Rugby League  Archive

Rugby League 30 October 2017

“World Cup breaks tired bodies!!!”

Big Jim takes a look at the start of the World Cup…read more.

I am now of the opinion that there is never going to be a good time to have a rugby league World Cup. The ONLY way it would ever work would be to have it in the middle of the Australian winter and have a reduced NRL season. This would be far from perfect and will never happen because the NRL is the breadbasket of the sport. If, however, rugby league power brokers are INSISTENT on having a World Cup then they have to look for another model.

We all understand that the biggest problem is that rugby league isn’t an international game. In many ways trying to pretend it is, gives strength to rugby union. Scrap the whole concept, have a tri-nation (or four nation with a Rest of the World or Pacific Island team) and let the State of Origin Series remain the clear and undisputed pinnacle of the game. That would work and would be far easier to administer.

The other major problem with this series is the workload that the best players in the game have to shoulder. The NRL season is very long and most of the players have had to deal with a grueling State of Origin Series on top of that. I nearly always preach that professional sports players should toughen up when it comes to playing schedules, but in regards to rugby league, I really do feel for these players.

There isn’t a team sport in the world that takes a harder physical toll on its players. These guys are warriors and what they do to their bodies week in week out is nothing short of gladiatorial. It was obvious in the opening game of this World Cup between Australia and England that the players were tired and sore. What this creates is lack luster football with plenty of injuries. If the NRL Players association had any teeth then they should be complaining about the impact this farce has on the players they represent. Mark my words, the injury toll in this World Cup will be horrific and it will continue to impact the game of rugby league right through 2018.

Rugby League 17 October 2017

“Cronk a Tri-Colour?”

Big Jim wonders if the Roosters could make things work with Cooper Cronk…read more

The “hot off the press” news in the world of rugby league is that Cooper Cronk might be on his way to the Roosters. This would be really interesting for a host of reasons. Any Sydney team that can land Cronk should take him. That is pretty clear. He is a winner and would be huge a huge win for any franchise both on and off the field.

In regards to the Roosters, you would have thought that a union between the two parties would be the hardest to make work. How the Roosters could afford Cronk would be the first massive question. They already have a bevvy of top shelf players that they have already opened the chequebook to get James Tedesco for 2018.

The press has already come out and said that Mitchell Pearce is still going to be at Bondi come what may. This would be a monumental mistake. If the chooks get Cronk they should only sign him for a minimum of 2 years. If that happens then release Pearce and let someone else pay him.

The NRL should be more proactive in this process. It’s not a great landing spot for Cronk in regards to the NRL. The Roosters already appear like they achieve the impossible in regards to who they recruit. Surely the NRL could be doing some “behind the doors” work to make sure Cronk lands at a more suitable club. If the NRL aren’t operating like this then they should grow up and get with the programme of high level sports administration.

Rugby League 9 October 2017

World Cup: Plenty of Problems”

Big Jim has a look at the upcoming 2017 Rugby League World Cup….read more

The running of a Rugby League World Cup is questionable at best. World Cups in sports that don’t have international depth usually equal a total waste of time. Even sports that have big International depth like Rugby Union struggle to get the formula right.

This week both Andrew Fafita and Jason Taumalolo turned their backs on Australia and New Zealand to play for Tonga. I am more than happy for players to play for whatever team they want but when players are going back and forth from international teams it makes a mockery of the entire process.

A big thumbs up for Andrew Webster’s article in the Sydney Morning Herald last week. I agree with him whole heartedly that these resent developments are damaging not helpful to the international game. Good to see another scribe telling it how it is and not writing wish-washy bull shite.

http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-league/rugby-league-world-cup/jason-taumalolo-has-damaged-international-rugby-league-not-helped-it-20171005-gyupy1.html

Lets hope the football is of a descent standard and that not too many players get locked up in the back of divvy vans after late night benders.

In regards to betting I think there is one way to go. Australia should win with New Zealand and England being the other two possible chances. Tonga will be interesting and could cause a few upsets but it would be nearly impossible to see them actually win the whole thing. Ladbrokes has Australia at $1.22, England, $8.00 and New Zealand at $9.00.

So my suggestion is toss a coin and back either New Zealand or England to win the world cup at the big price. After all you need two teams to play the Final and once there anything can happen in 80 minutes. If you pick the right one then you can look to back the Aussies back in the final as depending on what happens throughout the tournament they might even start longer than $1.22 on the night.

Rugby League 2 October 2017

Shame NRL……SHAME!!!”

Big Jim takes a look at the NRL Grand Final and the disgraceful decision of the NRL prior to the game…..read more

Before I get started on the 2017 NRL Grand Final, I have to comment on the decision the NRL made to ban ticket paying fans the right to wear rainbow clothes or wave rainbow flags. What has Australia turned into? How can they ban ticket holders from making a peaceful expression. A peaceful expression of people who think that all Australians deserve to be treated equally….that’s right to have equal rights.

This has nothing to do with your sexual preference or religious persuasion this is about the freedom of people to live their lives in the way they see fit. Imagine if I was told I wouldn’t be allowed to have a bet or a beer, its no different!!! If the “No vote” wins this ridiculous exercise then Aussies will be the laughing stock of the entire world and we should be dubbed the most red neck country in the world. This comes at a time when the NFL has stood firm against Trumps stupidity and shown that sport should stand for equality. SHAME NRL!!!

The Melbourne Storm are now going to be heralded as the greatest club side ever. That is a big stretch from where I sit but to say that they aren’t ONE of the best would also be wrong. They are kind of like the New England Patriots in the NFL. All other sides go up and down and the Storm just sit at the top or towards the top of a very even competition year after year after year. They have done this by having an amazing coach, they have the advantage of being away from the spotlight and they have an amazing core of talented champions that have driven this side onwards and upwards now for well over a decade.

The Cowboys were simply never in the hunt in this Grand Final. They were a courageous football team that ran into a brick wall on Sunday night. There is no point trying to dissect the game or work out what went right for one team or wrong for the other. The Cowboys were simply out gunned in every department. Its not that they played particularly badly its just that the Storm were just so much better.

Cronk will go, Slater might and Smith (no matter how well he is still playing) has a short shelf life in the game. It all comes down to how long Craig Bellamy sticks with the storm. While he is there they will continue to be a powerhouse of the game as they constantly rebuild from the inside. Their culture is second to none and there are 15 other clubs that are significantly behind across the board.

