2020 NRL Round 9 Preview

Facebooktwittermail

We should learn plenty about the NRL’s top contenders this weekend with three huge top eight games headlining Round 9.

The surprising Sharks are shooting for four in a row on Saturday when they host the second-place Panthers at Jubilee, while there’s also plenty of value to be had on Saturday night between the Raiders and the Storm in a Round 3 rematch.

The Knights and the Eels kick Sunday off with a potential finals preview from Newcastle, right before the Dragons and Sea Eagles look to bounce-back in the nightcap.

After a very difficult week in terms of tipping, we’re confident we’ve found a few winners in our complete 2020 NRL Round 9 Preview below.

North Queensland Cowboys Vs Sydney Roosters

Thursday July 9, 7:50pm, QLD Country Bank Stadium

North Queensland’s season took a direct hit last week in their blowout loss to the Eels and they aren’t about to find Thursday’s game against the reigning premiers any easier.

The Roosters have slipped down to fifth on the ladder following their golden point loss to the Storm, but they’ve typically been an outstanding betting play on the back of a loss playing to a 3-1 record over the last 12 months.

A string of recent injuries does leave the Roosters looking vulnerable however, especially with star tryscorer Daniel Tupou joining Victor Radley on the sidelines with an ankle injury.

The Cowboys, meanwhile, are starting to return to full-strength with Tom Gilbert set to return from a suspension and Jordan McLean a chance to play following calf troubles. A bounce-back performance from Valentine Holmes would also go a long way to keeping this game close.

There’s still plenty of time left in the season, but with a backlog of teams fighting for a spot in the eight, Paul Green will sense the importance of this game with his side now sitting 11th on the ladder.

With home-field advantage on their side, the Cowboys keeping this close might not be as unrealistic as it seems.

Tip: Back the Cowboys to Cover the Line (+12.5 Points) @ $2.00

Gold Coast Titans Vs New Zealand Warriors

Friday July 10, 6:00pm, CBUS Super Stadium

The battle to avoid the wooden spoon has been just as exciting as the race at the top of the table this season.

Following their come from behind win over the Broncos last week, the Warriors are out to accomplish something they haven’t achieved since Rounds 9 and 10 last year – win back-to-back games.

The Titans, meanwhile, are hoping for a bounce-back performance similar to the one they pulled out a fortnight ago against the Broncos, but after a lacklustre second-half effort against the Sharks last week, it’s hard to know what to expect.

Gold Coast find themselves as slight favourites with home-field advantage, although it wouldn’t be surprising to watch the market swing back and forth.

The Titans are set to play without hooker Mitch Rein, while New Zealand has received good news on the Jazz Tevaga front with the lock returning from a knee injury.

Of the eight games, this is definitely the toughest to pick. Considering the Warriors’ inability to win back-to-back games and the Titans’ general inconsistencies, the Over might be the best play.

Tip: Over the Points Total

South Sydney Rabbitohs Vs Wests Tigers

Friday July 10, 7:55pm, BankWest Stadium

The complexity of the top eight is set to change on Friday night as the eighth-placed Tigers take on the ninth-placed Rabbitohs.

South Sydney are shooting for two in a row following last Sunday’s win over the Bulldogs, but standing in their way is a Tigers outfit that has a made a habit recently of bouncing back from defeat.

Wests were up for the fight last week against Penrith in the first half, but their final 40-minutes left a lot to be desired. David Nofoaluma went missing, while the Panthers enjoyed the run of play scoring two unanswered tries.

That kind of performance is something Michael Maguire will be looking to address this week in training, while he’ll also be hoping for a similar effort to last years game against the Bunnies – one the Tigers won 14-9.

Both sides have a couple of key outs this week with Braidon Burns likely done for the year. Meanwhile, the Tigers will go without the suspended Joey Leilua.

The Bunnies own only one win against a current top eight side this year (Cronulla), while it’s worth factoring in the Tigers’ 4-1 record as the line underdog on the road.

With a +5.5 line on offer, all signs point towards Wests keeping this tight.

Tip: Back the Tigers to Cover the Line (+5.5 Points) @ $2.00

Cronulla Sharks Vs Penrith Panthers

Saturday July 11, 3:00pm, Nestrata Jubilee Stadium

Don’t look now, but the Sharks suddenly find themselves back in the eight following their third consecutive win last week.

Cronulla was huge in the second half last week against the Titans on their way to a comfortable 40-10 victory, but perhaps the most impressive part was the Sharks piling on so many points without Sione Katoa scoring.

Penrith found things a little tougher against the Tigers but still managed to squeak out a five-point win to remain within a stone’s throw of the Eels.

The Panthers did suffer a blow however with Brian To’o picking up an ankle injury, while the Sharks are also expecting Matt Moylan to miss Saturday’s game with further hamstring problems.

Penrith are the rightful favourites in this contest, although it is worth noting the Sharks had won seven straight over the Panthers prior to their Round 21 loss last year.

The trends also suggest we could see a high-scoring game with the last three contests between the two clubs going Over the Total.

Tip: Back the Panthers to Win & Over the Points Total

Brisbane Broncos Vs Canterbury Bulldogs

Saturday July 11, 5:30pm, Suncorp Stadium

The Broncos and the Bulldogs have both been steady firmers in our ‘Most Losses’ market, and you can expect the odds to change even further following the outcome of Saturday’s game.

Brisbane could potentially play swapsies with the Bulldogs should they lose their seventh game in a row.

A fifth straight loss for the Bulldogs, meanwhile, would make life almost impossible with games against the Knights, Eels and Storm ahead in the coming weeks.

