St George Illawarra takes on Melbourne in NRL Round 21 Friday Night footy action. Taking a look at the latest Head to Head Odds we see that St George are trading between $2.70 up to $2.90 while Melbourne are available between $1.42 up to $1.492. In the Line Handicap market most bookmakers have the line at St George +6 Melbourne -6 and the early over under total is at O/U35.5.
Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy has been quoted as saying that "He does not believe Billy Slater is the magical cure". Magical cure or not, the return this week of the star fullback does warrant closer attention to detail when handicapping this game. Melbourne's current overall points per game differential is +8.61 having scored an average of 23.67 points per game while allowing 15.06. Billy Slater has missed the Storms last 6 matches, in that time they have won one and lost five scoring an average of just 12.33 points per game and allowing 21.33 (-9). Looking at Melbourne's stats from round 1 through to round 13 when Billy Slater played, they averaged 29.33 points per game while conceding 11.92 for a differential of +17.41. The finely tuned machine that was the Melbourne Storm for the first 13 rounds of the competition certainly need their number 1 Billy Slater, however as we have discovered and possibly just as important, they need their other key parts to be in their correct positions and that means Gareth Widdop at five-eight and Cameron Smith at Hooker.
St George Illawarra: The Dragons are coming off a disappointing 22 point loss to the Rabbitohs last week in what was really a must win match for them. Now sitting in 13th place with 8 wins and 10 losses the the red v have averaged 14.89 points per game while conceding 18.11 for a negative differential of (-3.22). In recent results the Dragons have lost to Souths (14-36), defeated Cronulla (18-10), lost to Canberra (18-22) and had a win against the Gold Coast (8-6). In NRL betting results the Dragons have been the worst performers in the competition against the line handicap with a 5-13 (-$825) record while against the head to head odds they are showing a loss of -$411.90 (for $100 bets each week).
Melbourne: The Storm are currently in 2nd place with a 12-6 record. Their last four matches have resulted in losses to the Eels (10-16), Cowboys (16-20), Raiders (12-40) and Bulldogs (4-20). Betting results for the Storm see them with a 12-6 (+$540) record against the line handicap and against the money line odds they are showing a modest profit of +$40.40. In NRL futures betting a quick check with the leading online bookmakers shows that the Storm are currently second favourites to win the premiership, trading between $4.50 up to $5.00.
|14/04/07||3.53||8.5||St. George Illawarra||10||24||Melbourne||-8.5||1.35|
|24/06/07||1.17||-14.5||Melbourne||28||6||St. George Illawarra||14.5||5.5|
|17/05/08||1.53||-6||St. George Illawarra||36||12||Melbourne||6||2.72|
|21/07/08||1.17||-14||Melbourne||26||0||St. George Illawarra||14||5.5|
|13/03/09||1.44||-6.5||Melbourne||17||16||St. George Illawarra||6.5||2.99|
|31/07/09||1.5||-5.5||St. George Illawarra||26||12||Melbourne||5.5||2.79|
|02/04/10||1.76||-2||Melbourne||17||4||St. George Illawarra||2||2.2|
|19/08/11||1.71||-3.5||Melbourne||8||6||St. George Illawarra||3.5||2.27|
St George v Melbourne History: The last eight regular season games between these two have produced 6 wins for the Storm and 2 wins for the Dragons. The home team has had the better of it with a 7-1 record and the starting favourite has won all eight matches 8-0. The line handicap record is 4-4 and the average game total is 31 points. The early over under total for this game is O/U35.5 points, interestingly only one of their last 8 regular season games has gone over that number.
The Prediction - Here at BetonFooty.com.au our no juice handicapping numbers say the Storm should be around $1.43 and the Dragons $3.34 with a line of 6 points which pretty much agrees with the bookies lines, so we will be leaving this one alone.