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NRL | Round 24 | 2022


Preview | Round 24 | 2022

MrG’s handicaps, recommended plays and preview notes for this weeks NRL action

Recommended Bet List

Bet 2.5 units Broncos-Eels over 46.5 $1.90

Two teams that have combined this season to date have produced 61% points over results, plus Broncos at home also profiles for high scoring games 

Bet 2.5 units Roosters +4.5 $1.90

Think the market position is too big, like the way their big men set the platform through the middle

Bet 2.5 units Storm-Roosters over 42.5 $1.90

7 of last 9 at this ground have produced points over, while both have quality defence profiles they both also like to playing attacking ball movement, market position looked too low 

Bet 2.5 units Sharks-Bulldogs over 48.5 $1.90

Sharks attack and ball shift should trouble and open up Bulldogs who looked to have all but conceded for the season, Bulldogs have leaked 42pts at each of their last two games

Bet 1.5 units Rabbits-Cowboys over 47.5 $1.90

The last 4 between these two have produced 48pts or more with the last two at 60+, both have points and can leak

Bet 2.5 units Dragons -7.5 $1.90

Tigers injury decimated list looked to have all but given up for the season, Dragons still look interested and produced 46 points last week against an opponent with better credentials than this

Bet 3.5 units Titans-Knights over 51.5 $1.90 BB

Sunday arvo game on dry track with two teams who each already leak 28pts a week season to date, looks a very open attacking loose game with very high points

BB – Indicates Best Bet

Any longer term plays that have been recommended in prior weeks will be listed at the base of this message

My Game Handicaps for this round

+3.5 Broncos v Eels

-25.5 Panthers v Warriors

-2.5 Storm v Roosters

-9.5 Raiders v Eagles

+19.5 Sharks v Bulldogs

-4.5 Rabbits v Cowboys

+11.5 Tigers v Dragons

-7.5 Titans v Knights

Game Tips

Eels, Panthers, Roosters, Raiders, Sharks, Cowboys, Dragons, Titans

Game Previews


+3.5 Broncos v Eels

Ground: Brisbane

+3.5 market line

48.5 total points (market position)

Broncos have lost 3 of last 4 at home

Eels has won 5 of last 6 v Broncos

Eels have won 4 of last 5 at the ground

Broncos have failed to cover the line in each of their last 4 games

As we have discussed through the last few weeks the Broncos season has very quickly hit the wall losing 3 of their last 4 and in each of those 3 heavy defeats conceding 60, 34 and 32. The whispers through recent weeks are now getting louder that Coach Walters flogged them through their pre season wanted to start hard and fast early into their season and try and get early wins and results yet now his list looked to have run out of gas for the last month of a grueling season.

I could find angles to argue for either team here but I lack any real confidence or conviction of who turns up. The Broncos off such a big loss and at home are in a strong bounce back spot, plus with the elevated focus of their recent poor offering they are due to have a week of digging deep and trying to find something and we have seen over the last 18 months that Walters can occasionally get them up for a surprise offering. But how much have they got left mentally and physically given how quickly they have crumbled into the second 40 through recent weeks.

The Eels are mentally also hard to catch. Off two positive wins (Panthers, Eagles) they then failed to score or even worry the Rabbits and then took their time to open up and dominate a weak Bulldogs last week. Moses back certainly makes a difference and their overall recent record over the Broncos has been good. But they can be prone to complacency.

The Eels strength here should be through the middle, where the Broncos have also been short. Campbell-Gillard and Paulo are big bodies that can dominate yardage and bend the line, and Paulo has an excellent off load game that can produce quality second phase play options. With a little room they also then have nice strike on each edge with their two back rowers in Lane and Papali’i, and with any room to play Moses and Brown can create opportunity. Their best of the last 4 weeks is certainly strong for for this.

Like the markets I have handicapped the Broncos off a number that still credits their overall form this season to date, and not just the recency bias of some of the rubbish they have offered in their last 3 defeats – but with no confidence. But the game does profile with attack, points and some likely loose defence in it, this ground and atmosphere encourages attacking play while they both (in particular the Broncos) can leak 20 to 30 points. I marked the total 50 to low 50 points and thought the points over looked the best play here. 