Fans are calling for Anthony Seibold to make drastic changes to the lineup, and it appears they might receive their wish with Katoni Staggs set to return from a hamstring injury.

Matt Lodge replacing Corey Oates is also on the cards, while the jury is still out on Darius Boyd, Brodie Croft and Anthony Milford.

The Under was kind to us last week between the Warriors and Broncos, and that again looks to be the safest play here.

The total has gone Under in six of Brisbane’s eight games this season, so it’s really not worth overcomplicating this one.

Tip: Under the Points Total

Canberra Raiders Vs Melbourne Storm

Saturday July 11,7:35pm, GIO Stadium

Craig Bellamy and Ricky Stuart won’t have to rewind very far in their film sessions this week.

The Raiders and Storm met only six weeks ago at AAMI Park, but a lot has changed since the Green Machine caused a 22-6 boilover back in Round 3.

We already knew this, but last weeks golden point win over the Roosters was another reminder that you can never write off the Storm.

As for the Raiders, Canberra continues to make life tough not only for themselves but also for punters.

After leading 22-0, the Green Machine left the door wide open for the Dragons late on Friday night – a sign that doesn’t bode well against a Storm side that seemingly never quits.

To their credit though, the Raiders have held the Storm’s number recently with three consecutive wins on the board, but their long list of outs this week makes it tough to predict a fourth.

Sia Soliola and Jordan Rapana are both set to miss this clash, while the Storm could potentially welcome Cameron Munster back from a knee injury.

With that in mind, the Storm represents enormous value for the second week in a row, even if their record in Canberra suggests otherwise.

Tip: Back the Storm to Win @ $2.00

Newcastle Knights Vs Parramatta Eels

Sunday July 12, 4:05pm, McDonald Jones Stadium

The Eels head to Newcastle on Sunday afternoon shooting for three in a row against a wounded Knights outfit.

Parramatta had it all-too-easy last Friday against the Cowboys, and they should be fit and firing again this week with added rest on their side.

Newcastle came up with a narrow win over Manly last week, albeit in controversial fashion.

Unfortunately for the Knights, they’ll now have to carry on without Edrick Lee for at least three weeks after suffering a broken arm.

There are also a few concerns surrounding Kalyn Ponga’s concussion, which explains the short price on offer for the Eels to extend their lead atop the ladder.

With Nathan Brown returning to the side, this should be another comfortable win for the Eels.

Tip: Back the Eels to Cover the Line (-3.5 Points) @ $2.00

St George Illawarra Dragons Vs Manly Sea Eagles

Sunday July 12, 6:30pm, Nestrata Jubilee Stadium

Two sides looking to bounce-back from narrow defeats conclude the round in what is shaping up to be a must-win game.

Manly were fairly hard done by last week against the Knights, but they were also their own worst enemies with sloppy mistakes and Daly Cherry-Evans’ early sin bin costing them.

The Dragons, meanwhile, have reason to hold their heads high after fighting back to put a real scare into the Raiders after surrendering five unanswered tries.

Manly defeated the Dragons 34-14 when these two sides last met, but prior to that, St George had won four straight.

The Dragons could potentially welcome Tariq Sims back on Sunday, while Tom Trbojevic and Dylan Walker are still a while away from returning for the Sea Eagles.

Four of the last five games between these two have been decided by 13 or more points, but you have to like the Dragons here coming off a very strong second-half performance last week.

St George are 5-3 at the line this season and 6-4 as the underdog over the last 12 months, so take the Red V to put up a fight.

Tip: Back the Dragons to Cover the Line (+2.5 Points) @ $2.00

2019

The NRL’s Magic Round gets underway on Thursday night, and we here at Ladbrokes are looking to pull a rabbit out of our hat with some winning tips.

There’s a handful of blockbusters to choose from this week in front of what should be a big crowd at Suncorp Stadium, and with both the Roosters and Rabbitohs tied atop the ladder, there’s plenty of finals implications on the line.

As always, we’ve analysed all eight games, and our complete 2019 NRL Round 9 Preview can be found below.

Gold Coast Titans Vs Cronulla Sharks

Thursday May 9, 7:50pm, Suncorp Stadium

The Titans head north to Brisbane this week with one thing in mind: revenge.

Gold Coast fell by 14-points last month at Shark Park, a disappointing performance for Garth Brennan’s side surrendering four unanswered first-half tries.

Last week’s blowout loss to the Cowboys has seen the Titans installed as the underdog this week. Things aren’t about to get any easier following the Sharks two-point win over the Storm last Friday night, though.

Cronulla made full use of home-field advantage dominating the possession in a 20-18 win. The Sharks also handled themselves defensively silencing Melbourne’s last-ditch efforts in the final five minutes of the game.

Considering the neutral turf this week, this game certainly presents plenty of value. The Sharks own a terrible losing record at Suncorp Stadium, including their Round 7 blowout loss to the Broncos.

Gold Coast are 5-15 as the away underdog over the last 12 months, so with that in mind, it’s tough to back them straight-up. At the line, however, the Titans are a perfect 3-0 as the underdog against the Sharks, so take this one to be close.

Tip: Back the Titans to Cover the Line (+2.5 Points) @ $1.90

NRL Same Game Multi

Wests Tigers Vs Penrith Panthers

Friday May 10, 6:00pm, Suncorp Stadium

It’s only Round 9, but this is a vitally important game for both sides.

Penrith looks to bounce-back from last week’s Wagga Wagga disappointment at the hands of the Raiders, while the Tigers also came up short in a big way to the Roosters at the SCG.