Rugby League 20 September 2017

Happy Trails North of the Border”

Big Jim wraps up week 2 of the 2017 NRL Finals and looks at the two Preliminary Finals…read more

The Cowboys were simply brilliant against the Eels. It wasn’t that the Eels did anything “that” bad they were just worn down by a very simple and gutsy Cowboys outfit. Its hard not to continue to write NQ off but they continue to defy the odds and get the job done. It was a good year for the Eels, the challenge now for them is to come back next year and improve further.

The Panthers were stoic in defeat against the Broncos. To be truthful I thought they were the better team on the night. The Broncos limited their mistakes and played solid football which worked due to some relentless defence. Nothing went right for the Panthers and if a few of the line ball decisions went their way they probably would have come away with the win.

Lets get down to business and see who is going to play for all the chocolates come October 1.

Melbourne Storm v Brisbane Broncos

If Melbourne serve up a performance that is anywhere near what they are capable I just cant see them losing. The Storm are just a well coached outfit that doesn’t really have a weakness. The Broncos are going to have to play better than they did against the Panthers to have any chance. They are going to have to tackle with the same determination but they are going to have to find more creativity in attack. Its going to be a good game and any team coached by Wayne Bennett is capable of miracles. I will be on the Broncos at the line as 10.5 is a MASSIVE head start but sadly I still think the Storm find a way.

Ladbrokes Line: -10.5

Suggested Bet: 2 Unit bet Brisbane Broncos +10.5 at the line.

Sydney City Roosters v North Queensland Cowboys

When you punt you have to stick with your convictions. You don’t want to throw good money after bad but you have to back the process’s that have worked over the years. I am going to be all over the Roosters here tonight. They were average against the Broncos and the Cowboys are living the dream but there are just so many reasons why the Chooks win this. They are a much more settled team and have the cattle that should dominate a tired a depleted Cowboys side. Sydney City has a great blend of solid experience and flashy youth. Its been a great ride if you have followed the Cowboys over the last few weeks but I think the fairytale ends here tonight.

Ladbrokes Line: -8 FLAT

Suggested Bet: 3 Unit Bet Roosters -8 FLAT at the line.

Rugby League 13 September 2017

Can a battered Cowboy ride in on a Bronco?”

Big Jim takes a look at a big weekend for the Queensland teams in Week 2 of the 2017 NRL Finals….read more

Well it’s crunch time for the two teams North of the border this weekend in the NRL. The Broncos will start firm favorites at home and the Cowboys will start firm underdogs when they face another tough encounter in Sydney.

Big Jim had a great weekend in the NRL last weekend but he thinks both of these games are tough to call. Sometimes the bookies land closer to the mark than others and it’s a tough week regarding handicap betting.

Brisbane Broncos v Penrith Panthers

As expected the Broncos were very good against the Roosters last weekend. To be truthful they dominated a large percentage of the game. Wayne Bennett will have read the riot act and you can expect the Broncos to start this game with a lot more intensity and won’t be giving away such a large early lead.

The Panthers are in a great position where they have nothing to lose. They were pretty good against Manly last week but they are going to have to be significantly better against the Broncos. This game could well be lost in the battle of the forwards in the first 20 minutes of the game. Panthers have to hang tough early.

I give the Panthers a chance in this one as I think Cleary can cope with the pressure and keep the Panthers structure together. At their best the Panthers have the talent across the park to match it against this Broncos outfit. I just think the +7.5 is an attractive head start in a game this important.

Ladbrokes Line: 7.5

Suggested Bet: Bet 2 Units Panthers +7.5 at the line.

Parramatta Eels v North Queensland Cowboys

Both of these sides are leaning on the “feel good story” play-book this season. They both find themselves in this position for different reasons, but if you take everything into consideration its remarkable that the moons have aligned to create this match-up.

Parramatta are young, fearless and playing above their station. The Cowboys woes have been well documented but somehow they are just like an all winter flu that just keeps hanging on and finding a way to beat you down.

I have found this game really hard to break down. Parramatta has been unpredictable at the best of times this year which scared me. What scares me more is that the well must run dry at some stage this year for the battle weary Cowboys. I marked the game at 8.5 so I don’t have a strong opinion but if pushed I have a slight leaning towards the Eels at the minus. I came to this decision simply because I feel that the team that finally breaks the Cowboys might pile on some serious points once the dam cracks. Tough game and it will be sad to see the loser hang the boots up for the summer.

Ladbrokes Line: 8.5

Suggested Bets:

Bet 1 Unit Parramatta -8.5 at the line

Bet 1 Unit Total Points scored OVER

Rugby League 11 September 2017

“Eels are good…Eels are good….the Parramatta Eels are good”

Big Jim commends the Eels on their stoic loss to the Storm….read more

I hope you got my connection with the heading that I stole from the 90’s classic song Ebenezer Good. I think it fits! If you didn’t, you shouldn’t have any problem with my sentiment in this article. The Parramatta Eels served up an enormous effort against the Melbourne Storm and were damn unlucky not to come away with the win.

Parra were a deserved 12.5 point under dogs going into the game and they nearly threw the NRL 2017 Finals into a tail spin. They did what not many people thought they could do; They dominated the game for the majority and put the acid test on their highly fancied opponents. There wasn’t a bad player for the Eels who stood tough early under extreme pressure to lead at half time by 10:4.

The Storm put in an awesome display for 10 amazing minutes of football to break the game open early in the second half but once again the Eels fought back and in the end it was only a penalty goal that separated the two teams. Hats off to the Eels who have built this team from the ground up. They have shown faith in some disregarded players and I really hope they come out breathing fire next weekend. They certainly don’t deserve to go out in straight sets in 2017.

The Storm just did what good teams do. They found a way to win. Cameron Munster came crashing back down to earth by playing his worst game of the season. Slater proved to be the difference and their forwards hung tough as they always do. To be truthful it was the indifferent performance the Storm needed before a Preliminary Final. Craig Bellamy now has plenty to work on and heaven help their next opponent.

The other amazing performance of the weekend was the win by the North Queensland Cowboys. How the hell they managed to hold on and come out on top I will never know. It was one of the most gutsy wins I have ever seen. Can’t wait for their clash with the Eels next weekend.

