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Featured Tipper: Mike Wilson

Website: Australia Sports Betting
AusSportsBetting.com is the sister site to AusSportsTipping.com. It provides tools, news and resources for online sports betting enthusiasts. This includes round previews, an Excel betting tracker, discussion forum, online calculators, live bookmaker odds, historical betting data and betting agency reviews.

Bio: Mike Wilson is an avid Rugby League fan and has been following the game since he was 6 years old. He devotes much of his time to studying and reviewing games. When he is not neck deep in match replays and stats, Mike enjoys earning some pocket money playing online poker, which he has done successfully for over 7 years. Mike lives on the Gold Coast and also enjoys Formula One and casual afternoon in front of the horses with a few quiet beers ;)

Latest Picks

Event Pick Result

NRL:
Rabbitohs vs. Bulldogs
Sun, 5 Oct 2014
7:20 PM

Line/Handicap:
Rabbitohs -6.5

Odds:
1.72 (Sportsbet)

Win
It’s all been said and done as far as the 2014 NRL season is concerned and of the sixteen teams that entered and contested the competition, just two remain.
The Rabbitohs and the Bulldogs will fight it out for top honours and the city of Sydney is abuzz with excitement.
If you haven’t heard it mentioned already, this is the first time the Rabbitohs have made a grand final since 1971 and it’s only natural that the players would be feeling some sort of pressure under the weight of expectation from fans that have waited for more than four decades to see their team fight it out on the big stage.
Some Rabbitohs fans simply haven’t seen their team play in a grand final at all.
Bulldogs coach Des Hasler won’t be feeling as much pressure considering this is the 5th team he has coached to a grand final appearance in the last 8 years.
His players might have a different outlook and be feeling some sort of pressure although a lot of them were playing in the decider of 2012 and will be looking for redemption out of the ashes of that particular loss.
Speaking of losses, the headlines leading up to this year’s decider have been dominated by both teams’ hookers; Isaac Luke for Souths and Michael Ennis for Canterbury.
Luke copped a heartbreaking suspension after being found guilty of a lifting charge in last week’s preliminary final and will play the role of nothing more than a spectator from the sidelines on Sunday.
Michael Ennis on the other hand suffered a brace of breaks in his left foot and is about a 1 percent chance of taking the field for the match.
The juxtaposing loss of dummy halves for both sides is likely to be of greater detriment to the Bulldogs considering that the Rabbitohs’ understudy to Luke, Apisai Koroisau has already played 13 games this year and played them very well.
Who will take on the hooking role for the Bulldogs at this point in time is the question that remains unknown and in several press conferences during the week, coach Des Hasler, in his own trademark style, has given nothing away saying “We have two or three options available.”
Looking at the path travelled by the Bunnies to get through the finals series to the decider suggests, on the contrary to expectations, that they aren’t feeling much pressure at all.
Week 1 saw them get out to a 40 - 0 lead over the Sea Eagles as rapidly as possible, showing to their fans they had brought their A-game to this years’ finals series.
When the chips were down in last week’s preliminary final, the Rabbitohs were staring at an early 12-0 deficit before calmly sticking to their structures and dispatching the Roosters to the tune of 32-22.
Grand finals and preliminary finals can be like chalk and cheese in some regards and many will agree that by pointing out that particularly good form output by the Rabbitohs in their last two matches doesn’t necessarily suggest they are going to brush the 43 year old monkey off their proverbial back.
I for one disagree and subscribe to the notion that the Rabbitohs troops have a different aura surrounding them compared to last year and that pressure won’t be the greatest of their problems come kick off on Sunday evening.
The road taken by the Bulldogs towards the grand final has been fairly hectic and energy sapping for the Dogs. They started the finals series as massive underdogs against the Storm but mustered one of their best efforts of the season and rolled Melbourne comprehensively.
Week two saw them take on the Sea Eagles and after getting out to a 16-0 lead, the Bulldogs’ efforts dilapidated towards the back end of the contest, only to be saved by a Trent Hodkinson field goal in extra time.
Next came last week’s win over the Panthers with the Canterbury side taking the field in the second half sans hooker Michael Ennis. The Bulldogs looked ready to be swallowed up by a fast finishing Panthers crew but alas, held on with nothing but brute strength and successfully booked their berth in this week’s decider.
Just thinking back on those three Bulldogs’ matches leaves me gasping for air and it’s going to take an almighty effort for them to get up and play hard for a 4th week in a row, especially without hooker and captain Michael Ennis.
My last tip of the year has to be the Rabbitohs. A lot of signs and current form point towards celebrations in redfern at the conclusion of the match and I can see the Rabbitohs getting out to a 20 odd point lead before putting on the afterburners in the final 10 minutes of the game.
8 points or more should be the margin but I’m happy to exorcise a bit of safety and revert the best bet to the tri-bet option of the Rabbitohs to win by more than 6.5 points.