Under the bright lights of primetime, the good news is we could be in for a close encounter on Friday night. These two sides last met in Round 4, with the Panthers walking away 9-8 winners in golden point extra time.

Penrith has now won five straight over the Tigers dating back to 2016. Surprisingly enough though, the bookies seem to be having a tough time separating the two.

Ivan Cleary’s team are 8-3 as the favourite against Wests, but again, there’s something to be said for the neutral ground at Suncorp.

For the Tigers, they can easily win this game if they knuckle down defensively on the wing. Wests were torn apart by an experienced Roosters attack last week as Sydney stretched them wide to set up Latrell Mitchell’s hat-trick.

The Panthers also need to improve, only on the attack. Penrith holds the talent out wide to approach this game in a similar fashion to the Roosters, but after committing 12 errors against the Raiders, it’s hard to find much confidence in the Panthers’ ball handling.

With all that in mind, the Total might be the safest bet this week. The last two meetings between these sides have seen under 20-points on the board, so back the Unders in a low-scoring game.

Tip: Under 36.5 Total Points @ $1.88

NRL Same Game Multi

Manly Sea Eagles Vs Brisbane Broncos

Friday May 10, 7:55pm, Suncorp Stadium

Two wins on the trot have pushed Manly up to sixth on the ladder, which is more than you can say for Anthony Seibold’s side right now.

The Broncos got back to losing ways last week falling by 32-points to the Bunnies in Sydney – a game that once again highlighted just how lackadaisical Brisbane’s defence has become.

These two sides met twice last season, splitting the wins one apiece. The Broncos obliterated Manly 48-16 in Round 25, but a lot has changed since then.

Brisbane’s biggest problem last week was not only a lack of possession but also lack of discipline defensively committing nine penalties. It’s not surprising to learn the Broncos lead the league in ineffective tackles, which is bad news as they prepare to face a Manly side that ranks fifth in conversions.

They aren’t the home side, but the Suncorp advantage sees the Broncos favoured at short odds this week in front of what should be a big crowd. Keep in mind though, Brisbane have managed just two wins from four at home this year.

The Sea Eagles can win this game if they continue to play with a chip on their shoulder. They’ll rest a little easier knowing the Broncos have dropped James Roberts, Jamayne Issako and Tevita Pengai to the bench following last week’s loss, and if they can continue to play lively, fast-paced football, they should have no trouble winning their third straight.

Tip: Half-Time/Full-Time: Manly Sea Eagles/Manly Sea Eagles @ $3.50

NRL Same Game Multi

Canterbury Bulldogs Vs Newcastle Knights

Saturday May 11, 3:00pm, Suncorp Stadium

This is a fascinating battle between two of the league’s most bipolar sides.

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s hard to know what to expect from the Bulldogs week in and week out. One week they upset the Cowboys, and the next they lose by eight-points to Manly in uninspiring fashion.

The same also goes for the Knights, who have now won two straight. Newcastle backed up their 14-point win over the Eels a fortnight ago to upset the Warriors in Christchurch, largely thanks to Kalyn Ponga’s brilliant second-half efforts.

The Dogs and Knights played only once last year in a game dominated by Canterbury’s forward line. It’s a trend that dates all the way back to 2013 – the last time Newcastle defeated the Bulldogs.

There’s plenty of value in this game, but you’d be wise to stick with the Dogs here. Dean Pay’s side is 6-3 as the line underdog over the last 12 months.

Tip: Back the Bulldogs to Cover the Line (+3.5 Points) @ $1.90

NRL Same Game Multi

New Zealand Warriors Vs St George-Illawarra Dragons

Saturday May 11, 5:30pm, Suncorp Stadium

The Warriors and the Dragons hold one thing in common: blowing close games.

New Zealand has now lost two straight at home following last week’s 36-18 loss to the Knights. The Warriors were right in it at half time trailing 16-12 but fell apart in the second half allowing three unanswered tries.

St. George also fell in a similar fashion to the Eels in front of a jam-packed crowd at Bankwest Stadium. The Dragons led 14-6 at the main break after Ben Hunt and Matthew Dufty crossed the line, but things quickly took a turn in the second half as the Eels pummeled St. George’s defence with a four-try assault in the 32-18 win.

Tipping this game looks tough, but it’s worth noting the Warriors are yet to win on the road this year. This is technically a New Zealand home game, but the Dragons have won their last two games against the Broncos at Suncorp – this is a ground St. George should feel more than comfortable on.

Tip: Back the Dragons to Cover the Line (-3.5 Points) @ $1.90

NRL Same Game Multi

Melbourne Storm Vs Paramatta Eels

Saturday May 11, 7:35pm, Suncorp Stadium

The Storm have plummeted down to fourth on the ladder following last week’s two-point loss to the Sharks, but that hasn’t deterred the bookies.

Melbourne owns two straight wins over the Eels, but if you caught a glimpse of Parra’s resounding win over the Dragons last week, it’s safe to say this Saturday evening blockbuster is the must-watch game of the Magic Round.

The Eels were dominant for the second time in their new stadium handing the Dragons a 32-18 loss. Parramatta were hungry for the points in the second half with Blake Ferguson leading the charge, and if they can play the same fast-paced brand of football, they’ll certainly cause some problems for Melbourne’s defence.

The Eels are 3-9 as the underdog against the Storm, but if they can start this game with some points on the scoreboard – something they failed to do last week against the Dragons – they should be able to keep this game close. Melbourne lost back-to-back games only once last year, but after three-straight less than convincing performances, this game holds big upset potential.

