Thursday, March 31, 8:05pm. Brookvale Oval
CHANGING fortunes throughout the week has seen the Rabbitohs come into favouritism for their Thursday night NRL clash against the Manly Sea Eagles.
The Rabbitohs have suffered back-to-back losses after starting their season with two victories. Their Round 3 loss to the Dragons came at a cost with big-man Sam Burgess suffering an injury which kept him out of his side’s 12-42 drubbing at the hands of the Bulldogs last week.
Burgess makes his return for this game and is the key to the Rabbitohs’ success. On the other side of the coin, the Sea Eagles have won their last two games, but have lost one of their play makers.
Daly Cherry-Evans will miss the Thursday night game after being injured last week against the Roosters. Cherry-Evans is their main man in the backline and the Sea Eagles have called upon Apisai Koroisau to cover the fallen halfback.
Bookmakers have noted the two injury changes and have subsequently made changes to the head-to-head betting market.
Take any NRL head-to-head bet at CrownBet.com.au and if your team loses by 10 points or less, it will match your stake in bonus points.
Manly vs. Rabbitohs head-to-head betting tips
Manly – $2.35
Rabbitohs – $1.62
Despite playing at Brookvale Oval where they have a record of four wins from 14 games, the Rabbitohs have taken over favouritism after the news that Sam Burgess will play broke earlier this week.
To dampen the chances of Manly was Cherry-Evan’s exclusion from the side due to injury. Manly do welcome back Kiwi international Martin Taupau which will counter the hard running from Sam Burgess. Apisai Koroisau and Brenton Lawrence replace Cherry-Evans and Jamie Buhrer.
The question punters must ask is can the Rabbitohs overcome their poor recent form to beat Manly away from home? With only a 29 percent win rate at Brookvale Oval, punters are hoping the addition of Burgess can see them return to the form they showed earlier this season.
Punters looking to back Manly are getting good value, but the loss of Cherry-Evans is worth noting. We don’t think the loss will impact the Sea Eagles too much in this game. They would have practiced without him and he hasn’t been in career-best form.
Sportsbet.com.au has taken five times more money on the Rabbitohs than Manly and we expect more money to tumble for the Rabbits.
We still think the head-to-head value is with Manly at $2.35. Losing Cherry-Evans appears costly, but we still think they are a solid unit across the park and playing at Brookvale Oval is always a bonus.
Manly vs. Rabbitohs first tryscorer market
We feel for the punter who cashed out their three-leg first tryscorer bet last weekend. They made a tidy profit, but nothing like they would have made. That punter will be looking to make amends this Thursday where there are plenty of good first tryscorer bets available.
Noted Rabbitohs scorer Aaron Gray is the current overall favourite at $9.50. The winger has scored four tries from four games this season and he remains the top pick for Rabbitohs punters.
On the second line of betting for the Rabbitohs is Kirisome Auva’a at $10. The winger has played three games this season and hasn’t scored, so it appears bookmakers think he’s due for a good game. We can’t provide the same confidence and he could be worth laying at that price.
Greg Inglis has had as many brain fades as tries scored this season. The Rabbitohs fullback has scored only once and the $12 looks a touch under the odds here. There is better value with the likes of Hymel Hunt ($15) and Bryson Goodwin ($15) who have both scored on multiple occasions this season.
First try-scorer – Rabbitohs team list:
1. Greg Inglis – $12
2. Kirisome Auva’a – $10
3. Bryson Goodwin – $15
4. Hymel Hunt – $15
5. Aaron Gray – $9.50
6. Cody Walker – $34
7. Luke Keary – $31
8. George Burgess – $34
9. Cameron McInnes – $26
10. Sam Burgess – $20
11. Chris Grevsmuhl – $23
12. Kyle Turner – $31
13. Nathan Brown – $41
Manly possess plenty of good tryscoring options with Jorge Taufua and Dylan Walker who have both scored multiple times this season.
Jorge Taufua scored first last week and he looks good value once again at $11. The winger has scored three in four games so far and he could contest for the top tryscorer title at the end of the season.
Current Manly favourite is fellow winger Tom Trbojevic at $10. The rangy youngster has scored once this season, but punters are confident he’s on the improve and we think so too. He looks a nice bet at those odds and the Sea Eagles like to feed their wingers good ball.
Manly first try-scorer odds and team line up:
1. Brett Stewart – $12
2. Jorge Taufua – $11
3. Jamie Lyon – $18
4. Steve Matai – $17
5. Tom Trbojevic – $10
6. Dylan Walker – $20
7. Apisai Koroisau – $34
8. Nate Myles – $61
9. Matt Purcell – $20
10. Brenton Lawrence – $41
11. Martin Taupau – $26
12. Feleti Mateo – $26
13. Jake Trbojevic – $26
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