Mike’s Tip: Rabbitohs
Mike’s Best Bet: Rabbitohs over 6.5 points @ $1.72 (Sportsbet)

NRL:
Rabbitohs vs. Roosters
Fri, 26 Sep 2014
7:55 PM

Head-to-head:
Rabbitohs

Odds:
1.77 (Palmerbet)

Win
The NRL finals series heads to ANZ Stadium for the game between two teams that many were expecting to see in the Grand Final.
Now meeting in the 1st preliminary final, the matchup between the Rabbitohs and the Roosters still has many a pundit drooling over the imminent clash.
A crowd of 50,000 plus is almost certain to grace the stands given that these two sides have engaged in arguably the longest running rivalry in the history of Australian Rugby League.
The Roosters have carved their path to week 3 of the finals in the hardest possible fashion after losing by a point in week 1 to the Panthers, then winning week two after staving off the Cowboys by a point.
The Rabbitohs have achieved week 3 status in a contrary manner having cruised to victory over the Sea Eagles in week 1 and earning themselves a week off to freshen up for this Friday night.
It’s hard to believe that this is the first time these two rivals have met in a finals match since 1938, and it’s also hard for some supporters to stomach that this is the last time we will see either Sam Burgess or Sonny Bill Williams who have both opted to switch codes and play Rugby Union in 2015.
The 2014 record between the Rabbitohs and Roosters is square at one-all after the Rabbitohs ended up as the victors in round one whilst the Roosters exacted revenge in round 26 and picked up the minor premiership along with the 2 competition points.
Despite the Rabbitohs’ effortless path into week 3 of the finals, the big wigs at the TAB have barely separated the two sides in betting. The Rabbitohs are currently $1.80 favourites over the Roosters who sit on $2.00.
Looking at the Betfair market early (22/9/14) and a lot of the money sitting in the exchange is asking to either back Souths or lay the Roosters, so it’s clear at this stage that the majority of punters believe the Roosters will struggle to make a second consecutive Grand Final, and I for one agree.
I myself am going with the Rabbitohs and am attracted to the head to head odds enough to post them as a best bet. The extra week off may not prove to be a major benefit in normal week to week play, but here the Rabbitohs have a massive pack of forwards who will be fresh as daisies against a Roosters outfit that has endured two, one point victories in particularly trying games.
If you’re with me, get on the Rabbitohs early as their odds are dropping by the day.

Mike’s Tip: Rabbitohs
Mike’s Best Bet: Rabbitohs Head to Head @ $1.77 (Palmerbet)

NRL:
Sea Eagles vs. Bulldogs
Sat, 20 Sep 2014
7:45 PM

Head-to-head:
Bulldogs

Odds:
1.65 (Pinnacle)

Win
A solid stream of money has flowed in for the Bulldogs since Monday, indicating that many are predicting the demise of the Manly Sea Eagles for 2014.
With players in the side looking for contracts elsewhere for 2015, a loss for Manly could also spell the end of an era for the club. The players themselves aren’t looking at it that way and they are keen to build a victory with the grit and perseverance that has won them many a game in the face of adversity.
The rumours that in house fighting (which has been going on for about 18 months now), had reached boiling point, appears to now be the stone cold truth and could finally be eating away at some of the senior Sea Eagles’ players’ resolve.
Such dishevelment has to have an effect on the team and this unit can’t afford any more weaknesses having already suffered the loss of hooker Matt Ballin who is one of the strongest links in the Manly chain.
The Sea Eagles have been synonymous with hard core Rugby League, so it’s fair to say the Bulldogs ‘did a Manly’ last week against the Storm when they hit the ground running form the opening whistle and demolished Melbourne, in Melbourne.
As massive outsiders, the Bulldogs rallied and showed the Storm what finals footy is all about and lifted to a level we haven’t seen them reach in the last two months. The question that remains is; can they pull it off again? The bookies seem to think so.
The Bulldogs’ forwards were particularly brilliant with James Graham and Tony Williams leading the way with a combined total of 295 metres in attack and an array of other match winning assists and plays. Greg Eastwood was also heavily involved and as we’ve seen before, the Bulldogs forwards know not only how to go forward, but play laterally as well which creates all sorts of problems for opposing players trying to contain them.
To summarise, I’m of the opinion Manly will struggle to master the aforementioned containment of the Doggies’ forwards, particularly without Matt Ballin, but with both sides likely to compete until they are blue in the face, it makes assessing a points line somewhat difficult.
I’m happy to back the Bulldogs head to head with $1.65 available and I think we’re looking at another low scoring match on an Allianz surface that will have suffered some degradation following the previous night’s NRL match and two Holden Cup matches.