“NRL 2017 Finals Preview” 4 September 2017

Big Jim takes a look at the top 8 and their chances in the 2017 NRL finals…read more

Back from holidays and only 8 remain. Just to switch it up a little I will give you the NRL teams in order of prices. I will obviously have game by game breakdown of all finals matches (no later than Thursday each week) but if you want to take advantage of the big prices now then this should be a good guide. Good luck and hope you back a winner in what should be one hell of a finals series.

Melbourne Storm

Ladbrokes price to win the Premiership $1.90

Clearly the best team in the competition. You would think that anyone who beats the Storm will go onto win the Premiership. The Storm will be thinking that they are invincible and its hard to argue.

Strengths: I could write a PHD on this. Quite simply an amazingly well coached football team with a few absolute legends of the games leading from the front. Not hard to work out why they are so good.

Weaknesses: Hard to really pin point many. They sometimes struggle to show creativity in attack. They tend to score a lot of points from kicking and if a forward pack can out muscle them up front then they MAY be vulnerable.

Big Jim Says: Melbourne are the best team and will be super hard to beat. I will speculate on a few of the others and pray for a miracle but only because the price about the Storm is so short and I will be looking for value elsewhere. Having said that I am not deluded enough to think that they aren’t the team to beat.

Sydney City Roosters

Ladbrokes price to win the Premiership $5.00

I have been spruiking the Roosters all season and now it is time for them to strut their stuff. I still rate them as the most likely team to knock off the Storm. Talent isn’t the issue at Bondi but consistency can be.

Strengths: This a complete team. Mitchell Pearce has finally become the leader of this football team and much of the responsibility rests on his shoulders. He has a star studded forward pack that has to dominate. If this all happens, they have the outside backs that can keep the score board ticking over.

Weaknesses: The Chooks have never been the sort of side to really tough it out. They get the chance to silence the doubters this year.

Big Jim Says: This side is capable of winning it but….they are prone of being soft-hearted head cases. I have backed them throughout the year to win so I am already on them for plenty I just hope they don’t beat themselves. At $5.00 they still remain good value in my book.

Brisbane Broncos

Ladbrokes price to win the Premiership $8.00

Wayne Bennett is a dead set legend. You just know that he will get the very best out of the Broncos this September. The big question is that enough? I don’t think they have the talent of the Storm or even the Roosters but you simply cant write them off

Strengths: Outside of their coaches brilliance they have plenty of talent to match. Their no nonsense forward pack featuring the likes of Gillet and McGuire should at least break even with any team. They have some big rangy outside backs with plenty of size and speed.

Weaknesses: The Broncos have talent in the halves but are they are good enough to challenge the best in the business? Time will tell!

Big Jim Says: This isn’t the greatest Broncos team but they are at a juicy price. Lets face reality, an average Broncos side is always better than most of the competition. If they can beat the Roosters on the road in week 1 then it might be only the Storm that stands in their way come Grand Final Day.

Parramatta Eels

Ladbrokes price to win the Premiership $10.00

A top four birth for Parramatta in 2017 is nearly enough to have the Eels faithful celebrating already. I hope the players aren’t thinking that or the Eels could very easily find themselves going out in straight sets.

Strengths: At times this year this side has really played some amazing football. They have a solid blend across the park but will need get good consistent ball to their X factor laden-ed outside backs.

Weaknesses: This is going to be a whole new ball game for the majority of this team. Facing Melbourne on the road isn’t going to be all that easy an introduction to finals football either. They will need the likes of the legendary Michael Jennings to lead both on and off the field and they will be relying on some young talent to lead the team from the halves.

Big Jim Says: The Eels represented a good bolters price a towards the end of the season but they appear to be a bit short now. They are capable on their day but I really cant see them being good enough to win the Premiership. Just too much well honed opposition.

Cronulla Sharks

Ladbrokes price to win the Premiership $13.00

The reigning Premiers got off to a good start this year but really let things slip towards the end of the season. If they were in the top 4 then they would have been a chance again but I just can’t see them doing it from this far back.

Strengths: Week 1 hosting the Cowboys is a great way for the Sharks to start their finals campaign and you could argue that a tune up at home is a better way to start the finals than being thrashed down in Melbourne. Belief shouldn’t be a problem and the talent is there even though they are getting a little long in the tooth.

Weaknesses: 4 games on the trot against tough opposition is going to be a big ask. Just not going well enough to mount a challenge for me.

Big Jim Says: I hate to write off their season at this point (as they should cruise through to week two of the finals) but I think the Sharks are already looking forward to 2018. It will be a “new look” team and one that we will all be looking forward to watching next year.

Manly Sea Eagles

Ladbrokes price to win the Premiership $21.00

Manly could win a couple of finals this year but the ultimate prize would be a HUGE surprise. To be truthful the Sea Eagles should be pretty happy with their year and confident that they can really challenge in the medium to long term.

Strengths: Cherry-Evans is a very good footballer. Not sure about Trent Barrett as a coach but time will tell. There were big changes at Manly this year and once this side gels they could be serious contenders.

Weaknesses: You can’t win Premierships by being world beaters one day and cream puffs the next. The talent is there but this team isn’t settled enough to win it in 2017.

Big Jim Says: There are positive signs for the Sea Eagles but I just can’t ignore their consistency issues. They are going to have to win 4 on the trot and I just can’t see that happening. Plenty to look forward to next year in Brookvale and their game against the Panthers in Week 1 should be a corker.

Penrith Panthers

Ladbrokes price to win the Premiership $26.00

Alas, what might have been if the Panthers had of gotten it together at the start of the year. They are going to have to do it the hard way but for me, represent the best (if not the only) chance of doing it from the bottom half of the eight. My rationale is that to win the Premiership you are going to have to beat the Strom at some stage and I think the Panthers are the only one in the bottom half of the 8 that would have ANY chance (however small). Their first week clash against Manly should be a block buster.

Strengths: We all knew this team had the ability to compete this year. It just appeared that no one told the Panther’s Players until it was nearly to late. The emergence of Cleary as one of the games most exciting halves has ignited the Men from the Mountain. Their forward pack is one of the best in the game on paper.

Weaknesses: Just like the Sydney Swans in the AFL their biggest weakness is that they got off to such a bad start to the season. Its an awfully high mountain to climb for the Panthers and it’s going to be tough from the start with a hard first round game on the road.

Big Jim Says: This is a good team. They are more than capable of beating any team on their day. The problem is that they are going to have to win four on the trot and beat some really good teams along the way. The best smokey and worth a dabble at bolters odds.

