The Melbourne Storm fit the classic “banana skin” profile for the mug punters this week, coming off the back of 7 straight wins where they have not lost since Round 11.
Interestingly, the Round 11 loss was at home ground AAMI Park against the Sea Eagles, where they face the Raiders this week.
This match will impose a classic trait on some whereby the cognitive bias will kick in for most mug punters, influencing their thought process and manifesting a sub conscious thought dynamic which declares “the Storm can’t lose this”.
Bookies are well aware of this bias and will have the Storm price even further under-value, to accommodate the expected heavy investment of public money.
The travel fatigue with Storm players on the road the past week including a New Zealand visit, will also add to the Raiders' chances and is another factor which is commonly disregarded by most of the public money investment in betting.
If we go back to the Storm's last loss in Round 11 at AAMI Park, this followed a similar profile where the team had returned from a gruelling away schedule to the Gold Coast and Sydney (where they won both).
Granted Storm talisman Cam Smith was missing in that game however a Manly side low on confidence managed a 20 point victory on that occasion. Whilst it does not always translate to a loss upon return home, the fatigue of travel is still a significant factor.
Added motivation for Canberra will come from the controversial loss to the Sharks last week where Ricky Stuart led the outpouring of grief and disappointment in a well-publicised post-match press conference where he was simply disgusted in the match officials' performance.
These emotional flashpoints do have the ability to galvanise the playing group for the following week and if the Raiders can draw from this, extra effort should be present.
Bet against the mug money and take the value side in betting, which will be the Raiders.
NRL Betting Tip: Raiders to cover the line (+9.5) @ $1.90