The Early Line: Round 9

Filed in The Early Line by on May 2, 2012

Parramatta get 6 points start in their clash with arch-rivals Canterbury at ANZ Stadium. The Eels have won 8 of 11 against the Bulldogs but Canterbury won both clashes last year. The Bulldogs should win this one but they are finding points very hard to come by, averaging just 8.66 points over their last three matches. The Eels are 2-3 ATS as a home underdog this year (though this is only a technical home game) and I remember it was against Canterbury in 2009 that the Eels turned around their ordinary season with a shock win. No bet – you can't play the Eels but you can't lay six with this Canterbury side missing Trent Hodkinson.

This really should be an under game but the numbers aren't strong enough to recommend a play.

COVER FORM: Parramatta 2-6 (LWLLW), Canterbury 5-3 (LWLWL)
OVER-UNDER FORM: Parramatta 6-2 (OOUOO), Canterbury 3-5 (UOUUU)

North Queensland enter their home clash with St George Illawarra as 1.5-2 point favourites. The Dragons have won 6 of 10 against the Cowboys including the last three but the Cows have won 3 of their last 4 between the two in Townsville. The Cowboys have been poor at home this year, winning only 1 of 4, while the Dragons are 2-3 outside of Kogarah. I am concerned about the Dragons' away form but I can't quite peg the Cowboys. No bet.

No lean either way on the total.

COVER FORM: North Qld 4-4 (LWLWL), Dragons 4-4 (WLLWL)
OVER-UNDER FORM: North Qld 4-4 (UUOOU), Dragons 3-5 (UOUUO)

New Zealand go into their big clash with Brisbane as 1.5 to 3 point home outsiders. The Broncos have won 8 of 14 against the Warriors but New Zealand have won 4 of 6 at Mt Smart. It is tough to go past the Broncos here. Brisbane have again been a sensational cover team this year (6-2 ATS) and over the last three seasons (37-22 ATS) and have been very good away (18-11 ATS) and as a favourite (24-14 ATS). The loss of Kevin Locke hurts the Warriors, who, while trying hard, are playing a little side to side. Bet Brisbane for 2 units.

These two have not had a total under 40 in their last five but the numbers suggest the under. Too hard. No total.

COVER FORM: Warriors 3-5 (WLLWL), Brisbane 6-2 (WWLWW)
OVER-UNDER FORM: Warriors 6-2 (UUOOO), Brisbane 2-6 (UOUUU)

Gold Coast are receiving 8 to 8.5 points at home in their clash with the Wests Tigers. Neither of these two have been reliable propositions this year. The Titans have a 5-4 all-time record in this match-up including 4 of 5 on the Gold Coast. The Titans have won only 1 of 12 at home but the Tigers aren't going that well and their late lapse against Parramatta was not good. I hate betting the Titans but I'm going to say 1 unit on the home dog is a bet.

There is a little lean on the under here. The Titans are 6-2 under this year and 10-4 under as a home underdog in their last 14 while the Tigers are 26-16 under in their last 42 at night. Bet 0.5 unit on the under if the total is 38 or bigger.

COVER FORM: Gold Coast 2-6 (LLLWL), Tigers 3-5 (LWWWL)
OVER-UNDER FORM: Gold Coast 2-6 (UOUOU), Tigers 4-4 (OUUUO)

Looking for nine straight wins to open the season, Melbourne will spot Penrith 14.5 points even though the match is at Penrith Park. The Storm have won nine straight against the Panthers with the Panthers breaking 10 in only 1 of the last 6 against the Storm with the average margin of the last 9 being 13.11. The Panthers are injury ravaged and it is hard to see them staying competitive against a Storm team willing to open up the shoulders. Bet the Storm laying 14.5 for 1.5 units.

No total play.

COVER FORM: Penrith 2-6 (WLLLL), Melbourne 7-1 (WWWLW)
OVER-UNDER FORM: Penrith 4-4 (OUUUO), Melbourne 5-3 (OOOUO)

Manly are laying 12.5 points in their clash with Canberra at Brookvale Oval on Sunday afternoon. Manly have won 8 of 10 against the Raiders but Canberra have shocked the Eagles in 2 of the last 5 played at Brookvale. The Eagles have struggled against bad teams, losing to the Titans at home and Parramatta this year while the Raiders are just 10-19 ATS away from home over the last three years. No play.

The Raiders are 19-8 over in their last 27 day matches. That is enough to have a 1 unit bet on the over if the line is 42.5 or lower.

COVER FORM: Manly 4-4 (LLWLW), Canberra 3-5 (WLWLL)
OVER-UNDER FORM: Manly 5-3 (UOUOU), Canberra 4-4 (OUOUO)

The Sydney Roosters and Newcastle square off on Sunday afternoon in an enthralling encounter with the Roosters favoured by 3.5 to 4 points. The Roosters and Knights have an interesting history with the Knights having a 6-4 edge in the last 10 with the road team winning 8 of those matches. The Roosters have won 15 of 21 at the SFS while the Knights have won only 2 of 10 but even without Kurt Gidley, Newcastle are a better team, able to expose the Roosters on the edge. Knights coach Wayne Bennett has a 25-16 all-time edge over great rival Brian Smith and I expect that to be extended. Bet the Knights for 1.5 units.

The Knights are 18-10 under on the road since 2010 and 34-23 under overall over the same period while the Roosters are 36-24 over the same time. Bet the under for 1 unit if the line is 35.5 or larger.

COVER FORM: Roosters 5-3 (LWWLW), Newcastle 4-4 (WLWLW)
OVER-UNDER FORM: Roosters 4-4 (OUUOO), Newcastle 2-6 (UOUUO)

Souths tackle Cronulla in an exciting game of Monday Night Football with betting ranging from pick 'em to the Bunnies being favoured by 1.5. The Bunnies have won 9 of 14 against the Sharks and do lift for ANZ, going 18-10 ATS in their last 28 at home. Try Souths for 1.5 units.

There is a lean the under here but no wager.

COVER FORM: Souths 3-5 (LLWLW), Cronulla 7-1 (WWWWW)
OVER-UNDER FORM: Souths 3-5 (UUUOU), Cronulla 2-6 (UUUOO)

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

Tips: Canterbury, St George Illawarra, Brisbane, Wests Tigers, Melbourne

Recommended Bets:
2 units on Brisbane -1.5 at $1.90 at Centrebet
1 unit on Gold Coast +8.5 at $1.90 at Centrebet
1 unit on Under (GC-Tig) if the line is 38 or bigger
1.5 units on Melbourne -14.5 at $1.90 at Centrebet
1 unit on Over (Man-Can) if the line is 42.5 or smaller
1.5 units on Newcastle +4 at $1.90 at Centrebet
1 unit on Under (Roo-New) if the line is 35.5 or bigger
1.5 units on South Sydney at $1.91 at Centrebet

Overall: 107.5 units bet for 116.33 units returned for a POT of 8.21%
Line: 42 units bet for 51.57 units returned for a POT of 22.79%
Total: 65.5 units bet for 64.76 units returned for a POT of -1.13%



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