broncos team during Origin last year.

Brisbane are a play-on team at the moment. Bet 1.5 units on the Broncos at anything better than $1.90 ($2.11 available Pinnacle).

The big play in the match, however, is the under, where I recommend a 3 unit play if the line is 37 or larger. The Broncos are 6-0 under this season and have allowed only one second half try all year while the Tigers are 5-1 under. Genuine contenders play low scoring games. Expect no different here.

Cover Form:Wests Tigers: 3-3 (WWLWL), Brisbane 4-2 (WWLWW)
Over-Under Form:
Wests Tigers: 1-5 (UOUUU), Brisbane: 0-6 (UUUUU)

I cannot get excited about the Manly-Penrith clash on Friday night. Manly are deserved favourites but I cannot lay 7.5 to 8 points with them. Penrith tried hard against Melbourne but were severely outclassed. I’d lean towards the plus mainly because of Michael Gordon’s form at fullback but no bet for me.

No total either. It has been an under season but the Panthers are capable of high scoring affairs.

Cover Form :Manly 4-2 (WWLWW), Penrith 3-3 (WLWWL)
Over-Under Form:
Manly 2-4 (OUOUU), Penrith 3-3 (UOUOU)

For the first time since 2009, Cronulla have opened up favourites for a match, betting having them 1.5 to 2.5 favourites over North Queensland.

In what shapes as the least anticipated match of the round, I can’t liven it up with a bet. I cannot bring myself to lay a start on the Sharks even though they have improved markedly under Shane Flanagan this year. And even though the Cowboys are 5-1ATS this year, they lost their only interstate game against Parramatta and they were 2-8ATS when travelling interstate in 2010.

If you are going to miss one game this year, make it this one.

Cover Form:Cronulla 3-3 (WWLLW), North Queensland 5-1 (LWWWW)
Over-Under Form:
Cronulla 4-2 (UOOUO), North Queensland 4-2 (OOOUO)

Canterbury have opened 4.5 to 5.5 point favourites in their clash with South Sydney on Saturday night.

John Lang has finally decided to sack Rhys Wesser and Fetuli Talanoa, a good decision. Souths are still vulnerable at the back though and with Canterbury’s good kicking game, that should prove the difference. This is an even match up front but I think the Bulldogs have too much class in the backs.

The Dogs have only lost to Souths four times since 1992 and covered when they met earlier in the year. Bet 1 unit on Canterbury -4.5.

I am leaning to the over her but Souths have stiffened up in recent weeks. No total play.

Cover Form: Canterbury 4-2 (WWLLW), South Sydney 2-4 (LWWLL)
Over-Under Form:
Canterbury3-3 (OUOUO), South Sydney 4-2 (OOOUU)

The Canberra Raiders are just brutal at the moment. They could not have hoped for a worse start to the season. It has been a disaster. Newcastle, meanwhile, have exceeded expectations to go 3-3.

The Raiders have lost their last two at home as favourites and Newcastle have won 5 of 9 against Canberra. Canberra have, however, won the last four matches between the two at Canberra Stadium.

I’m just not sure the Raiders can score any points at the moment. Their attack is horrid. A small 1 unit play on the Knights with 3.5 start is the go.

Numbers point to a slight over play here if the line is 42 or smaller so bet a ½ unit if the bet is available.

Cover Form:Canberra 1-5 (LLLLL), Newcastle 3-3 (WLWLL)
Over-Under Form:
Canberra5-1 (UOOOO), Newcastle 3-3 (OUUUO)

Parramatta are the worst team in the NRL and without Jarryd Hayne, they have not an ounce of attacking prowess. It is rare that the Gold Coast are interstate favourites but they are being undervalued as 2 to 3.5 point favourites.

The Titans have won 4 of 5 against Parra and they played themselves into some form against the Titans last Friday. John Cartwright’s men are also 9-1ATS when travelling interstate. Parra, meanwhile, are on a 9-23 ATS slide dating back to the beginning of 2010. Bet 2 units on Gold Coast -2.

No total bet.

Cover Form: Parramatta 1-5 (LLLLL), Gold Coast 2-4 (LLWLW)
Over-Under Form:
Parramatta3-3 (UOOUO), Gold Coast 3-3 (OOOUU)

The Dragons-Roosters clash shapes as the best betting match of the weekend with the damaged Roosters on a massive slide, undoubtedly distracted by the latest scandal to engulf the club. Combined with their ordinary recent record against the Dragons, where they have won five straight and 10 of 12, this Grand Final replay looks like it could be a pummeling.

The Roosters have scored a combined 10 tries in their last seven games against the Dragons. I can’t see them threatening without Todd Carney. Bet 2.5 units on the Dragons -7 at Centrebet.

Punters can also have 3 units on the under if the line is 37 or bigger. Both teams are 5-1 under outfits and the Dragons can be relied on to allow very few points. This has a 20-4 feel about it.

Cover Form: St George-Illawarra 4-2 (LWLWW), Sydney Roosters 3-3 (LWWLL)
Over-Under Form:
St George-Illawarra 1-5 (UUUUU), Sydney Roosters 1.5 (UUUUU)

The Melbourne Storm are now 60-9-1 at home in their last 70 and have covered 12 of their last 16 at home. New Zealand, meanwhile, have recalled Brett Seymour and were disappointing against Manly last Saturday.

Melbourne are giving 10 points and that looks like a great bet as the Melbourne we have seen this season should win by 30. A 2 unit play on Melbourne.

Cover Form: Melbourne 5-1 (WLWWW), New Zealand 2-4 (LLWWL)
Over-Under Form:
Melbourne3-3 (OOOUU), New Zealand 1-5 (UUOUU)

Note. There will be a permanently standing bet here that any match affected by rain should have a 2 unit wager attached to it if the line is above 32, which it nearly sure will be. Bookies don't go low enough with wet games. Bet the under and rest easy knowing you have a significant edge.


1.5 units on Brisbane h2h at $2.11 at Pinnacle
3 units on Under (Tigers-Brisbane) if line is 37 or bigger
1 unit on Canterbury -4.5 at most books at $1.91
1 unit on Newcastle +3.5 at most books at $1.91
0.5 units on Over (Canberra-Newcastle) if line is 42 or smaller
2 units on Gold Coast -2 at Sports Alive at $1.91
2.5 units on St George-Illawarra -7 at Centrebet at $1.91
3  units on Under (Dragons-Roosters) if line is 37 or bigger
2 units on Melbourne -10 at Sportsbet, IAS at $1.91


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

Total             Bets     Units Bet    Units Returned          +/-

                     42       62                   58.51                        -3.49


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