Thursday, May 7, 2016, 8:00pm, Jubilee Stadium
St George Dragons: 11th
Canberra Raiders: 7th
Last five results:
Dragons: $2.15 at Sportsbet.com.au
Raiders: $1.70 at Sportsbet.com.au
Points spread line:
Dragons: +2.5 ($1.91) at CrownBet.com.au
Raiders: -2.5 ($1.91) at Crownbet.com.au
The Dragons looked as though their NRL season was getting back on track after back-to-back wins over the Titans and the Roosters, but losing heavily to the New Zealand Warriors is hardly inspiring league.
The Raiders are coming off a tough one-point loss to the Penrith Panthers and although it the two competition points went begging, take nothing away from the performance. Canberra played well throughout the game and it only needs to start showing some consistency to make it into the playoffs this season.
That inconsistency was demonstrated with its 60-6 win against the Tigers a week earlier which followed a 16-40 drubbing at the hands of the Sharks. If the Raiders are wanting to please their fans and punters, more consistency each week will be needed.
The Raiders have the edge in the head-to-head battle over the course of history. These two sides have met only 26 times and the Raiders have the 16-9 advantage with one draw. The Raiders have also won two from three at Jubilee Oval.
There isn’t much separating these two sides and players from both teams are playing for representative spots. One player hoping to make the Kiwis side later in the year is Raiders youngster Jordan Rapana who is coming off a two-try performance against the Panthers.
We look at the markets featuring the try-scoring Raider who has been very profitable for punters this season. Sign up with Sportsbet.com.au for the best tryscoring odds this NRL season.
Jordan Rapana try-scoring markets and tips
In his third year of professional rugby league in the NRL, Jordan Rapana is starting to make the headlines for the right reasons.
In 2014 he played only two games and scored one try. 2015 was an improvement with 19 games and seven tries, but he has already equaled the amount of tries scored in two seasons to start this year.
Rapana has scored eight tries from nine games in 2016 which included a double last week and four tries against the Tigers in Round 8. He also ran for 189 metres in that game which included five line breaks and one try assist.
After a slow start to the season where he scored only one try in his first six games, Jordan Rapana has turned on the jets and the Raiders are reaping the rewards. Having a young and explosive try scorer boosts any teams’ chances of winning and punters are loving Rapana of late.
Not only did he score first against the Panthers last week – paying $12 at Sportsbet – but he also scored the final try of the game. That’s some tidy profit and the bookmakers got burned accordingly. Sportsbet has been forced to slash Rapana’s first tryscorer odds to $10 which makes him the equal favourite with Dragons’ winger Jason Nightingale.
The best bet of this game is with the anytime tryscorer market. Punters don’t get the big odds that the first and last tryscorer options provide, but we take making money very seriously and sometimes taking shorter odds is the way to go.
Jordan Rapana is paying $2 to score at anytime throughout the game, which includes overtime, and considering the defense of both the Dragons and the Raiders, this bet looks good. The Dragons have given up totals of 36, 26, 14, 18 and 26 over their last five games. The Raiders have scored 60 points in one game and gave up totals of 40 and 36.
That all leads us to believe that there will be plenty of tries scored in this game and the Raiders are a team that can score in bunches. The benefactor should be Jordan Rapana and the $2 available at Sportsbet.com.au is great value.
Canberra Raiders try-scoring bets
We think the Raiders are good enough to run all over the Dragons on Thursday night. This means there should be plenty of tries scored which makes the anytime tryscorer betting even more valuable.
Along with Jordan Rapana ($2), the Raiders have plenty of other try scoring threats. Raiders’ centre Jarrod Croker has scored five tries this season and although his main attribute is his goal kicking and general play-making, Croker is a good option to score at any time at $2.20.
Big Edrick Lee hasn’t quite had the season punters were expecting, having scored only two tries from nine games, but he scored 12 tries last season and he’s due for a mid-season burst. The Raiders can execute well with their wingers and Lee could prove worthy at $2.30 at Crownbet.com.au.
A smokey in the try-scoring market is Josh Papalii at $4.50. The back-rower already has three tries to his name this season which included a double in Round 2 against the Roosters and although he has scored only once since then, his running metres have been impressive his last three games which bodes well for this Thursday.
The Raiders should take this game by double digits and our tryscoring tips of Jordan Rapana, Jarrod Croker, Edrick Lee and Josh Papalii should give punters some cash for the upcoming Eels vs. Rabbitohs game on Friday night.
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