North Queensland Cowboys

Ladbrokes price to win the Premiership $26.00

The Cowboys should be proud of themselves this year. They only fell into the finals but it was an amazing feat just to get there. The loss of Jonathan Thurston was the final nail in the coffin but they had a bevy of injuries and adversities before and after JT was sacrificed by another stellar campaign for QLD. Treat the boys from Northern Queensland like a good bottle of red. Put them in the cellar and give them another year.

Strengths: This side never gives up. The sad thing is that they are so badly beaten up, that this finals campaign in 2017 looks too hard.

Weaknesses: Just too many super stars sitting on the pine.

Big Jim Says: A very brave year from the Cowboys that will pay dividends in the future but hard to see them sustaining any charge in the finals in 2017. Way too short at the 25/1 should be around the 50/1 mark at best.

Rugby League 17 August 2017

23 down and 3 to go!!!”

Big Jim takes a look at Round 24 of the 2017 NRL competition….read more

ALERT: Big jim and his crew are on holidays for the next few weeks. Click here for details. He will be back for all of the NRL finals, so have no fear you will get plenty of winning tips and insight when it matters in September…Cheers Big Jim

Well only three rounds left of the NRL season and I have to say its a pretty average round. Some great betting options but not a whole lot of games that see two serious contenders battling it out.

The Cowboys v Sharks up in the far north is going to be a very interesting game. Both sides are coming off losses last week and both desperately need a win. Results breathed a bit of life back into the final 8 with the Dragons and Raiders both enjoying some crazy results last weekend. The other incredibly important game is the Super Sunday clash between the Raiders and the Panthers in Canberra. Penrith have to win to have a chance of a top 4 birth and the Raiders have to win out to have a chance of playing finals.

So lets get down to the business of picking NRL winners this weekend after a very good +5 Unit win last weekend.

Eels v Titans (Ladbrokes line -12)

Suggested Bets: 1 Unit bet Eels at the line

Some real interest in this one for a myriad of reasons. The Jarryd Hayne debacle will be looming large and the Eels disgraceful hatchet job on themselves last weekend create plenty of interest. In true Parra fashion I expect the Eels to bounce back hard, just a question regarding the margin.

Rabbitohs v Warriors (Ladbrokes line -7.5)

Suggested Bets:

1 Unit bet Rabbits the line

2 Unit bet Total Points Scored OVER

No more Warriors for me this year. They are a disgrace. Bunnies been ok in recent week and appear to be playing with a little bit of passion right now. Should be plenty of offence.

Broncos v Dragons (Ladbrokes line -9.5)

Suggested Bets: 2 Unit bet Total Points Scored UNDER

Broncos are flying at the moment. Tonight they come up against a team that just has to win. St George tend to do the simple things well so really like the UNDER tonight in a game where it might end up being closer than some believe.

Knights v Storm (Ladbrokes line +12.5)

Suggested Bets: 1 Unit bet Knights at the line

What a turn around by the Knights. It is amazing the boys from the Steel City are one of the form teams in the competition. They face the best in the business tonight and I have a bad record tipping against the Storm. I tend to go the UNDER total points religiously in Storm games (where I tend to clean up) but anything could happen here. Knights at the line but a “look on” game for me.

Roosters v Wests Tigers (Ladbrokes line 12.5)

Suggested Bets: 2 Unit bet Total Points UNDER

Tigers (like the Knights) are finishing the season off strong. The Roosters were unlucky last weekend and I think they find a way to win tonight but they are going to have to grind it out.

Cowboys v Sharks (Ladbrokes line +4.5)

Suggested Bets: 2 Unit bet Sharks at the line

The Sharks are racking up the frequent flyer points in resent weeks but they get chance against the Cowboys at the right time. The Cowboys come back from Sydney and appear beaten up beyond repair. I think the Sharks might feed on a Cowboy side that has lost one two many shoot outs in what has been a tough season for them.

Raiders v Panthers (Ladbrokes line -4.5)

Suggested Bets:

2 Unit bet Panthers the line

3 Unit bet Total Points Scored UNDER

Easily the most interesting game of the round. The Panthers are on a roll and are threatening to show their best. I just think their combination in the halves might prove the difference. I expect it to be close and low scoring.

Bulldogs v Manly (Ladbrokes line +9.5)

Suggested Bets: 1 Unit bet Bulldogs at the line.

A hard and horrible end to the round. I can’t touch Manly after last weeks disgrace effort. Big start for a game where the gap between the two sides isn’t as large as it might appear.

FUTURES ALERT: Ladbrokes has the Premiership a race in three with the Storm as clear favourites in front of the Roosters and the Broncos. That is exactly how I see it. The only stand out value for me are the Panthers that are currently quoted at $15.00. If they were to sneak into a top 4 spot then they are the one team that has the talent to win it from the back of the pack. I still think the Roosters are the most likely team to worry the Storm out of it come Grand Final day.

Rugby League 14 August 2017

Hayne Pain on the Coast”

Big Jim takes a look at the big news from the NRL…read more

When you sign a big name like Jarryd Hayne it comes with plenty of fine print that can derail any club. Struggling franchise who sign one huge name and expect it to turn around their long term problems usually end up with the gamble blowing up in their faces. It destroyed the Western Force in the Super Rugby competition, it was a far from a success for the Gold Coast Suns in the AFL and it is now going to reek havoc at the Gold Coast Titans in the NRL.

Neil Henry has told the club that either Hayne has to go or he will. What a farce. Both are being paid big money and have big contracts left to fufill. A coach has to have control of his team and when you sign a player like Jarryd Hayne sometimes you get a personality that insists that it must be done his way. Player/coaches don’t exist in modern day professional sport and you better damn well be sure that the super stars personality doesn’t clash with the man given the job of coaching the team and keeping on field performances cohesive.

We don’t know why this has happened, and to be truthful it doesn’t even matter. The bottom line is that it should never have gotten to this point and sadly I cant see anyway this isn’t going to destroy the club in the short to medium term. If the Titans let Hayne go, he will be expecting to waltz back into Parramatta. Truth be told, if it doesn’t cost the Titans anything I would be happy to take this option. If I was Parra, I would be making it VERY clear what was expected from the Hayne Train well before it pulled into the station.

Parramatta and Manly really have to take a good long hard look at themselves after devastating losses over the weekend. The gap between their best and their worst is massive. Both sides had EVERYTHING to play for over the weekend and both fell short. How does this happen? Professional sporting clubs work hard on all levels for 365 days a year. Both the Sea Eagles and the Eels may have destroyed most of a good years work in 80 minutes of mind numbing crap-ness.

