NRL Betting: Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles can keep it tight on Handicap against Melbourne Storm
August 18, 2016
Recommended bet: Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles (+9.5 points Handicap)
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles face Melbourne Storm at the Brookvale Oval on Saturday evening in Round 24 of the NRL Premiership, with both teams coming into the match on the back of defeats.
Manly’s Finals Series aspirations were ended by a 20-16 golden point defeat to Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in their last match and they have had a tendency to struggle late on in matches all season. Table-topping Storm also lost last time out, going down 22-8 at Canberra Raiders.
The Sea Eagles had won four on the spin prior to losing their last two matches. Even so, outside of sudden death overtime, they’ve not conceded more than 16 points in any of those six games. Storm’s loss to Canberra was their heaviest defeat of the campaign and the 22 points they conceded in the capital was the most they have given up in a single game all season. It speaks volumes as to their defensive capabilities throughout the campaign.
The team news sees Manly bring back Matt Parcell and Nate Myles for Dylan Walker and Nathan Green, but they also have doubts over Tom Trbojevic and Daly Cherry-Evans. The latter could be a significant absentee should he fail to feature. There are no such worries for Melbourne’s coach Craig Bellamy and the Storm are set to be unchanged.
The head-to-head record is tight, with Melbourne having won 15 of the 29 previous meetings, Manly have won 13 and there has been a single draw, but the Sea Eagles have won both the previous meetings which took place last year. Storm have won only five of 15 encounters at the Brookvale Oval.
The Storm need to win the ‘Battle of Brookvale’ against their fierce rivals to ensure they retain top spot in the NRL Premiership, but for Sea Eagles there is now little besides pride at stake. On paper that might suggest that this could be reasonably straightforward for the Storm, but they’ve frequently only won by relatively small margins of late and the Sea Eagles could keep this one tight and low-scoring too.