Your Expert NRL Tips for 2019

The Analysts provide their expert NRL Tips for each round of the 2019 season. There’s in-depth analysis, betting strategy and reasoning behind each of their selections.

Check out the Betfair Hub and the Betfair Exchange for up to the minute NRL odds.


Current Results

Total Units Staked: 66

Total Units Returned: 74.10

ROI: 12.27%


Do you want weekly NRL Tips from leading expert analysts?


Manly v Wests Tigers

Thursday 15th August, 7:50pm

The Wests Tigers are in an outstanding spot getting a big start here. They can win this off the stick. The Tigers have won four straight against the Sea Eagles and they have covered eight of their last 12 getting a start of 8 or more.

Manly are poor favourites, going 18-31 against the line over the last five seasons when the popular elect, including a 1-4 against the spread record when favoured by eight or more points. The Tigers are being well undervalued here with Jacob Liddle an excellent replacement for the injured Robbie Farah.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Wests Tigers +8.5


Melbourne v Canberra

Saturday 17th August, 5:30pm

Canberra have been significantly underrated by the market all season and look an excellent bet against premiership front-runners Melbourne getting a big start. The Raiders have covered 10 of their last 12 road games and have covered 30 of 46 as an underdog since 2015. As an underdog of more than six points, the Raiders are 15-6 against the spread.

Melbourne have covered just five of 15 at home as a favourite of 6.5 or more off a double-digit win. The Storm have covered just six of 20 at home off scoring 26 or more.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Canberra +6.5


South Sydney v Canterbury

Saturday 17th August, 7:35pm

The Bulldogs have found a vein of form late in the season and can again be bet as a notable outsider. The Bulldogs have covered 25 of 40 as an underdog of six or more but at ANZ, that record improves to 13-2 against the line.

Souths have covered just five of 16 when favoured by four our more and have been lays for much of the year with just one cover in their last nine. Souths cover at just 39% off a loss.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Canterbury +9.5

NZ Warriors v Manly

Friday 9th August, 6:00pm

Manly have been the best cover team in the NRL this season and they have won 17 of 20 against New Zealand but love the Warriors in this spot. Stephen Kearney’s team have conceded 9 of 10 off conceding 30-plus but there are some nice league angles here. Home underdogs off conceding 40-plus are 52-34 against the spread while home underdogs of four or more off conceding 40-plus are 38-16 against the number.

Manly have covered just five of 22 as a favourite away from Brookvale and just one of eight away from Brookvale as a favourite off a win of 13-plus.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – NZ Warriors +6.5


Canterbury v Wests Tigers

Saturday 10th August, 7:35pm

Canterbury are classically top bets as a notable underdog while the Tigers are major lays as a favourite. The Bulldogs are 30-21 against the line as an underdog of 4.5 or more but are 17-6 against the spread at ANZ getting a start of a try.

The Tigers have covered just 13 of 34 as a favourite and 5 of 17 as a favourite of four or more. They have covered just five of 15 off a double-digit win. The Bulldogs have won 11 of 15 against the Tigers and can continue that run.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Canterbury +4.5


Canberra v Sydney Roosters

Sunday 11th August, 2:00pm

The Raiders play the Roosters well, particularly in Canberra, rattling off five straight wins. The Raiders strike at 67% as an underdog over the last five seasons and 15-5 against the spread as an underdog off conceding 16 or fewer. Canberra have covered 12 of 15 after scoring 30 or more.

The Roosters have covered just three of 12 as an interstate favourite and one of six interstate off scoring 30 or more. Road favourites off scoring 40-plus are 9-18 against the line over the last five seasons. Chips in the Raiders here.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Canberra +1.5

Wests Tigers v North Queensland

Thursday 1st August, 7:50pm

The Tigers just do not perform for bettors when favoured and need to be bet against in the spot. They are 12-21 against the spread as a favourite including 3-9 against the spread as a favourite off a win and 1-5 against the number in their last six as a favourite at Leichhardt.

They don’t back up big attacking performances, covering just 5 of 16 after scoring 20-plus. The Cowboys are 12-7 against the line interstate off a loss and cover at 58% on the road overall.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – North Queensland +3.5


New Zealand v Canberra

Friday 2nd August, 6:00pm

Canberra continue to be underrated by the market and are a confident play this week. They are 21-9 against the line away from home off a win and 16-5 against the spread on the road off a double-digit win.

The Raiders have covered 10 of their last 14 when shorter than $2.00. The Warriors have failed to cover their last three as an underdog at Mt Smart.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Canberra –3.5


Canterbury v Penrith

Saturday 3rd August, 5:30pm

Canterbury are a strong bet this week as a big home underdog. They showed plenty of resilience against the Sydney Roosters. The Bulldogs are 24-14 against the line getting 6.5 or more including 11-3 covering getting 6.5 or more off scoring 12 or fewer.

