|Match Preview||Recommended Bets|
|St George Illawarra Dragons v Canberra Raiders
Sunday, May 20, 2pm (AEST)
Glen Willow Oval, Mudgee
|Best: Canberra +9.5 ($1.91)
Value: HT/NT Double – Canberra/St George Illawarra ($7.50)
First Tryscorer: Gareth Widdop ($15)
The table-topping Dragons will be looking to bounce back against the Raiders in Mudgee after they were outmuscled by the Rabbitohs last week, while the Raiders lost the grind against the Sharks last week and need to start finding some consistency by string wins together. Blake Austin has been named for the Raiders after leaving the field injured against the Sharks last week.
St George Illawarra remain top of the ladder despite being handed a 24-10 loss to South Sydney. The Dragons have the best attack in the NRL while they rank second in defence. The Saints are a perfect 3-0 against teams outside the Top 8 this year with all wins coming by 18 or more. Canberra are 11th on the ladder with a 4-6 record. They rank fifth in scoring while they are a much worse 10th in defence. Canberra have won four of their last six. The Raiders have scored 16 or more points in all 10 games this year.
Jack de Belin v Josh Papalii: Jack de Belin played limited minutes against the Rabbitohs last week and will need a big performance here in the lead-up to Origin selection, with plenty of competition for back row spots in the NSW side. If he is fully fit, a strong 80 minutes should secure selection. Josh Papalii has been strong since making the move to lock and will have a big role to play to shut down the Dragons forwards working through the middle. He was heavily involved in the loss to the Sharks and would be considered a bolter for the Maroons at this stage, but another strong showing would throw his hat into the ring.
Stats That Matter
– St George Illawarra are 7-3 ATS with a 6-4 under record, having gone under in five of their last seven, while Canberra are 4-6 ATS with a 5-5 total record.
– The Dragons have won four of the last five against the Raiders after winning just once between 2002 and 2013.
– The last two matches have tallied 32 or fewer.
– There has been just one premiership game played in Mudgee with the total hitting 46.
– The Saints have covered just 3 of their last 12 when favoured by more than a converted try.
– The Saints are 18-6 under off a double digit loss.
– The Raiders have covered 9 of their last 12 getting a start of 6.5 or more and are 8-3 ATS after conceding 24 or more points.
The Wolf is backing the Dragons in head to head betting, but the 9.5 start to the Raiders looks very generous. It wasn’t long ago that the Green Machine were the bogey side for the Red V and it’s hard to see the Dragons blowing the Raiders off the field in a competitive contest in Mudgee.
How It’s Shaping Up
St George Illawarra by 6