Canterbury Bulldogs v Manly Sea Eagles
Thursday, August 11, 8pm (AEST), ANZ Stadium, Sydney
|Best Bet: Under 38.5 ($1.90)
Other: Canterbury/Under 38.5 ($2.70)
Josh Reynolds First Try ($26.00)
Canterbury are back in the Top 4 and will look to solidify their spot with a win against a Manly team whose final ambitions took a massive blow when going down to Parramatta last Friday night.
Canterbury are unchanged. Manly welcome back Jamie Lyon with a reshuffle seeing Blake Leary drop out.
Canterbury and Manly have a long and storied history dating back to 1947, playing 124 times in premiership matches with the Sea Eagles victorious 63 times to the Bulldogs’ 56 with five draws. The teams met in the 1995 Grand Final with the Bulldogs scoring one of the great upsets in Grand Final history. The Bulldogs have had the best of it lately though with five straight wins dating back to 2014 including a 28-6 win in Round 1. The Bulldogs have also won 8 of the last 10. Canterbury have won 3 of the last 4 at ANZ. Eight of the last 11 matches between the two clubs have tallied less than 40 points. Canterbury coach Des Hasler, fullback Will Hopoate and bench player Tony Williams are all former Sea Eagles while Manly prop Nate Myles is an ex-fullback.
Canterbury are up to fourth on the ladder but are playing ordinary Rugby League after close wins against lowly St George Illawarra and Newcastle. Their +90 differential is fifth while they rank sixth in attack and fifth in defence. The Bulldogs have conceded more than 14 in four of their last five. Manly are now 11th on the ladder with an 8-12 record and a -41 differential, 11th in the premiership. They won four on the trot before an upset loss to Parramatta. The Sea Eagles have dropped their last five against Top 6 opposition, three by double digits.
Will Hopoate v Tom Trbojevic. These two fullbacks could not be more different in style. Hopoate is methodical, reliable, solid. Trbojevic is explosive, a match-winner, arguably the fastest player in the NRL. Their battle should have a huge bearing on this one.
Stats That Matter
Canterbury are 8-12 ATS with a 10-10 total record while Manly are also 10-10 ATS with an 11-9 under number. The Bulldogs have failed to cover their last five while they have gone under in three straight. Manly covered five in a row before their non-cover last week. Manly have covered just 2 of their last 6 getting a start of 6 or more. The Sea Eagles have gone under in 7 of their last 9 matches away from Brookvale Oval. Canterbury have covered 5 of their last 7 at ANZ, going over in five of them. They are just 2-6 ATS though when favoured at the ground by 6 or more. Home favourites of 6 or more on a 5-day backup are 19-12 ATS since 2013. Since 2008 teams who conceded 10 points or less and lost are 13-14 ATS with a 16-11 under record.
Canterbury are just 10-4 when leading at halftime this year while Manly have overcome 2 of 11 deficits.
It would take a game punter to rush in and back Canterbury in this spot after five non-covers but back to ANZ against fairly weak opposition they should be winning. Manly’s record against Top 6 teams is particularly uninspiring and they haven’t shown up recently when a big underdog. The best play though is to bet the under. Manly are an under team on the road while Canterbury’s attack has been poor.
How It’s Shaping Up
Canterbury by 7
Under 40.5 ($1.90)
Canterbury/Under 40.5 ($2.70)
Best First/Last Tryscorer
Josh Reynolds ($26.00)
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