NRL Finals Week 3, 2012 - The Melbourne Storm takes on the Manly Sea Eagles in NRL Finals week 3 action, Friday 7.45pm from AAMI Stadium. The current NRL Odds see Melbourne as home favourites with the bookies odds trading between $1.60 up to $1.65 for the Storm while Manly are priced between $2.30 up to $2.48. The line handicap market sees most bookmakers offering Melbourne -3.5 Manly +3.5 and the over under total is O/U34.5 points.
The Melbourne Storm have had the week off care of their convincing 24-6 win in finals week 1 over the Rabbitohs as $1.689 (-4) home favourites. The week off in our opinion is not ideal at this time of year. Teams are conditioned to week in week out footy and any benefits gained from resting niggling injuries are outweighed by the time off and halt in momentum. There is little room for sluggish starts in finals footy and we have seen in the past how fancied teams returning from the rest have been uncharacteristically off the pace early on. The Storm however are a well coached and organised side and by all reports their training runs are as close to game day intensity as they come.
Geoff Toovey's Manly side head into this elimination final off the back of a controversial win over the Cowboys (22-12). Getting the win over North Queensland on the back of some dubious decisions is one thing, traveling to Melbourne and getting a win is huge undertaking. Manly have a 2-7 record in Melbourne and the Storm have lost only 10 of their last 50 home games. It appears as though Jason Ryles will be out for the Storm but otherwise both teams will field close to full strength sides with Steve Matai returning from suspension for the Sea Eagles.
The Prediction - Here at BetonFooty.com.au our handicapping numbers like the Storm here. We have taken Melbourne at odds of $1.65 in the head to head market and -3.5 against the line handicap.