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Sydney Roosters v Melbourne Storm
Saturday, June 24, 7:30pm (AEST), Adelaide Oval

The Wolf was critical of the NRL for scheduling the Storm and Cowboys match last week, with all of the Origin players unavailable, and can’t understand why this fixture has been scheduled in this round. There will be 9 players combined from both teams playing in Origin 2 and required to back-up here. The game has also been taken to Adelaide by the Roosters and you would think the NRL would want the best players on show and more importantly not having to play two matches in the space of three days. Unfortunately that will not be the case with the Storm resting their big 3 and Cordner sitting out for the Roosters.

The Storm have won three straight and 10 of the last 15 against the Roosters. Craig Bellamy’s men won both clashes against the tri-colours in 2016, including a 46-0 thumping in Round 14 followed by a 16-point win in Melbourne in Round 20. Cooper Cronk scored a double in the Round 14 win and scored another try in the Round 20 victory. The Wolf thinks it could be worth backing him to score a try here.

Sydney Roosters are second on the ladder with a 10-4 record. The Roosters have won six of their last eight with their two losses being a one-point road loss to the Warriors and an Origin-affected loss in Canberra. The Chooks have conceded at least 16 in their last four matches while they have posted 40-plus in two of their last five. Melbourne sit atop the ladder with a 12-2 record and enter this off a golden point win over North Queensland sans their Origin stars. The Storm have won four straight and seven of their last eight. The Storm have scored 18-plus in seven of their last eight. Melbourne have conceded over 14 points just four times this season.

Key Matchup
Youth v Experience: The Storm’s youngsters came up trumps last week against the Cowboys and they face an even sterner test this week. Scott, Croft, Jacks and Smith are brimming with confidence following the win and they will still have the Bromwich boys, Munster, Harris and a bolting Kaufusi to lead steer them around the park. Life after the Big 3 has arrived and The Wolf says the neutral venue is a real boost for the youthful Storm.

Stats That Matter

– The Sydney Roosters are 7-7 ATS with an 8-6 under record while Melbourne are 7-7 ATS with a 7-7 total record.
– Melbourne have won three straight and 10 of the last 15 against the Roosters.
– Five of the last six matches have tallied 38 points or fewer.
– This is the first match at Adelaide Oval since 2011 and just the third since the Rams left Adelaide in 1998.
– The last five matches at the venue have all topped 38 points.
– Melbourne have covered 6 of their last 8 interstate games and are 25-15 interstate since 2014.
– The Roosters have covered 4 of their last 6 interstate matches.
– The Storm are 11-5 ATS with an 11-5 under record when favoured by less than a try.
– The Storm are 30-16 under after scoring 20 points.
– Small interstate outsiders are 48-20 ATS since 2014.
– The over is 16-10 when the Roosters are an underdog.
– The Roosters are a poor 7-18 ATS after scoring 30 points including eight straight non-covers.

Final Thoughts
The Wolf liked the Storm prior to Smith, Slater and Cronk being ruled out and is more than happy to now take them with the big start. Craig Bellamy is the best in the business and last week showed just how good he is at getting the best out of his side. The Roosters made plenty of errors in their big win over the Tigers and will get found out here if they give the Storm an inch. The set game total looks very low and The Wolf is expecting the youthful Storm to really give the Roosters a big headache. They are confident and the start is a big one!

How It’s Shaping Up
Melbourne by 4

Best Bet
Melbourne +8.5 ($1.91)

Other Recommended Bets
Over 35.5 points ($1.88)

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