NRL Betting Preview: Sydney Roosters capable of comfortable win over Wests Tigers

Published: 05.03.2018

Recommended bet:
Winning Margin – Sydney Roosters to win by 7-12 points @ 9/2 (5.50) with BetEasy

Ante-post Premiership betting favourites Sydney Roosters start their campaign with a trip to face Wests Tigers at the ANZ Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Last season the Tigers finished 14th of 16 in the Premiership, winning only three of 12 home matches.  Having finished second in the regular season, the Roosters were beaten in the Preliminary Final by the North Queensland Cowboys, so it’s easy to see why the visitors are favourites here.

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There’s been a major overhaul of the Tigers squad since then, with the most significant new recruits including Mahe Fonua (Hull FC), Benji Marshall (Brisbane Broncos), Ben Matulino (New Zealand Warriors), Chris McQueen (Gold Coast Titans), Taane Milne (St. George Illawarra Dragons), Russell Packer (Dragons) and Josh Reynolds (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs).  The big losses were James Tedesco, who went to the Roosters, and Aaron Woods (Bulldogs).

The close season additions of Cooper Cronk (Melbourne Storm) and James Tedesco (Tigers) have bolstered an already strong Rooster’s squad and the pressure is now on them to deliver the Premiership title.

The Roosters have won on each of the last 10 occasions the two teams have met, with the Tigers last success coming in 2011.  They met twice last season, with the Roosters easing to a 40-18 win at the Campbelltown Stadium, before a tighter 22-18 win on home soil at the Allianz Stadium.

Tigers’ coach Ivan Cleary has been tinkering with his team in pre-season and looks set to opt for Corey Thompson ahead of Tui Lolohea for the No.1 jersey.  Kevin Naiqama could come in at centre and Malakai Watene-Zelezniak is pushing for a start on the wing.  Jacob Liddle is sidelined with a shoulder injury.

It’s anticipated that Luke Keary should be fit to feature alongside Cronk, while Joseph Manu is expected to start in the backline, with Isaac Liu getting an opportunity to replace Aidan Guerra at lock.

It could take a while for the new-look Tigers to gel, but even then you would still have to fancy the Roosters given their greater quality.  

There’s little betting value in backing a Roosters victory at general odds of 3/10 (1.30), but the 9/2 (5.50) with BetEasy on them having a winning margin of 7-12 points looks a more appealing NRL bet.

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