-25.5 Panthers v Warriors

Ground: Penrith

-29.5 market line

51.5 total points (market position)

Warriors have lost their last 11 games in Australia

Panthers have covered the line at 13 of the last 18 head to head match ups

Panthers get two key player returns here with Luai and Fisher-Harris back while the Warriors also get Chanel Harris-Tavita back from injury.

It seems the news of the pending return of Luai and Fisher-Harris got out early last Monday which then saw a massive move in the markets with the line moving from 20.5 to 29.5 within hours – and then Tuesday afternoon confirmation came when team lists were announced. They now have a near full strength team and importantly get the big body work and leadership back in the middle and the link and skillful play of Luai in particular on his favoured left edge – which also should bring Kikau more into play.

The Warriors have been a bit up and down through the last 6 weeks but clearly are not travelling and playing abroad with the same level of interest and intensity as they have done at home now losing their last 11 games abroad and in match ups like last week when up against teams at the top of the table then leaking big numbers. I expect more of the same here, and as we know the Panthers at home is one of the toughest road games on the calendar.

The market looks somewhere right and the Panthers at home can probably just go through the motions here and come away with a 30 point margin win. The total points position also reflects something similar, although I have questions on what the Warriors end up contributing and so a 40-6 sort of game score still falls well short of 52. A dead rubber game happy to leave well alone.


-2.5 Storm v Roosters

Ground: Melbourne

-4.0 market line

45.5 total points (market position)

Storm have covered the line in each of the last 5 head to head games with Roosters

8 of the last 9 Roosters games have produced high totals and points over results

What a great match up just a few weeks out form the finals, and some what critical to both teams toward their final seedings on the table and then likely draw into September.

Bellamy once again has done an outstanding job of balancing things up with his group and getting them back on the right track from where they were only just 4 or so weeks ago. Four straight losses and a horrible injury toll looked to have put their season on the line and all but in free fall but unlike others he’s been able to slowly get their heads right, get an outstanding response and leadership role from Munster, get some key players back each week and add in a much needed edge finisher in Nofoaluma and so turn their role into a four game winning run.

There has been patches of the last few weeks that has been very good (16-0 at Penrith, 60-6 in Brisbane) but I still have some lingering questions over the real depth and quality of those games. The Panthers had a very depleted team list and while the Storm held them with an excellent defensive offering they didn’t really have many questions asked of them and didn’t go on with the job in the second half (zero points). Flogging the Broncos at present also looks a very thin form reference, and add into that the fact they they have a massive hold mentally over the Broncos these days it was more a walk in the park training run than anything else. This match up is very different, and a very good test.

The Roosters have also been building nicely and I’d suggest right now have the strongest quality of form. They have won 6 straight, many of those wins have been soft, but its the way they have done what they are doing that is impressive. Adding Lodge to the middle and how he has been used and clearly the quality of work the coach has done on his fitness and attitude (discipline) has been a game changer, and any quality of form starts with your big men through the middle and in Lodge and Waera-Hargreaves they now have two of the best – and in some form. The return of Verrills and Keary and then match fitness and form of Radley has then added to this, then the emergence of Joseph Suaalii and what a star talent he is going to be (and they now have two of the  best wing finishers in the comp). They were a massive risk of missing the top 8 just six weeks ago or at best maybe just squeaking in at the bottom, they now have these two final games (Storm, Rabbits) to build on their statement of form and position themselves as a real contender.

What the Roosters are doing is hard to stop, and I have maintained all season long that when up against the strong physical middles at the top of the table the Storm still look one big man short due to the long term injury to Welch – and we will once again see this tested here. The Roosters to now this week have Taukeiaho and Collins named to return, they might wait one more week with Collins, but this also becomes a game changer as it means they then have a 3 and or 4 big man rotation and can maintain the big body pressure through the middle 20 to 30 minute period of the game. All of this then bends the line, drives strong yardage and physical muscle, draws into multiple defenders, creates wear and tear and then some room for the smarts of their halves and then back five to play off.

Cracking game and the whole match up. Storm at home and they have won the last 5 head to head and won 4 of the last 5 head to head when in Melbourne up against the form building big physical Roosters offering. I’m convinced the battle through the middle and what I expect the Roosters can do here is the difference and can provide the platform, but the Storm will be good. I think the Roosters win, the plus line position looked to advantage. 