Mike’s Tip: Bulldogs
Mike’s Best Bet:
1. Bulldogs Head to Head @ $1.65 (Pinnacle)
2. Total match points Under 38.0 @ $1.90 (Luxbet)

NRL:
Sea Eagles vs. Bulldogs
Sat, 20 Sep 2014
7:45 PM

Total Score:
Total Match Points Under 38.0

Odds:
1.90 (Luxbet)

Win
A solid stream of money has flowed in for the Bulldogs since Monday, indicating that many are predicting the demise of the Manly Sea Eagles for 2014.
With players in the side looking for contracts elsewhere for 2015, a loss for Manly could also spell the end of an era for the club. The players themselves aren’t looking at it that way and they are keen to build a victory with the grit and perseverance that has won them many a game in the face of adversity.
The rumours that in house fighting (which has been going on for about 18 months now), had reached boiling point, appears to now be the stone cold truth and could finally be eating away at some of the senior Sea Eagles’ players’ resolve.
Such dishevelment has to have an effect on the team and this unit can’t afford any more weaknesses having already suffered the loss of hooker Matt Ballin who is one of the strongest links in the Manly chain.
The Sea Eagles have been synonymous with hard core Rugby League, so it’s fair to say the Bulldogs ‘did a Manly’ last week against the Storm when they hit the ground running form the opening whistle and demolished Melbourne, in Melbourne.
As massive outsiders, the Bulldogs rallied and showed the Storm what finals footy is all about and lifted to a level we haven’t seen them reach in the last two months. The question that remains is; can they pull it off again? The bookies seem to think so.
The Bulldogs’ forwards were particularly brilliant with James Graham and Tony Williams leading the way with a combined total of 295 metres in attack and an array of other match winning assists and plays. Greg Eastwood was also heavily involved and as we’ve seen before, the Bulldogs forwards know not only how to go forward, but play laterally as well which creates all sorts of problems for opposing players trying to contain them.
To summarise, I’m of the opinion Manly will struggle to master the aforementioned containment of the Doggies’ forwards, particularly without Matt Ballin, but with both sides likely to compete until they are blue in the face, it makes assessing a points line somewhat difficult.
I’m happy to back the Bulldogs head to head with $1.65 available and I think we’re looking at another low scoring match on an Allianz surface that will have suffered some degradation following the previous night’s NRL match and two Holden Cup matches.

Mike’s Tip: Bulldogs
Mike’s Best Bet:
1. Bulldogs Head to Head @ $1.65 (Pinnacle)
2. Total match points Under 38.0 @ $1.90 (Luxbet)

NRL:
Roosters vs. Cowboys
Fri, 19 Sep 2014
7:55 PM

Line/Handicap:
Roosters -6.0

Odds:
1.90 (Centrebet)

Loss
The majority of punters didn’t expect that we’d be watching the Roosters go around in the second week of finals which has come about as a result of a loss to the Panthers by a single point on Friday night.
Some are blaming the Roosters for taking the Panthers too lightly whilst others are directly crediting the Panthers for one of the grittiest performances of the year. Then there are the select few that are resting the blame on Anthony Minichiello’s shoulders which I find personally a bit rough.
They way I viewed it was as a game with two fantastic sides playing two different brands of Rugby League football. The result was a game for the ages and there was always going to be a winner. So I don’t think blame should play too much of a part in the post game analysis.
To pinpoint a potential game changer this week I’m looking to the Roosters forward pack. They got on top against the Panthers last week and Sonny Bill Williams certainly busted a gut with a good array of metres and offloads. His stats were restricted compared to other games, but most players numbers were down due to the intensity of the contest.
The Cowboys forwards can be scratchy as hell sometimes and if I were Roosters’ Coach Trent Robinson I would seriously consider playing Sonny Bill on the left hand side in attack which was where that ‘scratchiness’ was evident and saw the Broncos penetrate the North Queensland defence on several occasions last week.
When it comes to the Cowboys, despite their victory, a bit of blame should be attributed to their failure to play any sort of good footy after racking up a decent lead over the Broncos in the early stages of their elimination final last week.
It’s understandable that a side would want to make life as easy as possible for themselves when they have a big lead under their belt, well aware that they have a big game coming up the following week, but some of the defensive lapses the Cowboys displayed were simply woeful.
I have my suspicions that ‘stepping up’ to take on the Roosters this Friday night won’t be as easy as many Cowboys fans are making it sound and being on the road against a Roosters side fighting for their premiership life, the Nth Qld troops are facing one of, if not the toughest, games of their season.
I’m keen on the Roosters to do a number on the Cowboys and I can’t say I’d be knocked to the floor if the Roosters won by 20+

Mike’s Tip: Roosters
Mike’s Best Bet: Roosters -6.0 @ $1.90 (Centrebet)

NRL:
Roosters vs. Panthers
Sat, 13 Sep 2014
5:50 PM

Total Score:
Total Match Points Under 39.5

Odds:
1.90 (Sportsbet)

Win
The Roosters scraped home to claim the minor premiership in the last possible minute at the end of the home and away season but effectively the competition starts again for them come Saturday evening.