Penrith have covered just 21 of 56 after conceding 20 or more and they’ve failed to cover six straight as a road favourite of four-plus. Favourites off conceding 30-plus cover at just 43% with favourites of six or more at just 39%.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Canterbury +6.5

Parramatta v NZ Warriors

Saturday 27th July, 3:00pm

Parramatta are in a firm bet against spot here favoured by more than a try. The Eels have covered just nine of 24 when favoured by more than a try. They have also managed just three covers from their last 10 off a double digit loss.

The Warriors have been outstanding in recent times away from Mt Smart with eight straight covers away from their primary home ground. The Warriors are 12-2 against the spread away from Mt Smart off conceding 18-plus points.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – NZ Warriors +4.5


Melbourne v Manly

Saturday 27th July, 7:35pm

It is impossible to play against Manly, who have been the pre-eminent cover team this season. The Sea Eagles have covered 12 of 17 this year including their last five. They have covered 12 of their last 15. Manly are 18-9 against the spread as an underdog away from Brookvale over the last three years and are 12-5 against the line getting at least five points.

Melbourne have covered just eight of 22 at AAMI off conceding 18 or more.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Manly +8.5


Penrith v Canberra

Sunday 28th July, 4:05pm

Canberra can be trusted as outsiders and on the road. The Raiders are 30-15 against the spread over the last five years as an outsider and 24-11 against the spread as an underdog away from Canberra Stadium. Off a win, the Raiders are 14-5 against the spread as a road outsider. They have covered 22 of 31 off conceding 14 or fewer.

Penrith have failed to cover their last three off scoring 30-plus and just five of their last 13 when favoured.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Canberra +1.5

Gold Coast v Melbourne

Sunday 21th July, 2:00pm

Very happy to side with Melbourne. Interstate favourites of 10 or more are 15-4 ATS since 2015 with the Storm 4-1 ATS in the spot. The Titans have covered just 6 of 15 as a home underdog.

Craig Bellamy has an astonishing record against first-time coaches and they have ran up some big wins against the Titans in recent years.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Melbourne -10.5


NZ Warriors v Cronulla

Friday 19th July, 6:00pm

The Warriors have been very good away from Mt Smart recently with seven straight covers. They have covered 11 of 14 away from Mt Smart as an underdog and 12 of 18 as an underdog full stop. The Warriors also bounce back from poor defensive displays with a 14-4 cover rate off conceding 18-plus.

The Sharks have dropped four on end and are 31-42 ATS when a favourite.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – New Zealand +2.5


Canberra v Wests Tigers

Saturday 20th July, 5:30pm

Canberra have dominated the Wests Tigers in recent. The Raiders have won seven of their last nine against the Tigers with their last five wins all coming by margins of 28 or more, including some incredible 50-plus efforts.

Canberra are 15-4 ATS off a double digit win and 7 of 10 home night games. The Tigers have some good numbers when an underdog of more than a try but they are trending south.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Canberra -5.5

Penrith v Gold Coast

Friday 12th July, 6:00pm

The affection for the Titans is dead. They are a bad side and they are well in the death rattle of the Garth Brennan era. This is a team that won’t be doing anything anytime soon. Penrith have won five straight and seem to have found a rhythm. The Panthers are reliable home favourites, covering 9 of 13 when favoured by more than a converted try, while they are 12-5 against the spread at home off a win.

The Titans have covered just 3 of 9 interstate games and just 1 of 6 night games. Penrith have won 8 of 11 against the Titans.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Penrith -7.5


South Sydney v Manly

Saturday 13th July, 3:00pm

More than happy to have a strong lash at the Sea Eagles in this one. Manly have covered 12 of 17 as an underdog away from Brookvale and 11 of 16 getting a start of a try or more. They have been the top cover proposition this year.

Souths have covered just 4 of 12 at ANZ and 7 of 22 at ANZ off a loss. Souths will be back at some stage but happy to continue to play against them while they are performing so wretchedly. Manly continue to be undervalued by the market and have been so again this week.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Manly +4.5


St George Illawarra v Canberra

Sunday 14th July, 6:10pm

Canberra had the wood on St George Illawarra for a long time and while they have lost that edge with five losses in the last six clashes, confidence is high that the Raiders can bounce back from that dreadful collapse in Darwin. Canberra are 30-15 against the spread as an underdog and 24-11 against the number as a road underdog.

The Dragons have covered just 7 of 19 as a favourite and 6 of 16 off a loss.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Canberra +2.5

Gold Coast v Manly

Saturday 27th June, 3:00pm

The Titans have been one of the worst betting propositions this season while the Sea Eagles have been one of the best in 2019 but the Gold Coast are unquestionably the play here. They have an outstanding record against Manly, winning four of their last five including a blistering win at Brookvale earlier in the season.

The Titans have covered 8 of 11 at home off a loss and have covered 10 of their last 14 as a home underdog. Manly have covered just 3 of their last 15 as a favourite away from Brookvale and just 3 of 11 away from Brookvale off a double digit win.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Gold Coast +4.5


Parramatta v Canberra

Saturday 29th June, 7:35pm

It is stunning Canberra are such a strong price in this one on neutral turf. Star Josh Hodgson returns while the Raiders have won 11 of 13 against the Eels. Parramatta have been held without a try in their last two meetings against Canberra.

