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EXPERT TIPS: NRL ROUND 19

Best Bets

Rugby League Analyst

LAY BRISBANE @ $1.65 or shorter

Lay

lay

Best Bet

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Rugby League Analyst

BACK NEWCASTLE +8.5 at $1.65 or better

The betting in this one is very strange. The Sea Eagles do indeed have Tom Trbojevic and he is playing fullback but losing Daly Cherry-Evans is ridiculously important and Jake Trbojevic and Tolu Koula also aren’t available. We saw how Anthony Seibold coached up the team the last time his stars were missing and it was an abhorrent game plan. The Knights have no Ponga, which they are used to, and have lost both centres. They have been playing a gritty brand of football though and have covered 10 of 13 on the road. The Knights can win this.

Back

back

Best Bet

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Dolphins vs South Sydney Rabbitohs

Betting Strategy

BACK OVER 49.5 @ $1.75 or better

The Dolphins have been well supported in this market, missing only Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow and Felise Kaufusi to Origin duty along with Jeremy Marshall-King to injury while Souths are without star Latrell Mitchell through injury and Cameron Murray on Blues duty. It is surprising the Dolphins are so short here given they are missing two key playmakers. The top bet in this one though is the over. The over is 21-13 when Souths are interstate while it is 12-4 when the Dolphins are off conceding 26-plus. Missing both fullbacks should open up the game with each defence likely to suffer.

Cronulla vs Wests Tigers

Betting Strategy

BACK CRONULLA -7.5 @ $1.75 or better

Cronulla were dealt a blow throughout the week with Nicho Hynes doing down at training and being ruled out for an extended period but his absence due to his dip in confidence may help the Sharks settle and this is a must-win clash if the team has any hopes of a Top 4 finish. It is a nice spot for the Sharks. They are 22-13 against the spread against teams outside the Top 8 while they are 28-20 against the number when favoured by a try or more. The Tigers have covered just four of 13 in NSW and bottom four teams off a loss cover at just 42%.

Gold Coast vs Parramatta

Betting Strategy

BACK GOLD COAST -7.5 @ $1.70 or better

Gold Coast are shaping as one of the better bets of the week with a host of troops returning. Jayden Campbell has been named at five-eighth, Phil Sami is on the bench and AJ Brimson has been named in the extended squad. The Eels have lost Junior Paulo and Mitchell Moses, the latter being absolutely key to any Parramatta hope of victory. Gold Coast have covered four straight against Parramatta while the Eels have covered just one of 13 road games. This could get ugly for the Eels.

Brisbane vs St George Illawarra

Betting Strategy

BACK ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA +7.5 @ $1.75 or better

Brisbane have come up extraordinarily short in this one considering how poor the team is playing, how short on playmakers the club is and how the team is missing four Origin players. St George Illawarra are without Ben Hunt and Zac Lomax but Mikaele Ravalawa is an adequate replacement for the latter. The Broncos have covered just one of six at Suncorp while the Dragons have won six of the last eight meetings. St George Illawarra are a strong bounceback team with 14 covers in their last 21 off a loss of 20-plus.

LAY BRISBANE @ $1.65 or shorter

Manly Sea Eagles vs Newcastle Knights

Betting Strategy

BACK NEWCASTLE +8.5 at $1.65 or better

The betting in this one is very strange. The Sea Eagles do indeed have Tom Trbojevic and he is playing fullback but losing Daly Cherry-Evans is ridiculously important and Jake Trbojevic and Tolu Koula also aren’t available. We saw how Anthony Seibold coached up the team the last time his stars were missing and it was an abhorrent game plan. The Knights have no Ponga, which they are used to, and have lost both centres. They have been playing a gritty brand of football though and have covered 10 of 13 on the road. The Knights can win this.

LAY MANLY @ $1.65 or shorter

NRL SEASON PREVIEW TIPS AND PREDICTIONS

Betting Strategy

BACK: Penrith Panthers Premiership at $3.00+ 

This is best back for Premiership. Penrith are in rarefied air here as they look to become the first team since the famous St George team that won 11 straight to win four premierships on the trot. There is certainly no reason they cannot. While they have lost Stephen Crichton and some solid backups, this Panthers team that has lost just 16 games across the last four years and brings into the season the most formidable roster. They sit at least a tier above any other team and no team can lift for September football like the Panthers. They are almost certain to finish in the Top 4 with their 2-5 record in close games suggesting they will improve on their regular season win total, setting them up for the best possible September run.

BACK: Sydney Roosters Premiership at $7.00+

This is best value for the Premiership. The only team with a roster anywhere near as stocked with talent to the Panthers is Trent Robinson’s Sydney Roosters. There remain some questions on the backline and the team’s ability to score points but there is no more formidable or deeper pack in the premiership this year than that of the Tricolours. The Roosters recruited magnificently, bringing in Dom Young and Spencer Leniu, and they are as well coached as any in the premiership. The Chooks are all in for 2024.

LAY: Brisbane Premiership at $7.00 or shorter

Best lay for the NRL Premiership. The list of losing Grand Finalists to return and win a premiership has been exceptionally short in the NRL Era: Melbourne have achieved the feat three times, most recently in 2017, and Penrith, when they won the first of their titles. Most suffer from a shocking hangover. Parramatta missed the finals after losing the 2022 Grand Final. Brisbane severely overachieved last last year, they have lost key figures Herbie Farnworth, Tom Flegler and Kurt Capewell and are unlikely to have the dream injury run they enjoyed last year.

BACK: Melbourne Storm Top 4 at $2.20+

Best back top 4 market. Melbourne has really been undervalued this season. While they are a club with no depth, they have an outstanding spine (arguably best in the premiership) and a very good starting 13. They made the Top 4 last year, a place they have finished in 11 of the last 13 years. Melbourne are not the dominant force they were only a few years back but they remain an elite team.

BACK: Cronulla Sharks Top 4 at $3.00+

Best value top 4 market. Cronulla’s draw is the best in the NRL and is so good that the difference between the number of total wins from last year they face and the second team is the same as that between the second easiest and toughest draws. It is a historically easy draw and the Sharks with their roster and starting base will be right in the mix for a Top 4 berth.

LAY: Brisbane Broncos Top 4 at $2.80 or shorter

Best lay top 4 market. Brisbane are a team to be against this year. They overshot their real win tally by nearly two full victories and they went 4-2 in close games so last season’s finishing spot was overinflated. With so many losses and a likely regression in injury luck, it would not shock to see the Broncos fall out of the Top 4.

BACK: Cronulla Sharks Top 8 at $1.50+

Top 8 best back. Cronulla are the most undervalued team in the premiership this year and are far more likely to finish inside the Top 4 than they are to miss finals. The Sharks have a stable team with no changes to their best 13 but more importantly they have been blessed with the kindest of draws, where they are the only team in the competition to play teams from last year’s Top 8 nine times. Cronulla are not missing the finals this year with even a below-average injury toll.

BACK: Redcliffe Dolphins Top 8 at $2.25+

Top 8 best value. Wayne Bennett has done a magnificent job building the Dolphins into a force that will be contending for a finals berth in just their second season. They have recruited magnificently, bringing in Tom Flegler to an already tough back and Herbie Farnworth and Jake Averillo to massively upgrade the club at the centre position. They can build momentum with a kind early season draw. Huge overs.

LAY: Newcastle Knights Top 8 at $2.50 or shorter

Best lay top 8. Newcastle managed to get hot over the backend of last season to make the finals but they are not a team that should return to the finals. They have lost top tryscorer Dominic Young. Their halves situation is a mess. They had a great run with injuries last year. This just seems like a run built on a very fragile and unsustainable base.

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