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Melbourne Storm v Manly Sea Eagles
Sunday, July 30, 2pm (AEST) at AAMI Park, Melbourne

The Storm will be missing Billy Slater for this clash and there are reports Cameron Smith could miss the clash with a pectorial injury despite being named in the No.9 jersey. The Sea Eagles were embarrassed by the Dragons last week and will welcome back key troops in Blake Green and Api Koroisau.

The Storm have won the last two matches against the Sea Eagles including a 30-26 victory at Lottoland earlier this year. Suliasi Vunivalu and Felise Kaufusi both scored doubles in the win.

Melbourne continue to lead the premiership thanks to their 14-4 record. The Storm have the second rated defence and the third ranked attack. The Storm have won six of their last eight and have posted at least 20 points in four of their last five. Melbourne are 5-2 in Melbourne this year. Manly fell to sixth on the ladder following their embarrassing 54-22 loss to St George Illawarra on Sunday. Prior to that the Sea Eagles had won six of their previous seven. The Sea Eagles have scored at least 22 points in four of their last five.

Key Matchup
Cameron Munster v Tom Trbojevic: Munster has been sensational for the Storm this season and made a stunning debut for Queensland in Game 3 of this year’s State of Origin series. He’ll play fullback this week in Slater’s absence and the Sea Eagles will need to have a good kick-chase other Munster will carve them to shreds. Trbojevic is one of the most exciting young talents in the game and was unlucky not to play Origin football this season. He was very good in this corresponding clash in Round 7, making two line-breaks and setting up a try. He’ll enjoy the test once again vs a Storm side littered with Maroons stars.

Stats That Matter
– Melbourne are 9-9 ATS with a 9-9 total number while Manly are also 9-9 ATS with a 9-9 total record.

– Five of the last six matches have topped 41 points.

– The Storm have won the last two encounters.

– Manly have lost just one of the last three matches in Melbourne.

– Teams who conceded 50 points the week prior cover at 65% since 2008 with the over 33-21.

– The Storm are 20-25 ATS with a 27-18 under record at AAMI since 2014.

– The Storm are 8-2 under as a home favourite of less than a converted try since 2014.

– The Storm are 15-3 under at home after conceding 14 or under.

– Manly have covered just 2 of their last 6 away from Brookvale.

– The Sea Eagles have covered just 4 of their last 11 day games.

Final Thoughts
The Wolf is very cautious here, especially if Cameron Smith doesn’t take his place in the 17. The Storm have a habit of grinding out results despite the make-up of their side and with the minor premiership potentially on the line, they’ll lift for this one. Take the Storm by a margin of 1-12 and the Manly/Melbourne HT/NT double looks the value play according to The Wolf.

How It’s Shaping Up
Melbourne by 2

Best Bet
Melbourne 1-12 ($2.90)

Other Recommended Bets
Manly/Melbourne ($7.25)

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