NRL Preliminary Final Tip: Melbourne Storm Worth a Bet on Handicap Against Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
September 20, 2018
Handicap – Melbourne Storm -6.5pts @ 8/11 (1.72) with Unibet
Melbourne Storm and Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks meet in the first of the NRL Premiership Preliminary Finals at AAMI Park on Friday evening, with a place in the Grand Final up for grabs.
Melbourne Storm Vs Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks Betting Tips
The Storm go into the game as defending champions and seeking their third consecutive Grand Final appearance, although it was the Sharks who prevailed 14-12 when the two teams met in the title decider at the ANZ Stadium in 2016.
The Sharks have also had the better of things this term to date too, having won both matches in the regular season, winning 14-4 at home in round four before claiming an equally tight 17-14 victory in Melbourne in round 22.
The Storm only just edged past the South Sydney Rabbitohs 29-28 in a pulsating see-saw encounter in the Qualifying Finals at AAMI Park a fortnight ago, while the Sharks went down 21-12 to the Sydney Roosters at the Allianz Stadium at the same stage.
The Sharks made the most of their second chance though as, despite leading 18-2 at the interval, they eventually just scraped past the Penrith Panthers 21-20 at the Allianz Stadium last weekend.
For this clash, Melbourne are expected to be at full strength, with Will Chambers also returning after serving a three-game suspension. The Sharks will be without Wade Graham (knee) and are also sweating on the fitness of veteran back-rowers Paul Gallen and Luke Lewis, with both having picked up injuries against the Panthers.
Although they lost at home four times in the regular season, AAMI Park is generally regarded as something of a fortress for the Storm. In addition, with the Storm having had an extra week off to prepare and the Sharks coming into this game on the back of a bruising win over the Panthers a week ago in which key players picked up knocks, the advantage looks to be decisively with the home team.
Melbourne Storm v Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks Odds
This is likely to be tight, but backing the Storm at -6.5 on the Handicap at 1.72 with Unibet looks reasonable.
* Odds correct at the time of writing