Newcastle Knights v Wests Tigers Friday, August 3, 6pm McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
Both the Knights and Tigers are coming off disappointing losses in Round 20 and will be looking to make amends in Newcastle on Friday. The Knights blew a handy lead against the Cowboys, while the Tigers produced a flat performance against the struggling Bulldogs. It’s do-or-die for the Tigers this week after the Titans’ win over the Warriors last week gave Ivan Cleary’s men a slim finals lifeline.
Recent FormNewcastle are 11th on the ladder with an 8-11 record. They had won two on end before blowing a lead against the Cowboys in Townsville. Newcastle are the worst defensive team in the NRL while they rank 12th in scoring. They have conceded 20 or more in four of five. Wests Tigers are 9-10 and had defeated two Top 4 teams on the trot before an embarrassing loss to the Bulldogs. The Tigers rank an impressive fifth in defence but are a poor 15th in scoring. The Tigers are a poor 4-5 against teams outside the Top 8 (v 5-5 against teams inside the Top 8).
Stats That Matter– Newcastle are 10-9 ATS with three straight covers and 10-9 over for the year. – Wests Tigers are 9-10 ATS with a 13-6 under record with four straight unders. – The Knights have won six of the last nine against the Tigers including a 22-20 win in Tamworth this year. – Six of those nine matches have hit 42 points. – Six of the last seven meetings have been decided by 10 points or fewer. – Newcastle have covered just 3 of 10 home night games while the under is 10-5 in Knights home night games over the last four years. – The Knights have covered 8 of their last 14 as a home underdog while they are 7-2 ATS when a home underdog of less than 3.5 points since 2015. – The Tigers are 7-17 ATS as a favourite over the last four years with a 15-9 under record. – As a favourite away from their suburban home grounds, the Tigers are 4-8 ATS with an 8-4 under record. – The Tigers have covered just 2 of their last 9 overall away from their suburban home grounds. – The under is 20-12 when the Tigers conceded 16 or fewer the week prior.
Final ThoughtsThe Wolf is expecting points in this clash. The Knights welcome back Connor Watson at five-eighth, which will add another attacking option to compliment Mitchell Pearce and Kalyn Ponga, while the Tigers know they need to score points to win this clash after posting just four points against the Bulldogs last week. Six of the last nine matches between the sides have reached 42 points or more. A shootout is on the cards!
How It Shapes UpNewcastle by 4
Recommended Bets Best: Over 38 ($1.91) Value: Newcastle 1-12 ($3.20)