2015 NRL Round 3 Betting Preview for Gold Coast vs Newcastle thanks to William Hill Australia.
6.30pm AEDT, Sunday, March 22
Robina Stadium, Gold Coast
The big story out of this one is the return of Titans players Greg Bird, Dave Taylor and Beau Falloon after being charged with drugs offences. The trio will be amped for a big game but won’t get it easy against a Newcastle team who have won their opening two matches.
Neil Henry welcomes back internationals Greg Bird and Dave Taylor to his pack along with reigning Player of the Year Beau Falloon. Kierran Moseley and Eddy Pettybourne drop to the bench with Lachlan Burr, Mark Ioane, Agantius Paasi and Matt Srama out of the side. Josh Hoffman also goes to fullback with William Zillman moving to the centres. Newcastle are unchanged.
Newcastle hold a 7-5 all-time edge over the Gold Coast with the Knights winning three of five on the holiday strip. The Knights have won four of the last six, posting 30 in three of those games, a number the Titans have posted just twice against Newcastle in 12 games. The Gold Coast won 22-8 in their only meeting last year – in Newcastle – but the Knights won by 24 (2013) and 8 (2011) in their last two trips to the Gold Coast.
The Titans endured a horrid offseason and it continued through the first two weeks. They toughed it out in a close home loss to the Tigers in Round 1 before a 40-0 defeat to Penrith in Bathurst. The final score was not reflective of the match though with the Titans stiff not to lead 12-0 after some ordinary refereeing. The Titans have done little well running for the fewest metres and ranking Top 3 in errors and penalties conceded while they have crossed for just three tries. Their kicking game has been a major issue as well with no team kicking less (not getting to the end of their sets) or for fewer metres. The Knights have been almost the opposite of the Titans in their gritty wins over New Zealand at home and North Queensland in Townsville. They have kicked well, completed their sets and defended stoically. They are a team playing a conservative game plan effectively.
Look for a huge battle between hard-as-nails backrowers Greg Bird and Beau Scott, who will be following each other around all night. Bird is surely jonesing for a game after being caught up in the recent drugs mess while Scott found himself embroiled in a controversy of his own after being fingered for deliberately trying to hurt Johnathan Thurston. Each are spiritual leaders of their team and will be out to win the physical battle early.
Stats That Matter
The Titans have been terrible at home over the last four seasons with a 14-23 (18-19 ATS) record with the under 24-13. The under is 13-8 in night matches while it is 11-5 at night as a home underdog. Over that time the under is 13-7 when the Knights have played on the road at night though they are 6-14 (10-10 ATS). As a road fave the Knights are 4-2 straight and ATS since 2012 with the under 4-2. Home teams off a loss of 35 or more are 41-26 ATS. Interstate teams off an interstate win are a poor 8-17 ATS with the under an incredible 19-6. Night matches with a small home underdog go under on 63% of occasions. The under is 18-8 in Titans games off two straight losses.
All the indicators in this one are pushing the under as one of the top NRL bets of the weekend. The numbers pushing under the 40.5 total in this one are quite incredible actually with situational bettors lapping up the opportunity to play a total with such confidence. That confidence is only enhanced when looking at the key playmakers in this match. A winning score in this could be 12. The Titans also look like a bet. They will be up for this one with their big names returning and the difficulty of back-to-back interstate games shouldn’t be underestimated, an extremely difficult task for a team from Newcastle. An upset is brewing here but for punters wanting just one bet it has to be the under.
How It’s Shaping Up
Gold Coast by 2
Under 40.5 ($1.91)
Other Recommended Bets
Gold Coast +2 ($1.91)
Gold Coast vs Newcastle Comparison Betting Odds
Below we have 2015 NRL Round 3 comparison betting odds from leading Australian and International online sportsbooks for the game.