The Raiders are 11-6 against the spread off back-to-back wins and are 17-8 against the line in their last 25 night games away from the Raiders. The Eels have covered just 6 of 15 after scoring 30 or more points. The Raiders are monster value in this one.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Canberra -2.5


Canterbury v Cronulla

Sunday 30th June, 4:05pm

Canterbury are without question the worst team in the NRL with a wooden spoon beckoning. They are also unquestionably a play this week. Home underdogs of 8 points or more are 86-50 against the spread over the last 12 seasons while those off a loss of 24-plus are 21-9 against the line.

The Bulldogs have covered 11 of 14 as an underdog of 6 points or more and 8-3 against the spread off conceding 30-plus points. The Sharks have covered 19 of 45 when favoured by 4 or more points.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Canterbury +8.5

Canberra v Cronulla

Thursday 13th June, 7:50pm

Cronulla look to be in a good spot on the road as small underdogs against a Canberra team coming off their third shutout of the year. The Sharks have historically played the Raiders well with six wins in the last eight meetings with Cronulla winning six on end in Canberra.

The Sharks have covered 18 of 29 interstate games and are 15-9 against the spread as a road underdog. Canberra have covered just 20 of 47 as a home favourite, including just four of 13 when favoured by less than a try. The Sharks have scored 20-plus in four of their last five and they have too many points for a Canberra’s team whose attack has been inconsistent.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Cronulla +1.5


South Sydney v Penrith

Saturday 15th June, 5:30pm

Souths have dominated this matchup with eight wins in their last 11 meetings against Penrith but on the back of two straight losses and with Sam Burgess the latest to be sidelined, they look vulnerable.

Penrith, by contrast, are ascendant with three straight wins, including an impressive win over premiers the Sydney Roosters last week. Souths have covered just four of 11 at ANZ and are 4-13 against the spread at home off scoring 14 or fewer. Penrith have covered 14 of 21 off conceding 10 or fewer.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Penrith +5.5


Parramatta v Brisbane

Saturday 15th June, 7:35pm

Parramatta are fading and fading fast. The added burden of having Mitchell Moses signed to a new long-term deal is doing the club no favours.

The Broncos were stung by a poor home loss to the Titans last Sunday but are 16-7 against the line interstate as an underdog and 15-6 against the spread interstate off a loss. Parramatta have won just one of their last seven off conceding 40-plus and have covered just six of 17 when favoured.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Brisbane +1.5

Wests Tigers v Canberra

Friday 7th June, 7:55pm

Canberra have owned the Wests Tigers of late. The Raiders have won six of their last eight against the Tigers and have scored at least 46 in four of their last five. Canberra have covered 19 of 27 interstate off a win and 27 of 39 interstate when longer than $1.85 in betting.

The Tigers have been notably poor off a bye, covering just two of 17.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Canberra to Win


North Queensland v Manly

Saturday 8th June, 7:35pm

North Queensland have been gutted by injury and look ripe for the picking this week at home against a tough Manly team that welcome back star Tom Trbojevic. Small interstate underdogs cover at 60% and Manly have covered 11 of 18 as an interstate underdog. The Sea Eagles are particularly strong on the road off a poor attacking performance, going 10-3 against the line after scoring 16 or fewer.

The Cowboys have covered just 4 of 11 after scoring less than 12 points.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Manly +2.5


Penrith v Sydney Roosters

Sunday 9th June, 4:05pm

Penrith are in a great spot here and can be bet with confidence at the big start and straight out. The Panthers are 10-6 against the spread as a home underdog and are 17-12 against the line at home off a win but this is really a spot play.

Home underdogs of more than a converted try cover at 59% over the last 12 seasons but home underdogs of 6 or more off a win are 55-28 against the spread. Teams in that spot also have a 24% profit on turnover when beat head-to-head as well. Road favourites of more than a converted try off a loss are 27-55 against the spread.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Penrith +6.5

Penrith v Manly

Thursday 30th May 7:50pm

Penrith have won nine of 12 against Manly and look in a good spot to make it back-to-back wins for the first time this year. Since 2008, the Panthers have covered 13 of 20 against the Sea Eagles while Penrith have also covered 13 of 20 off conceding 10 or fewer.

Penrith are also 9-5 against the spread as home underdog. The real play here though is betting against Manly as a favourite away from Brookvale. In that spot the Eagles are a poor 3-12 against the spread.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Penrith to Win


Parramatta v South Sydney

Friday 31st May 7:55pm

There is no doubt that Parramatta go into this one with a much stronger side. The Eels are absent of any Origin representation while Souths have Cody Walker, Damien Cook, Cameron Murray and Dane Gagai unavailable and Adam Reynolds in major doubt.

Souths are struggling for numbers that they could not even name a fill squad of 21. The Eels have won two of three at Bankwest and underdogs off five or more straight wins cover at just 44%.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Parramatta -3.5


Canterbury v Canberra

Saturday 1st June 7:35pm

Canterbury are clear standouts as the best bet of the round. While the Bulldogs are missing just Dylan Napa to Origin and Jayden Okunbor to injury, Canberra are missing arguably their seven best players with Origin reps Jack Wighton, Nick Cotric and Josh Papalii out along with the injured Josh Hodgson, Jordan Rapana, John Bateman and Joey Leilua injured.