Tip: Back the Eels To Win @ $2.80

NRL Same Game Multi

Sydney Roosters Vs Canberra Raiders

Sunday May 12, 2:00pm, Suncorp Stadium

First plays third on Sunday as the Roosters take on the Raiders for the first time in 2019.

These two sides treated us to a thriller last season as Canberra walked away with a narrow 14-12 win in Round 23 – adding to their impressive three-game winning streak over the Roosters dating back to 2016.

Sydney are fresh from a blowout win over the Dragons last week that once again highlighted Latrell Mitchell’s special talents. Last year’s Origin star chipped in with a handy hat-trick in the victory, also nailing six of his seven conversion attempts.

The Raiders also had plenty to celebrate on Saturday obliterating the Panthers by 18-points. The victory was made even more impressive considering how little of the ball Canberra received throughout the game.

As the odds suggest, the reigning premiers are favoured by a wide margin this week. This is technically a home game for Sydney, and they’ll rest a little easier knowing the Raiders will be without John Bateman, who suffered a fractured eye socket during last week’s win.

On the flip side, Jordan Rapana looks to return to the side. The Raiders are 7-4 as the line underdog over the last 12 months, and with a winning record against the Roosters, it’s worth taking advantage of this generous line.

Tip: Back the Raiders to Cover the Line (+7.5 Points) @ $1.90

NRL Same Game Multi

South Sydney Rabbitohs Vs North Queensland Cowboys

Sunday May 12, 4:05pm, Suncorp Stadium

It’s hardly the most exciting game to end the Magic Round, but after last week’s Jason Taumalolo inspired victory, the Cowboys can certainly make this one interesting.

You can’t call it an upset, but North Queensland finally got back to winning ways at home last week beating the Titans 28-14. Taumalolo was outstanding in all facets of the game, while Jordan Kahu also did a brilliant job nailing all six of his set shots.

Speaking of brilliance, the Rabbitohs looked just that last week at home to the Broncos. South Sydney wasted no time cracking the scoreboard, holding the Broncos to just one try in the 38-6 defeat.

We’re now left with what could be a thrilling ending to Round 9, and if it’s anything like last year’s 21-20 Souths win, this game should be a real treat.

The Bunnies enter as the -8.5 favourites, and with a 7-1 record in this scenario, it’s difficult to back against Wayne Bennett’s side. Still, Suncorp is often a ground that brings out the best from the Cowboys, so the Half-Time/Full-Time split looks a good play.

Tip: Half-Time/Full-Time: North Queensland Cowboys/South Sydney Rabbitohs @ $7.00

NRL Same Game Multi


2018

The St George Illawarra Dragons sit on top of the NRL ladder, but they will face their biggest challenge of the season to date against the Melbourne Storm on Sunday.

There is no doubt that game is the highlight of the weekend, but there are a host of intriguing fixtures spread right across the weekend and there are a number of sides under a great deal of pressure to get the job done.

We have taken a close look at every game set to take place this weekend and our complete 2018 NRL Round 9 tips can be found below.

Brisbane Broncos Vs Canterbury Bulldogs

Thursday 3 May, 7:50pm, Suncorp Stadium

It is the Brisbane Broncos that will start this clash with the Canterbury Bulldogs as clear favourites.

The Broncos came from behind to record a fighting win over the South Sydney Rabbitohs last weekend and they showed a toughness that has been missing so far this season.

Brisbane have won six of their past eight games as favourites at Suncorp Stadium and they are 4-1-3 against the line in this scenario, while they have won five of their past six home games against the Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs have won only one of their past five games and they threw away a solid start to go down to the Penrith Panthers last weekend.

Canterbury have won only three of their past 13 games as away underdogs and their record against the line in this scenario isn’t much better.

This is a game that the Broncos should be able to win and they can cover the line in the process.

Back Brisbane To Cover The Line (-5.5 Points)

Newcastle Knights Vs South Sydney Rabbitohs

Friday 4 May, 6:00pm, McDonald Jones Stadium

The South Sydney Rabbitohs have won their past four games against the Newcastle Knights and they will start this clash as clear favourites.

South Sydney looked set to cruise to their third straight win when they opened a comfortable lead over the Brisbane Broncos last weekend, but they completely fell apart in the second half.

Winning away from home has been something of an issue for the Rabbitohs over the past 12 months and they have won only three of their past 10 games on the road.

Newcastle overcame the absence of Mitchell Pearce to beat the Manly Sea Eagles last weekend and they are a side that is playing with plenty of character.

The Knights have won three of their past seven games as home underdogs for a clear profit and they are an impressive 5-2 against the line in this scenario.

Newcastle are outstanding value in this clash and I am keen to back them with a start of 4.5 points.

Back Newcastle To Cover The Line (+4.5 Points)

Penrith Panthers Vs North Queensland Cowboys

Friday 4 May, 7:55pm, Carrington Park

The 2018 NRL season continues to be a horror show for the North Queensland Cowboys.

They had all the ball and territory against the Canberra Raiders last Saturday night, but they were simply unable to take advantage and slumped to yet another defeat.

It is Johnathan Thurston that has borne the brunt of the criticism for the Cowboys, but their entire backline has looked slow and unthreatening for the entire season.

It has become impossible to back this side with any confidence, but they have won five of their past 12 games as away underdogs and they are 7-5 against the line in this scenario.

The Penrith Panthers came back to beat the Canterbury Bulldogs after a slow start last Friday night and they sit comfortably inside the top four.

Penrith have elected to take their home game to Carrington Park in Bathurst and they have won their past three games at the venue, while they have won 11 of their past 12 games at home.

The betting market that does appeal in this clash is the Under in Total Points betting.

