Just the four games in the NRL this weekend due to the deciding match in the State of Origin series being scheduled for next Wednesday night! We have a full preview and betting tips for all four games over the four days, kicking off Thursday night with St. George hosting the Storm and finishing up on Sunday with the Sharks vs Broncos.
The NRL action begins this Thursday as the Storm travel to WIN Stadium in search of their 7th straight victory. Melbourne come off a tough win over the Roosters last weekend and despite the Origin period, they'll still carry a strong lineup for this clash. The general Cameron Smith is still on the park and he'll lead a formidable forward pack. They will miss Munster at five-eighth, but Billy Walters get his chance and the explosive Ryan Papenhuyzen will come off the bench. For the Dragons, this will likely be a tough night as they miss Hunt, Norman, Vaughan, Sims and Frizell. Most of those names were the key in their victory over the Cowboys last week so they'll need to rely on their depth in this one. The betting stats do heavily favour the Storm here as the favourite side is 11-0 at WIN Stadium and Melbourne also hold a 9-4 SU record against St. George. So you would figure Melbourne should win easily but the best bet looks to be the Under. It's 12-3 in the Storm's last 15 away games and they've allowed just 12.1 points per game in 2019. As they showed last week by keeping the Roosters dynamic lineup to 12 points, it's hard to see a Dragons side without Norman/Hunt scoring over 12 points. While for the Storm, no Munster or Addo-Carr sees them a lot weaker in attack, which should limit their scoring potential.
Bankwest Stadium plays host to Friday night football as the 9-5 Sydney Roosters take on the 7-7 Wests Tigers. The Roosters will be without Tedesco, Cordner and Taykeiaho. However, the return of Luke Keary is a positive and the fact that Mitchell won't be lining up for NSW next Wednesday. Their record against Wests is one of the most dominant head to head records in recent times as they've won 16 of the last 18 meetings. So Wests will need to be on their game, especially early on. The Tigers sit 9th on the ladder and they should be at least confident after beating Souths here last week, 14-9. So hopefully they can contain the Roosters lineup. Sydney were held in-check by the Storm last week and obviously, the Tigers don't have the same defensive record. But their last defensive performance is a good sign. So the Under does look the best bet here as well. The Tigers are 6-0 (1 draw) against the Under in their last 7 games as a home underdog and when they play the Roosters, the Under is 5-3 at any venue since 2015.
With Newcastle missing three of their most important players in Pearce, Ponga and Klemmer, the Warriors will take rare favouristim in the odds as they travel to Newcastle. But the question is whether you can trust the Warriors, which they are known for letdowns! Last week, they were involved in an 19-18 loss against the Panthers, which involved a number of "interesting" referee calls. They've lost 3 of their last 4 coming into this clash and their 2-4 away record in 2019 doesn't fill us with confidence. The Knights are playing well at home with 3 straight comfortable wins over the Broncos, Roosters and Eels. Obviously, they'll be playing with a weaker lineup this time but the Warriors defence can be a worry. They gave up 36 points in the earlier meeting against Newcastle at Mt Smart in a 36-18 scoreline. So the value looks to be with both sides reaching 13+ points, which is 8-2 in the last 10 meetings.
It's fair to say Cronulla were awful last week in a 14-12 defeat against the Bulldogs so they should be motivated to make amends against the Broncos this week. Looking at the team lineups, this should be a comfortable win for the Sharks as the Baby Broncos return. They'll be without Milford, Oates, Fifita, Ofahengaue, Gillett and Kennar. Which sees a number of starting lineup chances, such as Turpin to five-eighth after the Darius Boyd experiment failed last week. There's an interesting trend with the Broncos though, they simply love playing the Sharks! At this venue, they've won 5 of the last 6 meetings since 2010 and they've also won the last 5 at any venue. So they do offer a bit of value at the line. But in the end, they're missing so much talent that this matchup should be low scoring. The Sharks haven't been overly great attacking wise lately and the Under does have a positive record when the Broncos play them (3-2 since 2017).
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