NRL Betting: Newcastle Knights look value on the Handicap at Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
July 26, 2016
Recommended Bet: Newcastle Knights (+20.5 points Handicap) @ 1.91 with bet365
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles and Newcastle Knights meet at the Brookvale Oval on Sunday, with the home team looking to maintain their late charge for the Top Eight. For the Knights, rock bottom of the NRL Premiership, the end of the season can’t come quickly enough.
The Sea Eagles retain slim hopes of securing a place in the Finals Series after three wins on the spin, with the latest being Monday’s 20-12 victory at South Sydney Rabbitohs. It’s still a tough ask, but they have momentum and will expect nothing less than a win against the visitors here to stay within touching distance of the Top Eight.
It was no great surprise that the Knights were on the receiving end of another heavy defeat last weekend with a 36-4 loss at table-topping Cronulla Sutherland Sharks hardly being unexpected. Indeed, had it not been for Chad Townsend replacing the injured James Maloney on kicking duty for the Sharks, resulting in seven missed shots at goal, including six of eight conversion attempts, it could have been an even heavier loss.
To make matters worse for the Knights, key player Jarrod Mullen, who had only recently returned from his latest injury, succumbed to a hamstring injury before half-time in the loss to the Sharks.
In terms of team news, the Sea Eagles stick with those who were on duty for the win over the Rabbitohs on Monday night. For the Knights, Jake Mamo returns from suspension at full-back, with Dane Gagai moving to the centres. With Mitchell Barnett out through suspension, David Bhana comes into the back row and Jack Cogger will replace the luckless Mullen in the halves.
As one would expect against opposition that have lost 16 of 18 matches this term (and having conceded 20 or more points in the same number of those games), the Sea Eagles are big odds-on to prevail here and really should stretch their winning run to four matches. That said, the Knights have shown definite signs of progress in recent games and, even without the influential Mullen, they can be backed to stay within +20.5 points on the Handicap.