NRL betting (round 5 for March 30-April 2): Debbie provides dramatic backdrop to Cowboys’ home clash

Updated: March 30, 2017

Having elected to watch rather than bet last night’s NRL round 5 opener, which ended in a bizarre 10-7 win for the Bulldogs over the Broncos at a soggy ANZ Stadium, our NRL expert James Potter returns with two bets for tonight’s double-header ahead of a big weekend of footy; overall record: 10-0-10, -2.06 units


Game: Sydney Roosters (4-0) v Manly Warringah Sea Eagles (2-2)
Where: Allianz Stadium, Sydney, NSW
When: Friday, March 31, 6pm (AEDT)
Line: Roosters -7.5, O/U 38.5

Confirmed bet: -38.5/total (one unit @ $1.91)

TIW says: There will be plenty of feeling between the traditional rivals, with Jackson Hastings set to come up against his former side for the first time. The Roosters head into round 5 on top of the ladder but the Sea Eagles have been the form side in recent weeks after huge wins over the Cowboys and Bulldogs. Very little separates the sides in attack (17 tries apiece) and defence (both teams have conceded 10 tries), while the Roosters hold a slender advantage in offloads (41-40). There is little wonder why there is plenty of hype surrounding the 2013 grand final rematch. The Roosters welcome back co-captain Jake Friend (facial injury) which pushes Paul Carter back to an extended bench alongside Blake Ferguson and Kane Evans. Sea Eagles coach Trent Barrett has named the same 17 that thrashed the Bulldogs. I expect both forward packs to dominate this game so should be low scoring, sending the total ‘under’.


Game: North Queensland Cowboys (3-1) v South Sydney Rabbitohs (2-2)
Where: 1300SMILES Stadium, Townsville, Qld
When: Friday, March 31, 8.05pm (AEDT)
Line: Cowboys -8, O/U 42.5

Confirmed bet: Cowboys -8 (three units @ $1.91)

TIW says: Having narrowly escaped the ravages of Cyclone Debbie (pictured above), Townsville will be the host venue for this clash between the Cowboys and Rabbitohs. It will still be an emotional night for the region as it comes to terms with the impact of the storm in recent days. The Cowboys will be boosted by the return of Jason Taumalolo from suspension, while the Rabbitohs will be looking to bounce back after their disappointing 20-6 loss to the Roosters last week, losing Sam Burgess at half-time with concussion. The Cowboys have won six of their past seven against the Rabbitohs and won both clashes in 2016. They smashed the Rabbitohs 44-18 at home in round 7, then followed it up with a 20-0 shut out. Souths have covered their past two getting a start of eight or more and have covered six of their past eight interstate but I think the Cowboys are ready to put a team to the sword.


Game: Cronulla Sutherland Sharks (2-2) v Newcastle Knights (1-3)
Where: Southern Cross Group Stadium, Cronulla, NSW
When: Saturday, April 1, 3pm (AEDT)
Lines: Sharks -16, O/U 40.5

Confirmed bet: Sharks -16 (two units @ $1.92)

TIW says: Things could get ugly for the Knights when they travel to the Shire on Saturday afternoon. Nathan Brown’s men have been competitive in the first three rounds, but were thrashed 40-0 at Penrith in an ominous sign. The Sharks are starting to get back to the form which helped them win the competition last year. Cronulla have won four straight against the Knights including a cumulative scoreline of 98-4 in the two games last season. Valentine Holmes has scored six tries in the past two clashes against the Knights. This may be tight in the first half but I suspect the Sharks might pile on some late tries to get them over the line.


Game: Canberra Raiders (1-3) v Parramatta Eels (2-2)
Where: GIO Stadium, Canberra, ACT
When: Saturday, April 1, 5.30pm (AEDT)
Line: Raiders -7.5, O/U 43.5
No bet


Game: Melbourne Storm (4-0) v Penrith Panthers (2-2)
Where: AAMI Park, Melbourne, Vic
When: Saturday, April 1, 7.30pm (AEDT)
Lines: Storm -4.5, O/U 36.5

Confirmed bet: -36.5/total (two units @ $1.90)

TIW says: Both sides scored plenty of points last weekend but both understand that defence is what will win this game. Penrith are starting to look more polished and they will view this game as an arm wrestle they can win up front. Melbourne will be more than happy to play that game as well. All of that means this should be a close low scoring affair. The Storm have won 16 of the last 17 clashes against the Panthers and remain unbeaten this season. The Storm won last year’s clash 24-6 at AAMI Park. The total score has been 35 points or under in five of the past six clashes, making the under 36 a strong play here.


Game: New Zealand Warriors (1-3) v Gold Coast Titans (1-3)
Where: Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland, NZ
When: Sunday, April 2, 2pm (AEDT)
Line: Warriors -6, O/U 42.5
No bet


Game: West Tigers (1-3) v St George Illawarra Dragons (3-1)
Where: ANZ Stadium, Sydney Olympic Park, NSW
When: Sunday, April 2, 4pm (AEDT)
Lines: Dragons -4.5, O/U 37.5

Confirmed bet: Tigers +4.5 (one unit @ $1.91)

TIW says: Form suggests that the Dragons should win this one but I’m not so sure. The Tigers were a bit unlucky against the Storm last weekend and will be desperate to get off the bottom of the table. In interim coach Andrew Webster’s first game at the helm, the Tigers ran out to a 14-0 lead against the table-topping Storm at Leichhardt before being run down in the second half. I am always looking for match-ups with misleading form lines and I think the Dragons aren’t as good as their form line reads. The past 10 meetings are split five apiece although the Dragons are on a five-match losing run at ANZ while the Tigers have won five of their past six there.


Round 4 results update: 3-0-3, -0.44 units

Three-unit bets: 1-2, -3.24 units
Two-unit bets: 4-3, +1.56 units
One-unit bets: 5-5, -0.38 units

Gold Coast Titans +3.5 v North Queensland Cowboys (three units @ $1.92) LOSE (26-32)
South Sydney Rabbitohs v Sydney Roosters -6 (two units @ $1.95) WIN (6-20)
Manly Warringah Sea Eagles v Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs -41.5/total (two units @ $1.88) WIN (36-0)
Brisbane Broncos -3.5 v Canberra Raiders (one unit @ $1.92) LOSE (13-12)
Brisbane Broncos v Canberra Raiders -40.5/total (one unit @ $1.90) WIN (13-12)
Wests Tigers +6 v Melbourne Storm (one unit @ $1.92) LOSE (14-22)



• Selections are listed in three categories – 1) Suggested (likely bet but yet to be finalised); 2) Confirmed (locked in at the price listed); and 3) Leans (tips, but not recommended bets); all times quoted are Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT); best AU price available is quoted, correct at time of publication. Results/comments on this week’s games will follow in the next post.

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