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  • 06:53:29 AEST
  • Sunday, 16 December 2018
Knights Tunnel 270218

NRL Match Previews Round 1

Tagged: NRL

Best Bets in NRL Round 1

Dragons v Broncos

The season opener shapes as a huge game for Dragons' new recruit Ben Hunt, as he faces off against his former team mates. With equal amounts of depth across the park, the key to victory will come down to which halves combination has the edge: Hunt and Gareth Widdop or Brisbane young-guns Anthony Milford and Kody Nikorima?

Key NRL Stats

  • The Broncos have won 12 of their last 13 encounters with the Dragons.
  • As favourites, the Dragons have lost five of their past six games against the Broncos.
  • In each of the last five matches between the two sides, the total match points scored has been under the total match points line set by the bookies.

Suggested bet: Total match points under 38.5 @ $1.90


Knights v Sea Eagles

A new look Newcastle squad, with fire in their belly, come into this season off an average trial season and it could take some time for them to click. In stark contrast, Manly limited their player movement in the off-season which showed its benefits in a recent trial. The 'silvertails' performed well against a strong Roosters outfit and only need to hold that form to be winning this one.  

Key NRL Stats

  • The Sea Eagles have won each of their last 7 encounters against the Knights.
  • The Knights lost 8 of 12 home games last season.
  • The Knights have lost 13 of their last 14 night-time matches.

Suggested bet: Head-to-Head - Sea Eagles @ $1.90


Cowboys v Sharks

The Cowboys made it all the way to the Grand Final last season and did so without Johnathan Thurston and Matt Scott.  Thurston and Scott are in the line-up for round one and both performed extremely well in recent trial games. It’s no surprise that the tried and true Cowboys are outright favourites for this game given the Sharks have a number of new combinations to work through.

Key NRL Stats

  • The Cowboys have won 19 of their last 22 games as favourite at home.
  • In each of the last 12 home games for the Cowboys, the total match points scored has been under the total match points line set by the bookies.
  • The Sharks have covered the line in seven of their last eight matches away to the Cowboys.

Suggested bet: Head-to-Head – Cowboys @ $1.50


Tigers v Roosters

The Roosters are premiership favourites and are lining up against a Tigers side who is favoured to claim the wooden spoon. Debuting for the Chooks are Maroons and Kangaroos halfback Cooper Cronk, as well as James Tedesco who will be wearing the tri-colours for the first time against his former club. The Tigers already have a terrible record against the Roosters in recent times and you can’t see it improving with Tedesco on the opposite side of the field.

Key NRL Stats

  • The Roosters have won 10 consecutive games against the Tigers.
  • The Roosters have won 9 of their past 10 games against the Tigers by 13+ points.
  • The Tigers have failed to cover the line in 10 of their last 14 home matches.

Suggested bet: Roosters to cover the line of -11.5 @ $1.92


Rabbitohs v Warriors

The return of Greg Inglis from injury and the arrival of Dane Gagai will no doubt improve the poor ‘Bunnies’ side of 2017. The Warriors have been a basket case in recent years and don’t have a flash record away from home, which doesn't bode well for their trip to Perth. 

Key NRL Stats

  • The Rabbits have covered the line in 6 of 8 the games they’ve played in Perth.
  • The Warriors have lost all 4 games they've played in Perth and have failed to cover the line in each of them.
  • The Rabbits have beaten the Warriors by 13+ points in each of their last five matches.

Suggested bet: Head-to-Head – Rabbitohs @ $1.44


Bulldogs v Storm

A new look Storm without Cooper Cronk and an injured Billy Slater faces off against a Bulldogs side who a desperate to score more points this season. The Storm were very good in a recent trial match against the Cowboys and the same could be said for the Dogs, who dominated a strong Panthers side.

Key NRL Stats

  • The last three meetings between the Bulldogs and Storm have resulted in an average of 24 total match points.
  • The Storm have not lost a round one game since 2001.
  • The Bulldogs have won six of the past seven games played between the two sides.

Suggested bet: Total match points under 38.5 @ $1.90


Panthers v Eels

The battle of the west shapes as an intriguing matchup. The Panthers are coming off a poor trial game against the Bulldogs, with pressure already mounting on coach Anthony Griffin. The Eels on the other hand were dominant in a recent hit-out against the Knights and look ready to rumble.

Key NRL Stats

  • The last three matches between these clubs have produced an average of 36 points.
  • The Eels have won three of the last five encounters between the two clubs.
  • Clashes at Panthers Stadium since 2015 have an average total score of 39.5 points per match.

Suggested bet: Head-to-Head – Eels @ $1.95


Titans v Raiders 

Both of these sides underperformed last year and didn’t meet fan expectations. The Titans have made two significant acquisitions this season in Bryce Cartwright and Michael Gordon who will only improve the side's performance. The most significant change for the Raiders this season is the loss of Josh Hodgson through injury until round 13, whilst five-eighth Blake Austin has been named to start from the bench for this game which is a surprising move from coach Ricky Stuart. The alarm bells may start ringing for Raiders fans sooner than expected. Don’t be surprised if the Titans do it comfortably at home against a vulnerable Raiders outfit.    

Key NRL Stats

  • The Titans won 3 of 6 home games as underdogs last season.
  • The Raiders won 3 of 6 games as favourites when they were playing away from home. 
  • Of the 13 games contested by these two sides, the total match points have averaged a total of 48 points per game.

Suggested bet: Titans 13+ @ $6 

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