The Bulldogs have covered 11 of 15 at ANZ off a double digit loss. Canberra have covered just six of 15 on the road off a loss.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Canterbury to Win

Newcastle v Sydney Roosters

Friday 24th May 7:55pm

The Sydney Roosters have absolutely dominated Newcastle in recent times but the Knights are in a total smash spot here against the premiers. Home underdogs off four straight wins have covered eight of nine while home underdogs of 6 or more off scoring 30-plus points are 25-12 ATS dating back to 2008. Conversely, road favourites of six or more off a loss are 11-23 ATS over the last five seasons. The Knights have to be taken here getting more than a converted try.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Newcastle +6.5


Canberra v North Queensland

Saturday 25th May 3:00pm

Canberra have covered six of seven against North Queensland and profile well against a Cowboys team that have struggled for points this year. The Cowboys have been exceptionally poor on the road over the last two seasons, covering just five of their last 17 road games. Canberra bounce back well off a poor attacking performance with a 17-6 cover record off scoring 16 or fewer while they are 23-14 ATS at home off conceding 16 or fewer.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Canberra -6.5


Canterbury v Melbourne

Sunday 26th May 2:00pm

Canterbury have played Melbourne better than any other team over the course of the Craig Bellamy era and can cover as big home underdogs here. The Bulldogs have covered 10 of their last 12 against the Storm but the real angle comes as a big home underdog off a win with home underdogs of more than a converted try off a win going 55-27 against the line while those getting double digits are 11-4 against the spread. The Storm have covered just six of 18 away from AAMI Park.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Canterbury +10

North Queensland v Parramatta

Saturday 18th May 5:30pm

Parramatta are without question the play of the round. Teams off humiliating defeats are usually in a good bounce-back spot with teams who conceded 60 6-1 against the spread since 2012 while those off losses of 40-plus are 29-14 ATS.

Small interstate underdogs of under a try also cover at a clip of 65%. The Eels are 13-6 ATS off a loss of 13-plus while the Cowboys have covered just five of 14 off a double-digit loss and four of 12 as a favourite. The Eels look primed to win and win big.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Parramatta +2.5


Canberra v South Sydney

Saturday 18th May 7:35pm

Canberra have been the best bet as an underdog over the last five years with 29 covers in their last 42 when an outsider. When a home underdog they have covered six of nine over that span. Souths have been poor road favourites with just three covers in nine when the elect away from ANZ.

The Rabbitohs also don’t back up strong attacking performances with just two covers from seven after scoring 28 or more points. The Raiders have won five from seven and can continue their good run v Souths.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Canberra +2.5


Cronulla v Manly

Sunday 19th May 4:05pm

Manly have historically dominated Cronulla with 15 wins in their last 17 meetings including 13 covers. The Sea Eagles are good as notable outsiders with a 25-17 against the spread record when getting more than a try, covering 13 of 18 in the spot away from Brookvale Oval.

They have covered 10 of 13 getting 4.5 or more after a poor attacking performance when scoring 12 or fewer. Cronulla have covered just 11 of 32 at Shark Park off a win and 16 of 41 as a favourite at Shark Park.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Manly +4.5

West Tigers v Penrith

Friday 10th May 6:00pm

The Tigers are absolutely the best bet of the inaugural NRL Magic Weekend. The Panthers are absolutely shot and if they went on to win the wooden spoon it would not surprise. They are playing awfully.

They are overrated by the market, shown by their 1-7 cover record. They have been absolutely hammered by injury. The Tigers have covered 12 of 19 as an underdog and 7 of 10 off conceding 40-plus. Small underdogs off conceding 40-plus have covered 11 of their last 15. The Tigers will jump much shorter than as small outsiders here.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – West Tigers +1.5


Manly v Brisbane

Friday 10th May. 8:05pm

Brisbane are a bet against team until they can find some semblance of form. The Broncos have now lost Andrew McCullough to a knee injury a week after shipping off Kodi Nikorima. Brisbane are a disaster. Manly have had their share of injures but have been playing tough committed defence.

The Sea Eagles have covered 11 of 17 against the Broncos and 15 of 20 as an underdog off a win. Brisbane have covered just 3 of 12 when favoured by more than a try. Happy to bet the team that is trying and getting points.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Manly +4


Sydney Roosters v Canberra Raiders

Sunday 12th May. 2:00pm

Canberra look to be undervalued in this spot against the high-flying Roosters. There is no doubt that the Roosters are operating in a different stratosphere this year with seven straight covers but regression always takes hold on defending premiers and this seems like a good spot for it to hit. Canberra have covered 19 of 29 as an underdog including 8 of 11 as an underdog of 6.5 or more.

