NRL Preview: Dragons v Tigers


NRL Preview
St George Illawarra Dragons v Wests Tigers

Sunday, July 24, 4pm (AEST), ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Best Bet: Wests Tigers -4.5 ($1.90)
Other: Wests Tigers HT/FT ($2.05)
Wests Tigers 13+ ($3.25)

The Dragons and the Tigers are outside the Top 8 looking in but a win in this all-important clash could be the decisive game that determines a finals run or not.

Selection Notes
Benji Marshall is back for the Dragons while Taane Milne and Adam Quinlan are into the back five. Josh McCrone, Kalifa Faifai-Loa and Tim Lafai have all been dumped. The Tigers get Origin starts James Tedesco and Aaron Woods back with Josh Addo-Carr, JJ Felise and Jacob Liddle dumped along with Robbie Farah.

The Dragons have won 17 of the 31 all-time matches against the Tigers. The teams met twice last year with the Saints winning the ANZ clash 32-30. The Dragons have won three of the last four matches – all at ANZ – and hold a 6-4 advantage all-time at the venue. Four of the last five matches between the teams have topped 40 points. James Tedesco has crossed in his last three games against the Dragons. The Dragons team contains former Tiger legend Benji Marshall.

NRL betting odds database

The Dragons are 10th on the ladder with an 8-9 record though their -145 differential is second worst in the NRL. The Saints have the second worst attack to go with the ninth rated defence.  They have lost their last two by an average of 25 points – both against opponents outside the Top 6 – while they have conceded 30-plus in four of their last seven. The Tigers are one spot lower in 11th with a 7-10 record. Their -87 differential ranks 13th while they have the ninth ranked attack and 15th rated defence.  The Tigers have won four of their last seven and four of their last five against non-Top 8 opposition.

Round 20 NRL Odds

Key Matchup
Gareth Widdop v Mitchell Moses.   Both have endured difficult seasons, to say the least. Widdop has lost all form and has been arguably the worst No.6 in the premiership the last month. Moses is a terrible defender but has a running game that can damage. Widdop is the class but Moses has the form. Who will triumph?

Stats That Matter
The Dragons are 9-8 ATS with an 11-6 under record while the Tigers are 8-9 ATS with a 10-7 over number. The Tigers are riding a three-game over streak and have covered their last two while the Dragons are also riding a three-game over streak. Days games at the backend of the year go over at a rate of 59%. The Dragons have covered just 1 of their last 5 at ANZ while the Tigers have covered three straight.  The Tigers are a poor 3-13 ATS in their last 16 day/twilight matches while the Saints have covered 5 of their last 7. The Tigers are 6-13 ATS as a favourite  since 2013 including 4-7 ATS when favoured by more than a try (8-3 under in said situation). The Saints are 3-9 ATS in their last 12 getting a start of 4.5 or more and 3-6 ATS in said situation off a loss of 20 or more. The Saints are 8-12 ATS and 13-7 under after conceding 30 points. Teams who conceded 30 points prior to a bye are 23-17 ATS and 23-17 over since 2013.

In-Play Stat
Neither team has overcome a halftime deficit with the Dragons 0-9 and the Tigers 0-6 when trailing after 40 minutes.

Behind The Curtains

Final Thoughts
The Dragons are no good at all and with Josh Dugan absent the Tigers look good things in this one. They have the best player on the paddock in James Tedesco as well as the best forward. The Saints have almost no attack with their predictability truly something to behold. The Tigers know their level and perform well against ordinary teams while the Saints look to be in free-fall.

How It’s Shaping Up
Wests Tigers by 14

Best Bet
Wests Tigers -4.5 ($1.90)

Best Exotic
Wests Tigers HT/FT ($2.05)

Best First/Last Tryscorer
James Tedesco ($10.00)

Other Recommended Bets
Wests Tigers 13+ ($3.25)