2015 NRL Round 4 Betting Preview for Cronulla vs Gold Coast thanks to William Hill Australia.
5.30pm AEDT, Saturday, March 28
Remondis Stadium, Sydney
Winless teams Cronulla and the Gold Coast will look to break their duck when tackling each other on Saturday evening. Both have been playing decent football and can sense a breakthrough victory is just around the corner.
Shane Flanagan has made a number of changes to his team, most notably Wade Graham shifting to five-eighth for the suspended Ben Barba. Anthony Tupou starts in the backrow while Chris Heighington starts at prop for Sam Tagataese. Jack Bird has been named on an extended bench to make his debut. Neil Henry has made just one change with boom rookie half Kane Elgey getting the start in the No.7 for the injured Daniel Mortimer.
Cronulla hold a slim 6-5 all-time edge over the Gold Coast, including a 5-2 record at Shark Park. The teams played just once last year with the Titans winning the opening round clash 18-12. The two teams play very low scoring games with the last four tallying below 36 points. The Titans have never scored more than 20 points against the Sharks. The Titans have a host of former Sharks players including Greg Bird and Luke Douglas.
Neither the Sharks or the Titans have won a game. Cronulla have scored just 40 points all season in home losses to Canberra and Brisbane and an away thrashing against Melbourne. Cronulla opponents have conceded the most penalties yet the Sharks have scored the equal fewest tries. That record is shared with the Titans, who were stiff not to beat the Wests Tigers in Round 1 or Newcastle last week but were hammered by Penrith in between. The Titans have had major issues with their go forward while their kicking game has been the worst in the NRL with the lowest kick metres and the fourth fewest dropouts.
It is hard to look beyond the battle of maligned and grizzled veterans – and former Bash Brothers combo – Paul Gallen and Greg Bird. Gallen has been his typical busy self this year, leading the NRL in metres made and offloads while getting through plenty of defensive stuff. He can overplay his hand but the Sharks have needed every bit of his contribution. Bird returned last week after being caught in a drugs drama and was good, particularly defensively. He will be better for the run and always lifts against his former team.
Stats That Matter
Cronulla have lost a remarkable nine straight at home and have not covered once in that run. The Sharks are 9-14 ATS as a home favourite since 2011. When favoured at home by more than four points they are 5-8 ATS. The Titans are the pre-eminent interstate team in the NRL with a 17-22 straight-up record with a return of over 67% and a 25-14 ATS number since 2012. They have failed to cover their last three though after covering 11 straight. When getting 4 or more points they are 18-10 ATS. The Titans have covered 8 of their last 12 on the road off a close loss. The Titans have gone under in their last nine after scoring 18 points while the Sharks have covered just two of their last 10. The Sharks are 0-7 ATS since 2009 as a favourite off three straight losses.
Only a very desperate punter could come into the Sharks at such a short quote in this one. They have had too many chances at home in recent years. The Titans have been arguably a better team this year and have performed interstate consistently for many years. The new halfback should add some life to them while the veterans back from their drug suspension will be better for the run last week. In what will be a low scoring affair the upset is well and truly on.
How It’s Shaping Up
Gold Coast by 6
Gold Coast +5.5 ($1.90)
Other Recommended Bets
Gold Coast ($2.57)
Under 37.5 ($1.90)
Cronulla vs Gold Coast Comparison Betting Odds
Below we have 2015 NRL Round 4 comparison betting odds from leading Australian and International online sportsbooks for the game.