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Canterbury Bulldogs v Canberra Raiders

Saturday, April 29, 5:30pm (AEST), ANZ Stadium, Sydney

Both teams are coming off a shock Round 8 loss as warm favourites and sit at 4-4 for the season. Consistency has been a major issue for both sides and both clubs will be desperate to return to the winner’s circle. The side which wins the battle of the forwards will go a long way to winning this contest and The Wolf thinks the Raiders have the edge here.
The Bulldogs and Raiders have split the last eight but Canberra won both matches last year. The Raiders won the Round 5 clash at Belmore 22-8, with Raiders skipper Jarrod Croker scoring two tries. The Raiders also won a high-scoring contest 32-20 in Round 12 in Canberra to do the double over the Bulldogs.  Five of the last seven clashes have topped 40 points.
Canterbury had a three-game win streak ended in stupefying fashion against the Wests Tigers at ANZ, going down 18-12. The Bulldogs have conceded 12 points or fewer in five of their eight games but have just a 4-4 record. Canterbury have been kept to 12 or under in four games this year. Canberra had won three straight before going down to Manly 20-18 at home in surprising fashion. They share a 4-4 record with the Bulldogs and have won just one of three on the road this year. Canberra haven’t conceded more than 20 in their last six.
Key Matchup
Brenko Lee v Jarrod Croker. Lee would have circled this match in the diary after making the move from the Raiders and has been a solid contributor for the Bulldogs, with four try-assists and 19 offloads this season. He’ll have his work cut out coming up against Croker, who is one of the best defensive centres in the game. Croker missed a crucial conversion in last week’s loss to the Sea Eagles, but will put that behind him and do his best to stop the offloads from Lee.
Stats That Matter
Canterbury are 5-3 ATS with a 7-1 under number while Canberra are 6-2 ATS with a 4-4 total record. The Bulldogs and Raiders have split the last eight but Canberra won both matches last year. Five of the last seven clashes have topped 40 points. The Bulldogs are 8-5 ATS at ANZ as an underdog with an 8-5 under record. Canberra have covered 11 straight road games with the over 8-3 in those matches. Since the start of last year they have gone over and covered all four matches as a road favourite of more than a converted try.
Final Thoughts
The Bulldogs are always a hard side to get a gauge on and the chopping and changing of the halves is having an impact on the fluency of their attack. The Raiders will look to play this up the middle then attempt to expose Josh Morris and Marcelo Montoya through their attacking weapons in Joseph Leilua and Jordan Rapana. The Raiders look to have more strike power across the park and should cover in this one.
How It’s Shaping Up
Raiders by 10
Best Bet
Canberra -6 ($1.90)

Other Recommended Bets
Over 39.5 ($1.91)

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