After a leave of absence for one week only, tipping guru Tipping Point has returned to give you the lowdown on the best tips. Those that are struggling with their tips, this is the sort of advice for you.
Round 4 Selections
I was so buried in researching the form for round three that I neglected to send my selections through on time last week; apologies for those that missed out. As it turned out, the weekendâ€™s fixtures went largely to script with six favourites winning and just the Dragons and the Broncos winning as outsiders. There were a couple of anxious moments with the Knights only claiming victory in the dying minutes and the Bulldogs making tough work of their victory over Manly. I was happy to walk away with six correct tips but Iâ€™m still cursing the Cowboys who despite all the pre-season hype disappointed again as they were hammered by Brisbane at Suncorp, and the less said about the Raiders loss the better. One positive from their loss though was the fact it took the perfect round bonus out of the equation for many tipsters â€“ I know plenty of people in the competitions Iâ€™m in wouldâ€™ve ended up with 8/8 had the Green Machine held on so there was a silver lining to getting that tip wrong.
Season: 17/24 (71%) â€“ Last week: 6/8 â€“ Stand-outs: 2/3
At a glance: Rabbitohs, Bulldogs, Panthers, Titans, Sea Eagles, Warriors, Roosters, Storm.
Eels v Rabbitohs, Pirtek Stadium
I can smell an upset here. Souths are going to lose at some point and it may well happen at Pirtek where the Eels have a good record with ten wins from their past 12 matches. That said, the Eels havenâ€™t registered a win over Souths since 2010 so for that reason Iâ€™ll play conservatively and stick with the favourites: winning is a habit, and the Bunnies are well and truly proving that adage with their recent performances.
Tigers v Bulldogs, ANZ Stadium
The Tigers have really surprised me this year with the quality of their play, and they really gave it to Souths last week. The Bulldogs have also been in good form notching back-to-back wins. The home ground advantage is non-existent given itâ€™s at the mutual venue, but interestingly these two teams are batting at about 50% for matches at ANZ over the past year. I actually give the Tigers plenty of hope in this clash (more than the betting suggests), but the Bulldogs pack should get on top of the smaller and more inexperienced Tigers forwards, especially with Woods in massive doubt for the Tigers. The Dogs have a good record over the Tigers and should get the cash in what will be a great game of footy.
Knights v Panthers, Hunter Stadium
This is a classic tipping trap: a true 50/50 call. Looking at how theyâ€™ve performed this season, I give a slight edge to the Panthers. With strong wins over the Dogs and the Titans and a narrow (and controversial) loss to the Roosters, they look to be the real deal; Moylan and Segeyaro are superstars. Meanwhile, the Knights havenâ€™t been overly convincing in their three matches thus far, with narrow (and controversial) wins over the Warriors, Titans and Cowboys. They are unbeaten at home in their last six starts, but I think the run will end there against the Mountain Men. Just.
Sharks v Titans, Remondis Stadium
Call me crazy, but I like the Titans here. Iâ€™ve watched their three games this year and they havenâ€™t been far away from a win â€“ even their wipe-out against the Panthers was highly controversial with a couple of tough no-try calls going against them. If Lady Luck was on their side, they probably beat the Tigers and the Knights. The Sharks on the other hand have been totally disappointing, and havenâ€™t looked like winning a game. Theyâ€™ve lost nine in a row at home, and I think that becomes 10 on Saturday night.
Dragons v Sea-Eagles, WIN Stadium
Manly welcome back some key personnel with Lyon and Foran returning, and that will make a massive difference to their side. Despite a poor away record I think theyâ€™ll be too good for the Dragons, who were incredibly lucky to get the two points against the Raiders last week.
Warriors v Broncos, Mt Smart Stadium
This clash is a repeat of the Warriorsâ€™ first ever match in the NRL way back in 1995 â€“ and I hope they bring the famous drums back to mark the occasion! It should be a ripping encounter with two form teams and a big New Zealand crowd (provided theyâ€™re not all at the cricket). Warriors matches are always a lottery and this game is no different â€“ they have a good record at home against Brisbane and are playing well under Andrew McFadden; that said, losing Tomkins for an extended period further tests their backline depth, with a number of rookies in the starting line-up. Brisbane will fancy their chances, but Iâ€™m tipping the Warriors without much confidence.
Roosters v Raiders, Allianz Stadium
You have to take the Roosters here, but itâ€™ll be closer than people think. The Roosters have the side to beat anyone, but to me they tend to drift in and out of matches, and cost themselves dearly with poor discipline and ball control. If they underestimate the Raiders they could face a few anxious moments in this game, but should have far too much class in the end.
Cowboys v Storm, 1300SMILES Stadium
I know the Cowboys will turn it around soon, and itâ€™ll probably be the week I donâ€™t tip them â€“ so I fully expect them to blitz the Storm on Monday night. But I just canâ€™t tip the Cowboys in their current form, and the Storm are a solid, consistent team that donâ€™t give away points easily â€“ not exactly the type of opponent the Cowboys would be wanting right now. Bellamy prioritises these early season matches and his Queensland contingent will be keen to put on a good performance in their home state.
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