The Raiders are 19-13 against the spread off a double digit win as an underdog. The Roosters have covered just 5 of 16 as a day favourite of more than a converted try and have lost three straight to Canberra. The Raiders have some injuries but look capable of getting an unsuspecting Roosters team.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Canberra +7.5

South Sydney v Brisbane

Thursday 2nd May. 7:50pm

This matchup is the one all the Rugby League world has been waiting for. Wayne Bennett and Anthony Seibold take on their former teams and the hatred between the two should not be underestimated.

Bennett is definitely playing it cooler and Souths are playing much better Rugby League but the Broncos are well over the odds here. Brisbane have covered 15 of their last 21 getting a start of 4 or more points and 21 of their last 33 as an underdog overall. Souths have covered just 2 of 8 as a favourite at ANZ.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Broncos +5.5


Cronulla v Melbourne

Friday 3rd May. 7:35pm

It won’t be a pretty watch but Cronulla have to be bet here getting a start that looks too big at home. The Sharks have been hit hard by injury with Shaun Johnson the latest to go down but home underdogs of 4 or more in the first eight rounds of the year 88-40 against the spread since 2008.

The Sharks are 8-2 against the line in the spot while teams playing Melbourne in the spot are 14-7 against the spread. The Sharks have covered 7 of 11 as a home underdog. The Storm have covered just 5 of 14 as an interstate favourite.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Cronulla +7.5


Sydney Roosters v West Tigers

Saturday 4th May. 7:35pm

The Wests Tigers get a monster start against the high-flying Sydney Roosters and absolutely look a bet. The Tigers have covered 15 of their last 22 after getting a start of more than a converted try and are 8-3 against the line when getting a start of more than two converted tries.

The embarrassment of the Eels loss two weeks back will have them switched on and they have played the Roosters tight in the last three meetings with two closes losses and a shock win. The Roosters have covered just six of 15 when favoured by 12 or more. The start is just too large here.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Tigers +12.5

Melbourne v New Zealand

Thursday 25th Apr. 7:50pm

This is a battle of two teams at two ends of the spectrum and the Warriors could not have got the Storm in a worse spot. Melbourne – surprise, surprise – sit atop the table with a 5-1 record but enter this traditional Anzac Day clash. The Storm are near unstoppable at home off a loss with a 12-4 cover record in their last 16 at AAMI Park following a defeat.

They have also covered 10 of 14 at home off a poor defensive performance where they conceded 20-plus. The Storm have covered six of nine as a double-digit favourite at the ground. With six straight wins over the Warriors including a 40-point win in this clash last year, Melbourne look primed for a big win.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Melbourne -13.5


Canterbury v North Queensland

Friday 26th Apr. 6:00pm

Canterbury are absolute poison as favourites so need to be taken on in this one. The Bulldogs have covered just 14 of their last 42 as a favourite and just 5 of 19 as a favourite off conceding 14 or fewer. Favourites off poor attacking showings in recent years have fared poorly too, going 24-37 against the spread off conceding six or fewer.

Canterbury have covered just 1 of their last 8 as a favourite at ANZ. The Cowboys have covered 5 of their last 7 interstate and small interstate underdogs cover at 63% over the last five seasons.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – North Queensland +1.5


Manly v Canberra

Sunday 28th Apr. 2:00pm

Canberra are outstanding value here against a Manly team that is tough but severely lacking in talent. The Raiders have been the best defensive team in the premiership this year and have traveled well in recent seasons, going 32-19 against the spread on the road since 2015. The Raiders are particularly strong on the road off a strong attacking showing, going 16-6 against the line off scoring 24 or more points. Manly have covered just 1 of 5 at Brookvale when starting at $2 or shorter and 3 of 10 at the ground off scoring 14 or fewer.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Canberra

St George Illawarra v Manly

Sat 20th Apr. 7:35pm

Manly are in a good spot here. The Dragons are in a play-against spot with home favourites of 6.5 or more points off scoring 36 or more a poor 16-30 against the line over the last five seasons. The Dragons have covered just 9 of 24 when favoured by more than a converted try. Manly have covered nine of 13 away from Brookvale and 19 of 30 getting a start of 4.5 or more away from Brookvale.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Manly +


Gold Coast v Newcastle

Sun 21st Apr. 2:00pm

Newcastle at a relatively short-price on the road has been absolute poison. They are winless without a single cover in their last six road games when $2.25 or shorter and have just a single win and cover from eight at $2.50. With a 39% win rate on the road and the most inept attack in the NRL, they are in a clear bet against spot. Newcastle have covered nine of 12 home games and 12 of 19 at home off a win. The Titans are the best of the round.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Gold Coast


Parramatta v West Tigers

Mon 22nd Apr. 4:00pm

The Eels are false favourites in this one. Parramatta have been overpriced here because of the excitement kicking off at a new home ground is sure to generate. The Eels have covered just three of 12 as a favourite though. The Tigers have been excellent as an underdog, covering 14 of 19, including 11 of 13 as an underdog off a win. The Tigers have scored at least 16 points in 13 of 14 against the Eels and with their defence in such a good spot, they are a very strong play.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – West Tigers +

