Melbourne Storm v Newcastle Knights Friday, April 13, 6pm (AEST) AAMI Park, Melbourne
The Wolf still can’t believe that the Storm have lost three of their first five matches this season, but what’s even more amazing is that two of those losses were against the rebuilding Wests Tigers. Coach Craig Bellamy and skipper Cameron Smith were scathing of the Storm players in their press conference after the loss to the Tigers in Auckland, and The Wolf is expecting a strong response when they host the Knights in Melbourne. Meanwhile, the Knights bounced back against the Broncos after heavy losses to the Dragons and Roosters in the two previous weeks. They don’t have a great record in Melbourne and will start as long outsiders here.
FormDefending premiers Melbourne have remarkably lost three of their first five matches and now sit outside the Top 8. While they have the fourth best defence, they rank ninth in scoring. The Storm have been held to 10 points or fewer in three of five games. Newcastle sit above Melbourne in seventh spot with a 3-2 record following their gritty 15-10 win over Brisbane. The Knights have averaged just 11.7ppg over the last three games. Newcastle have the 13th ranked defence this season.
Stats That Matter– Melbourne are 2-3 ATS with a 3-2 under record while Newcastle are 3-2 ATS with a 3-2 under number. – The Storm have won four straight and 12 of the last 15 against the Knights with both meetings last year coming by margins of 28 and 32. – The Storm are 8-2 all-time at AAMI v Newcastle. – Since 2008, Melbourne are 39-26 ATS off back-to-back losses with a 40-25 under record, covering 12 of their last 15. – The under is 15-8 when the Storm are at home. – The under is 16-6 when the Storm have conceded 14 or fewer the start prior and are playing at home. – The under is 15-9 when the Storm are favoured by more than a converted try at home. – Newcastle have covered just 7 of their last 19 interstate games with a 13-6 over record. – The Knights are 2-8 ATS interstate at night while they are 8-19 ATS at night overall. – Newcastle are 4-12 ATS interstate at night as a double digit underdog with a 10-6 under record. – The Knights are 15-4 under on a six-day turnaround.
Final ThoughtsThe Wolf is expecting a big response from the Storm after their shock start to the season. They’ve had the wood over the Knights in recent years both in head to head meetings and also in matches played in Melbourne. Since 2008, Melbourne are 39-26 ATS off back-to-back losses and The Wolf is tipping them to cover the 10.5 line on Friday night.
How It’s Shaping UpMelbourne by 18
Recommended BetsBest: Melbourne -10.5 ($1.91) Value: Melbourne -10.5 & Under 39.5 ($3.80) First Tryscorer: Curtis Scott