The Under has saluted in the past four games played by the Cowboys and has been a profitable betting play in Panthers games over the past 12 months.

Back Under 37.5 Points

Canberra Raiders Vs Gold Coast Titans

Saturday 5 May, 3:00pm, GIO Stadium

This is set to be another competitive clash in a weekend that is choke-full of them.

The Canberra Raiders made it three wins from their past four games with a fighting victory over the North Queensland Cowboys and they will start this clash with the Gold Coast Titans as favourites.

Canberra have won only five of their past ten games as home favourites for a clear loss and they are a poor 3-7 against the line in this scenario.

The Titans were unable to beat the Cronulla Sharks last weekend, but they lost no admirers with their brave effort and they are a better side than their record suggests.

Winning on the road is still an issue and they have won only two of their past 11 games as away underdogs, while their record against the line isn’t much better.

This is a game that the market does look to have just about right and I am happy to stay out from a betting perspective.

No Bet

New Zealand Warriors Vs Wests Tigers

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

Who would have predicted at the start of the season that this game between the New Zealand Warriors and the Wests Tigers would be one of the most anticipated of the round!

The Warriors were completed outclassed by the Melbourne Storm in their Anzac Day clash and how they respond to that defeat will be an excellent test of their character.

New Zealand have won only four of their past seven games as home favourites, but they have covered the line in each of those wins.

The Tigers suffered their second two-point loss in as many weeks when they went down to the Parramatta Eels on Sunday and they are another side that will face a serious character assessment this weekend.

They have won four of their past ten games as away underdogs and they are an impressive 8-2 against the line in this scenario.

There isn’t as much between these two sides as the current betting market suggests and they can cover the line with a handy start.

Back Wests To Cover The Line (+4.5 Points)

Cronulla Sharks Vs Parramatta Eels

Saturday 5 May, 7:35pm, Southern Cross Group Stadium

Both these sides head into this clash on the back of two straight wins.

A late field-goal got the Cronulla Sharks home against the Gold Coast Titans and they will go into this clash with the Parramatta Eels as clear favourites.

The Sharks have won their past four games against the Eels, but their recent form at Southern Cross Group Stadium is nothing to write home about.

They have won only four of their past nine games as home favourites and they are a woeful 1-8 against the line in this scenario.

Parramatta showed plenty of fight to score a narrow win over the Wests Tigers as they continue their recovery effort following their horror start to the season.

The Eels are still a tough side to trust from a betting perspective – they have won only two of their past seven games as away underdogs and their record against the line isn’t much better.

This is another game that the market does look to have just about right and I am happy to stay out from a betting standpoint.

No Bet

St George Illawarra Dragons Vs Melbourne Storm

Sunday 6 May, 2:00pm, Jubilee Oval

This is the most anticipated game of the NRL season to date and the market can’t split the two sides ahead of this genuine blockbuster.

The St George Illawarra Dragons returned to winning form with a comfortable win over the Sydney Roosters in the Anzac Day clash and they have lost only one game this season to date.

St George Illawarra have now won nine of their past 12 games in front of their home fans and the home side has won ten of the past 12 games played between these two sides.

It has been something of a slow start to the season for the Melbourne Storm, but they have been nothing short of outstanding over the past three weeks and they were dominant against the New Zealand Warriors on Anzac Day.

Melbourne have won eight of their past 11 games on the road as well as four of their past five games against the Dragons.

I have been extremely impressed with what I have seen from the Storm in recent weeks and they can win what is set to be a simply brilliant clash.

Back Melbourne To Win @ $1.92

Sydney Roosters Vs Manly Sea Eagles

Sunday 6 May, 4:10pm, Allianz Stadium

The Sydney Roosters are the shortest-priced favourites in the NRL this weekend.

Inconsistency continues to be an issue for the Roosters and they haven’t recorded back-to-back wins since round 3, but if the current trend continues they are due to return to winning form this weekend.

The Roosters have won ten of their past 14 games as home favourites, but they are a poor 5-9 against the line in this scenario.

There are few clubs in the NRL – the North Queensland Cowboys excluded – under more pressure than the Manly Sea Eagles and they slumped to their fourth straight defeat with a loss at the hands of the Newcastle Knights last weekend.

The Sea Eagles have won only three of their past 12 games away from Brookvale Oval and they have failed to cover the line in their past 10 games on the road.

It won’t get any easier for Manly this weekend and the Roosters should be able to cover the line of 9.5 points.

Back Sydney To Cover The Line (-9.5 Points)


2017

The NRL continues to produce exciting games each and every weekend and we are set for another excellent round of action.

The action gets underway on Thursday night when the Brisbane Broncos host the struggling Penrith Panthers and there really is betting interest in every single game this weekend.

We have analysed all eight rugby league fixtures and our 2017 NRL Round 9 tips can be found below.

Brisbane Broncos Vs Penrith Panthers

Thursday 27 April, 7:50pm, Suncorp Stadium

Brisbane Broncos 32 - Penrith Panthers 18

It has been a horror start to the season for the Penrith Panthers and it is no surprise that the Brisbane Broncos will go into this clash as clear favourites.

Brisbane have won three games on the trot, but it is fair to say they have had a bit of luck to come away with the two points from their games against both the Gold Coast Titans and the South Sydney Rabbitohs and they have not been particularly convincing.

The Broncos have won eight of their past 12 games as home favourites, but they are now only 4-8 against the line in this scenario.

Penrith produced another woeful performance to go down to local rivals Parramatta last weekend and they really do look to be a team in crisis.

The Panthers have won two of their past six games as away underdogs for a narrow profit, but they are only 3-3 against the line in this scenario and they are a very tough side to trust from a betting standpoint.

