The Roosters rallied back to remind everybody of their premiership credentials in Round 15 of the 2020 NRL season while questions still surround the Eels.
Here’s how Round 15 looked for punters:
Evaluating The Eels
The Parramatta Eels are $1.03 to finish in the Top 4, $3 to make the NRL Grand Final and $6.50 for the premiership. They sit 3rd on the ladder and look a good chance at securing a home run through to the big dance. It all sounds pretty good, right?
The question is how good?
Parramatta has been blessed with a kind draw. That kindness extended further to playing an injury-ravaged Melbourne Storm on the rare occasion the Eels have played an elite team in 2020. While any win over Melbourne is one to celebrate, to only beat them 14-0 given the circumstances is fairly underwhelming.
There is no doubt that the Eels will be there at the pointy end of the season. Will they go better than 2019 when losing 32-0 to the Storm in Week 2 of the Finals?
Panthers Punish Sharks
No Shaun Johnson hurt the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, but the Penrith Panthers went out and did what was required to earn the convincing 38-12 win on Friday night. Liam Martin played a blinder as he gave Matt Moylan nightmares while defending on the edge. Fresh off signing a new contract, Martin ran riot for a try, 159 running metres, two line breaks, a try assist and seven tackle breaks.
He’s the sort of player that punters should be looking at when assessing Penrith’s $2 to make the Grand Final and $4 for the premiership. The likes of Nathan Cleary, Viliame Kikau and Api Koroisau receive the plaudits for Penrith’s biggest wins. However, it’s the role players – Martin, Dylan Edwards, Jarome Luai etc – that will go a long way to deciding how far the Panthers go in 2020.
Roosters Rallying Back
Well, we said not to count the Sydney Roosters out last week…
Then taking the Roosters at -7.5 against the Wests Tigers was the play.
The tri-colours made it look easy in the end. Four first-half tries laid the foundations for the 38-16 win despite the Tigers offering the slightest sign of a possible comeback after oranges. Brett and Josh Morris traded try-scoring opportunities to finish with four meat pies between them as the Tigers edge defence continued to struggle against a remotely competent attack.
With Boyd Cordner, Angus Crichton and Daniel Tupou still to come back, the Roosters aren’t close to their best. That’s what makes their $2.10 to make the Grand Final and $4 for the premiership so appealing. No team times their run better than the Roosters. Count them out at your own peril.
Game Saver Moment Of The Round
There was no need for the Game Saver token for those on the right side of the ledger this week. All eight teams leading after 60 minutes went on to take the chocolates. Although, St. George-Illawarra Dragons punters will have been sitting a little more comfortably as Tom Dearden gave the Brisbane Broncos hope in the 71st minute.
NRL Against The Spread Standings
The Broncos fought back to cover the +7.5 line in Round 15. Maybe, just maybe, the Queensland club has bottomed out? They’re $10.20 underdogs to the Roosters this week.
NRL PREMIERSHIP MOVES
|Storm (10-5)||Roosters (7-8)|
|Sharks (10-5)||Dragons (7-8)|
|Knights (9-5-1)||Bulldogs (7-8)|
|Panthers (9-6)||Titans (6-9)|
|Raiders (8-6-1)||Cowboys (6-9)|
|Eels (8-7)||Sea Eagles (6-9)|
|Warriors (8-7)||Tigers (5-9-1)|
|Rabbitohs (7-7-1)||Broncos (5-10)|