Last five results:
Points spread line:
Rabbitohs: -6.5 ($1.91 at Crownbet.com.au)
Dragons: +6.5 ($1.91 at Crownbet.com.au)
WE’RE only in Round 11, but it’s clear that both the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the St. George Dragons will be battling just to make finals in 2016.
The Rabbitohs may have got their season back on track with an upset win over the Parramatta Eels, which had been dealt a blow by the salary cap saga, but take nothing away from the Rabbitohs win as they fought back from trailing in the second half.
Consistency has been the downfall of the Dragons. The ‘mighty red V’ appear as though it can be a team to make a run in the finals, and they have the experience, but poor play from some of their senior players has blighted their chances.
One thing the Dragons did get in its favour was last week’s win against the Canberra Raiders. The Raiders missed point-blank field goal in golden-point time and only 30 seconds later, after an intercept pass was thrown after the final hooter sounded, the Dragons snatched an unlikely two points.
That might spark its season into gear and facing the Rabbitohs might have come at the right time. Bookmakers have priced the Rabbitohs as firm favourites, which we can’t fully understand and it might be more reputation than form, but the value is clearly with the Dragons at +6.5.
One player in particular that we want to focus on is Josh Dugan. The enigmatic fullback will be playing for a New South Wales jersey and he’s due for a big game. Sure, he makes plenty of metres bringing the ball back for the Dragons, but he’s injury prone and he needs to start taking the game more seriously.
Thursday night at ANZ Stadium could be his breakout game of the season.
Josh Dugan betting markets
Josh Dugan has frustrated punters so far this season. The Dragons fullback has scored only one try from 10 games and he has no try assists to his name.
Considering he’s in line for a New South Wales jersey next month, punters will want to see better from Dugan and now is the best time to start playing yourself into form.
The Blues’ selectors know they need tries in order to defeat Queensland and Dugan should have got the message – we like him to score first in this game against a Rabbitohs defense which has allowed plenty of points over their last five games.
First try scorer market – Dragons:
Jason Nightingale – $12
Kalifa Faifai Loa – $13
Josh Dugan – $13 at Sportsbet.com.au
Euan Aitken – $17
Tim Lafai – $20
Tyson Frizell – $26
Gareth Widdop – $26
Mitch Rein – $26
Siliva Havili – $34
Josh McCrone – $34
Jacob Host – $34
Jake Marketo – $34
Mike Cooper – $41
Will Matthews – $41
Russell Packer – $46
Leeson Ah Mau – $61
Dunamis Lui – $61
It’s a wide-open market for the Dragons first try scorer. The overall favourite for the game is the Rabbitohs’ winger Bryson Goodwin at $9.50, but we think the Dragons have the ability to dominate this game from start to finish.
Dugan will come out firing against his rival Greg Inglis ($10) and produce his best game of the season. Putting all your eggs in the first try scorer market is tough, so backing Dugan to score at anytime is a good option also.
Dugan is current paying $2.63 at Sportsbet to score at anytime during the game and we expect him to get his second try of the season. With a relatively young team around him in the backs, Dugan must show his experience and power himself over the line. If he can, expect the Dragons to be very competitive this Thursday night.
Rabbitohs vs. Dragons game prediction and tips
We don’t rate the Rabbitohs very much this season. They have players such as Greg Inglis and the Burgess brothers, but they have nothing to show for it. They started the season with a bang, but have come back down to earth since.
The Dragons win last week was a shock victory and it could be the spark it needs to get the season on track. Take the Dragons head-to-head at $2.80 and at the +6.5 with Crownbet at $1.91.
For punters wanting some Josh Dugan action, take Dugan to score first at $13 and anytime at $2.63 at Sportsbet.com.au.
Match prediction: Rabbitohs 14 – Dragons 22
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