Brisbane v West Tigers

Thurs 11th Apr. 7:50pm

The Broncos are a club in disarray at present. They have won just one of their opening four games. Their captain has been accused of not trying. Their star centre was pictured passed out after a big night out. Their forward enforcer has been suspended for a dog shot. Brisbane have covered just two of their last 10 at Suncorp when favoured by more than a converted try. The Tigers have been strong bets as big outsiders, covering 14 of 18 when getting a start of 4.5 or more. They have covered seven of 10 getting a start of 6.5 or more off conceding 16 or fewer.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – West Tigers +6.5


Gold Coast v Penrith

Fri 12th Apr. 6:00pm

Gold Coast are well over the odds as a big home underdog. Home underdogs of 4 or more points in the first eight rounds of the season are 85-39 against the spread since 2008, making them a blind bet. They have also covered 16 of 25 as a home underdog and nine of 13 as a home underdog off conceding 24-plus. Penrith have covered just 4 of 11 as a favourite away from Panthers Stadium and just 9 of 23 interstate. The Titans are in a desperate situation now and they will see this as a big opportunity to break their duck.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Gold Coast +4


Cronulla v Sydney Roosters

Sat 13th Apr. 7:35pm

Cronulla have won six of nine against the Sydney Roosters and are the play as big home underdogs here. Home underdogs of 4 or more points in the first eight rounds of the season are 85-39 against the spread since 2008. The Sharks have covered 26 of 41 as an underdog since 2015, including 7 of 10 as a home underdog. They are 12-5 against the line as an underdog off a loss, showing they are a big bounce-back team. The Roosters have covered just 7 of 21 off a win of 13-plus and just 3 of 10 after conceding six points or fewer.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Cronulla +6.5

Manly v South Sydney

Sat 6th Apr. 3:00pm

Home underdogs of 4 or more in the first four rounds of the season are 45-18 against the spread since 2008 so the Sea Eagles are a blind bet in this spot at Brookvale against the Bunnies. Those 4-plus early season home underdogs are 15-5 against the spread off a win while those off a win of 7 or more are a +102% POT off the stick. Home underdogs off a win of 20-plus are 18-10 ATS over the last five seasons. Souths have covered just 11 of 26 when favoured away from ANZ.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Manly +6.5


North Queensland v Canberra

Sat 6th Apr. 5:30pm

Canberra won both matches against North Queensland last year and should be able to extend that run to three against a Cowboys team that has looked hapless over the last two weeks. The Raiders are 30-19 ATS interstate over the last five seasons and are 22-11 ATS interstate when an underdog. Small interstate underdogs cover at 63% across the board since 2015. The Cowboys have covered just 6 of 16 at home.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Canberra +1.5


Parramatta v Cronulla

Sat 6th Apr. 7:35pm

Cronulla have won five straight against Parramatta and are primed to make it six straight. Four of those wins have been by more than a converted try. The loss of Dylan Brown is a huge blow to Parramatta while Paul Gallen is a surprise inclusion for the Sharks in what will be a massive boost. The Sharks have covered 7 of 11 as a favourite away from Shark Park.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Cronulla -1.5

Parramatta v Sydney Roosters

Fri 29th March. 7:55pm

Parramatta getting the big start here shape as the bet of the round. There are some big angles here. Home underdogs of 4 or more in the first four rounds of the season are 45-15 against the spread while those getting 8 or more in the first eight weeks of the year are 14-2 against the line. The Eels have won both games this year and have covered 10 of 15 as an underdog at ANZ. The Roosters have covered just three of 12 when favoured by 8 or more points and five of 15 on the road off scoring 25 or more points.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Paramatta +8.5


Manly v New Zealand

Sat 30th March. 3:00pm

Manly have long dominated New Zealand with 20 wins in the last 25 meetings and with Tom Trbojevic looking like a potential return, the Eagles are the play here. Manly have covered 18 of 30 away from Brookvale getting a start of 4 or more but this is very much a play against the Warriors. They have won just 6 of 17 at New Zealand grounds outside of Mt Smart and have covered just 10 of 28 when favoured by 4 or more points. Plenty of value siding with Manly here.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Manly +4.5


West Tigers v Cantebury

Sun 31st March. 4:05pm

The Wests Tigers and Canterbury have started the season in very different manners. That makes for a great contrarian play here. The Tigers jump as favourite of more than a converted try for just the 12th time in five seasons. They have covered just four of the previous 11. They have covered just 10 of 29 as a favourite and just five of 16 at Campbelltown. The Bulldogs have covered 18 of 28 getting a start of 6.5 or more and have won 10 of 14 against the Tigers. Canterbury are under the gun and are in desperate need of an improved showing.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Cantebury +6.5

St George Illawarra v South Sydney

Thu 21st March. 7:50pm

Home underdogs of 4 or more in the first four rounds of the season cover at an exceptional 76% so the Saints can be bet blind here. The Dragons are in a good spot too despite losing Tyson Frizell to injury. They return to Kogarah, where they are 15-7 against the spread over the last five years including a 6-2 against the spread number as an underdog at the ground.

