The Wolf’s Sporting Guide – August 18
There will be non-stop action this weekend! It’s do or die in the AFL and NRL as teams chase a finals spot while the Wallabies look to reclaim the Bledisloe after 14 long years.
NRL: Cronulla -4 @ $1.91 (v Nth Queensland) – Sat 7:30pm
The wheels are falling off the Cowboys’ season after three straight losses and no team has had a worse run with injuries this year. The Sharks have won three straight and five of the last seven against North Queensland and got the cash when they met earlier this year. Four of their last five encounters have totalled 39 or fewer points with the Under hitting the Cowboys last 10 games at home. A low scoring game will only help the Sharks further who have way more spark in attack. Coming off an embarrassing performance and in the hunt for a top 4 finish The Wolf is expecting a big response from the Sharks!
AFL: Brisbane +42.5 @ $1.91 (v Melbourne) – Sun 1:10pm
Brisbane at the line are a bet with the ridiculously big start. Melbourne are obviously a better team but there is no doubt this line is too big. Brisbane are 6-3 ATS at the MCG since 2012 and have covered in 7 of their last 9 interstate games. A deeper dive reveals that they are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 interstate games when getting a start of 40 or more points. Melbourne have covered just 4 of their last 17 after conceding 75 or fewer points so it all lines up for a Lions cover.
EPL: Both Teams To Score – YES @ $2.35 (Swansea v Man Utd) – Sat 9:30pm
Admittedly it was a good start to the season for the Red Devils but The Wolf warns us not to read too much into it. We are yet to see what they do on the road and Wales is not a place they have travelled well to. Swansea have won 2 of their last 3 at home to Man Utd and The Wolf has dug up some very interesting stats. Both teams have found the back of the net in 10 of the last 11 meetings across all competitions with Swansea scoring two or more in 3 of their last 6 EPL encounters. The Swans are undefeated in their last 6 league matches and have won their last 3 at Liberty Stadium and 6 of their last 8. They have scored multiple goals in 5 of those 8 matches and are a different team at home. They may also be boosted by the addition of Llorente who returned to full training this week. He has scored in his last 3 home games and led the Swans with 15 goals last season. The prices on offer for the Swans to score are insane!
Bledisloe Cup: Australia +16.5 @ $1.90 (v New Zealand) – Sat 8:00pm
Make no mistake this clash is far from a foregone conclusion. The Wallabies have as good a chance as any to knock the Kiwi’s off their perch and reclaim the Bledisloe in 2017. With no test at Eden Park and with the first of 2 tests in Australia, the Wallabies are every danger of producing a major upset over their arch rivals and go halfway to bringing the big trophy back after a 14 year hiatus. The Lions provided the framework and the Wallabies have had the last 4 weeks together to formulate and put into practice a plan on how best to rattle the greatest side in the world. If the men in gold are to start the Rugby Championship on a winning note they need to be clinical in their execution, you only get so many chances against the AB’s and for once the Aussies need to take them with both hands. Having said that, the Wolf has looked into his crystal ball and sees the the All Blacks showing their class and getting home in a relatively tight one.
EPL: Crystal Palace Over 1.5 goals @ $4.20 (v Liverpool) – Sun 12:00am
A full off season has failed to tighten the cracks in the Liverpool defence and last week against Watford they became craters. They look set to struggle yet again and their history against Palace tells the story. Liverpool have won just 6 of their last 16 against Palace across all competitions and have lost their last 3 at home to Palace in the league. Palace have scored multiple goals in 7 of their last 10 against the Reds with 3 or more total match goals in all of those matches. A Benteke double sank the Reds in the corresponding fixture last season and has scored the winning goal in 2 of the last 3 encounters – once for each team. Goals, goals, goals!
NRL: Canberra v Penrith – (Sun 2:00pm)
This is potentially the biggest match of Round 24 based on its finals implications with the Raiders needing to win out their games in order to make the top 8. The 10th placed Raiders can pack for Bali if they can’t overcome the Panthers, while the 6th placed Panthers could slide out of the Top 8 if they lose and the Sea Eagles, Cowboys and Dragons all win. The Raiders have named an unchanged line-up, while the Panthers will be without Peter Wallace (broken hand). Trent Merrin has been named on an extended bench for the Panthers and could be a late inclusion. Both sides love to throw the football around and a shootout is expected in Canberra on Sunday afternoon. The over is 17-10 when the Raiders are favoured by 4 or more at home while the over is 15-8 in Canberra day games. The home ground factor sways this one in favour of the Green Machine by a margin of 1-12.
Best: Over 43.5 ($1.88)
Other: Canberra 1-12 ($3.00)
Tottenham v Chelsea – (Mon 1:00am)
It was a contrasting opening round for two of the title contenders. Spurs continues where they left off last season but for the reigning premier’s things could not have gone worse. Captain Gary Cahill was given a straight red inside the opening quarter of an hour with Burnley running riot to take a 3-0 lead. A Morata goal on debut gave Chelsea a lifeline but Fabregas was then sent as the Blues finished with 9 players. As a result they will face their London rivals without Cahill, Fabregas, Hazard and Perdo. Continuity was the key to their success last year and The Wolf says this will be a genuine test. Tottenham are undefeated in their last 4 home EPL fixtures against Chelsea and will be looking to carry that form to their temporary home – Wembley. The way Spurs are playing right now you would want to have something on them no matter who, or where they are playing. The Eriksen, Alli and Kane show was in full force last week. Tottenham have scored at least 2 goals in 12 of their last 14 EPL fixtures and The Wolf says that streak will continue.
Best: Tottenham WIN ($1.95)
Value: Teams To Score – Tottenham Only ($3.40)