They will be taking on the Panthers who have defied opinion from go to woe and claimed a top 4 spot and ultimately a second chance if they happen to go down in this encounter.

I expect the Roosters to get on top of them but I also foresee the Panthers putting in a fully committed effort that will keep them in touch throughout the match but in the end won’t quite be enough to defeat last year’s premiers.

And when you speak of the Panthers defying the critics it all starts with Jamie Soward who copped a lot of negative preseason opinions claiming he wouldn’t live up to expectations. Soward on the contrary has not played a bad game all year and literally lead the way from the halves helping his forwards gain plenty of field position which in turn has helped the Panthers defeat opponents by applying relentless pressure.

The Panthers also possess plenty of power on the edges with the likes of Jamal Idris and particularly Lewis Brown who likes to float around on the fringes of the ruck and beyond trying to sniff out a hole or any potentially penetrable weakness amongst his opposite numbers.

The Roosters became very fragile in those exact fringe areas in the latter stages of last week’s match against Rabbitohs and they will need to shore up those holes if they are to stay in front of the Panthers because if you add winger Josh Mansour to the likes of Idris and Brown, you end up facing a formidable structure.

But as I mentioned earlier, I’m backing the Roosters to do the job and success will come off the back of a representative laden forward pack. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Boyd Cordner and none other than Sonny Bill Williams know how to get up and run themselves into the ground for their side in the big matches whether it be finals, test matches or State of Origin. Add Mitch Aubusson to the fray as he replaces Jake Friend at dummy half, and although he may not be the most skilfully adept attacking hooker, if you dare run at him, he will snap you in half whether you’re 80kgs, 130kgs, man, woman or child!

In betting the Roosters are far too short for my liking in the head to head market and the $1.90 line is too big for me to put money into the handicap market in the hope they will cover it.

I would be tempted to review a Panthers line bet if the start was 12 or more but it has fallen just short with the best quote coming in at +11.5

Being played on Saturday evening, this game will be the 5th contest played on Allianz Stadium in two days once you factor in the Rabbitohs v Sea Eagles game on Friday night, plus 3 (yes 3) prior Holden Cup games.

The Allianz surface will be a bit worse for wear as a result which will skim a bit of speed off the players not to mention lateral structures and attacking raids will have the sting taken out of them.

Both these sides are defensively sound with the Roosters conceding and average of just 1.7 points per game less than the Panthers throughout the 26 regular rounds and on a less than perfect surface, points will be at a premium here.

Therefore I recommend getting on the total match points market to be under 39.5 (Sportsbet).
Enjoy the game!



-Mike Wilson



Mike’s Tip: Roosters

Mike’s Best Bet: Total Match Points Under 39.5 @ $1.90 (Sportsbet)

NRL:
Sea Eagles vs. Rabbitohs
Fri, 12 Sep 2014
7:55 PM

Line/Handicap:
Rabbitohs -5.5

Odds:
1.80 (Centrebet)

Win
Here we go! It’s finals time again and like most NRL fans around the globe, I can’t wait for it to start!
We kick off with the Sea Eagles taking on the Rabbitohs and as has been well publicised, the Sea Eagles have had to give up their home ground advantage and move the match to Allianz Stadium. The Sea Eagles look to be needing all the help they can get thanks to injuries suffered by key players and having to give up a game at Brookvale Oval is far from ideal.

Of those injuries is none other than hooker Matt Ballin. Ballin is the service provider to the halves and you can find his picture in the dictionary next to ‘consistent’. He turns up week in, week out and puts in reliable performances at a repeatedly high level which gives Coach Geoff Toovey the luxury of not having to worry about what Ballin is up to as he knows it will get done, be it in attack or defence.

This time around marks the first finals match the Sea Eagles will play without Ballin since the Grand Final of 2007 and personally I think his absence is going to hurt the side more than most are anticipating.

One group of people that are in agreement with me are the bookies. The market was framed with the Rabbitohs as solid $1.45 favourites and the bookies know that the Sea Eagles, or most sides for that matter, are not at their best when missing first choice hookers.

