Sports

Best bets: A bettor’s guide to this week’s sports action


Last week, Cam Smith managed to fight his way to a T3 finish, despite a nightmarish triple bogey on the 12th hole of the final round, winning the rest of the world category and being my only $4 winner.

The Roosters and Rabbitohs both scored wins but were unable to cover the 13-point margin. Also, the Blues were completely disappointing when they fell to the Suns, losing Patrick Cripps to injury along the way.

This week I’m covering exciting football games and the NBA play-in tournament, looking for value and hopefully better luck than last week.

As always, do your own research and bon voyage!

NRL Round 6

South Sydney Rabbitohs v Canterbury Bulldogs, Accor Stadium, Friday 4:00 p.m.

Good Friday presents the Rabbitohs with another favorable game against a bottom-feeding Bulldogs team. They will be looking to build on last week’s strong performance against the Dragons and string together two wins for the first time this season.

For the Dogs, it’s another tough game, having been thoroughly beaten by the Storm and the Panthers over the past two weeks, conceding a total of 74 points and scoring just 12.

(Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

I don’t expect things to go much differently for them this week, and I see the Rabbitohs reaching another milestone despite the absence of Latrell Mitchell.

The current line sits at 10.5, which should prove easy enough for the Rabbitohs to cover in front of their fans in a Friday afternoon game to kick off the Easter long weekend.

Bet: Rabbitohs line -10.5 – $1.90

Melbourne Storm vs. Cronulla Sharks, AAMI Park, Saturday 7:35 p.m.

On Saturday, the Cronulla Sharks travel to AAMI Park to take on the Melbourne Storm in what looks to be the game of the round.

The Sharks have quietly chained four straight wins, their defense having given up only four meager points in their last two games. They will be looking to test their mettle against a Melbourne side who have scored 74 points in their last two games.

While AAMI Park has been an unfortunate hunting ground for the Sharks in recent years, having lost their last three visits by 16 points or more, the acquisition of ex-Storm rookie Nicho Hynes has dramatically changed their way to play, and he will be hungry. to remind his old side exactly what kind of player they let slip away.

Expect the Sharks to bring their best footy and land a few knocks, but end up falling short in a thrilling battle between two top teams.

Bet: Storm wins 1-12 – $3

Multi bet: Rabbitohs -10.5, Storm 1-12 – $5.70

AFL Round 5

West Coast Eagles v Sydney Swans, Optus Stadium, Friday 7.45pm

The Sydney Swans travel to Optus Stadium on Good Friday to take on an injury-riddled Eagles side, the latest addition to their injured list being ruck star man Nic Naitanui.

This game has been dominated by the Swans in recent history, having won 11 of the last 12 meetings between the teams.

James Rowbottom

(Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

The Swans narrowly avoided an embarrassing loss to the Kangaroos in the last round. Isaac Heeney came on late in the fourth quarter to save their blushes and move the team to 3-1 for the season.

Although they are big favourites, the fact that they were able to overcome a late deficit and get the job done speaks volumes about this young and talented team from Sydney.

Meanwhile, the Eagles passed the Pies for their first win of the season, a game they were lucky to win. Their previous three games have seen them lose to the Suns, Kangas and Dockers, none of whom are real contenders.

Expect the Swans to dominate the midfield battle and move past a battered and bruised Eagles side and further cement their place among the title contenders.

Bet: Swans Line -10.5 – $1.90, Swans 25+ – $2.70

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Essendon Bombers v Fremantle Dockers, Marvel Stadium, Sunday 4:40 p.m.

A Sunday afternoon matchup between the Dons and the Dockers is the only draft game of the round. While some might have predicted this could be the year the Bombers finally fight for a flag, a rocky start saw them lose arguably the AFL’s top three teams in the Demons, Lions and Cats.

A very scrappy victory over a dashing Crows side last time out saw them finally break the duck and begin to get their season back on track.

On the other hand, the Dockers find themselves 3-1, a surprising record given the absence of Nat Fyfe.

They put in a strong last-round performance against the Giants at home, winning the final quarter 36-4, adding to wins over the Eagles and Crows.

Despite their opposing records, Essendon are slight favorites having won the last five games between the pair.

Expect them to continue to build on last week’s win and claim another hard-fought win on Sunday.

Bet: Bombers 1-39 – $2.40

Multi bet: Swans -10.5, Bombers 1-39 – $4.56

NBA

Qualifying Tournament: Los Angeles Clippers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves

Paul George’s recent return has seen the Clippers win five of their last six games. The seven-time All Star is a huge addition for a scrappy team that managed to earn the eighth seed despite the absence of George and his co-star Kawhi Leonard for most of the season.

Since returning, George has averaged 22.5 points per game, 6.8 assists per game and 5.6 rebounds per game, which is a respectable comeback after a lengthy layoff.

Paul George #13 of the Los Angeles Clippers

(Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

Their Game 7 opponents are the Minnesota Timberwolves, an exciting young team who have been another surprise this season at the back of electric Anthony Edwards and all-around big man Karl-Anthony Towns.

With the Timberwolves holding the home court advantage, the Clippers enter the game with a 3-1 head-to-head record, with all three wins coming with Paul George on the court, the only loss in his absence.

While I expect it to be a home and away game, the Clippers have a lot more playoff experience, having reached the Western Conference Finals last season when they were defeated in six games by the Phoenix Suns.

It’s that kind of experience that will give them an edge over a young Timberwolves squad whose only player with significant playoff experience is veteran goaltender Patrick Beverley, who was previously on the Clippers’ 2021 squad.

I bet Paul George is carrying a heavy scoring load, and the Clippers are leaning on their solid defense and playoff experience to get the job done, securing the seventh seed and a fourth straight playoff spot.

Bet: LA Clippers win and Paul George scores 25+ – $3.10


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