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Sydney Roosters v South Sydney Rabbitohs
Friday, July 7, 7:50pm (AEST) at Allianz Stadium

The Roosters host the Rabbitohs at Allianz Stadium to kick off a reduced Round 18 due to State of Origin – Game 3. The Roosters have once again been one of the sides hardest hit due to representative duty, with Boyd Cordner, Mitchell Pearce, Blake Ferguson and Dylan Napa all unavailable. It couldn’t come at a worse time for the tri-colours after they were hammered 44-12 by the Sharks in Round 17. Meanwhile, the Rabbitohs have the luxury of naming the same 17 which smashed the Panthers 42-14 last week. Rabbitohs half-back Adam Reynolds produced his best game of the season, while winger Alex Johnston crossed for five tries in the Rabbitohs’ emphatic win.

The Roosters have won the last two matchups including a 20-6 win in Round 4 this year. No team has won three straight in this matchup since the Roosters in 2011.

The Sydney Roosters sit fourth on the ladder with an 11-5 record but enter this off their worst loss of the year, a 42-12 loss to Cronulla on the Central Coast. The Roosters have conceded at least 16 points in six straight games. Trent Robinson’s team has lost two in a row just once this year. Souths are in season best form following big wins against Gold Coast and Penrith, just the second time this year they have won consecutive games. Souths are up to 11th on the table with a 6-9 record. Souths have conceded at least 18 in all bar three games.

Key Matchup
Luke Keary v Adam Reynolds: Keary got one over his former club in Round 4, but had the advantage of Mitchell Pearce playing alongside him the halves to ease the pressure. Keary moves into the No.7 jersey for this clash and it will be his job to lead the side around the park. The Wolf believes Keary is a natural ball runner rather than an organiser, but is looking forward to seeing if he is up to the challenge against his former side. Reynolds has struggled for large parts of the season, but bounced back with a strong performance in the Rabbitohs’ big win over the Panthers. He had a hand in four of the Rabbitohs’ seven tries and The Wolf is expecting that performance to give Reynolds a massive confidence boost heading into this clash.

Stats That Matter
– Sydney Roosters are 7-9 ATS with an 8-8 total record while South Sydney are 9-6 ATS with an 8-7 record.

– The Roosters have won the last two matchups including a 20-6 win in Round 4 this year.

– No team has won three straight in this matchup since the Roosters in 2011.

– Three of the last four matches have tallied 30 or fewer.

– The last 10 matches at Allianz have been split evenly.

– The Roosters are 5-3 ATS with a 6-2 over record as an underdog at Allianz.

– Eight of the last 11 Roosters’ night matches at Allianz have gone over.

– The over is 16-11 when home underdogs concede 40 or more points the start prior.

– The Roosters are 14-7 ATS after conceding 25 or more points.

Final Thoughts
The Wolf is keen on the overs here, especially with the Roosters fielding a weakened side. The Rabbitohs have the more settled line-up, with no Origin representatives, and will be flying high after their big win over the Panthers last week. The Roosters will put in for 80 minutes after their inept effort against the Sharks last week, but simply don’t have the cattle this week to get the victory over a confident Rabbitohs side. Overs and Rabbitohs 1-12 is the way to play this one.

How It’s Shaping Up
South Sydney by 4

Best Bet
Over 40.5 points ($1.90)

Other Recommended Bets
South Sydney 1-12 ($3)

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