Both these sides are tough to trust from a betting standpoint and this is a clash that I am happy to stay out of from a betting perspective.

No Bet

South Sydney Rabbitohs Vs Manly Sea Eagles

Friday 28 April, 6:00pm, Allianz Stadium

South Sydney Rabbitohs 8 - Manly Sea Eagles 46

There is very little between these two sides in the current betting market, but it is the Manly Sea Eagles that will start this clash as narrow favourites.

Manly ended their losing streak with a thrilling golden point victory over the Canberra Raiders last Friday night and they continue to be competitive every weekend.

This will be just the third time in the past 12 months that Manly have started an away game as favourites and they are 1-1 in this scenario, but they are 4-3 against the line as the punter’s elect.

South Sydney did produce a much-improved performance against the Brisbane Broncos last weekend, but they were still unable to come away with the two points and they will go into this clash without George Burgess due to suspension.

The Rabbitohs have only won one of their past eight games as home underdogs for a clear loss and their record against the line in this scenario is not much better.

I am keen to take on South Sydney in this clash and Manly should be able to cover the line of 2.5 points.

Back Manly To Beat The Line (-2.5 Points)

North Queensland Cowboys Vs Parramatta Eels

Friday 28 April, 7:50pm, 1300Smiles Stadium

North Queensland Cowboys 6 - Parramatta Eels 26

The North Queensland Cowboys returned to winning form last weekend against the Newcastle Knights and there is the chance they could be buoyed by the return of Johnathan Thurston.

North Queensland have not been disgraced during Thurston’s time on the sidelines with a calf injury, but there is no doubt that they are a much better team with the future immortal in action.

The Cowboys look set to start this clash as favourites and they have proven to be a reliable betting option as the punter’s elect – they have won ten of their past 12 games as home favourites and they are 6-1-5 against the line in this scenario.

Parramatta head into this clash with back-to-back wins over the Wests Tigers and the Penrith Panthers, but they still have not really impressed.

The Eels have won only one of their past eight games as away underdogs for a clear loss and they are 3-5 against the line in this situation.

North Queensland should be able to win this game – even without Johnathan Thurston – and the line of 4.5 points will not be enough.

Back North Queensland To Beat The Line (-4.5 Points)

Gold Coast Titans Vs Newcastle Knights

Saturday 29 April, 3:00pm, Cbus Super Stadium

Gold Coast Titans 38 - Newcastle Knights 8

The Gold Coast Titans have played some impressive rugby league in recent weeks and they will go into this clash with the Newcastle Knights as clear favourites.

Gold Coast were unlucky not to beat the Brisbane Broncos a fortnight ago, but they backed that performance up with a gutsy win over the Cronulla Sharks.

Winning as favourites has been something of an issue for the Gold Coast and they have won only two of their past four games as home favourites for a loss, while they did lose to the Newcastle Knights earlier this season.

The Knights have now lost six games on the trot, but outside of their big loss to the Penrith Panthers they have not been disgraced in any of these fixtures.

It has still been almost two years since they last won a game away from home, but I really don’t think that there is as much between these two teams as the current betting market suggests.

Gold Coast have been overrated off their last start win over Cronulla and Newcastle are an excellent bet to cover the line with a start of 12.5 points.

Back Newcastle To Beat The Line (+12.5 Points)

Canterbury Bulldogs Vs Canberra Raiders

Saturday 29 April, 5:30pm, ANZ Stadium

Canterbury Bulldogs 16 - Canberra Raiders 10

The Canberra Raiders went down to the Manly Sea Eagles last weekend, but they will still start this clash with the Canterbury Bulldogs as clear favourites.

Canberra will feel that they let two points slip against Manly last weekend and they do look like a good bet to return to winning form.

The Raiders have won five of their past six games as away favourites and more impressively they have an identical record against the line in this scenario.

Canterbury produced one of their worst performances of the season to date against the Wests Tigers, but coach Des Hasler refuses to back what looks like the obvious change and move Moses Mbye to hooker, while bringing Matt Frawley in at half-back.

The Bulldogs have won three of their past six games as home underdogs for a clear profit and they are 4-2 against the line in this scenario.

Canberra should be able to bounce back to winning form and can cover the line in the process.

Back Canberra To Beat The Line (-6.5 Points)

Wests Tigers Vs Cronulla Sharks

Saturday 29 April, 7:30pm, Leichhardt Oval

Wests Tigers 16 - Cronulla Sharks 22

The Cronulla Sharks suffered a surprise defeat at the hands of the Gold Coast Titans last weekend, but they will still start this clash with the Wests Tigers as clear favourites.

Cronulla’s defence was strong once again, but a lack of execution with the ball in hand did end up costing them the two points.

The Sharks have won only three of their past six games as away favourites for a loss and they are only 2-4 against the line in this scenario.

Wests overcame a week of off-field trouble to record a fighting victory over the Canterbury Bulldogs and they are sure to have taken plenty of confidence from that performance.

The Tigers have won four of their past ten games as home underdogs, but they do continue to be a tough side to trust from a betting standpoint.

The betting play that really does stand out in this clash is the Under in the Total Points betting market.

Unders has saluted in nine of the past 11 home games played by the Wests Tigers, while it has been a profitable betting play in Cronulla Sharks games over the past 12 months.

Back Under 39.5 Points

New Zealand Warriors Vs Sydney Roosters

Sunday 30 April, 2:00pm, Mt Smart Stadium

New Zealand Warriors 14 - Sydney Roosters 13

The market can’t separate the New Zealand Warriors and the Sydney Roosters heading into their Sunday afternoon clash.