The Rabbitohs don’t have any such woes in the hooking department with Isaac Luke ready to lead the forwards up the middle in a bid to penetrate Manly’s defence with some direct, power running.

Behind the forwards are the halves, and three of them at that in Reynolds, Sutton and Keary. At this point in time Keary and Reynolds have been named at 6 and 7 with Sutton in the second row, but I have my suspicions that Sutton will start as the five-eighth which is a move I would agree with.

I’m tipping the Rabbitohs to be the first finals victors in 2014 and I think they are the specials of the round. The line of 6.5 turns me off but you can get $1.80 for the Rabbitohs -5.5 and that’s where I’m looking.

I would recommend getting on that early in case that price shortens and you’re staring at $1.75 or less.

NRL:
Knights vs. Dragons
Sun, 7 Sep 2014
2:00 PM

Line/Handicap:
Knights -6.0

Odds:
2.10 (Centrebet)

Win
The Dragon’s season came to an end last week when they suffered a loss to the Broncos which knocked them out of the finals race. Now they have one game remaining but like many others they are probably more focused on mad Monday celebrations after what has been quite a testing season.
This game has no bearing on the outcome of the final 8 and it might be difficult to foresee either side putting their bodies on the line so to speak.
If either of the two sides are going to find that little bit extra to win, it will be the Knights. They certainly lift a notch when playing at home and with no disrespect intended, they have been playing for nothing for the last few weeks and clearly don’t need any extra motivation to play well for the locals.
I expect the Knights to win and by at least 8-10 points and I can’t say I’ll be shocked if they dish out a flogging to the Dragons and therefore I’m happy to bypass the $1.90 line of 4.0 and take the Knights -6.0 at the better price of $2.10

Mike’s Tip: Knights
Mike’s Best Bet: Knights -6.0 @ $2.10 (Centrebet)

NRL:
Raiders vs. Eels
Sat, 6 Sep 2014
5:30 PM

Total Score:
Total Match Points Under 44.5

Odds:
1.91 (bet365)

Loss
It’s sudden death for the Eels as they head to the nation’s capital to take on the Raiders, assuming their premiership hopes haven’t been killed off by this stage already.
Please note that I’m writing this preview before the Broncos v Storm game has been played and if the Broncos defeat the Storm then the Eels will not be able to make the finals.
Going on general form throughout 2014 one would suspect that the Eels are the clear winners in this contest but they wouldn’t be in such a precarious position had their performances in away games been of a higher standard.
These two sides met not that long ago in Darwin where obviously neither side had a home ground advantage and on that night the Eels were only able to win by 9 points with the difference being superstar Jarryd Hayne.
Now it’s the same match up but the Raiders have the home ground advantage and will be looking to close off 2014 with a win for the fans.
They might lack the skills of the higher placed teams but the Raiders have certainly shown plenty of effort in the last couple of weeks whereas the Eels on the other hand seem to flake out of contests around the 60 minute mark.
So if the Eels come into this game having already been knocked out of the finals race and have nothing to play for it’s unlikely they are going to play their best footy in the cold weather of Canberra with little motivation and it will be a good time for the Raiders to run at Chris Sandow.
If you’re in a tipping comp and have last minute options, I would wait and see if the Broncos win and tip the Raiders, but if the Broncos have lost, tip the Eels.
This is another game where points scoring won’t be the forte of either team given the circumstances. The Eels struggle to score points away from home and will struggle now that they are under pressure whereas the Raiders struggle to score points period.
The 44.5 total points line once again is too high in my opinion and I’m going at the unders.

NRL:
Tigers vs. Sharks
Sat, 6 Sep 2014
3:00 PM

Total Score:
Total Match Points Under 45.5

Odds:
1.90 (Sportsbet)

Win
Both sides will take the field on Saturday night knowing that mad Monday is just around the corner and that their seasons from hell will be over soon.
The Tigers would be happy that they get to play their final game at Leichhardt Oval and therefore have that extra bit of motivation to win the game.
The Sharks have endured the worst season in the club’s history and arguably one of the worst for any club in the history of first class Rugby League.
They put up a great fight given their omissions against the Cowboys on Monday night but it’s fair to say that the Cowboys flattered them somewhat and I have doubts as to whether the Sharks will put up a fight in consecutive matches, particularly in away games.
Therefore I’m tipping the Tigers but will not be investing any money in them as they came in a lot shorter in betting than I had expected.
Once again they look likely to go around without the services of Luke Brooks and points might be hard to come by once more.
The total match points being under 45.5 looks like a juicy option in another game I rate as being just a 40 point affair.