If I was the CEO of either club I would be employing the best sports psychologist I could lay my hands on. I’m not joking they really need to fix the mental state of their players. Is it a pressure thing? Is it a complacency problem? These are questions that need answers as the 17 players who took the field for both clubs last weekend are driving their coaches and supporters crazy. Sub-par performances like both Parra and Manly served up on the weekend just isn’t good enough for clubs that had everything to play for.

Rugby League 10 August 2017

“Do we have our top 8 sorted yet?”

Big Jim looks at all the games in the upcoming round of NRL action…read more

I think that the top 8 won’t change this year. Usually it comes down to the wire in the NRL and its the AFL that is more clear cut at this time of the season but this year it’s the opposite. The only two teams left fighting for an unlikely spot in the finals are the Dragons and the Raiders. The Dragons just aren’t going well enough and the Raiders need plenty of miracles. The really interesting thing now is going to see what we get served up in the first week. I don’t think a team that finishes outside of the top 4 has a hope in hell of beating teams like the Storm.

Some big game so lets have a look.

Rabbitohs v Bulldogs (Ladbrokes line -4)

Suggested Bet: Bet 2 Unit Rabbits at the line.

Heaven help us here. The Bunnies are up and down like a yo-yo. There is real trouble at the dog pound though as the Bulldogs shop around their ageing talent. Hard to see the Canterbury team being unified for this one. Bunnies.

Eels v Knights (Ladbrokes line -15.5)

Suggested Bet: Bet 1 Unit Knights at the line

The Eels should win but this is a big head start. The Knights have been in season best form and the Eels will be more interested in just making sure they get the two points over running up a cricket score.

Broncos v Sharks (Ladbrokes line -6.5)

Suggested Bets:

Bet 1 Unit Sharks at the line

Bet 2 Units Total Points scored UNDER

The Broncos were clinical last weekend but they face sterner opposition here. Very important game for both clubs so I think it will be tight. So Under and the + for me.

Dragons v Titans (Ladbrokes line -8)

Suggested Bet: Bet 1 Unit the Dragons at the line

Hard to know how the Titans bounce back after their arse whipping last weekend at home. The Dragons are a no nonsense style of football team and this is a must win for them. The red V should win just the margin that is the million dollar question for a football team that doesn’t traditionally pile on the points.

Storm v Roosters (Ladbrokes line -8)

Suggested Bet: Bet 3 Units Total Points scored UNDER

We should see these two sides go at it again come finals time so both will be looking to make a statement. Roosters will go better than they did last week. Plenty of tackling should be on the menu. The UNDER is my best of the weekend.

Panthers v Cowboys (Ladbrokes line -6)

Suggested Bet: Bet 2 Units Panthers at the line

The Cowboys have been good without Thurston but cracks are starting to appear. The Panthers are on a roll now and have the talent to beat any team by good margins. Another very important game regarding shaping the finals.

Warriors v Raiders (Ladbrokes line +8)

Suggested Bet: Bet 2 Units on Warriors the line

The Warriors are a disgrace but will give it a go at home. The Raiders aren’t playing well enough to be giving the Warriors 8 points head start on the road.

Wests Tigers v Manly (Ladbrokes line +7.5)

Suggested Bet: Bet 1 Unit Total Points Scored OVER

Wests Tigers have gotten better as the season has worn on. Manly tends to win and lose in chunks so they should win this one after a good win against the Chooks last weekend. I expect plenty of open football and lots of points.

FUTURES ALERT: Parra and Penrith are the best two long shots and the Roosters are back out to good value to win the Premiership. If the Chooks happened to cause the upset over the Storm their price would come rocketing in. Can’t see the top 8 changing so no value there.

Rugby League 8 August 2017

Penrith Panthers on the Prowl”

Big Jim Takes a look at the charge of the Panthers….read more

The Penrith Panthers looked a bit shaky against the Wests Tigers on Sunday but they got away with the two points. At the start of the season the Panthers were favourites for the Premiership but their early season form had them in danger of missing the finals altogether.

The Men from the Mountains have turned it all around and now look set to make a serious charge at the finals. If the Cowboys continue to struggle then the Panthers could even slip into a top 4 spot. They are starting to get key personal back and their forward pack is just starting to find form. Cleary is a champion in the making and this is a team that could do significant damage come finals time.

It looks like a 5 horse race. Storm are on fire and the Chooks (even though they had a horrible loss to Manly last weekend) are the obvious danger. The Sharks, Panthers and maybe even Parramatta loom as the other dangers. Manly are too inconsistent and the Raiders will be very lucky to even sneak in. I can’t see a team outside of the top 4 winning the Grand Final so I would be doing some homework and making sure that I was putting money on a team that I thought was going to make the top 4. It’s going to be a great end to the regular season just be mindful of injuries and remember that teams with finals experience are usually the ones that fight it out come Grand Final day.

Rugby League 3 August 2017

Eels are Electrifying”

Big Jim takes a look at the best NRL bets for Round 22…read more

Parramatta were nothing short of inspirational against the Broncos last weekend. The Eels really mixed up their form early on in the year but over the last month they have looked like top 8 certainties. They should beat traditional rivals Canterbury tonight and a top 4 spot isn’t out of the equation. There is a lot to like about the 2017 Eels and if you make the top 4 anything can happen.

They have big powerful forwards that do the simple things really well. Tackle and run the ball up straight and hard is their methodology. They finally have the creative halves that can bring their pacey and big outside backs into play. Jennings appears to be back to his best and his experience at the highest level is crucial to their charge. They are playing exciting football and ticking the right boxes to make them a serious contender.

Some really exciting match-ups this weekend with plenty of teams chasing top 4 and top 8 births. Lets see if we can find a few winners.

Bulldogs v Eels (Ladbrokes line +7.5)

Suggested Bets: 1 Unit bet Eels the line

Plenty for the Eels to play for. The same cant be said for the Dogs. Lets just hope Parra has turned the corner in regards to consistency.

Dragons v Rabbitohs (Ladbrokes line -6.5)

Suggested Bets: 1 Unit bet Dragons the line.

These two sides usually put on a good show. If the Dragons side that flogged Manly a fortnight ago shows up then they should be way too good for the Bunnies who appear to have already clocked off for 2017.

