NRL Preview
Manly Sea Eagles v Wests Tigers
Sunday, July 16, 2pm (AEST) at Lottoland, Sydney

The Sea Eagles will be looking to bounce back after their loss to the Panthers last week and maintain that all-important Top 4 spot. Jake Trbojevic has been named to back up after his strong performance in Origin 3, while the Tigers will also be relying on the departing duo James Tedesco and Aaron Woods to take their spots after a deflating loss by NSW in State of Origin 3.

The Sea Eagles have won 5 of their last 7 against the Tigers. They have also won seven straight against the Tigers at Brookvale. However, the Tigers produced a shock 36-22 win at Leichhardt Oval last year, with James Tedesco scoring a hat-trick and David Nofoaluma crossing for a double.

Manly remain in the Top 4 despite a loss to Penrith last round with a 10-6 record. The Sea Eagles were given no hope by the officiating, losing the penalty count 14-4 against the Panthers. Manly had won five on the trot before the loss to Penrith. Wests Tigers are second last with a 4-12 record. The Tigers had lost seven on the trot before downing Newcastle 33-12. The Tigers have conceded at least 22 points in all bar five games this year.

Key Matchup
Tom Trbojevic v James Tedesco: Trbojevic has been outstanding for the Sea Eagles all season and was very unlucky to miss out on a NSW Origin spot. He scored a try and ran for 180 metres in the loss to the Panthers last week and was one of the Sea Eagles’ best in a beaten side. He’ll be looking for a big performance against the current NSW fullback and remind Tedesco that he’s lurking in the shadows. Tedesco missed the Tigers win a fortnight ago against the Knights and will to hoping to finish his Tigers career on a high note. He scored a hat-trick against the Sea Eagles at Leichhardt Oval last season and will be hoping to put the disappointment of Origin 3 behind him with a strong performance here.

Stats That Matter
– Manly are 9-7 ATS with an 8-8 total record while the Wests Tigers are 7-9 ATS with a 10-6 under record.

– The Sea Eagles have won 5 of their last 7 against the Tigers.

– Manly have won seven straight against the Tigers at Brookvale.

– The last five matches between the teams have topped 48 points.

– Manly have covered just 3 of their last 8 as a double digit favourite at Brookvale.

– The Tigers have covered three straight and 9 of their last 13 road games.

– The Tigers have covered 7 of their last 8 road games as a double digit outsider on the road.

– The Tigers are 4-1 ATS as a double digit outsider off 30 points.

Final Thoughts
The Sea Eagles are too short to back straight out, with the 1-12 margin looking like the better bet. However, the Tigers should have gained some confidence after their win over the Knights and the returns of Tedesco and Chris Lawrence should help their cause. Manly will get the cash, but the 15.5 line looks inflated. The Wolf says to take the Tigers with the start.

How It’s Shaping Up
Manly by 8

Best Bet
Wests +15.5 ($1.90)

Other Recommended Bets
Over 45.5 ($1.88)

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