NRL Preview: Dragons v Titans


NRL Preview
St George Illawarra Dragons v Gold Coast Titans

Friday, July 15, 8pm (AEST), Kogarah Oval, Sydney
Best Bet: Gold Coast +2.5 ($1.90)
Other:  Over 39.5 ($1.90)
Gold Coast 1-12 ($3.70)

With Parramatta stripped of 12 competition points, the race for the last two places in the Top 8 is well and truly on and the Dragons and Titans are two teams well and truly in contention. The Dragons were horrific in their last showing while the Titans have overachieved all season.

Selection Notes
Paul McGregor has dropped Tim Lafai with Kurt Mann replacing the former Bulldog in the centres. Tyson Frizell shifts to the front row with Jacob Host starting in the second row and Leeson Ah Mau going back to the bench. Gold Coast get Ash Taylor back at halfback, Konrad Hurrell in the centres and David Mead at fullback with Karl Lawton, Nathaniel Peteru and Ryan Simpkins all missing out. The Dragons have Josh Dugan and Tyson Frizell returning from Origin duty while the Titans don’t have a single player in State Of Origin III.

Origin Period Stats

The Dragons have won 11 of 16 all-time against the Titans including a 19-14 victory when the teams met on the Gold coast in Round 7. The Titans actually hold an all-time edge over the Dragons at Kogarah, winning two of the three matches played at the venue. Just one of the last six matches have been decided by more than a converted try. Gareth Widdop and Agnatius Paasi have both scored in each of the last two Dragons-Titans matches. Dragons winger Kalifa Faifai-Loa is a former Titan.

NRL betting odds database

St George Illawarra were embarrassed before the bye, thumped 36-6 by Manly where they were dominated in the centre of the field. The Saints are incredibly in 8th position with an 8-8 record despite their -125 differential, 15th in the NRL. The Saints rank 15th in attack and 8th in defence.  Against teams outside the Top 8 they are 5-2 this year. The Titans are one slot lower on the ladder, sitting 9th with a 7-9 record. Their differential is -23, also 9th in the NRL, with an 8th ranked attack and 10th rated defence. The Titans have won just one of their last four and have conceded 22-plus in five of their last six.

Round 19 NRL Odds

Key Matchup
Mitch Rein v Nathan Peats. Two hookers who have endured some difficulties this season, they will be extremely important in this match. Rein is an incredibly hard worker but has not provided the best service this year while his defence has been exposed up the centre. Peats is the better player but has had to shift clubs due to the Parramatta debacle. He will have plenty to prove against the man considered his main rival for the NSW No.9 jersey in 2017.

Stats That Matter
St George Illawarra are 9-7 ATS this season with a 11-5 under record while Gold Coast are 11-5 ATS with a 9-7 over number. The Titans have the best interstate record in the NRL, going 26-11 ATS with a 73% profit on turnover in head-to-head betting since 2013. This year they are 6-2 ATS interstate. As a small outsider since 2013, the Titans are 12-6 ATS while interstate getting less than 3.5 points they are 5-0 ATS. The Saints have covered six straight at Kogarah and are 9-5 under at the venue since 2013, including 6-3 under at night. Since 2013, teams off a bye who were beaten by 25-plus prior are 16-11 ATS while back to 2008 are 35-26 ATS. Since 2013 the Dragons are 6-10 ATS off a break of 10 or more days while the Titans are 7-7 ATS with the Dragons 10-6 over and the Titans 8-6 over.  The Titans have covered five straight at night. The under drops from 53% to 47% during the Origin period and is 15-27 this year. Favourites during the Origin period cover 55% of matches compared to 47% during the rest of the regular season and this season are 22-20 ATS.

In-Play Stat
St George Illawarra have won the final 20 minutes of a match just twice this year from 16 games. The Titans have a 4-0 record when leading at halftime.

Behind The Curtains

Final Thoughts
The Gold Coast Titans are an outstanding bet in this one and can be bet with confidence at the line and in head-to-head betting. Their interstate record demands that they are a bet while the Dragons’ embarrassing showing against Manly only confirms it. The Titans are a tough, hard-nosed team and against a meek Dragons side should get the chocolates.

How It’s Shaping Up
Gold Coast by 6

Best Bet
Gold Coast +2.5 ($1.90)

Best Exotic
Gold Coast 1-12 ($3.70)

Best First/Last Tryscorer
Zeb Taia ($26.00)

Other Recommended Bets
Over 39.5 ($1.90)