NRL Preview: Dragons v Titans

NRL Betting
NRL Preview
St George Illawarra Dragons v Gold Coast Titans
Saturday, August 12, 3pm (AEST) at UOW Jubilee Oval, Sydney
Best Bet: Gold Coast +8 ($1.91)
Other: HT/NT Double – Gold Coast/St George Illawarra ($7.50)

The wheels are falling off the Dragons’ season and they’ve now slipped out of the Top 8 after the Panthers win over the Tigers last week. They blew last week’s match against the Rabbitohs and must beat the Titans to keep their finals hopes alive. The Titans have dropped three straight by a combined score of 104-20 and will be playing for pride when they run out onto the field at Kogarah on Saturday afternoon. The Dragons have named Josh Dugan despite picking up an ankle injury against the Rabbitohs, with Kurt Mann on the bench as cover.

History
The Titans have won the last two meetings against the Dragons and have won three of the four all-time at Kogarah. The Titans won this year’s Round 17 clash on the Gold Coast 20-10, with winger Anthony Don scoring a hat-trick.

Form
St George Illawarra’s form has fallen off a cliff with just four wins in their last 13 games to drop them outside the Top 8. They have lost consecutive games as big favourites to Newcastle and South Sydney. The Saints have conceded at least 18 points in seven straight. Gold Coast were embarrassing on Saturday night, losing 54-0 at home to rivals Brisbane. The Titans are now 14th on the ladder with seven wins and 13 losses. Gold Coast have dropped three straight by a combined score of 104-20.

Key Matchup
Matthew Dufty v Jarryd Hayne: Dufty made an astonishing debut against Manly to kick off his NRL career and hasn’t looked out of place in his two matches since. He’ll be sniffing around the ruck and looking to capitalise on the Titans’ swiss chesse defence. Plenty of experts have been critical of Hayne over the years and the habit he has of going missing in matches. He was excellent in the Round 17 win over the Dragons, providing plenty of good touches and setting up two tries. Which Jarryd Hayne will turn up to Kogarah on Saturday?

Stats That Matter
– St George Illawarra are 10-10 ATS with an 11-9 under record while Gold Coast are 9-11 ATS with a 13-7 over record.

– Gold Coast have won the last two meetings against the Dragons and have won three of the four all-time at Kogarah.

– The Dragons have failed to cover seven straight as a favourite of a converted try or more.

– St George Illawarra are 11-5 ATS at Kogarah since 2014.

– The Titans are 25-14 ATS interstate since 2014 with a 15-10 ATS record when getting more than a converted try.

– Teams who conceded 50 last start are 35-20 ATS with a 34-21 over record.

– Teams off a loss of 50 or more are 11-3 ATS next start since 2008.

Final Thoughts
This is simply a must-win match for the Dragons if they have any aspirations of playing finals football. The Titans have been awful in their past two matches, but The Wolf is expected a determined effort here with their pride on the line. The +8 looks like a massive start for the Titans if you ignore their recent form and it’s not like the Dragons have been in the best of touch. The Dragons will get the job done, but The Titans will push them for the full 80 minutes. The $7.50 for the Titans/Dragons double definitely represents great value.

How It’s Shaping Up
St George Illawarra by 2.

Best Bet
Gold Coast +8 ($1.91)

Other Recommended Bets
HT/NT Double – Gold Coast/St George Illawarra ($7.50)

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