Cowboys v Storm (Ladbrokes line +5.5)

Suggested Bet: 1 Unit bet Cowboys the line

The Storm just keep marching onwards regardless of personnel. The Cowboys have been pretty consistent recently and need to keep winning, so this has CRACKER written all over it.

Knights v Warriors (Ladbrokes line +4)

Suggested Bet: 3 Unit bet Warriors the line

The Knights have been good to us all year. That is they have been consistently losing by big margins. The one thing you can say though, is that the Knights have been amazingly competitive on rare occasions with very limited resources. The opposite can be said about the Warriors who seem unable to play 80 minutes of football. I think today the Kiwis might turn it around as the Warriors depth of talent is going to prove to be too much for the Knights.

Titans v Broncos (Ladbrokes line +4.5)

Suggested Bet: 2 Unit bet Total Points scored UNDER

Beware the wounded Bronco!!! The Broncos will want to hit back after last week but the Titans just have to win and always lift in the local derby. So I am banking on this one being a close hard fought game. Just have to pray for no late garbage time tries if one team gets on top late.

Sharks v Raiders (Ladbrokes line +5.5)

Suggested Bet: 3 Unit bet Total Points UNDER

The Sharks have been really impressive this year across the board. The Raiders have been the years biggest disappointment. The Raiders have to win out from here to have any chance so I suspect them to throw everything at the Sharks tonight. There is no love loss between the two sides so I expect it to be tight and low scoring. The UNDER here is my best of the week and I am really looking forward to this.

Manly v Roosters (Ladbrokes line +2.5)

Suggested Bet: 1 Unit bet Roosters the line

The Manly roller-coaster keeps on trucking this year. The Sea Eagles last two weeks have been nothing short of pathetic. I suspect that you will see a totally different team take the park today but they are lining up against a Roosters team that is settled and full of confidence.

Panthers v Wests Tigers (Ladbrokes line -10.5)

Suggested Bet: 2 Unit bet Total Points scored OVER

The Wests Tigers CAN play when they bring their best to the table. The Panthers are starting to find form and should win this one but the margin is the question. As long as the weather is ok I can see plenty of points being scored at the foot of the Mountains.

FUTURES OPTIONS: Its absolutely the last chance for the Titans and Raiders this weekend and both will start clear underdogs. If Penrith win and the Dragons were to lose, the top 8 would nearly be set in concrete so not a lot of value regarding top 8 markets. Roosters were the big ones to shorten at Ladbrokes in Premiership betting this week and are into clear second picks behind the Storm at $5.00. They were great value prior to this but now eventually seem to be around the right price. I hope you got on them a little early! Some big injury concerns for the Broncos and the Sharks have seen them both drift. For those of you who believe in fairy tales and big prices Parra at $15.00 still seems nice and juicy.

Rugby League  27  July  2017

“Hopefully more of the same from Big Jim this week”

Big Jim takes a look at Round 21 of the NRL after a huge week of winning tips in Round 20…read more

I was pretty happy with the results in Round 20. Hope you got on and got your share of the booty from the bookies. This weekend looks tough but we will keep on punching the ball up the middle and keep our bank rolls going up!

Nice to have footy back on Thursday night for us football tragics so lets get down to business and find some winners.

Panthers v Bulldogs (Ladbrokes line -8.5)

Suggested Bets:

1 Unit bet Total Points Scored UNDER

2 Unit Bet Panthers to win Ladbrokes NRL Bet Blast at $1.80

Danger game for the Panthers. It looks like the Dogs are dusted for 2017 which might give them some freedom to play an open game. The talent is there. Expect Hassler will at least have them tackling a bit better this week.

Warriors v Sharks (Ladbrokes line +4.5)

Suggested Bet: 2 Unit bet Warriors the line

This is a real DANGER game for the Sharks. The Warriors are enigmatic and back at home with little to play for which is the sort of time the Kiwis can traditionally turn it on.

Eels v Broncos (Ladbrokes line +5.5)

Suggested Bet: 1 Unit bet Total Points scored UNDER

I have found the Eels the hardest team to catch in 2017. The Broncos should win and win well but again another danger game. I am starting to sound like a broken record.

Knights v Dragons (Ladbrokes line +10.5)

Suggested Bet: 2 Unit bet Dragons at the line

OK finally a game that doesn’t spell danger. The well coached Dragons should just have way too much polish for the Knights.

Rabbitohs v Raiders (Ladbrokes line +6.5)

Suggested Bet:

1 Unit bet Souths the line

1 Unit bet Total Points Scored OVER

So sad that this is a who cares derby. Apparently the Burgess Boys are going to play for the fans. Lets hope.

Roosters v Cowboys (Ladbrokes line -3.5)

Suggested Bet: 3 Unit bet Roosters at the line

Looks like my best of the weekend. The Cowboys were flattered by the score last weekend against the Warriors. The Chooks are a far sterner opponent. I have a feeling belief is pretty high in Bondi at the moment so the Rooters should be too good in this one.

Storm v Sea Eagles (Ladbrokes line -3.5)

Suggested Bet: 3 Unit bet Total Points Scored UNDER

Injuries could be the big talking point here. Manly will go back to what they do best and tackle the lights out after the Dragons ripped them apart last weekend.

Titans v Wests Tigers (Ladbrokes line -9.5)

Suggested Bets:

2 Unit bet Titans the line

2 Unit bet Total Points Scored OVER

Wests Tigers are due a thumping. A couple of heart breaking losses doesn’t bode well for a team with little to play for. The Titans have played some good football this year and even though their season is over regarding finals expect them to come out and play some exciting football today.

FUTURES OPTIONS: I really hope you took my advice and got on the Roosters and the Broncos last week as both have shortened this week in Premiership betting. The Premiership markets looks pretty spot on now with only 4 clubs under 10/1. It would be a big surprise to see any other team win it outside of these 4. I still really like the Roosters and the Broncos over the Storm and Sharks when it comes to value. The top 8 is now a 9 horse race. Eels, Dragons, Sea Eagles and the Panthers should realise that only 8 fits into 8. No prize for 9th. Should be an exciting battle between the 4 Sydney clubs.

Rugby League  27  July  2017

“Hopefully more of the same from Big Jim this week”

Big Jim takes a look at Round 21 of the NRL after a huge week of winning tips in Round 20…read more

I was pretty happy with the results in Round 20. Hope you got on and got your share of the booty from the bookies. This weekend looks tough but we will keep on punching the ball up the middle and keep our bank rolls going up!