The Dragons have also covered 8 of 11 off a loss when playing at the ground. The Rabbitohs have covered just 3 of their last 9 away from ANZ and 5 of 13 after scoring 24 or more points. The five-day turnaround is an overrated stat by the market: home underdogs on a five-day turnaround cover at 61% since 2008.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – St George Illawarra +4.5


Canberra v Melbourne

Fri 22nd March. 6:00pm

Many of the same stats used to push the Saints this week are applicable for the Raiders. Home underdogs of 4 or more in the first four rounds of the season cover at an exceptional 76%. Home underdogs on a five-day turnaround cover at 61% since 2008. Home underdogs of 4 or more off a win also cover at 61% while the Raiders are 9-2 against the line in the spot.

Canberra have covered 6 of 8 as a home underdog over the last four years while they have conceded 10 of their last 16 after conceding 16 or fewer points. The Storm have covered just 3 of their last 12 as a favourite 2 of 9 on the road off a win of 10 points or more. The surprise inclusion of Jordan Rapana adds to the confidence.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Canberra +4.5


Wests Tigers v New Zealand

Sun 24th March. 6:10pm

The Tigers are always a lay when favoured so definitely keen to take them on here. They have covered just 9 of 28 as a favourite and just 2 of 10 when favoured off a win. The Tigers have also covered just 4 of their last 15 at Campbelltown and just 4 of their last 15 day games. Small interstate underdogs are severely underrated by the market, covering at 66% over the last five seasons.

The Warriors have covered 6 of their last 8 as an underdog away from Mt Smart.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – New Zealand +1.5

Newcastle v Cronulla

Friday 15th March. 6:00pm

Newcastle finished off last season winning just four of their last 16 games and have now shifted their best player to five-eighth and their five-eighth to fullback. They had a very good record in close games and their win total shot-up significantly, two red flags for significant improvement.

Newcastle are a take on team in 2019 for sure. Cronulla have long dominated the Knights with eight straight wins and there is no reason to expect the Sharks to drop off. They have won four straight in Newcastle and averaged 41.5 points in those matches. The Sharks have won 20 of 31 away from Shark Park when $1.90 or longer in betting. The Knights have won just 4 of 17 night/twilight home games.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Cronulla


New Zealand v Canterbury

New Zealand have opened surprisingly big favourites against Canterbury. The market has shifted notably towards the Bulldogs and will continue to move that way with key rake Issac Luke ruled out for the home team. The Bulldogs have named what can only be called a sub-optimal team with Rhyse Martin and Nick Meaney not selected for reasons only coach Dean Pay. Regardless, they are in an excellent spot. The Bulldogs have won 15 of 21 against the Warriors and 9 of 11 getting a start of 4-plus points. The key stat to note in this one though: the Warriors have covered just 6 of 21 when favoured by a try or more.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Canterbury +4.5


North Queensland v St George Illawarra

One key stat that can be bet on the blind in the NRL: small interstate underdogs. Interstate outsiders of 3.5 points or fewer have covered at 66% over the last five years. The logic is fairly sound with the small interstate underdog typically the better team and home advantage overvalued by the market.

The Dragons are in that spot this week. The Dragons have won three straight against the Cowboys and have a much more settled preparation than the Cowboys, who have question marks across their backline.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – St George Illawarra

Premiership Winner

Prognosticators started forecasting the end of the Melbourne Storm era a decade ago. They still have not found the year when the Storm have fallen off the cliff. Melbourne have won at least 14 games since 2006, played in eight of the last 13 Grand Finals and have reached the preliminary final stage in seven of the last nine years. Their downside is a Top 4 finish and a preliminary final exit so to see them topping the $8 mark in premiership betting required an eye rub and a double take.

The Storm still have Craig Bellamy and Cameron Smith and they are surrounded by a plethora of talent including star half Cameron Munster, a dominant pack and a wing tandem that is as dangerous as any in the premiership. Burned by not showing up in last year’s Grand Final, the Storm will be uber-focused no going one better this year. The three times they have lost a Grand Final, they have bounced back to win the premiership the next year.

The Sharks have been written off by the market yet it is clear from their roster construction that they are all-in for one last tilt at the title. Cronulla have won at least 14 games and played finals football for four straight seasons, winning a premiership in 2016 and finishing a game shy last year. They are a team that is coming off a high base and whose roster has improved markedly with the addition of former Golden Boot winner Shaun Johnson.

The loss of Valentine Holmes hurts but Johnson is an upgrade primarily because of the position he plays and the role he will have. There is a query over how John Morris will perform as a rookie coach but with a veteran side and the injection of a player with best-player-in-the-premiership upside, the Sharks are big overs.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Melbourne Storm

 BACK – Cronulla Sharks


Regular Season Winner

No team possesses more talent in the NRL than the Sydney Roosters, who have remarkably improved their squad from the team that won the premiership by bringing in Angus Crichton to the pack and adding internationals Brett Morris and Ryan Hall to an already teeming three-quarter line. The Roosters have already won the minor premiership four times in Trent Robinson’s six seasons in charge and he has not had a team with this much talent.

