Skip to main content

NRL Preliminary Finals Week 3 Previews

A couple of close calls last week, but no cigar for the debutant NRL analyst Shaun Beirne, @shaunbeirne. How's his luck this week?

--------------------------

NRL Previews
Preliminary Final (Week 3) History since 2000



Points of interest:
• Home teams win at a rate of 67%
• Higher ranked home teams win at 60%
• Matches at one teams home ground average 42.5 points and 9/15 are over 38.5 total points
• Higher ranked teams on a Neutral ground win at a rate of 82%

With small samples any new result has a higher than ideal influence over the figure, so something that looks like a strong trend can quickly look like a weak trend. That said it is interesting that the higher ranked Neutral team outperforms Higher ranked home teams. Perhaps a negative effect of the home fans expectations.

Cronulla v North Queensland
Friday 1955 AEST, 1055 BST
Allianz Stadium

#NRLSharksCowboys
These two teams met last season at the semi-final (week 2) stage with the Cowboys handing the Sharks a 39-0 hiding.

This season they have each won one of their head to head matches, the Cowboys 20-14 at home in round 1 and the Sharks 13-10 in R14.

Comparing the team’s statistics from last season we see that Cowboys finished third (38 points +133 points differential) last season and fourth (34 points +229) this season. The Sharks finished sixth (34 points -7) in 2015 and third (39 points +176) in 2016.

The Cowboys excelled away from home last season winning 9/12 (regular season only) scoring an average of 24.6 points to 18.7. However, this season they were 3/10 (neutral matches excluded) scoring 17.3 points to 19.4.

The commentary around this match has centred on whether the Cowboys can back up after that incredible match against the Broncos last week. I’m on the side of it is going to be extremely difficult but not impossible. I think one need only consider the fact that Jonathan Thurston elected to take a penalty goal after 34 minutes when down 8-4 as an indicator of just how fast the game was.

If you can see where I’m leaning with the recommended play I will leave you with the Sharks having two big inclusions from their last start win over Canberra Paul Gallen and Sam Tagatese.

Recommended plays:
As confident as one can be when betting against a team with arguably the greatest ever player who just seems to step up every time, I have to bet up on Cronulla at the head to head and 13+ for some cream.

Melbourne v Canberra
Saturday 1940 AEST, 1040 BST
AAMI Park

#NRLStormRaiders

Melbourne lost at home to the Cowboys at the corresponding stage last season taking their record in sudden death matches at AAMI Park to one win and three losses since 2011. Incredible given they have lost just 16 of 69 regular season matches in the corresponding period.

Melbourne earned the week off by strangling the Cowboys (16-10) in wet conditions a couple of weeks ago. Canberra bounced back from their loss to Cronulla to beat Penrith (22-12) a match they led 18-0 and should have been more comfortable than it turned out to be. Certainly it was concerning to see them so inept at shutting the game down late on.

Canberra welcomed back Hodgson and Austin last week and both turned in solid performances suggesting they will be better again for the run.

Minor Premiers Melbourne lost 5 matches this season, one was without their Origin stars. Of the other four losses, two came late in the season at home to Brisbane 16-26 and away to Canberra 8-22. Both these matches were significant in that their opponents played an expansive game moving the Storm defence around and exposing plenty of holes (something Cronulla did again in Rd 26 albeit in a 26-6 loss).

One final historical statistic of some note is that in the eight seasons from 2008-2015 only nine teams that had the week off have won their preliminary final.

Recommended Plays
I’m not terribly confident but happy to have a small play (about 33% of my stake on the 1st preliminary final) on Canberra at the head to head and +6.5.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

lay the field - my favourite racing strategy

Dabbling with laying the field in-running at various prices today, not just one price, but several in the same race. Got several matched in the previous race at Brighton, then this race came along at Nottingham. Such a long straight at Nottingham makes punters often over-react and think the finish line is closer than it actually is. As you can see by the number of bets matched, there was plenty of volatility in this in-play market. It's rare you'll get a complete wipe-out with one horse getting matched at all levels, but it can happen, so don't give yourself too much risk...

Racing has a Ponzi scheme - and the fallout will be enormous

When the term 'Ponzi scheme' is mentioned these days, the names Bernard Madoff and Allen Stanford instantly spring to mind. The pair of them ran multi-billion dollar frauds (US$60bn and $8bn respectively) that destroyed the lives of thousands of investors who had put their life savings into a 'wonderful' investment strategy. How so many people were sucked into the scheme is baffling to those on the outside. The lifestyle, the sales pitch, the success stories of the early investors - I suppose it all adds up.

So where does this link to racing you ask? A prominent Australian 'racing identity' this week has been reported to have lost access to a bank account with punters' club funds of $194m in it. Firstly - is there a worse term for anyone to be labelled with that 'racing identity'? It ALWAYS ends up meaning shonky crook! Secondly - who the hell has a punters' club with an active bankroll in the tens of millions? It simply can't be done.

The…

damage control when trading goals

When trades go bad, some people will say cut your losses immediately, others will recommend having a bit of patience as events tend to level out (i.e. games with two goals in the first 10 mins never end up with 18 goals in 90 minutes). This is something I like to do on certain matches.

Background:
1. You've backed Under 2.5 goals, trying to nick a few ticks at a time as the clock ticks.
2. You've been caught out by a goal.
3. The market has gone sharply against you.

On this particular match from a couple of weeks ago, there was an early goal (sixth minute) before I got involved. The period immediately after an early goal regularly shows a sharp drop in the Under price, so I was trying to capitalise on that. But Watford then scored again after 14 minutes. The Back price I took (3.95) was now out to 12 - I could close out for a big loss (not my style) or wait and wait for the price to come back to somewhere I could close out for minimal damage. But at 2-0 after 15 minutes, it w…