A western derby kicks off Round 12, with Penrith hosting the struggling Parramatta Eels.
The Panthers have dominated recent clashes between these two sides, winning 9 of the past 14 meetings at this ground, including the past 2 straight.
They have also won 4 of the past 5 clashes at all venues against the Eels, and will relish the return of key players Wallace and Mansour for this encounter.
Remarkably, 12 of the past 13 meetings here between the two have recorded 40pts or more, so I think the current total offered by Bookmakers is a couple of points too low, so we’ll make that our play in this match.
Verdict: Total Match Points Over 37.5 at $1.91 with
Gold Coast vs Souths
Souths will be looking to continue their winning ways when they travel to the Gold Coast on Saturday afternoon to face the Titans.
Souths have a fair record here, winning the past 3 clashes at this ground, as well as winning 7 of the past 12 encounters with the Titans overall.
Clashes between the two have been generally low scoring, with just 4 of the 12 meetings recording over 40pts.
Add to this 9 of those 12 meetings have resulted in a winning margin of 1-12pts, so there appears to be some value with taking the visitors to win by this margin.
North Qld will look to keep their winning streak alive when they host an out of sorts Manly side on Saturday evening.
The Cowboys have won 6 of the past 11 against the Sea Eagles at this ground, with 4 of the past 5 here recording over 40pts.
Close games have tended to ensue, with 8 of the 11 meetings here being decided by a margin of 1-12pts, so with key players missing and Origin starts backing up, this could well be a smart angle to play.
With both halves backing up for the Cowboys and prop Matt Scott a doubtful starter, I certainly think the Cowboys have come up too short here.
That being said, I’m loathed to back Manly without start halfback Daly Cherry-Evans or given their 1/6 away record this year.
I think the home side will just get over the line here, so I’ll take them to win by 1-12 however don’t be surprised if there is an upset.
In the second of the local derbies this round, high flying St George host southern neighbours Cronulla at jubilee Oval on Sunday afternoon.
The Dragons have had all the recent running in meetings between these two, having won 10 of the past 13 home games against the Sharks and 5 of the past 7 clashes at this ground.
During this run the biggest loss the Dragons have suffered has been by just 4pts, so this further illustrates the dominance they have enjoyed over their rivals.
As with many derbies, low scoring can be the norm and this is no exception, with just 1 of the past 9 encounters between these two tallying Over 40pts.
Furthermore since 2008 at all venues, just once in the last 14 clashes has the total surpassed this same figure, so with the Dragons defence resembling Fort Knox at the moment it is difficult to see where the Sharks break through.
Verdict: Sharks Team Total Under 37.5 at $1.9 with
Roosters vs Melbourne
Two of the competition’s heavyweights clash on Monday night, when the Melbourne Storm travel to face the Sydney Roosters.
Unfortunately this clash will be heavily dependent on team news, with a host of players involved in Wednesday’s State of Origin clash.
The Roosters have won 7 of the past 9 clashes here against Melbourne, with 7 of the past 8 meetings recording 40pts or more.
Both sides share good records in Monday Night Football, with the Roosters winning their past 4 at home, whilst the Storm are ¾ with their loss coming via Golden Point.
As previously stated the key to this match will be which players back up after Origin, however assuming all are on deck for this clash I would slightly lean towards the Roosters.
My suggested play however will be the Overs in the Total Match Points market, as I could see somewhat of a fatigue factor here with players backing up, whilst both sides also enjoy throwing the ball around which may pave way for a few points.
Verdict: Total Match Points Over 35.5 at $1.91 with