Mike’s Tip: Tigers
Mike’s Best Bet: Total Match Points Under 45.5 @ $1.90 (Sportsbet)

NRL:
Storm vs. Broncos
Fri, 5 Sep 2014
7:45 PM

Line/Handicap:
Storm -8.0

Odds:
1.88 (Sportsbet)

Win
There is plenty to play for when the Storm meet the Broncos this Friday with the Melbourne side aiming for a possible, all important top 4 place on the ladder which gives teams a guaranteed second chance if they lose in week 1 of the finals.
For the Broncos, it’s simply a matter of playing for a place in the top 8 altogether. They currently sit in 8th position but on equal points are the Warriors and Eels who trail the Broncos on for and against differential.
The Broncos could lose this match and still qualify for the finals or conversely win, and get bumped out of the 8 on for and against.
The Broncos have been playing good footy in recent weeks at home but unfortunately for them this all important match is played on the road in Melbourne a long way from home. They will need to overcome their mental demons which seem to haunt them on the road to an extent if they are to even get close to the Storm who have been slowly but surely building on their form week by week as they work their way towards the finals series.
I’ll be tipping the Storm here based on the harder, more intense brand of footy they have been playing compared to the Broncos. The Broncos have scored a lot of their points from free wielding backline movements run by the likes of Hunt, Barba and Hodges, with all three quite often involved in the one movement. However this time they will run into some solid outside Storm defence made up by Waqa, Koroibete, Fohnua and QLD representative Will Chambers who knows Justin Hodges’ type of play a lot better than most having played alongside him in State of Origin.
If the going gets tough, the Storm will endure the grind for longer and be able to pull away towards the end and I have confidence they will cover the 7.5 line (Sportsbet @ $1.88) by some margin.

NRL:
Cowboys vs. Sharks
Mon, 1 Sep 2014
7:00 PM

Line/Handicap:
Cowboys -31.5

Odds:
1.99 (Pinnacle)

Loss
The final instalment of round 25 sees the NRL road train travel to Townsville for a game that looks to be a foregone conclusion with the Cowboys taking on what looks like Sharks 3rd division side.
The Cowboys have won five of their past six games at home, plus four of their last five games against the Sharks and if they can manage, (and it doesn’t seem impossible) a victory by a margin of 53 points or more, they will be the team with the highest points differential in the competition after 25 rounds.
With injuries and ASADA bans having ripped through the Sharks line up like a dodgy curry, they are left with a starting 17 that has amassed a mere 193 games in 2014 compared to the total of 304 games for the Cowboys so far this year.
The line for the Cowboys to cover is a whopping 31.5 and I believe this is the biggest line of the year so far.
I expect the Cowboys will be more than good enough to cover the spread and I even think they will go on to win by 40+ so get your bets on asap before the line drifts anymore as it has literally drifted by a point a day from its starting point of 24.5 on Tuesday.
Pinnacle Sports are offering the best odds at $1.99.

Mike’s Tip: Cowboys
Mike’s Best Bet: Cowboys -31.5 @ $1.99 (Pinnacle Sports)

NRL:
Warriors vs. Titans
Sun, 31 Aug 2014
2:00 PM

Line/Handicap:
Warriors

Odds:
1.88 (Luxbet)

Win
Can someone please explain to me what the Warriors were doing against the Roosters last week?
I can tell you what they weren’t doing and that was playing football.
It was one of the laziest performances I’d seen from a football side which is bizarre considering the Warriors were playing for a place in the top 8 and the resulting loss could potentially end their season.
If the Warriors lose this match they can start looking ahead to mad Monday but one would think they have an excellent chance of winning against a Titans side that have little to no motivation to perform well in New Zealand.
Recent history says likewise with the Warriors having defeated the Titans in the last seven straight games. Even more recently, the Titans haven’t won a game in the last six weeks and I find it unlikely that they will suddenly rise to win off the back of a flight across the Tasman.
With motivation levels at an all time low, the margin will be high and the line is drifting out by the day as punters clamber to back the Warriors to cover the spread.
I suggest you do the same with Luxbet currently offering the best odds for a 15.5 point line.

Mike’s Tip: Warriors
Mike’s Best Bet: Warriors -15.5 @ $1.88 (Luxbet)
Mike’s Casual Bet: None

NRL:
Roosters vs. Storm
Sat, 30 Aug 2014
7:30 PM

Total Score:
Total Match Points Under 38.5

Odds:
1.91 (bet365)

Win
I’m looking forward to this clash which should be a little beauty with some top 4 action on the line for both sides to play for.
The Roosters will guarantee themselves a top 4 finish if they defeat the Storm and if the result goes the other way then the Storm could finish the round in 4th position.
The Roosters appear to be peaking at the right time of the year and confirmed that they fear no side when they travelled all the way to New Zealand last week and absolutely trounced the Warriors notching up 48 points in the process.
This match could prove to be the Roosters’ biggest test since round 19 and will give them a good idea of where they truly stand at the end of the 80 minutes.
The Storm are also building a timely charge towards the finals and have won five of their last six matches with that one loss being against the Knights when they lead by 10 points with four minutes to go and somehow threw it away.
The Roosters hold the advantage in the forwards here but with wet conditions looking likely they should be brought closer to the Storm in that department.
The Storm on the other hand hold the aces with the likes of Cronk and Slater in the backline but the soggy conditions might put paid to any sweeping backline movements.
Expect a close one.

