Melbourne Storm v Brisbane Broncos
Friday, August 26, 8pm (AEST), AAMI Park, Melbourne
|Best Bet: Melbourne -5.5 ($1.91)
Other: Melbourne 13+ ($2.80)
Melbourne 19+ ($4.60)
Melbourne get a chance to secure the minor premiership on home soil when they meet rivals Brisbane on Friday. The Broncos though are fighting hard for a Top 4 berth and need a win to be any hope of securing a double chance. This is a huge clash with major finals ramifications.
Melbourne and Brisbane are both unchanged for this monster clash.
Melbourne have an incredible 26-12-1 record against Brisbane and have totally dominated the Broncos since 2004 winning 22 of the last 27 clashes. The teams met in Round 17 this year in Brisbane and the Storm decimated the Broncos 48-6 in one of the Broncos’ most humiliating ever defeats. Brisbane have not scored more than 14 in the last six matches between the teams with the Storm posting 26-plus in 9 of the last 14. Melbourne hold a 4-2 all-time record at AAMI. Suliasi Vunivalu scored three tries when the teams last met.
Melbourne lead the premiership with an 18-4 record and a +251 differential that is clear best in the NRL. They have lost just twice since Round 6 while they have the clear top defence in the NRL conceding just 12.3ppg. Since Round 11 they rank top in defence and third in attack. Brisbane remain sixth on the ladder with a 13-9 record and a +100 differential. They have won three on the trot after claiming just 1 of their previous 5. Since Round 11 the Broncos rank 12th in attack and 14th in defence.
Cameron Smith v Andrew McCullough. Smith is the greatest of all-time and has shown no signs of slowing down. And he always lifts against Brisbane, whom he seems to enjoy beating more than most teams. McCullough gets few raps but is integral to Brisbane’s success. His defensive work is incredible but he doesn’t get the credit he deserves for his role in Brisbane’s attack.
Stats That Matter
Melbourne are 13-9 ATS with a 15-7 under record while Brisbane are 10-12 ATS with an 11-11 total number. The Broncos have covered just 3 of their last 11 while Melbourne have gone under in 5 of their last 6. Road dogs less than 6 are 22-15 ATS off a win in the final seven rounds of the season with a 22-15 under record. Home favourites off a win of 20 or more are 36-18 ATS in the last seven rounds of the year since 2008 with single digit home favourites an incredible 30-9 ATS. The Storm are 6-2 ATS in their last eight as a single digit favourite. The Storm have covered 5 of their last 6 home games. The Storm are 11-5 under at home when favoured by less than eight. Brisbane have covered just 2 of their last 9 games away from Suncorp though they have covered four straight getting 4.5 or more. The Broncos are 5-9 ATS on the road after conceding 10 points or fewer.
Melbourne are 15-1 when leading at halftime while Brisbane are 0-7 when trailing.
Melbourne, Melbourne, Melbourne all ways and all the other ways. The Storm have historically whipped the Broncos and there is no reason to believe we won’t see something similar here. There is a tremendous angle for the Storm here with home single-digit favourite in the final seven rounds of the year off a 20-plus win 30-9 ATS. The Storm should have few problems exposing the Broncos’ questionable defence on the edges.
How It’s Shaping Up
Melbourne by 20
Melbourne -5.5 ($1.91)
Melbourne 13+ ($2.80)
Best First/Last Tryscorer
Suliasi Vunivalu ($8.00)
Other Recommended Bets
Melbourne 19+ ($4.60)