New Zealand failed to come away with the two points from their clash with the Melbourne Storm, but there was still a fair bit of merit in their performance.

The Warriors have won eight of their past 13 games at Mt Smart Stadium, but their record against the line at home is only 3-10 and that shows that they are constantly overestimated by the market.

Sydney were probably a touch lucky to come away with the two points from their Anzac Day Clash with the St George Illawarra Dragons, but a similar performance against the Warriors would be enough as they are nowhere near as strong as the Dragons defensively.

The Roosters don’t have the best record away from home, but they are simply a better team than the New Zealand Warriors and should be able to come away with the two points.

Back Sydney Roosters To Win @ $1.90

St George Dragons Vs Melbourne Storm

Sunday 30 April, 4:00pm, Win Stadium

St George Illawarra Dragons 22 - Melbourne Storm 34

We have to wait until the final game of the round for the top of the table clash between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Melbourne Storm.

Melbourne leapfrogged St George Illawarra on top of the table with their Anzac Day win over the New Zealand Warriors and they will start this clash as clear favourites.

The Storm continue to be one of the most reliable betting teams in the NRL and that is particuarly the case away from home – they have won ten of their past 11 games as away favourites and they are 8-3 against the line in this scenario.

An ill-timed injury to Gareth Widdop probably cost the Dragons the win over the Sydney Roosters on Anzac Day and the fact they will be without Widdop this weekend is a huge issue.

The Dragons have won three of their past eight games as home underdogs for a profit, but they are only 4-4 against the line in this scenario and it really is tough to see them matching the Storm without Widdop.

Melbourne can secure their place on top of the ladder with a comfortable victory.

Back Melbourne To Beat The Line (-7.5 Points)


2016

Round 9 of the 2016 NRL season begins with two very big games between four of the most popular Sydney based sides in the NRL.

The South Sydney Rabbitohs host the Wests Tigers on Thursday Night before the Parramatta Eels and the Canterbury Bulldogs do battle at the same venue on Friday night.

The clash between the Manly Sea Eagles and North Queensland Cowboys highlights Saturday’s fixtures before the round concludes with what should be a hotly-contested game between the Brisbane Broncos and the Cronulla Sharks.

South Sydney Rabbitohs Vs Wests Tigers

Thursday 28 April, 7:50pm, ANZ Stadium

South Sydney Rabbitohs 22 - Wests Tigers 30

This is a key game for both sides and they both go into this clash on the back of losing streaks.

South Sydney suffered a surprise loss to the Sydney Roosters three weeks ago and they have since proven no match for the North Queensland Cowboys or the Brisbane Broncos, while the Wests Tigers have lost six games on the trot after their promising start to the season.

The Rabbitohs will start this game as favourites and they have been a fairly safe bet in this scenario in the past 12 months – they are 7-2 as favourites at ANZ Stadium and have won four of their past five games against the Wests Tigers as the punter’s elect.

Their record against the line is an unconvincing 4-5 as home favourites, but they have covered the line in their past three games against the Tigers.

The Wests Tigers have been one of the worst betting teams in the NRL in the past 12 months and they have won just one of their past eight games as away underdogs, while they are 2-7 against the line in this scenario.

Souths may have been far from convincing in recent weeks, but the Tigers are coming off the back of a 60-6 flogging at the hands of the Canberra Raiders and I believe that they are staring down the barrel of another big defeat.

Recommended Bet: South Sydney Rabbitohs To Beat The Line (- 8 Points)

Parramatta Eels Vs Canterbury Bulldogs

Friday 29 April, 7:50pm, ANZ Stadium

Parramatta Eels 20 - Canterbury Bulldogs 12

The Parramatta Eels have really struggled against the Canterbury Bulldogs in recent seasons and they have won just one of the past nine games played between the two teams, but the market is giving them a great chance to return to winning form against their Sydney rivals.

Parramatta played well at times against the North Queensland Cowboys, but the defending premiers proved too strong in the end and the Eels suffered just their third loss of the season.

Canterbury did not do it easy against the Gold Coast Titans and at times it looked as though they were going to suffer another narrow defeat, but they were able to get the field goal required to score a golden point victory.

The market can’t split these teams at the moment and I can’t either, but I still think there is plenty of betting value to be found and that is in the Total Points market.

The Under has saluted in eight of the past 11 games played at Pirtek Stadium, while the under is 15-1-9 in Bulldogs games in the past 12 months.

Recommended Bet: Back Under 38.5 Points

Penrith Panthers Vs Canberra Raiders

Saturday 30 April, 3:00pm, Carrington Park

Penrith Panthers 19 - Canberra Raiders 18

This is one of the most interesting games of the round and another in which the market suggests there will not be a great deal between the two sides.

The Canberra Raiders were absolutely ruthless against the West Tigers last weekend and recorded a 60-0 victory, but they will still go into this game as underdogs.

Ricky Stuart’s side have been a losing betting proposition in head to head betting markets as underdogs in the past 12 months, but they do have a positive record against the line when giving up a start.

Penrith played exciting rugby league against the Cronulla Sharks, but they were still unable to get the job done and suffered another shattering defeat.

The Panthers have been a very unreliable betting proposition as favourites in recent times and they have won just two of their past six games as the punter’s elect.

I am surprised that the Panthers have opened as such clear favourites here and I am more than happy to back the Raiders with a start of 3.5 points.