The Storm when at home will normally produce points (7 of the last 9 here have been over) plus the Roosters recent run has also seen 8 of their last 9 games produce big scores and go over, while they will both be out to make some defensive statements I still expect that the game shape and momentum will see the attacking skill, ball shift and speed / finishing of both teams shine and we will see points. I thought the original market position for points looked too low.


-9.5 Raiders v Eagles

Ground: Canberra

-14.5 market line

52.5 total points (market position)

Raiders have a very poor record at covering the line at home with just 13 of last 37 and 2 of last 11 when a home day game

Raiders have something to play for, the Eagles don’t, and the Eagles have offered very little care or attitude about what they have been doing through recent weeks.

As we know, the problem with the Raiders is them having any preparedness to really want to put a game and an opponent to the sword. Six weeks ago they had their attitude and intensity right and a point to prove for their season when they went to Melbourne and came away with a quality win, since then its been some ho hum stuff, doing just enough to win or in the instance when at home v a very depleted Panthers a horrible attitude offering. The led the Dragons with some comfort and then only hung on late to win, then took a long time to get going and get serious last week in Newcastle to come from 14 down late in the game to win. The demise of the Broncos and then the big differential points swings against them over the last month has now opened the door for them, two wins to finish these last two rounds (Eagles then Tigers) and they control their destiny and a top 8 finals spot.

Eagles have now lost 5 straight and internally are a mess. It’s now complete guess work if they aim up at all or what they might offer, some of the stuff they’ve put up as defence through the last few weeks has just been horrible.

On what the Eagles on paper could offer I can’t get this game to a 16 point gap or handicap, but I have zero trust in either of them and no interest in getting involved or any particular angle. Raiders should win, Eagles could cover, its a 3pm day game with a good weather forecast so we should also see points, but a game just best left alone and a hope that the Raiders so well enough to just win.  


+19.5 Sharks v Bulldogs

Ground: Cronulla

-22.5 market line

50.5 total points (market position)

Sharks have won their last 8 games when favourite

Sharks have won 8 of the last 10 head to head

Another game where some got hold of the betting early and we have seen a very significant move of near 8 to 9 points at the line. Clearly news of some further Covid issues at the Bulldogs got out to some, Thompson now out and Stimson a withdrawal with a leg infection and then we don’t know if there is likely any further late changes. The Sharks will be without Tracey and so have a reshuffle with Mulitalo to centre and Ikuvalu on to a wing.

The Bulldogs look now to have put up the white flag for the season losing their last 3 and now leaking soft points, 28 to the Cows, 42 to to the Warriors and then last week 42 to the Eels, and just opening up a will. Shark Park is a tough place to visit let alone do so when you have seemingly lost your will in defence.

Sharks keep rolling along with 4 straight wins and pending the Cowboys results  a shot at 2nd spot on the table. They were good last week (Eagles at Brookvale) but a thin opponent offering and this looks something similar.

Happy to leave well enough alone now, Sharks likely cover the market line but I don’t want to play with a 24 point position, but the game does look and profile to have points in it. We get a 5.30pm arvo game slot and a ref who likes to let the game open up and they play some footy, plus an underdog who has been leaking plenty of points through the last 3 games. Looked another high scoring points game.


-4.5 Rabbits v Cowboys

Ground: Homebush

-6.5 market line

50.5 total points (market position)

Rabbits have won the last 6 straight head to head

Good game this and plenty at stake for both. Rabbits move Burgess up and into their 17 and make a change on their right wing edge. Cowboys lose Dearden for a few weeks and move Drinkwater to #6 and Tabuai-Fidow to #1 and have a key forward in with the return of quality backrower Gilbert.

The Rabbits have had a good overall record head to head winning the last 6 straight and are advantaged at home (Homebush) where they do play well (but come off a loss here last week). I was disappointed with the Rabbits game offering last week, yes they could have won and they spoilt the obvious plays, but their intensity just wasn’t there and they looked to have this expectation of waiting for someone else to do the business like Latrell or Cody as opposed to a really motivated all in offering. Maybe a flat week, maybe some complacency in as expected favs against a depleted Panthers, but there was a big difference in will and attitude between those two in the contest last week. There is no doubt that at their best they are a real contender in this competition but these one off flat spots is a concern especially when they played with a very strong list. They’ll need to be much better here.

