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Rabbitohs Burgess Roosters

NRL Betting Tips: The early games Round 1 Season 2019

Rabbitohs out for revenge

Footy fans rejoice because the NRL is back.

The highlight game of the opening round comes on Friday night, when the Rabbits will be looking to deal the Roosters a sweet dose of revenge.

But the season will kick-off with Melbourne hosting Brisbane on Thursday, while the Knights will be looking to send the Sharks packing in Friday's early game.


Melbourne Storm vs Brisbane Broncos

NRL Odds: Storm $1.62 (-3.5) / Broncos $2.25 (+3.5)

The 2019 NRL starts down in Melbourne for the first time since 2009, when the Storm host the Broncos.

This year the Storm face a new challenge, with plenty of question marks around how the Storm will cope without Billy Slater. 

Meanwhile, in Queensland's capital there are high expectations for Brisbane who are under the reign of Anthony Seibold.


Why Melbourne can win

Craig Bellamy is undoubtedly one of the best rugby league coaches Australia has ever seen.

With his faithful lieutenant Cameron Smith running the show on the park, Bellamy would've been hard at work in the off-season masterminding a formula for this campaign.

With speed to burn in the outside backs and an experienced and damaging pack that includes the likes of Nelson Asofa-Solomona and Felise Kaufusi, the Storm are strong all over the park.

The big query is Brodie Croft in the number seven jersey. Croft was inconsistent last year in the games he started, and is sure to be targeted by the Broncos pack here.

NRL Betting Tips


Why Brisbane can win

Anthony Seibold couldn't have had a more impressive debut coaching season, doing everything bar winning the premiership with Souths.

Critics are predicting that his style of play that saw plenty of offloads and free-flowing footy, will suit the Broncos.

That's because they have so many speed men, who will thrive off second-phase play. 

But with Melbourne sure to attempt to slow the game down at every opportunity, this isn't the best match up for the Broncos.

NRL Stats Key NRL Stats
  • Melbourne have won each of their last 16 Round 1 matches: Storm to win @ $1.62
  • Kodi Nikorima has scored a try in each of Brisbane's previous 4 games: Nikorima to score a try @ $4
  • Melbourne have won 16 of their past 17 night matches against Brisbane: Storm to win @ $1.62
NRL Betting Tip NRL Betting Tip: Either team to win by 6 points or less @ $2.84

Reasoning: Both teams look very evenly matched here. Expect a tight one in the season opener.


Newcastle Knights vs Cronulla Sharks

NRL Odds: Knights $1.90 (-1.5) / Sharks $1.90 (+1.5)

Every sign is pointing to a positive season for the Knights, and that all starts here.

They come up against an experienced Cronulla outfit, who now boast Shaun Johnson in their ranks.


Why Newcastle can win

The problem for the Knights in recent seasons has been that they were too young and small, especially in the forward pack.

But with origin forwards David Klemmer and Tim Glasby in the side, this won't be an issue here, even up against Fifita and Co.

If the Knights can break-even in the meter game, then the devastating speed and power of Kayln Ponga will prove the difference.

Ponga is starting in the halves though, and might take a few weeks to hit top gear.

NRL Betting Tip


Why Cronulla can win

One word. Experience.

With the likes of Paul Gallen, Matt Prior and new recruits Josh Morris and Shaun Johnson, the Sharks know the importance of getting the season off to a winning start better than any side in the competition.

Their side does lack speed though, so if they do win, it'll be typically gritty.

They face a tough test away from home and it's likely that Johnson will take some time to click with his new teammates.

NRL Stats Key NRL Stats
  • Cronulla have won their last 8 games against Newcastle: Sharks to win @ $1.90
  • The Knights have failed to cover the line in in 9 of their previous 12 Friday night matches at home: Sharks to cover the +1.5 line @ $1.90
  • Shaun Kenny-Dowell has scored a try in 3 of Newcastle's last 4 home games: SKD to score a try @ $2.20
NRL Betting Tip NRL Betting Tip: Knights to win @ $1.90

Reasoning: It'll be close, but with the boisterous Novacastrian crowd and a fully fit Ponga ready to go, expect the Knights to scrape over the line.


Sydney Roosters vs South Sydney Rabbitohs

NRL Odds: Roosters $1.62 (-4.0) / Rabbitohs $2.25 (+4.0)

The highlight game of week 1 sees a rematch of last year's preliminary final, where the Chooks prevailed 12-4.

The Rabbitohs will have revenge on their minds as they line up under Wayne Bennett here.


Why the Roosters can win

The reigning premiers have supreme quality and experience in their side, which was bolstered by representative back-rower Angus Crichton in the off-season.

He'll look to have a huge game against his former club, and quickly endear himself with the Roosters faithful.

Trent Robinson masterminded a defensive display that was just too good for the Bunnies late last year.

If the Roosters can reproduce that effort, they'll hold on once again.


Why Souths can win

The Rabbitohs strength is right up the middle of the park.

If the big Bunnies pack can get on top, then the speed of Damien Cook could break the game open.

With great quality in the outside backs, South Sydney can also hurt the tri-colours out wide.

Their bench is looking a little thin though, so the Rabbitohs will need to make the most of their starting pack.

NRL Stats Key NRL Stats
  • South Sydney have covered the line in all of their previous 6 Friday night games as underdogs: Souths to cover the +4.5 line @ $1.90
  • Greg Inglis has scored at least 1 try in 4 of the Rabbitohs' last 5 Round 1 matches: Greg Inglis to score a try @ $2.70
  • The Roosters have won 5 of the past 6 match-ups against South Sydney: Roosters to win @ $1.62
NRL Betting Tip NRL Betting Tip: Souths to cover the +4.5 point line @ $1.90

Reasoning: This is a big line for a team with South Sydney's quality, experience, and appetite for revenge.

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