Penrith v North Queensland Cowboys

Friday May 4, 7:55pm – Carrington Park

Penrith and North Queensland sit at opposite end of the ladder so it is surprising Penrith are such a juicy price. The Panthers continue to get hit hard by injury with star fullback Dylan Edwards the latest to be ruled out for an extended period, a shoulder injury sidelining the No.1 for the year. With each injury though, the Panthers just keeping digging in. That is very much a result of the on-field leadership provided by James Maloney, who is just a winner at every port he plays.

The Cowboys have covered just 4 of their last 11 on the road after being held to 14 or fewer and face a long and awkward road trip to Bathurst. Penrith rate as well overs here.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Penrith

New Zealand v Wests Tigers

Saturday May 5, 5:30pm – Mt Smart Stadium

The Wests Tigers have won four straight against New Zealand and can make it five straight as an outsider with the plus also very much a bet. The Tigers have covered five straight as an underdog and 11 of their last 13 when an outsider in betting. As an underdog of more than four points the Tigers have covered 15 of 18.

The Warriors have been decidedly unreliable at Mt Smart as a favourite, covering just 5 of their last 18 while they have covered 2 of their last 12 as a home favourite of four or more points. The Tigers have been road warriors, covering 8 of their last 10. Ivan Cleary’s team have an intimate knowledge of the Warriors and with Issac Luke highly unlikely for the Warriors, there is plenty of reasons to bet the Tigers.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Wests Tigers + 4.5

St George Illawarra v Melbourne

Sunday May 6, 2:00pm – Jubilee Oval

St George Illawarra are statistically the top team in the NRL this year, sitting atop the table and ranking first in both scoring and defence, but there is little doubt that Melbourne are the best team in the premiership. Since making a change at halfback and going with Ryley Jacks at No.7, the Storm have posted three straight wins by an average margin of 26.67 points, scoring 34 or more in each of those. Remarkably they are an outsider against St George Illawarra.

The Storm have won 17 of 22 against the Dragons, have covered 11 of their last 15 off a win of 19 or more and have covered 13 of their last 18 road games after conceding fewer than 10 points. The Storm’s win against the Warriors was scintillating and any semblance of that form will be winning this.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Melbourne

Sydney Roosters v Manly

Sunday May 6, 4:10pm – Allianz Stadium

The model fancies Manly as being over the odds in both win and handicap markets and while they are in a diabolical state both on and off the paddock, with their backs against the wall, they can show up against a team playing fairly ordinary football. The Sea Eagles have won three straight against the Roosters as well as nine of the last 13 meetings so get the edge on that front.

Manly have also covered 6 of their last 8 as a double digit underdog while they are 11-7 against the line as an underdog away from Brookvale getting a start of more than a converted try. The Roosters have covered just 2 of their last 9 at Allianz. Manly have a shot in this one.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Manly + 9.5


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