South Sydney Rabbitohs v Melbourne Storm Friday, August 3, 7:55pm ANZ Stadium, Sydney
We look set for an absolute blockbuster when the 1st-placed Storm travel to Sydney to take on the 2nd-placed Rabbitohs. Both sides sit on 30 competition points, with the winner a step closer to securing the minor premiership. The Rabbitohs are unchanged from their ‘Houdini’ effort against the Eels last week, while the Storm are set to welcome back Ryan Hoffman from a shoulder injury.
Recent FormSouth Sydney sit second on the ladder with a 14-5 record. They rank third in scoring and are the third best defensive unit. The Rabbitohs have won 10 of their last 11 matches and have scored 21 or more in four of five. Melbourne lead the premiership, also with a 14-5 record. They have won eight straight and have held teams to 13 or fewer in seven of those. The Storm are the top defensive team in the NRL while they rank fourth in scoring (just three points off first). Four of Melbourne’s last seven wins are by margins of 16 or more.
Stats That Matter– South Sydney are 12-7 ATS with an 11-8 under record while Melbourne are 10-9 ATS with an 11-8 under record. – The Storm have gone under in 8 of 10. – Melbourne have won 24 of the 28 all-time meetings against South Sydney. – The Storm have won five straight against the Rabbitohs and 19 of the last 21. – The teams have played five times at ANZ with Melbourne winning four. – The Storm won 64-6 when the teams met at the backend of last season. – Low-scorers have been the norm with 11 of the last 13 totalling 34 points or fewer. – Souths have covered 13 of their last 18 at ANZ. – As an underdog at ANZ, Souths are 6-11 with an 8-9 ATS record though they have covered six of their last seven at the ground. – Souths have covered 7 of their last 9 at ANZ after scoring 20. – Melbourne are 13-7 ATS with a 13-7 under record when favoured by less than a try. – The under is 7-1 in Melbourne’s last eight as an interstate favourite. – The under is 40-22 after the Storm conceded 14 or fewer while it is 19-10 after they posted 30. – The under is 25-12 when the Storm are off a win of 13-plus.
Final ThoughtsIt’s impossible to ignore the Storm’s dominant record over the Rabbitohs, and that most of the recent contests between the sides have been low-scoring, with 11 of the last 13 matches totalling 34 points or fewer. The Storm have won eight straight and have held teams to 13 or fewer in seven of those. The Wolf is close to rolling out the five chips on the unders here in what should be a fierce defensive battle.
How It Shapes UpMelbourne by 2
Recommended Bets Best: Under 36.5 ($1.91) Value: Melbourne 1-12 ($2.90) First Tryscorer: Suliasi Vunivalu ($10)