The Wolf’s Sporting Guide – February 16
It’s another busy weekend in the sporting world! The Wolf has previews & recommended bets for A-League, Tennis, NBA, World Club Challenge and Super Rugby.
A-League: Wellington v Perth – (Sat 5:35pm)
Just when the Phoenix looked like getting something together they have crashed to three consecutive defeats.What’s worse is the fact that they have failed to find the back of the net in each of those matches and allowed 9 goals in the process. They look set to leak even more goals in this one… The Glory have scored multiple goals in 5 of their last 6 against the Nix including their last 3 trips to Westpac Stadium. They are the two worst defensive sides in the competition by some margin allowing a combined 79 goals. They are as bad as each other and with the Glory losing 6 of their last 7 we’d be crazy to have anything on them.This one will be all about goals, making Over 3.5 goals the best bet.
Best: Over 3.5 goals ($2.30)
World Club Challenge: Melbourne v Leeds – (Fri 8pm)
The Storm definitely have the stronger side on paper, but unfortunately they have only played the one trial match, whereas Leeds have played two tough matches in the Super League and should be starting to hit their straps. The injury toll to the Rhinos forward pack is a major concern, but The Wolf is more concerned about the Storm coming out flat, especially as they try to work out their combinations with a new No.7, whether it’s Brodie Croft or Ryley Jacks. The Storm have enough class across the board with the likes of Slater and Cameron Smith to get the job done, but the 22 line seems excessive. The Wolf will be sticking with the Rhinos with the big start.
Best: Leeds +22 ($1.90)
5th T20: New Zealand v Australia – (Fri 5pm)
New Zealand can secure their spot in the Tri-Series Final with a win over the unbeaten Australian side here. The Kiwis defeated England by 12 runs to record their first win of the tri-series and keep England winless in the process. Martin Guptill (65 off 45 balls) and Kane Williamson (72 off 46 balls) were the heroes at the top of the order for New Zealand as the Black Caps posted an imposing 5/196. It was a gallant run-chase from the English, with Dawid Malan (59 off 40 balls) and Alex Hales (47 off 24 balls) doing their best to get England home, but a mid-order collapse and some exceptional death-bowling from Trent Boult proved the difference. Meanwhile, Australia can play with very little pressure here after securing their place in Wednesday’s final. The final will also be played at Eden Park, so David Warner’s men will be treating this as a dress rehearsal. New Zealand have lost their last three T20I matches at Eden Park, and five of their last seven T20I matches at the venue. The Kiwis lost a T20I to Pakistan by 48 runs at Eden Park as recent as January. Pakistan batted first and posted an imposing total of 4/201, while New Zealand was bowled out for 153. The Wolf thinks a carefree Australian side could be very dangerous here, especially with the strength and depth of their batting line-up. If Pakistan could post 201 on this wicket, Australia could post a very big score and prove very tough to beat!
Best: Australia ($1.62)
AFLW Round 3: Dockers v Demons – (Sun 6.35pm)
A Dockers side full of confidence after a strong win over Collingwood last round faces a dominant Demons line-up that, worryingly for the competition, is still yet to fully hit their straps. Key forward Alyssa Mifsud returned last round, and despite a few cobwebs looked dangerous alongside Tegan Cunningham and Aleisha Newman- who both kicked two goals but it is the much publicised A-grade midfield that makes this Dees team so dangerous. Daisy Pearce, Karen Paxman, Elise O’Dea and Mel Hickey are all capable of 20+ disposals per game with high quality ball-use, while Lily Mithen, Ashleigh Guest and Richelle Cranston are very strong depth players that are all having strong seasons. The Wolf wants to go chips in on the Demons ($1.46) in this one, who have far too much firepower and experience for the Dockers. The home side, led by Dana Hooker and Kara Donnellan, will put up a gallant first half but fade in the second, giving the Dees a 3-0 start to the season and back to back 25+ point wins.
Best: Melbourne Demons -10.5 ($1.90)
Super Rugby: Lions v Sharks – (Sun 2:15am)
A rematch of last season’s qualifying final which saw the Lions victorious in a willing contest by 2 points sets up an intriguing Week 1 fixture. The Lions have been South Africa’s shining light in recent years making the final in the past 2 seasons to go down narrowly on both occasions to the Hurricanes and Crusaders. The Lions record over the past 2 seasons has been an impressive 25-5 under ex-head Coach Rohan Ackerman, although the Wolf sees this opening game as a dangerous encounter for the Lions. There’s no secret the Sharks will play to their strengths in a powerful forward pack and territorial kicking 5/8. This should enable them to keep the score close in a tight and gritty affair. There’s question marks over the style in which the Lions will adopt under new Head coach Swys de Bruin and whether it will be the expansive running rugby were used to seeing from the Lions. The score will be tight and expect it to be a brutal encounter.
Sharks 1-12 ($4.25)
All Star Game: Team LeBron v Team Stephen – (Mon 12pm)
The Wolf is absolutely shocked to see Team Stephen installed as underdogs for the main event! We don’t know what to expect from the new format but The Wolf says there will not be a dramatic change to what we have seen in the past. That means the keys to success are scoring, and in particular, 3-point shooting. If that is to be the case, Team Stephen should almost be double digit favourites. They have the Splash Brothers, the man who will win MVP this season – James Harden and the Greek Freak. Klay leads the league in 3-point percentage (45.4), Harden leads the league in 3-pointers made (206) and Steph is the greatest shooter ever. Then you have KAT who is shooting a remarkable 42.5% from deep (leads all centres) while Horford leads all power forwards at 43.6% from beyond the arc. It doesn’t stop there either… They have the reigning defensive player of the year in Draymond Green and the man who leads the league in point paints per game – Giannis Antetokounmpo. Throw in Dame Lillard who has scored 50, 39 and 44 in his last 3 games and you have a far superior side across the board. This is all without mentioning Steph Curry. No disrespect to Team LeBron but after having to make four replacements due to injury, The Wolf knows where his money will be.
Best Bet: Team Stephen +3.5 ($1.92)
All Star Game MVP: Giannis Antetokounmpo ($8.00)