2018 NRL Preliminary Finals Betting Tips

September 20, 2018 by Posted in NRL Tips

Storm vs Sharks (Friday, Sep 21 7:40pm AEST)
Melbourne and Cronulla ignite their rivalry this Friday night with a Grand Final place on the line for both sides. The bookies aren’t giving the Sharks much of a chance but I can see another close margin. So far in this finals series, 3 of 6 games have been decided by a field goal which makes it one of the tightest NRL finals in recent memory. Which bodes well for the Sharks at the +8 underdog line. They seem to love playing the Storm, especially in Melbourne. In Round 22, they met at this venue and the Sharks defence held strong in the second half to record a 3 point win. Cronulla also won the previous encounter at AAMI Park, 11-2 as their defence came to play once again. The Storm will have the advantage having beaten the Rabbitohs 29-28 in the first week of the finals to earn the week off. The return of Will Chambers and Nelson Asofa-Solomona also gives this side a huge boost.

Chambers is back from suspension and Asofa-Solomona has recovered from injury. While for the Sharks, Paul Gallen is in doubt for this clash which could be a huge blow. However, I can see him getting up for this since it’s a final and season over if the Sharks lose. They could also add Josh Dugan into the backline as he looks to recover from a shoulder injury. While injuries are concerning for the away side, they seem to always setup when the odds are against them. Also looking at their 4-1 record against the Storm since 2016, it’s hard to back against them. The key is their defence can stop the Storm’s usually dynamic attack at AAMI Park. In the last 2 meetings at this venue, Melbourne has scored a total of just 16 points at an average of 8 per game. So I can’t see that trend changing. In the end, the betting angle should be the Sharks at the line in a close finish to this final. Since 2013, they’re 17-8 against the line when playing interstate and underdogs in the betting. Also since 2016, they’re 4-1 against the line when facing the Storm.

TIP: Sharks +8 – $1.92 at BetEasy

Roosters vs Rabbitohs (Saturday, Sep 22 7:40pm AEST)
The second Preliminary final takes place on Saturday night at Allianz Stadium as the Roosters play the Rabbitohs. They’re already met twice this season and more recently in Round 22. That matchup had a definite finals atmosphere about it as the Roosters just held on in a 4 point victory at ANZ Stadium. They’ll come into this final as the favourite with the week off advantage. In week 1 of the finals, they held the Sharks attack at bay in a 9 point win at this venue. Overall this season, they’ve won 8 of 12 at Allianz. But a huge blow could be the suspension of Latrell Mitchell. It leaves them weaker in attack and also places a question mark on their goal kicking. Which could be crucial in what should be a close affair. While for the Rabbitohs, they head into Saturday with an unchanged lineup after a hard fought win over the Dragons.

Adam Reynolds was easily best on ground as he not only kicked 3 field goals but he managed to score all of the Rabbitohs 13 points. Keeping the Dragons to 12 points was also a pleasing sign after the Storm put up 29 points on them previously but I think with Cooper Cronk leading the way, the Roosters attack should have similar success as the Storm did a few weeks ago. So in the end, I can see good value in both teams scoring 13 or more points. This bet is 2-0 between the two sides in 2018. It only just missed in the last final here for the Roosters as they kept the Sharks to 12 points. But the Rabbitohs attacking weapons should prove hard to stop. I’m talking about the likes of Greg Inglis and Damien Cook. So since 2014, finals involving the Roosters at this venue are 5-2 against the 13+ bet. Overall this season, Souths went 17-9 against this bet as well. Which also occurred in their last top 4 matchup.

TIP: Both Teams to Score 13+ Points – $2 at BetEasy


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