By Troy Whittaker (@troywhittaker98)
Punter Problems is here to help you back some winners.
The Origin period is on the horizon and picking up competition points now becomes imperative for all clubs. We’re expecting a closely-contested round and Punters Problems has formulated its best bets to help you back some winners.
Wests Tigers v North Queensland Cowboys
After a blazing 5-1 start to the season, the Tigers have lost three matches on the trot and slipped to 7th place. However, they are back at Leichardt Oval for the first time in 2018 and will be hopeful of reversing their fortunes. North Queensland was impressive last round to pip Penrith, but have endured a controversy-stricken week with the Scott Bolton saga. Of the seven games played between the Tigers and Cowboys at Leichardt, Wests have won six. It’s an imposing record and one we expect to continue.
Tip: Wests Tigers @ $2.15 (Bet365)
Newcastle Knights v Penrith Panthers
Both sides are coming off last start losses and will be eager to get back on track. The Panthers are in the middle of an injury crisis, though forward Trent Merrin has been named to play a week after a nasty finger compound fracture. Newcastle has picked up a few injuries itself, with captain Mitchell Pearce gone for the season and Connor Watson returning a few weeks ahead of schedule after a shoulder complaint. While Overs has dominated recent results between these clubs, we’re tipping a low-scoring game come Friday.
Tip: Under 40.5 points @ $1.91 (Bet365)
Canterbury Bulldogs v Parramatta Eels
The Bulldogs and Eels were incredibly unlucky in round 9, both going down 22-20 in last-minute thrillers. These arch rivals are anchored in 15th and 16th place respectively, and whoever loses will be in last position. While Canterbury and Parramatta are statistically the worst attacking teams in the comp, we have seen some flair recently. The Eels have posted at least 20 points in their past three games while the Dogs averaged 18 per game in previous fortnight. The total of 36.5 is low and this match should top it.
Tip: Over 36.5 points @ $1.91 (Bet365)
New Zealand Warriors v Sydney Roosters
Following an 50-10 shellacking at the hands of the Storm in round 8, New Zealand hit back with a convincing victory over the Tigers last start. The Roosters also returned to the winner’s circle but were much less convincing, edging out the struggling Sea Eagles by 2. It really is crunch time for Easts after an underwhelming first leg of the year and they’ll want to avenge their 30-6 loss to the Warriors in round 4. They certainly have the personnel to do so. Warriors halfback Shaun Johnson is again out with injury, further boosting the Roosters’ hopes. We think they can sneak home with the start.
Tip: Sydney Roosters +2 @ $2 (Bet365)
Melbourne Storm v Gold Coast Titans
The Storm was comprehensively beaten by premiership-favourites St George Illawarra last weekend and will look to take their frustrations out on the lagging Titans. Of the prior seven teams the Dragons defeated this year, all seven won the next match. Expect the Storm to make it eight. But the Titans may not go away without a fight. We can’t see the value in taking the Storm H2H at less than $1.20, and Melbourne to cover a -14 handicap is no certainty. The total of 47.5 is a lofty mark to reach and a far better price.
Tip: Under 47.5 points @ $1.91 (Bet365)
Manly Sea Eagles v Brisbane Broncos
While the Broncos escaped with a very fortunate 22-20 win last start, Manly had its heart broken by the same scoreline. Despite the loss, the Sea Eagles showed a lot of courage and enough promise to think that they’ll keep this one tight at home. Both teams have had attacking issues at times this season and play out a low-scorer. We’re keen to lock in the Under as our best bet here.
Tip: Under 43.5 points @ $1.91 (Bet365)
South Sydney Rabbitohs v St George Illawarra Dragons
What a match up we have here. The Rabbits are within striking distance of the top four after some impressive performances while St George is sitting pretty on top. These traditional rivals played out a cracker in round 5, with South Sydney falling just short of pulling off a last-ditch comeback. Prop Sam Burgess was suspended from that encounter, however, and will return on Sunday. Another close game beckons. South Sydney with a +6 start seems great value.
Tip: South Sydney Rabbitohs +6 @ $1.91 (Bet365)
Canberra Raiders v Cronulla Sharks
Cronulla arrives in the nation’s capital with three consecutive wins, while the Raiders have won two on the trot themselves. GIO Stadium has been a happy hunting ground for the Sharks, winning their past five games there. Recent weeks have seen the Raiders and Sharks produce some of their best attacking footballing, scoring a combined 130 points in the last three matches. We expect more enterprising play and will lock in Overs as the pick here.
Tip: Over 40.5 points @ $1.91 (Bet365)