I think this is a big focus game for the Cowboys and they come here with a point to prove. Clearly they have been very good this season and have the chance to finish either 2nd or top 4 but there remains a question over them being able to go with and or beat the teams at the pointy end of the table with them yet to have a clear cut resounding win when one of these opponents have been at or near to full strength. They also came to Sydney two weeks ago for the match up with the Roosters and then got dusted up, but I can cut them some slack with a horrible few days lead in with the tragic passing of Paul Green and how emotional and unsettling that could have been for many of them. Coach Payten made some key observations as to how they had lost their way early and just didn’t get into the physical and muscle parts of the game and let Waera-Hargreaves and Lodge dominate the middle and overall lacked some intensity and urgency to their defence. They would have been very disappointed off that, went back home, regrouped and then as expected gave the Warriors a working over. But this week is now the key. Step up, and stand up and be counted, and in particular make a much needed statement with their defence. I expect that they can and do, Mclean is getting better each week with match fitness as to Cotter plus they now get Gilbert back and they then have the likes of Nanai, Leilua and Neame who can do some smart things on an edge, overall about their best forward line up for some time. Dearden is clearly a key out, but I think this game is decided through the middle this week.

I am somewhere around 4 to 4.5 between them and do like the Cowboys to have a point to prove and really give this a shake, but an excellent contest. What do each bring now that it matters and they each have something on the line. Both also profile for points, the last 4 between them have produced 48pts or more with the last two producing 60+, both have points and both can also leak some, I think again we see n attacking game and it gives the points over a decent shake.


+11.5 Tigers v Dragons

Ground: Parramatta

-9.5 market line

44.5 total points (market position)

Tigers have now lost 10 of their last 11 games

If the Dragons offer something like they have through recent weeks then they can dominate and win with reasonable comfort here against a very thin list and offering.

Tigers have been whacked with a long list of injury outs, missing players (elsewhere) and what now looks like an overall couldn’t give a flying you know what attitude to these final weeks of the season and lets just get out of here. They have issues at the top, issues around staff and coaching, numerous people being sacked internally each week and then a team list lacking multiple key players, direction and leadership. This week is a step a level back from what they met in the Roosters last weekend, but there should still be a decent gap if the Dragons bring some pressure.

While the Dragons are out of contention they do look to have still had a crack through the last few weeks, maybe the fact that they are out of contention and focus there is no pressure and they are playing a more relaxed game, this looks much like last week (Titans) where they face a defence that doesn’t offer much pressure or physicality and can easily leak points and should again suit some of their ball play. With Amone, Ramsey, Lomax and Bird they have strike and points in them.

The Tigers are now conceding 28 points a week season to date and have opened up quickly and easily through the last two weeks like a team that no longer has anything to play for but count down the days till seasons end, I’m happy to oppose and the Dragons efforts and likely more relaxed ball shift should find points and a margin.


-7.5 Titans v Knights

Ground: Robina

-6.5 market line

55.5 total points (market position)

4 of the last 5 Titans games have produced points over

6 of the last 8 match up between these two have produced 50 or more points

Another two teams with nothing to play for but this does look very much like a game of near touch football where defence looks optional.

The Titans over the last two weeks have been more positive and relaxed and had this preparedness to want to ball shift and attack, plus I think they took some internal relief and confidence out of their big home win over the hopeless Eagles. Campbell at #1 makes things happen, their ball shift approach suits Brimson and Boyd has been good at #7 and a positive step up form where they had been. Back at home with an afternoon game on a good surface knowing what they did here just two weeks ago i expect again delivers something similar.

The Knights could be anything here. They were certainly more positive with the ball last week, and expansive, but they can also leak points at will and or lay down, so we could well see all of that here. They also have a road trip to the Gold Coast in the final weeks of the season with no real care about what they are doing, as I said this could really open up and they could well get engaged in wanting to play for points and or chase points.

The Titans are probably the right spot at home at about a -6.0 position, but trying to handicap this game was like throwing darts. Only weeks ago the Titans went to Newcastle under some expectation of turning up and offering a good account of themselves to completely crumble with what has to be one of their worst offerings over the last 5 years and be flogged 38-12. But maybe a more relaxed approach with nothing now to play for and now expectation will suit. The Knights are very much a similar profile. I’m with the Titans at home, but the game just looks to have loose defence and lots of attack and points in it and we could and should see a big score.


