The undefeated Melbourne Storm (4-0) host the Newcastle Knights (2-2) in NRL Friday Night Football. Melbourne are coming off an impressive 44-4 demolition of the Roosters which included Billy Slater's record breaking 2 try's for the fourth consecutive game. Newcastle will be traveling to Melbourne looking for their first win down south since round 2, 2004 having lost their last 8 straight road trips to Melbourne.
The latest live NRL Odds see the Melbourne Storm offered at $1.426 and the Newcastle Knights at $3.10 in the Head to Head market. The NRL Line Handicap for this game sees all of the major bookmakers running with a line of Melb -7.5 / New +7.5. At present the best odds on the Storm at that line are $1.95 and you can get as high as $1.99 for the Knights +7.5. As per usual the bookies will release the Over Under Total line closer to Friday.
While some may question the strength of the Melbourne Storms first 4 opponents, there is little doubt about the way they have disposed of them. In the first 4 NRL rounds the Storm have beaten Canberra (24-19), South Sydney (24-10), Gold Coast (30-6) and Sydney Roosters (44-4). They have averaged 30.5 points per game and conceded an average of 9.75 for a points differential of +20.75 per game.
In NRL betting markets thus far this season the Storm are showing a profit against the NRL Head to Head odds of +$171 (based on $100 bets each week). They are also leading the league against the NRL Line Handicap with a (4-0) record which gives them a profit of +$380.
Wayne Bennett’s Newcastle side has had wins over the Cronulla Sharks (18-6) and Canterbury Bulldogs (20-6) while they have gone down to the Dragons (14-15) and Brisbane broncos (10-24). They have averaged 15.5 points per game and allowed an average of 12.75 for a positive differential of +2.75 per game. Against the NRL Line Handicap the Knights are 2-2 while they are showing a small profit of +$39 against the moneyline odds.
The NRL betting history between these two teams over the last 5 years has been dominated by the Melbourne Storm. They have gone 7-2 straight up for a profit against the moneyline of +$65 (for $100 bets each match) and have 6-3 record against the line handicap for +$270. The team to win straight up has covered the line handicap in 8 of the last 9. The average game total over this period is 36.77 points and when Melbourne have been victorious the their average margin of victory has been 19.71 points.
The verdict - here at BetonFooty.com.au our numbers show enough value on the Storm -7.5 against the Line Handicap to warrant a play. We have taken them -7.5 at $1.95. We will keep an eye on the total line once it has been posted by the bookies.