Nice to have footy back on Thursday night for us football tragics so lets get down to business and find some winners.

Panthers v Bulldogs (Ladbrokes line -8.5)

Suggested Bets:

1 Unit bet Total Points Scored UNDER

2 Unit Bet Panthers to win Ladbrokes NRL Bet Blast at $1.80

Danger game for the Panthers. It looks like the Dogs are dusted for 2017 which might give them some freedom to play an open game. The talent is there. Expect Hassler will at least have them tackling a bit better this week.

Warriors v Sharks (Ladbrokes line +4.5)

Suggested Bet: 2 Unit bet Warriors the line

This is a real DANGER game for the Sharks. The Warriors are enigmatic and back at home with little to play for which is the sort of time the Kiwis can traditionally turn it on.

Eels v Broncos (Ladbrokes line +5.5)

Suggested Bet: 1 Unit bet Total Points scored UNDER

I have found the Eels the hardest team to catch in 2017. The Broncos should win and win well but again another danger game. I am starting to sound like a broken record.

Knights v Dragons (Ladbrokes line +10.5)

Suggested Bet: 2 Unit bet Dragons at the line

OK finally a game that doesn’t spell danger. The well coached Dragons should just have way too much polish for the Knights.

Rabbitohs v Raiders (Ladbrokes line +6.5)

Suggested Bet:

1 Unit bet Souths the line

1 Unit bet Total Points Scored OVER

So sad that this is a who cares derby. Apparently the Burgess Boys are going to play for the fans. Lets hope.

Roosters v Cowboys (Ladbrokes line -3.5)

Suggested Bet: 3 Unit bet Roosters at the line

Looks like my best of the weekend. The Cowboys were flattered by the score last weekend against the Warriors. The Chooks are a far sterner opponent. I have a feeling belief is pretty high in Bondi at the moment so the Rooters should be too good in this one.

Storm v Sea Eagles (Ladbrokes line -3.5)

Suggested Bet: 3 Unit bet Total Points Scored UNDER

Injuries could be the big talking point here. Manly will go back to what they do best and tackle the lights out after the Dragons ripped them apart last weekend.

Titans v Wests Tigers (Ladbrokes line -9.5)

Suggested Bets:

2 Unit bet Titans the line

2 Unit bet Total Points Scored OVER

Wests Tigers are due a thumping. A couple of heart breaking losses doesn’t bode well for a team with little to play for. The Titans have played some good football this year and even though their season is over regarding finals expect them to come out and play some exciting football today.

FUTURES OPTIONS: I really hope you took my advice and got on the Roosters and the Broncos last week as both have shortened this week in Premiership betting. The Premiership markets looks pretty spot on now with only 4 clubs under 10/1. It would be a big surprise to see any other team win it outside of these 4. I still really like the Roosters and the Broncos over the Storm and Sharks when it comes to value. The top 8 is now a 9 horse race. Eels, Dragons, Sea Eagles and the Panthers should realise that only 8 fits into 8. No prize for 9th. Should be an exciting battle between the 4 Sydney clubs.

Rugby League 20 July 2017

Dick Heads will always be Dick Heads!!!”

Big Jim takes a looks at the Blues who don’t deserve to be Blues….read more

I was just telling someone the other day how Josh Dugan had proved everyone wrong. Well it isn’t the first and wont be the last time I have been made to look like an idiot. Maybe you just can’t stop a moron being a moron no matter how much he appears to have turned his life around. Dugan and Ferguson have had enough warnings and their recent off field antics should sadly be the end of their representative careers.

Especially regarding Dugan it is sad for rugby league as he is an amazing talent who gives everything when he dons the boots and gets on the field. For the record I think this has been blown way out of proportion but its 2017 and that is sadly the landscape we find ourselves in. I feel cheated that a player like Josh Dugan should be shown the door in regards to participating at the highest level of the game. He is one of the best talents in the game but he had a standard to uphold and he didn’t do that.

The problem is that players, managers and administrators have to understand that modern day sportsman are bound by a HUGE duty of care. Its like taking a headache tablet that you haven’t checked out. As a professional athlete you just HAVE to know better. They know what is excepted and what isn’t and getting on the piss whilst in Origin Camp is clearly a no brainer unless it is done with the whole team behind closed doors. That is the reality and these idiots have to either understand this or be handled like toddlers with a shotgun. Where were some of the senior coaches or Blues staff? This could have and should have been avoided. To be truthful its very sad.

Plenty of great games to sink our teeth into this week so lets get down to picking up plenty of winners in Round 20 of the NRL.

Broncos v Bulldogs (Ladbrokes Line -9.5)

Suggested Bet: Bet 3 Units Betstar NRL Bet Blast on the Broncos to win at $1.80.

Just see the Broncos doing a job on the inconsistent Dogs tonight. End of Origin means its Bronco time!

Roosters v Knights (Ladbrokes Line -16)

Suggested Bet: Bet 1 Unit Roosters the Line.

This is a big line but again I am with the favourites. Just too good and too much to play for. Might be a long day for new Knights recruit Shaun Kenny-Dowall against his old crew.

Sharks v Rabbitohs (Ladbrokes Line -8.5)

Suggested Bet: Bet 2 Unit Sharks the Line.

Its all over now for the Bunnies and the Sharks should be looking to munch out on rabbit stew. The Sharks will have been read the riot act after last week and should be too settled and switched on.

Penrith v Gold Coast (Ladbrokes Line -5.5)

Suggested Bet: Bet 2 Units Total Points UNDER.

What a game this is. Both teams are on a roll and both need to keep winning. I think the line is about right. Even though both sides are more than capable of piling on the points I like the UNDER total points scored due to the gravity of the clash. Just hope the Panthers don’t get well in front and pile on garbage time tries.

Canberra v Melbourne (Ladbrokes Line +6.5)

Suggested Bets:

Bet 3 Units Total Points UNDER

Bet 2 Units Raiders at the line.

This could be an absolute belter of a game. I think it will be decided in the forwards. I think the Raiders can really shake up the Premiership favourites but I am banking on a COLD low scoring first 60 minutes.

Cowboys v Warriors (Ladbrokes Line -8.5)

Suggested Bet: Bet 2 Units Cowboys at the line.