Longer Term Recommended Bet List

Bet 5 units Storm to win Minor Premiership $4.75 Tabcorp

Bet 2 units Storm Regular Season Handicap Minor Premiership off Scratch $12.00 Topsport

Bet 4 units Sharks Top 4 $2.75

Bet 4 units Dragons Top 8 $3.75 Tab

Bet 2 units Dragons Minor Premiership Handicap +18.5 pts $9 Tab (listed under Futures – Season Points Handicap)

Bet 5 units Dragons wins over 8.5 $2.10 Sportsbet

Bet 2 units Warriors Most Losses $8.00 ($10 is available Sportsbet and Pointsbet)

Bet 4 units Roosters to miss top 8 $3.90

Bet 4 units Raiders Top 8 $2.70
Futures – to Win Premiership
Bet 2 units Cowboys $8.00
Bet 1.25 units Broncos $13.00
Bet 1.1 units Rabbits $15.00
Bet 1.15 units Roosters $14.00
Goal is to stake each bet to collect 16 unit return
Futures – to Make Grand Final
Bet 3.6 units Cowboys $2.80
Bet 2.40 units Broncos $4.20
Bet 1.1 units Rabbits $9.00
Bet 1.35 units Roosters $7.50
Goal is to stake each bet to collect 10 unit return


Our likely weekly outlay is 6 to 10 units, with the recommended units bet indicated next to each bet in the bet list. The base bet is 1 to max 5 units (and this is also a reflection of confidence.

Everyone chooses to bet in different bet sizes, from differing betting banks (the personal funds they put aside for betting). Some will bet $20 per bet, some $200 per bet. So as to keep things simple and clear for everyone to follow we then talk in bet units. Our advice is to decide what size betting unit is likely to work for you and call this your betting unit, remembering that you may have approx. 5 to 10 units of recommended outlay per week per sport and that you also run the risk of losing.

Handicapping a game and my approach

First and foremost I work off what I see. I watch every game, some multiple times and keep various notes, having coached for 16 yrs I look at a game a little more differently than most and am looking at how the play and patterns unfold, strengths and weakness.

I then also work to a set of rating numbers which are influenced off what I am seeing and then various parameters. I rate every team out of 100 to start the season and re rate these numbers every Monday based on current form, win loss and performance to both my numbers and the markets.

Then for each individual game I work through what looks the potential match up. Team A number, plus or minus key team changes, plus any home ground advantage vs Team B number, plus or minus key team changes, then factor in away and or travel record and if there has been a decided advantage one way or the other in the match up. I than arrive at a number between the two teams.

The market setters are doing the same when they put their positions up, in the background they have a few key analysts doing a similar number approach to then set what they think looks and approximate gap between the two teams with a lean to creating a likely market position that might attract punters on both sides.

Home Ground. As a guide these days I work off an approx number of 2.0 pts for home ground, as long as it is a true home ground advantage. 3 or more yrs ago this was higher but with full time professional teams the gap has closed. Some teams then tho will have a higher home advantage and or more advantage if playing teams doing distant travel – it is never a single position fits all.

Game Notes Preparation

FYI, with the introduction of Thursday night games in recent years it is now near impossible with the work and list of things that I chose to do to have all game previews written and finished until late in each week or early Saturday am. With the final team lists not announced until Tuesday afternoon, which I then re rate against (current performance, key ins and outs / final team lists and then look to handicap each up coming game then consider a range of form and match up factors towards final potential bets and written game previews. In short with team lists announced late Tuesday that then leaves two days to work through these tasks. I will focus the first preview notes at any game that has a recommended bet so that any key factors and reasoning is then known in advance, and then be working through each game there after in order of day and time (from Thursday onward).

Then for each individual game I work through what looks the potential match up. Team A number, plus or minus key team changes, plus any home ground advantage vs Team B number, plus or minus key team changes, then factor in away and or travel record and if there has been a decided advantage one way or the other in the match up. I than arrive at a number between the two teams.

The market setters are doing the same when they put their positions up, in the background they have a few key analysts doing a similar number approach to then set what they think looks and approximate gap between the two teams with a lean to creating a likely market position that might attract punters on both sides.

Home Ground. As a guide these days I work off an approx number of 2.0 pts for home ground, as long as it is a true home ground advantage. 3 or more yrs ago this was higher but with full time professional teams the gap has closed. Some teams then tho will have a higher home advantage and or more advantage if playing teams doing distant travel – it is never a single position fits all.

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