Favourites backers throughout Round 18 of the 2019 NRL season will have their lunches sorted this week. Those with the headstart cashed in all weekend.

Favourites Cash In

What a week for NRL favourites backers!

Only the Warriors stopped it being a clean sweep for teams giving the head start both head-to-head and against the spread. Their last-gasp 19-18 win over the Sharks as +2 underdogs is the outlier in a week the favourites travelled as expected.

The largest clearance of the spread came from the Panthers. Entering their match as just -3.5 favourites, they thrashed the Dragons 40-18 to win their seventh game on the trot.

Purring Panthers

The round started by identifying “some holes in the six-game winning streak“.

There aren’t any holes in the seventh win, though.

Leaving little doubt that the improvements are real and that they are genuine contenders for the Top 8, the Panthers put the Dragons to the sword on Friday night.

They ran riot for 1,660 metres while breaking the line eight times. Nathan Cleary looked more comfortable in the halves with Jarome Luai adapting well enough to coming off the bench again. With the forwards finally consistently producing in the middle, there’s reason to believe this uptick in form is long-lasting.

It’s not enough to put Penrith amongst the genuine contenders in the premiership conversation. But it is enough to be confident in their $2.10 price to make the NRL’s Top 8.

Highlight PlayOf The Round

What’s scary about all of this is the Roosters didn’t look particularly good to start this game at all.

Looking clunky and out of sorts when attacking the Knights goal line, the Roosters only managed one try in the first half. It wasn’t until the Knights pulled to within two points that the Chooks turned their keys. From there, they ran in six tries in 25 minutes.

If this group can start games as well as they finished this one, their $3.35 to win the NRL premiership will take a nosedive.

NRL Against The Spread Ladder

The Sea Eagles did it again for punters in Round 18. Their eventual 36-24 win while covering the -5.5 spread was never in much doubt after the 26th minute on Sunday afternoon.

Meanwhile, those trying to catch the Titans’ ATS record moving back toward the mean will have been spending in their head after only seven minutes. Up 12-0 with a +10 headstart, the Titans looked like specials to at least cover the spread. The Storm soon arrived, though.

Sea Eagles12-5Cowboys8-9