NRL Betting Tip: St. George Illawarra Dragons can start new season with narrow win over Brisbane Broncos
Winning Margin – St. George Illawarra Dragons to Win by 1–12 points @ 21/10 (3.10) with Sportsbet
The return of the NRL Telstra Premiership begins on Thursday with what promises to be a feisty encounter between fierce rivals St. George Illawarra Dragons and Brisbane Broncos at the Jubilee Oval.
The rivalry between the Dragons and the Broncos dates back a quarter of a century, with the teams having contested the 1992 and 1993 Grand Finals.
Last season the Broncos won 24-12 when the teams met at the Suncorp Stadium back in August. The Broncos have won on the last four occasions the teams have faced each other and they’ve had a definite edge in recent encounters. The signs perhaps look more encouraging for the Dragons this time though.
In their pre-season games, the Dragons had a 24-18 win over Hull FC of the Super League at ANZ Stadium, but then went down 22-18 to the South Sydney Rabbitohs in the Westfund Charity Shield at Mudgee’s Glenn Willow Stadium.
The game will see Dragons’ half-back Ben Hunt up against his former team, whilst 22 year-old full-back Matt Dufty looks likely to replace Josh Dugan in the Dragons No.1 jersey.
In their pre-season, the Broncos were given a test against the Papua New Guinea Hunters in Port Moresby in which they trailed at the interval before running out 26-12 winners.
Broncos coach Wayne Bennett has injury concerns over hooker Andrew McCullough and full-back Darius Boyd. In addition, new centre Jack Bird will be out of action for the first month of the new campaign.
After being forced to miss two seasons of NRL after a drunken assault in New York City in 2015, Matt Lodge is set to return to action for the Broncos as starting prop, while Jamayne Isaako could come in for Corey Oates on the wing.
There’s little to separate these teams in the NRL betting, with the Dragons being slight favourites. With the addition of James Graham, the home side do look to have the stronger pack, so they probably just about warrant favouritism. That being the case, backing the Dragons to win by 1–12 points at 21/10 (3.10) with Sportsbet looks a decent betting tip.