NRL Preview Round 11: Storm v Sea Eagles

NRL Betting
Match Preview Recommended Bets
Melbourne Storm v Manly Sea Eagles
Saturday, May 19, 7:35pm (AEST)
AAMI Park, Melbourne
Best: Manly +6 ($1.91)
Value: Manly ($2.70)
First Tryscorer: Shaun Lane ($26)

The Storm could be very vulnerable this week, with Cameron Smith ruled out for the clash against the Sea Eagles. Brandon Smith comes into the starting side to replace Smith at hooker. The Sea Eagles broke a five-match losing streak last week, with an 38-24 upset win over the Broncos. It will do the world of good for the embattled Northern Beaches club and another upset could be on the cards here. Trent Hodkinson returns to Manly after a mid-season move from Cronulla and has been named on the interchange bench.

Melbourne are fourth on the ladder with a 6-4 record following their 28-14 win over Gold Coast. The Storm have won four of their last five games, posting 28 or more in those four wins. The Storm have the fourth best defence in the NRL and have conceded more than 14 points just three times this year. Melbourne have the second best attack in the NRL. Manly are 12th on the ladder with a 3-7 record following their shock 28-24 win over Brisbane at Suncorp. The Sea Eagles had dropped five straight into that win. Manly have conceded at least 18 points in six straight and rank 13th in defence. The Sea Eagles rank sixth in scoring.

Key Matchup
Cameron Munster v Daly Cherry-Evans: Munster has been in excellent form for the Storm in recent weeks, but will have to take on even more responsibility in attack this week, with Smith suspended and Jacks coming back from a concussion. There’s big question marks around the Storm’s ability to score points this week as Munster is more of a ball runner than organiser. Meanwhile, DCE is still pressing his claims for a QLD Origin berth and would love a points decision over Munster here. Cherry-Evans had a hand in two of the Sea Eagles tries last week and will once again be the focal point of their attack.

Stats That Matter
– Melbourne are 5-5 ATS with a 6-4 over record while Manly are 4-6 ATS with a 5-5 total number.
– The Storm have won three straight against the Sea Eagles and have dropped just three of the last 11 meetings.
– The Storm have a 4-1-1 record all-time against Manly at AAMI Park.
– Six of the last seven clashes between the teams have topped 41 points.
– Melbourne are 23-19 ATS with a 25-17 under record at AAMI Park with six covers in their last eight.
– The Storm have covered 7 of their last 10 at home when favoured by 6 or more.
– The Storm are 3-8 ATS with an 8-3 under record at AAMI after scoring 28 or more while they are 10-13 ATS with a 16-7 under record after conceding 14 or fewer.
– Manly are 21-28 ATS away from Brookvale since 2015 including just two of their last 14.
– Getting a start of 6 or more, the Sea Eagles are 13-8 ATS with a 14-7 under record.

NRL Betting Stats

Final Thoughts
This is once again a case of the statistics not backing up the recommended bets. The Storm have dominated the Sea Eagles in recent times, however Cameron Smith would have been a dominant presence in plenty of those Storm victories. The +6 looks to be generous for the Sea Eagles coming off a strong win against the Broncos and facing a Smith-less Storm side. The absence of Smith’s experience and direction will put plenty of pressure on Munster and Jacks to orchestrate the attack, while DCE will prove the difference for the Sea Eagles in a tight one.

How It’s Shaping Up
Manly by 2

Recommended Bets
Best: Manly +6 ($1.91)
Value: Manly ($2.70)
First Tryscorer: Shaun Lane ($26)