Recommended Bet: Back The Canberra Raiders To Beat The Line (+3.5 Points)

Sydney Roosters Vs Newcastle Knights

Saturday 30 April, 5:30pm, Allianz Stadium

Sydney Roosters 38 - Newcastle Knights 0

It is almost all hands on deck for the Sydney Roosters this weekend and the likes of Mitchell Pearce, Boyd Cordner and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves will all be in action for the defending minor premiers on Saturday.

They may have lost to the St George Illawarra Dragons last week, but with the majority of their stars back in action it should come as no surprise that the Roosters will start this game with the Knights as very short favourites.

Despite their dismal start to the season, the Sydney Roosters have still won nine out of their past ten games as home favourites and they are 11-7 against the line in the past 12 months.

The Newcastle Knights suffered another loss to the Manly Sea Eagles last weekend and they continue to be a losing betting proposition across just about every metric.

They have won just two of their past 12 games as away underdogs and their record against the line in this scenario is 4-8.

The Roosters will be out to make a statement this weekend and I am confident that they can record a big win over the struggling Knights.

Recommended Bet: Back The Sydney Roosters To Beat The Line (-12.5 Points)

Manly Sea Eagles Vs North Queensland Cowboys

Saturday 30 April, 7:30pm, Brookvale Oval

Manly Sea Eagles 18 - North Queensland Cowboys 34

The North Queensland Cowboys made it four wins on the trot with a comprehensive defeat of the Parramatta Eels last weekend, while the Manly Eagles returned to winning form with a scratchy victory over the Newcastle Knights.

The Cowboys have been one of the best betting sides in the NRL so far this season and they are 6-2 against the line, while they are 12-8 as favourites as well as 4-2 as away favourites.

They have even relied on Johnathan Thurston so far this season and they have another gear that they can go to that can’t be matched by any other side in the competition – except perhaps the Brisbane Broncos.

Manly continue to play erratic football and their record against the line on the back of a win is a very inconsistent 4-1-8, while they are a credible 2-1-1 as home underdogs.

The return of Daly Cherry-Evans helped the Sea Eagles against the Knights, but their is an injury cloud over both Brett Stewart and Tom Trbojevic heading into this fixture.

There is no doubt that the Cowboys are a class above Manly and if they perform at anywhere near their best they will prove too strong for their rivals.

Recommended Bet: Back The North Queensland Cowboys To Beat The Line (-8.5 Points)

New Zealand Warriors Vs St George Dragons

Sunday 1 May, 12:00pm, Mt Smart Stadium

New Zealand Warriors 26 - St George Illawarra Dragons 10

The New Zealand Warriors continue to be the most erratic team in the NRL and they go into this contest on the back of a 42-0 drubbing at the hands of the Melbourne Storm.

The Warriors will start this game as favourites, but they have a staggeringly poor record against the St George Illawarra Dragons since the joint venture came into existence in 1999.and have not beaten their rivals since 2008.

It is not only history that is against the Warriors – they are 4-4 as home favourites in the past 12 months and they are 3-5 against the line in this scenario.

St George Illawarra showed plenty of fight and tenacity to record their second straight win over the Sydney Roosters and there is no doubt that they have improved since their defeats at the hands of the Brisbane Broncos and the North Queensland Cowboys.

However, their record as underdogs does not inspire confidence and they have won just one of their past 11 games as away underdogs, while they are 4-7 against the line in this situation.

These are two teams that I am keen to avoid from a betting perspective and I am more than happy to say out of this game.

Recommended Bet: No Bet

Gold Coast Titans Vs Melbourne Storm

Sunday 1 May, 2:00pm, Cbus Super Stadium

Gold Coast Titans 0 - Melbourne Storm 38

The Melbourne Storm returned to their brutal best with a big win over the New Zealand Warriors last weekend and they will start this clash with the Gold Coast Titans as clear favourites.

It has been an up and down season to date for the Storm, but they were excellent against the Warriors and if they can replicate that form of rugby league they will cement themselves as the third best team in the competition.

The Storm continue to be a safe bet as the punter’s elect – they have won 13 of their past 16 games as favourites and are 4-1 as away favourites – and they are a credible 3-2 against the line as away favourites.

Gold Coast produced an improved effort against the Canterbury Bulldogs, but they were still unable to avoid their fourth straight loss after their promising start to the season.

I still like what I have been seeing from the Gold Coast and they are not without a chance here – they are a profitable 3-4 as underdogs in the past 12 months and their record against the line in this scenario is 4-1-2.

The market appears to have this game just about right and it is another fixture that I am happy to stay out of from a betting perspective.

Recommended Bet: No Bet

Cronulla Sharks Vs Brisbane Broncos

Sunday 1 May, 4:00pm, Shark Park

Cronulla Sharks 30 - Brisbane Broncos 28

This is the game of the round and both sides go into this contest on the back of five straight victories.

Cronulla did not have it their own way against the Penrith Panthers and they were staring down the barrel of defeat, but they showed their toughness and confidence in their own ability to walk away with the two points.

They go into this fixture as narrow underdogs, but that has not hurt the Sharks in recent seasons and they are 8-5 as underdogs in the past 12 months as well as 2-0 in front of their home fans.

The Broncos were their usual professional selves against South Sydney last weekend and coach Wayne Bennett is sure to have them buoyed for what is their toughest challenge since their thrilling golden point victory over the Cowboys.

Brisbane are a narrow winning proposition as away favourites, but their record against the line in this scenario is a losing 2-4.

I expect this to be an extremely close contest and I think that the market has got it just about right, but their is still value on offer in the total points betting market.

Backing the under has been a profitable betting proposition for games involving both these sides in the past 12 months and the under has saluted in seven of the past 11 games played at Shark Park.

Recommended Bet: Back Under 38.5 Points