It may only be early into the NRL season, but the red pen is already out and looking at potential Top 8 teams. The Knights and Broncos, in particular, are receiving the third-degree this week.
Possible Top 8 Teams:
With just one win in the first five rounds that featured four games in Newcastle, there’s already half a line being put through the Knights on the list of possible Top 8 teams.
There are only so many ways you can say “it’s early days” before looking at what the Knights have dished up so far and truly admitting that they’re not up to it. Mitchell Pearce is in poor form. The forward pack hasn’t lifted as much as many expected. Meanwhile, Jesse Ramien isn’t receiving nearly enough touches of the football for someone of his calibre in attack.
The Knights have played a third of their home games already. For a club that has won just six of their 36 games on the road in the last three seasons, finding the 12 more wins this season with just eight more games at home is a big ask. There are better places to look than the Knights making the Top 8 at $2.90.
Top 4 Race
The market already has three of the NRL’s eventual Top 4 all but locked in.
Surprisingly, the Raiders are on the fourth line of betting at $3. Their NRL-best defence has inspired a 4-1 start to the season. Although, they’re yet to beat a team that finished in 2018’s Top 8.
The Dragons have made up for their slow start by winning three games on the trot. With Jack de Belin pleading his case in court this week, there’s a slim chance that the Red V gets their first-choice lock back for Round 6. They’re at an appealing $3.50 to finish in the Top 4.
Injuries are the biggest worry for the Sharks and their $4.20 price. Expected to be one of the better teams by the end of the season, this stint without Matt Moylan and Wade Graham may cost them too many wins to finish high on the ladder.
It’s Broncos that have seen the biggest blowout. At $2 at the end of Round 3 into $2.60 last week, Anthony Seibold and the 1-4 Broncos are way out at $5 to finish amongst the top four teams in the competition by the end of Round 25.
Highlight Play Of The Week
They may have already been 30 points ahead, but that didn’t stop the Dragons from ending their 40-4 thrashing of the Bulldogs with a contender for Try of the Year:
— NRL (@NRL) April 14, 2019
NRL Against The Spread
Like last week, the underdogs came up with the goods again. Teams with the headstart covered in five of the eight games in Round 5. The Tigers, Titans and Sea Eagles went further and won their games straight up as underdogs.
It’s no surprise to see the three most disappointing teams of the season so far at the bottom. The Broncos have struggled more than anybody expected while the Knights haven’t come close to reaching the lofty preseason expectations put on them.
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