The Wolf’s Sporting Guide – September 8
It’s finals time across the board this weekend with the opening round of the AFL and NRL finals series along with the championship matches at the US Open.
AFL: Sydney -31.5 @ $1.91 (v Essendon) – Sat 4:20pm
Sydney go in the biggest favourites of Week 1 of the finals and so they should! Sydney enter the finals with more momentum than any other team despite finishing sixth on the ladder with wins in 14 of their last 16 matches. The Swans have not conceded more than 85 points in that stretch of 16 matches and have a huge home field advantage. Sydney are 15-10 ATS when favoured at home by more than four goals and 13-7 ATS at home after scoring 100+ points. The Bombers have covered just 5 of their last 15 interstate game and have had no answer for one man in particular – Buddy. He booted 10 in the final game of the season and had 6 against the Bombers two meetings back. Look for the Bombers to fade dramatically in the second half.
NRL: Cronulla 1-12 @ $2.85 (v Nth Queensland) – Sun 4:10pm
The Sharks will have to do it the hard way if they’re to defend last year’s NRL Premiership, after finishing the regular season in fifth position. These two are no strangers. This will be their 4th meeting in an elimination game in the last 5 years and will be boosted by the returns of Wade Graham and Jack Bird. The Sharks have won the last 4 meetings between the two sides and all the signs point to a Sharks win. The Cowboys have been very gallant despite injuries and have covered 7 of their last 10 when getting a start of more than a converted try. The Sharks 1-12 looks a great bet for a side that have average under 19ppg in their last 8.
EPL: Double Chance – Draw or Liverpool @ $1.83 (v Man City) – Sat 9:30pm
The Premier League returns this weekend and what better way to kick things off than the blockbuster between Man City and Liverpool. Both sides tasted victory before the break but did so in very different style. City needed a injury time winner from Sterling who subsequently got sent when given a second yellow for over-celebrating. The Reds on the other hand crushed Arsenal from pillar to post in a 4-0 demolition. Klopp’s side are renowned for results against the big sides yet they continue to get no respect from the bookies in these games. Liverpool went undefeated against top 6 sides in the league last season. The Reds are also undefeated in their last 6 meetings with the men from Manchester which includes win in 4 of the last 5 Premier League encounters. The Wolf says to back Liverpool in the double chance market and rates them as huge value for the win!
UFC 215: Neil Magny WIN @ $2.60 (v Dos Anjos) – Sun 1:00pm
Dos Anjos will be looking to get his career back on track in this fight, along solidifying himself as a top 10 welterweight contender. The former lightweight champion is known for his traditionally aggressive Brazilian style fighting, combining high level Muay Thai with constant pressure and a good ground game. Dos Anjos has only ever lost to top flight competition which makes this matchup so interesting. Magny, who possess an incredible reach for a 170 pounder of 80 inches, has a considerably different fighting style to Rafael. He fights very long and rarely exerts more energy than needed. A wrestler by trade, Magny is very good at using his grappling to keep opponents off him or take them to the ground. He must be smart and keep his hands high in this one. Neil needs to allow Dos Anjos to expend energy and capitalise on opportunities presented. The Wolf believes this tactic will give him the best chance of victory. This is a real toss up but with Dos Anjos on a decline and Mendy on the up The Wolf is leaning towards the latter!
EPL: Stoke WIN @ $7.00 (v Man Utd) – Sun 2:30am
Man Utd may sit top of the table but they will need to be at their best this weekend as Stoke have done more than just trouble them in recent seasons. United has won only 2 of it’s last 7 league games against the Potters. Dig deeper and you will see that Stoke are undefeated at home to the Red Devils in their last 4 (2 wins and 2 draws). Man U have never scored more than two goals away to Stoke in the Premier League era so any idea that they will dominate can be put to the side. Stoke at home should NEVER be paying $7 and the potential absence of Shaqiri will lead to Mark Hughes setting up even more defensive than we are used to seeing. In a dour game Stoke are more than capable of pinching a goal and holding the Red Devils out.
NRL: Manly v Penrith – (Sat 7:40pm)
It could be worth putting a line through the Sea Eagles 28-12 victory over the Panthers last week as they are a completely different side away from Brookvale, failing to cover their last seven away from home. The Panthers had won 5 straight against the Eagles prior to last weeks defeat and The Wolf says to wait until just before kick off as this line could get to +6. All the stats point to a Panthers cover. The Sea Eagles have covered just two of their last 12 as a favourite while the Panthers have covered 7 of their last 9. The neutral ground also plays into the Panthers favour. You want to be on the Panthers at the line and for the outright upset win.
Best: Penrith +4.5 ($1.91)
Other: Over 40.5 ($1.90)
AFL: Port Adelaide v West Coast (Sat 7:50pm)
Survival is on the line when Port Adelaide host West Coast in the last finals game of the opening week of the finals. The under in this one is the best of the first week of the finals. There are some huge under angles at play in this one. There is a long history of under clashes between the two teams with 6 of the last 7 failing to reach the total. Port are a big under side at the Adelaide Oval going 31-18 in their last 49. Then we have West Coast going under in 23 of their last 32 night matches. The under is a chips-in play.
Best: Under 171.5 ($1.90)
Prop: Chad Wingard 30+ Disposals ($4.25)