Mike’s Tip: Storm
Mike’s Best Bet:
1. Total match points under 38.5 @ $1.91 (Bet365)
2. Storm +4.5 @ $2.00 (Ladbrokes 2 hours prior to kick off)
Mike’s Casual Bet: None

NRL:
Roosters vs. Storm
Sat, 30 Aug 2014
7:30 PM

Line/Handicap:
Storm +4.5

Odds:
2.00 (Ladbrokes)

Loss
I’m looking forward to this clash which should be a little beauty with some top 4 action on the line for both sides to play for.
The Roosters will guarantee themselves a top 4 finish if they defeat the Storm and if the result goes the other way then the Storm could finish the round in 4th position.
The Roosters appear to be peaking at the right time of the year and confirmed that they fear no side when they travelled all the way to New Zealand last week and absolutely trounced the Warriors notching up 48 points in the process.
This match could prove to be the Roosters’ biggest test since round 19 and will give them a good idea of where they truly stand at the end of the 80 minutes.
The Storm are also building a timely charge towards the finals and have won five of their last six matches with that one loss being against the Knights when they lead by 10 points with four minutes to go and somehow threw it away.
The Roosters hold the advantage in the forwards here but with wet conditions looking likely they should be brought closer to the Storm in that department.
The Storm on the other hand hold the aces with the likes of Cronk and Slater in the backline but the soggy conditions might put paid to any sweeping backline movements.
Expect a close one.

Mike’s Tip: Storm
Mike’s Best Bet:
1. Total match points under 38.5 @ $1.91 (Bet365)
2. Storm +4.5 @ $2.00 (Ladbrokes 2 hours prior to kick off)
Mike’s Casual Bet: None

NRL:
Raiders vs. Tigers
Sat, 30 Aug 2014
5:30 PM

Total Score:
Total Match Points Under 46.5

Odds:
1.91 (bet365)

Win
Whatever the opposite of a battle of the heavyweights is: well that’s what this is.
Playing at home used to be an advantage for the Raiders but in 2014 they have won just two of the ten games played there this year and they were very lucky in those two wins. One was off the back of some dubious decisions against the Storm and the other being against a depleted Cowboys line up without all of their Origin representatives.
Recent history doesn’t do the Raiders any favours either having lost 10 of their last 11 matches against the Tigers, and the last 5 consecutive played in Canberra.
Even since the Magpies and Tigers merged in 2000, the Raiders have never beaten the Tigers by more than 20 points which was back in 2002.
The Tigers continue to bludge their way through their remaining games with their eyes set firmly on nothing other than the 8th of September: Mad Monday.
The total points line sits at 46.5 for this match and I’m rating this a 40 point game which means we’ll be taking the unders.
A major factor in deciding this bet is that both sides are without their primary play makers with Luke Brooks not being named for the Tigers and Mitch Cornish taking the number 7 jersey for the Raiders.
I have no doubts all the wraps on Cornish are justified and that he will be a star for the Raiders in future, but at the moment he looks like he is still adjusting to the pace of NRL.

Mike’s Tip: Raiders
Mike’s Best Bet: Total match points under 46.5 @ $1.91 (Bet365)

NRL:
Knights vs. Eels
Sat, 30 Aug 2014
3:00 PM

Line/Handicap:
Knights +4.0

Odds:
2.00 (Ladbrokes)

Win
The Knights’ late season form rise bottomed out sharply last Friday when they were handed a comprehensive 42 point pummelling by the Brisbane Broncos.
The defeat takes their recent record to six wins from their last nine games and off the back of some wins over some of the top 8 teams, the Knights players will relish the chance to rack up another win in front of the Newcastle faithful in their penultimate home game for 2014.
All too late in 2014, the Knights have become a tough opponent when hosting at Hunter Stadium and on the contrary, the Eels, more often than not, have failed to put up any sort of fight when playing away from home.
I expected the Eels to get close to the Sea Eagles last week thanks to the benefit of the home ground advantage and they even managed to pull off an emphatic win.
Travelling to Newcastle is a different kettle of fish for the Eels and after handing out the shocks last week, Parramatta might be in for a shock of their own.
So get on the Knights here but for the best value do it on Ladbrokes just before the game when the line is paying $2.00
It’s currently at +4.0 for the Knights and if it moves I can only see it getting longer, not shorter.

