While all sports are on hold in the United States currently, the National Rugby League (NRL) will go on as planned in Australia, which presents betting opportunities during quarantine time. For those unfamiliar with the sport of Rugby, it is sort of like the Music City Miracle every play, as there are no forward passes, so the team relies mostly on laterals to move down the field. Additionally, the ball can be kicked forward, but only the players behind the kicker at the time of the kick are eligible to “receive” the ball.
Other rules in the sport of rugby include that, following a tackle, the ball carrier rises to his feet and kicks the ball backward with his foot to the teammate behind him to continue to the drive. The goal of teams is to cross an end zone line, similar to football, but it is called a “try” instead of a touchdown. Following a completion of a try, a team will attempt a conversion by kicking the ball from where the try was scored. For that reason, teams often try to score closer to the center of the field so the kick is easier.
Want a greater understanding of the rules of the game? Read the NRL’s complete rule book.
Here are SportsGrid contributor Ricky Sanders’ betting picks for the weekend:
Note: All the betting odds are provided via FanDuel SportsBook. You can get a free bet up to $500 with your first deposit by signing up here.
New Zealand Warriors (+350) @ Canberra Raiders (-430)
Two starters for New Zealand returned home for “family” reasons which leaves them short-handed on the road versus the Raiders. Meanwhile, the co-captain for the Raiders (Jarrod Croker) failed to finish the team’s round one win versus the Titans but is fully expected to play. Take the healthy team at home despite the huge odds.
Sydney Roosters (-178) @ Manly Sea Eagles (+160)
For the Roosters, Winger Matt Ikuvalu passed all his tests in the concussion protocol so he will suit up this week. Unfortunately for the Eagles, Taniela Paseka is expected to remain out after the team lost a heartbreaker last week to Melbourne. The last time these two teams squared off, the Roosters led 22-0 at halftime and 26-0 at one point before the Sea Eagles attempted to stage an unsuccessful comeback. Bet the superior team here and take the squad from Australia’s Capitol.
Cronulla Sharks (+174) @ Melbourne Storm (-190)
Thus far, the article has eaten the chalk, but that is not the case in this one as there is value to the underdog Sharks. The Sharks played well last week but blew some golden opportunities to win the game due to a lack of execution. It should be noted the Sharks have lost seven of their last nine games in Nestrata Jubilee stadium which may be influencing the line a bit too heavily. Attack the Sharks (pun intended).
Wests Tigers (-108) @ Newcastle Knights (-104)
Through one match in the ladder, the Tigers lead the league in possession percentage, but they squeaked their way to victory last game (as they trailed 14-8 at one point in the second half). In total, these two teams have squared off 30 times with the Tigers winning 15, the Knights winning 13 and two draws. Throughout the course of the week, the odds have shifted in favor of the Tigers, as the game opened as a true pick’em. The Tigers won 46-4 the last time these two times squared off and it seems like a sharp move to follow the line movement.
Gold Coast Titans (+210) @ Parramatta Eels (-240)
The Titans appear to be one of the worst teams in the league and struggle with missed tackles. Sure, the Eels did not play their best ball last week either, but they are at home and in a prime bounce-back spot. The Eels are fully healthy and should be locked in even as -240 favorites.
Source for article: NRL.com