Defending a title is difficult but defending a minor premiership is not with seven teams repeating since 2005. The club not only has the most talent but it added the premiership know-how of Cooper Cronk last year and that sprinkling of Storm culture on such a stunning roster should not be undervalued.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Sydney Roosters to be the minor premiers


Top 4 Value Bet

Key analytics suggests no team has bigger improvement in them in 2019 than the Canberra Raiders. Ricky Stuart’s team have come off back-to-back 10th-placed finishes but in each of the last two seasons their real win total had them firmly inside the Top 8. It has been primarily an inability to close out close games that has hurt the Raiders. Canberra were an awful 3-8 in games decided by a single score last year, a record put down to both poor coaching and poor halves.

While the coaching hasn’t changed this year, Jack Wighton shifts to five-eighth to give the Raiders a more reliable halves pairing while Josh Hodgson is in line to play a full season after missing the majority of 2018. Canberra have recruited well, bringing in world class backrower John Bateman from Wigan, along with Ryan Sutton from Super League. Canberra are coming off a base as a legitimate Top 8 team and have more than enough scope if things click early to post a Top 4 finish.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Canberra Raiders to finish in the Top 4


Top 8 Value Bet

The Titans have already been heavily bet to make the Top 8 this year and it is easy to make a case that they will improve significantly. An unfashionable and typically underwhelming team who rarely attract much interest, the club may finally be headed in the right direction with some astute recruitment.

Tyrone Peachey heads the list of inclusions this year that also features Australian prop Shannon Boyd, halves Ryley Jacks and Tyrone Roberts and speedy centre Brian Kelly. More importantly though, coach Garth Brennan has cut ties with plenty of poor players including Kane Elgey and Konrad Hurrell while the halves shopping spree will put much-needed pressure on terribly overrated No.7 Ashley Taylor.

The Titans have a premier pack led by Ryan James with rep players Boyd, Jai Arrow, Kevin Proctor, Nathan Peats and Jarrod Wallace and they now have some backline talent. Gold Coast severely undershot their real win rate last year so are not starting off as low a base as many seem to think and with their improvement roster-wise, it is all systems go in 2019.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Gold Coast Titans to finish in the Top 8


Fewest Season Wins

The price available on Parramatta to claim their fourth wooden spoon of the last decade is absurdly high. The Eels have very little going their way coming off their fifth bottom-four finish of the last nine years and with the worst roster in the premiership, they are major overs.

Parramatta’s roster is a mess, highlighted by the barrow being tied to error-prone halfback Mitchell Moses. They have major issues at hooker, a lack of speed out wide and an undersized middle. They did not have the advanced metrics expected of a wooden spoon team that would indicate improvement and they have recruited exceptionally poorly for a team not in the title hunt, investing in big-money players in non-spine positions rather than focusing on player development and cost saving.

The Eels should be in a transition year. Instead they have deluded themselves into believing they can win now. It is a situation that will likely lead to a coaching change and a mid-season clean out, a perfect storm for a team that will be well in contention for last spot.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Parramatta to win the Wooden Spoon


Dally M Medal Winner

Kalyn Ponga is the clear-cut favourite heading into the 2019 season after coming oh-so-close in his first full season after a scintillating first year in Newcastle. Roosters custodian James Tedesco and Dragon Gareth Widdop sit on the next lines of betting. There is plenty of value to be found in Dally M Medal betting with three players really standing out. Cooper Cronk is the main string-puller for premiership favourites the Sydney Roosters.

Cronk is a two-time winner (both in the last six years) and seven of the last 11 winners have come from a team that made the Grand Final. Shaun Johnson looks set for a big year after moving from the Warriors to the Sharks. He is a former Golden Boot winner and behind a strong pack for arguably the first time in his career, a season of rejuvenation is on the cards. The top value selection though is Josh Hodgson at around the $41 quote.

Hodgson has a top-six Dally M Medal finish to his name and is a clear standout as Canberra’s most important player. With the Raiders expected to be sharp improvers this year and Hodgson a renowned vote-getter, he is well worth betting with plenty of opportunities to trade for a profit throughout the season.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Cooper Cronk to win the Dally M

 BACK – Shaun Johnson to win the Dally M

 BACK – Josh Hodgson to win the Dally M


State of Origin

The Blues go in heavily favoured for this year’s series after a dominant 2018 series where they won the opening two games before going down in the dead-rubber third game. Though the Blues only outscored the Maroons 52-44, they will go into the 2019 series with a significant advantage at fullback, in the halves and in the pack.

Brad Fittler brought about significant cultural and stylistic changes last season and it reaped plenty of rewards. Teams that have wrapped up the series in two games the year prior have won five of six series the following year.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – NSW


NRL Prediction Model

Using proven methods, The Data Scientists’ NRL Predictions Model takes a purely statistical approach to predicting NRL outcomes. If ...

NRL Betting: Products and Resources

At Betfair, we want winners. Aided by a catalogue of information provided in the previous NRL Betting Strategies articles, you have ...

Why You Need The Hub, No Matter Your Betting Experience

The Betfair Hub exists to make punters smarter. Betfair is incentivised to share expert knowledge because we take a small ...