Mike’s Tip: Knights
Mike’s Best Bet: Knights +4.0 @ $2.00 (Ladbrokes)
Mike’s Casual Bet: None

NRL:
Panthers vs. Storm
Mon, 25 Aug 2014
7:00 PM

Head-to-head:
Storm

Odds:
1.45 (Ladbrokes)

Win
Melbourne are looking the goods here but will have to work hard if they are to beat the Panthers in Sydney and make it 5 wins from their past six games.
The Storm have made a sharp improvement in performance since the State of Origin period has ended and a win here will be a vital step towards wrapping up a place in the finals.
If there is one man that is going to be a thorn in the Storm’s side it will be Jamie Soward.
Soward has continued to thrive since joining the Panthers and has no problems dealing with everything his opponents throw at him. There seems to be little doubt that Soward will produce the goods for his side as he has all year and if the rest of the team can keep their missed tackles to a minimum then the Panthers will give themselves the best possible chance of capitalising on Soward’s work.
The defence will have to keep an extra eye on the Storm’s right side attack where Will Chambers and Sisa Waqa have been causing a great deal of carnage in the last few weeks. It seems that when Proctor links up with Chambers on his outside, the opposition defenders are always left scrambling to make the correct decisions. One wrong choice ends with the Storm creating an overlap for Sisa Waqa to take advantage of. I think we just might see this happen once again.
It’s the Storm for me.

Mike’s Tip: Storm
Mike’s Best Bet: Storm Head to Head @ $1.45 (Ladbrokes)

NRL:
Warriors vs. Roosters
Sun, 24 Aug 2014
12:00 PM

Head-to-head:
Warriors

Odds:
2.20 (Pinnacle)

Loss
Be advised Australian readers that Sunday footy starts early on Sunday with the Warriors hosting the Roosters at 2pm NZ time which equates to 12pm AEST.
The Warriors are another team that are in amongst the log jam of sides vying for a coveted finals position. They sit in 8th and amazingly if results go their way they can possibly end the round in 5th on the ladder.
I doubt the Warriors will be too concerned with where they finish the round as long as they win and they will have their work cut out for them against the defensively strong Roosters.
The Roosters occupy 4th place on the ladder but haven’t exactly blown my socks off despite maintaining their position as one of the tops sides. Its their attack that is the element that really seems to be letting them down, which is not to say they aren’t good enough to beat teams outside the top 4, but if they really want to make a dint on the upcoming finals series, the Roosters will need to step up to the next level of attacking creativity.
The Roosters have won four of their last seven games but when you cast your eyes over the teams they have beaten, it doesn’t convince me about their claims any further.
The Tigers, Titans, Dragons and Panthers were the scalps and amongst those losses were failures against the Sharks and Knights.
This leads me to tip the Warriors head to head. Halfback Shaun Johnson should have a bit more improvement under his belt after returning seemingly a week early from injury last week. I can understand his Coach Andrew McFadden wanting him back in the team as soon as possible as he is a valuable link between the ruck and the outside backs but last week was too early for the return. Expect improvement.


Mike’s Tip: Warriors
Mike’s Best Bet: Warriors Head to Head @ $2.20 (Pinnacle)

NRL:
Rabbitohs vs. Cowboys
Sat, 23 Aug 2014
7:30 PM

Line/Handicap:
Rabbitohs -8.0

Odds:
2.01 (Pinnacle)

Loss
In the last seven meetings between the Rabbitohs and the Cowboys, the South Sydney team holds the advantage with four wins. All four have been at ANZ Stadium with all three losses being in Townsville. Add that stat to their current five win streak and the Bunnies look the goods on Saturday night.
The Cowboys have only beaten the Sharks and Bulldogs in away games this year, with the rest of their wins happening at home and I do not like their chances on this road trip either.
You’d have to tip the Rabbitohs here; they look sharp and have no doubt been the form team in the last fortnight although they have suffered a minor setback this week with the loss of Ben Teo to suspension. Teo won’t return to the side until week two or three of the finals, depending on how his side fares in the first week of the finals.
The form, although obviously not the only indicator, points towards a Rabbitohs 12+ victory and backing them to cover the line is a more than handy option.
You better get a move on if you are going to capitalise on the -8.0 that is currently available for the Rabbitohs as that line has been steadily drifting in the last six days.

Mike’s Tip: Rabbitohs
Mike’s Best Bet: Rabbitohs -8.0 @ $2.01 (Pinnacle Sports)
Time zone: Australia/Sydney (change)
 
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