Performance so far this season:
Best Value with 10% staking so far this season: +22.50% Profit on Investment. Winning 51.52% of Tips with combined winning odds of $2.07
Worst Value with 10% staking so far this season: -6.45% Profit on Investment. Winning 57.69% of Tips with combined winning odds of $1.71
Canberra Raiders $1.47
Canberra are travelling nicely and there’s a sound argument that given their total performance across the year they are the second best team in the league outside of Melbourne. They rank 2nd in Net Rating, 3rd in Schedule-Adjusted Rating and 2nd in Luck-Adjusted Wins including a period where they were dealing with significant injury. Their line-up is now largely settled, with more clarity in their halves and jostling for a Top-4 spot. Playing at home against the Tigers they hold value at their current price. I’m also a bit concerned about the Tigers, they’ve struggled mightily to score points (as like most years) and playing away against a humming Canberra defence is not a great position to be in. It’s fair to wonder about their motivation as well, having won only 2 of their last 7, could they be the first team in the finals race to roll-over?
New Zealand Warriors $1.95
Once again riding the Warriors roller-coaster as home (Christchurch) outsiders against the Sharks. The Warriors have been able to piece together some periods of quality play when motivated, and this is more a gamble on motivation after a disappointing draw against the Broncos. The Warriors are still clinging onto the finals race and motivation should be high with a win against the Sharks propelling them into contention, but predicting how the Warriors should respond is always variant. Cronulla are still being priced on theoretical value which has yet to be displayed with their current line-up. Similarly to the Tigers the Sharks after losing 4 consecutive games and dropping out of the 8 are in a very high-variance situation from a motivation perspective.
Parramatta Eels $2.70
I think I’m finally there with Parramatta, their ability to generate territory through the back-3 which ranks 1st in Run-Metres per game is enabling them to compete by giving them attacking position and shielding their defence. Their defence has also stabilised somewhat since Mau has returned to his edge and I think it’s fair to peg them as a finals-quality team. Manly have also been circled by most schedule metrics as an overvalued side, having the 4th easiest schedule so far this season and ranking near league-average by SAR, some projections even have them missing the 8 based on their difficult closing schedule. This is a solid price for a side playing a team which is at best only slightly better than themselves.
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs $3.00
After back-to-back wins the Bulldogs price is buoyant but they’re still firmly pegged as the worst team in the league by almost every metric. Despite their wins they still haven’t changed my opinion of them as a side – if they’re able to catch teams in unmotivated situations they are capable of winning, but if their opponent is prepared it’s unlikely. They also concede the most run-metres on average of any side, and the Broncos are one of the better teams in generating territory (4th), playing away – the Bulldogs might drown.
South Sydney Rabbitohs $1.58
There are some real questions the Rabbitohs need to answer moving forward. They’ve had the 2nd easiest schedule by SoS and haven’t displayed anything close to the quality or drive of a Top-4 side in the past two months. Heading into this game with an undermanned forward-pack and a porous defensive right-edge since signing James Roberts this is a tough price playing away. The Cowboys are also capable, their forwards keep them competitive and surprisingly their defence has improved dramatically as the season has progressed. There’s also a solid history of teams being disrupted by injury and Origin never being able to fully regain early-season performance, and I think it’s fair to be hesitant about South Sydney until they can display a sustained period of above-average play.