The Wolf’s Sporting Guide – March 31
It’s the biggest weekend in sport this year with NRL, AFL, EPL, A-League, Super and the finals of the Miami Masters.
NRL: Melbourne 1-12 @ $3.00 (v Penrith) – Sat 7:30pm
This shapes up as the match of the round, yet it’s impossible to ignore the Storm’s dominance over the Panthers, dating back to 2006. The Storm have won 16 of the last 17 clashes against the Panthers and remain unbeaten this season. Penrith have been kept to 12 points or fewer in 11 of their last 12 against the Storm. The under is 33-8 since 2014 after the Storm conceded 14 or fewer including 14-1 under at home. This will be a low-scoring grinding affair and for that reason it’s impossible to go past the Storm, who are the masters at grinding out a result. Throw in the 16 wins from the past 17 clashes and it’s clear that Craig Bellamy has the secret to beating the Panthers. Melbourne in a close one.
AFL: Over 189.5 Points @ $1.88 (Geelong v Nth Melb) – Sun 1:10pm
This is a Geelong home game though they are taking it away from their traditional home in Geelong and playing it under the roof of Etihad. Recent history suggests it’s a high scoring affair with the average total between these two being 202.5 under the roof. North have the form on the board in recent times against Geelong, though they were a completely different outfit the last few years and have churned a lot of experienced players. The Wolf can see this one falling right on the expected margin of 28 points, so will be taking the overs as it is 15 points under their average.
A-League: Western Sydney WIN @ $2.30 (v Newcastle) – Sat 5:35pm
The Jets had shown a tonne of fight in the middle part of the season but they are officially gassed. It has been 8 matches since they last registered a victory and they have lost their last 3 – all in embarrassing fashion. The Roar rolled into town and put 3 past them before Melbourne City and Wellington ran riot on them. The Wanderers on the other hand are getting hot at the right time of the season and they have one man to thank – Santalab! The veteran has shown coach Popovic just why he should have been in the starting line up a lot sooner. His 5 goals over the last fortnight have given the Wanderers a real boost and they can all but secure a finals spot with a win over the Jets. Western Sydney are undefeated in their last 4 against Newcastle with 3 wins and a draw. They are finally starting to attack with some purpose and The Wolf says it will get them home in this one.
AFL: Devon Smith Most Goals @ $17 (GWS v Gold Coast) – Sat 4:35pm
Wolfy is pretty excited to see the matchups at either end of the field. Rory Thompson v Jeremy Cameron and Tom Lynch v Phil Davis are looming as potential game winning matchups for either side. With all efforts being aimed at stopping each other’s spearhead forward, there will be room for other players to step up and kick goals. Devon Smith played closer to goal last week and finished with 3 classy goals. With no lockdown small defender on the Suns list and the likes of Zorko, Bastinac and Robinson all scoring 2 or more goals last week, the Wolf thinks there is big value in taking Smith to score the most goals.
EPL: Liverpool v Everton – (Sat 10:30pm)
The bitter rivalry that is Liverpool versus Everton resumes and this will be the 228th edition of the Merseyside derby. Liverpool have dominated this fixture in recent times and are unbeaten in their last 12 league encounters against Everton. With more red cards than any other Premier League fixture The Wolf is expecting a very physical battle. Liverpool will be without Lallana who has been ruled out with a thigh injury while Henderson and Sturridge are still sidelined. The Toffees will have to cover Seamus Coleman who sustained a horrific broken leg playing for Ireland. His injury shook the footballing community worldwide and he will spend 7 months on the sidelines. The Wolf says Neil Taylor should be suspended for just as long! Everton have 4 clean sheets in their last 5 and the Unders is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings between the two sides. Liverpool has a brilliant record against the top sides this season but we shall not ignore the form of Everton and one man in particular – Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian has scored 5 times against Liverpool in the EPL and is the first Everton player to score 20+ league goals in a single season. Irrespective The Wolf says goals will be hard to come by and is sticking with the Unders.
Best: Under 2.5 goals ($2.10)
Value: 1st Half Correct Score 0-0 ($3.25)
NRL: Canberra v Parramatta – Sat 5:30pm
The Raiders have been better than their 1-3 record suggests, with narrow losses to both the Cowboys and Broncos. They put 46 points past the Tigers in their last match at GIO and will be looking to make it seven-straight wins over the Eels in Canberra. The Raiders were poor with the ball in hand against the Broncos but they tried hard in defence, conceding just 13 points. The Eels’ season opened with two wins but back-to-back losses at the Gold Coast and at home to Cronulla have been a steadier. The Eels have conceded 20-plus in each of their last two and that is a worry against the high powered Raiders attack. The last four matches between the sides have topped 42 points and Canberra are 6-1 over at home off a loss. The scoreboard will keep ticking throughout this one.
Best Bet: Over 43.5 ($1.88)
Other: Canberra -8 ($1.90)