Cowboys appear to be on a team on a mission. They are going into every game with the mindset that “no JT” doesn’t mean no Cowboys. I think the boys from the North get the job done against the Warriors that all but kissed their season goodbye in their insipid display against the Panthers last weekend.

Dragons v Manly (Ladbrokes Line +1.5)

Suggested Bet: Bet 1 Unit Dragons at the line.

Tough game regarding betting. Lean towards the Dragons to tough out a win after a couple of hard months.

Wests Tigers v Parramatta (Ladbrokes Line +8.5)

Suggested Bet: Bet 3 Units Eels at the line.

Tigers were brave last weekend but the Eels just have to win this one. Motivation for the Wests Tigers could be at an all time low after butchering a winning chance against Manly and facing up today against a team with the world to play for.

FUTURES ALERT: I Still think the Roosters and Broncos represent the best chance of knocking off the Storm regarding NRL Premiership betting. Ladbrokes has the Roosters at $6.50 and the Broncos at $9.00. This looks pretty juicy as both teams should record easy wins this weekend. The Storm face a danger game against the Raiders in Canberra.

Rugby League  14  July  2017

“And the Dust Settles”

Big Jim takes a look at Round 19 of the NRL after the fallout of Origin 3…read more

A good mate of mine and Queensland tragic reminded me that Queensland is the gift that keeps on giving. I wish he would go and drown himself. On a serious note the Maroons were nothing short of inspirational. They keep finding quality players from nowhere and the Melbourne Storm connection were unstoppable. There are some NSW players that should never wear the Blue again and I would be starting with the front road and the coach. Well done JT on the send off you deserve it. Sorry about spruiking the Blues, I really thought they were good things this year. We are still having a winning year on the NRL so lets keep punching.

Its a strange feeling when another State Of Origin comes and goes. Its sad, but it also celebrates the real start to the NRL season when teams, players and coaches can settle down and concentrate on the best club based rugby league competition in the world.

Its usually the time that teams like Melbourne and Brisbane start to flex their muscles as they are the teams that suffer the most during the representative season. Four teams get a break this weekend and that is thankfully it with the byes.

Just be VERY careful regarding late withdrawals and tired and sore bodies this weekend. Also don’t be fooled as many players say that a 3 or 4 day break between games is the hardest to physically overcome. Its amazing that any of these warriors make it out for their club just days after competing in the most brutal of all team sports.

Enough praise for all the men from me, lets get down to picking up winners after a very successful weekend last week.

Warriors v Panthers (ladbrokes line -2.5)

Suggested Bet: 1 Unit bet Panthers the line.

Could turn out to be an elimination game for both teams. Both the Panthers and the Warriors lead the chase of teams currently sitting outside the 8 but are still 2 games behind the Dragons and the Eels. I think this is going to be a very entertaining tight game so I lean towards the Panthers with the plus after their good win against Manly last week.

Raiders v St George (ladbrokes line -5.5)

Suggested Bet: 2 Unit bet Raiders the line

Now or never for the Raiders. They have had a couple of weeks to get ready for this so you would expect a better performance. The fitness of Josh Dugan is important regarding the chances of both teams.

Knights v Broncos (ladbrokes line +10.5)

Suggested Bet: 1 Unit bet Broncos the line

Knights were very good last weekend but I favour the Broncos here to start their drive towards a top 4 finish. Just watch injury reports but this really is Wayne Bennett time of the year.

Titans v Sharks (ladbrokes line +3.5)

Suggested Bet: 2 Unit bet Titans at the line

Titans have been up and down but I think the Origin hangover is easier for the Titans to deal with. Its also a make or break game for the boys of the Coast so hopefully they will treat it like their Grand Final.

Manly v Wests Tigers (ladbrokes line -15.5)

Suggested Bet: 1 Unit bet Wests Tigers the line

Have to go with the Wests Tigers here. Manly are going pretty well but 16 points is a big start for a decent side even if they are playing average football./

Rabbitohs v Cowboys (ladbrokes line +2.5)

Suggested Bet: 2 Unit bet Bunnies the line.

Rabbitohs should have had the perfect preparation for this and get the Cowboys at home at a good time. They have to keep winning every week with their tilt for finals on life support but its never been a personnel problem for Souths.

FUTURES OPTIONS:

I think its time to get on the Broncos. They are a serious team and Ladbrokes has them at $9.00 which seems juicy to me. The Roosters at $6.00 also seem pretty good value and the Chooks deserve to be second favourites in Premiership betting. Melbourne at $2.75 is a skinny quote but after their players effort in the State of Origin decider its understandable that the bookies are cautious. The winner of the Warriors/Panthers game will shorten and not only are both capable of clawing their way into the 8 they could do some damage when they get there.

Rugby League   10 July  2017

“For All the Chocolates!!!”

Big Jim takes a look at the 2017 State of Origin decider….read more

Any State Of Origin Game is a “must watch” proposition but when the most brutal competition in the world of sport comes down to 1 final decider sport doesn’t get much better. Its been an amazing series so far and there isn’t a lot between these two teams. Lets have a look at the break down.

Why QLD can win!

The Maroons are at home and they have the belief. That isn’t going to be enough on its own but its one hell of a start. Cameron Smith is the best hooker that has ever laced on the boots and his leadership will be vital. Their young new look forward pack will continue to improve and will be even better than they were in Game 2.

Why QLD can lose!

No Thurston is a massive problem. Cronk is going to have to be the play maker and that is hard enough on its own without the added pressure of having a debutante partner him in the halves. Cronk is a great player at club level but he has limitations and isn’t the man you want creating opportunities at the highest level. In Game 2 the Maroons got away with the win with a break even performance in the forwards but with no Thurston they are going to have to decisively win the battle up front and keep the NSW backs on the back foot.

Why NSW can win!

NSW have a big mobile pack of forwards that can dominate the QLD pack. This is not to say they will, but they should and if they do the Blues will win. With no Thurston to worry about Pearce and Maloney should dominate the battle of the halves and if that’s the case the Blues have the outside backs that can hurt the Maroons where it hurts…..on the scoreboard.

Why NSW can lose!

The Blues have dominated three of the four halves of this years series but its all tied up and comes down to 80 minutes on enemy turf. The pressure is on the lads from NSW who were 10 points up in game 2 and 40 minutes away from lifting the trophy. Normally in this sort of position the Blues would have nothing to lose but the expectation is high and the Blues will start the game slight favourites. They need their big wrecking balls up front to wreak havoc like they did in Game 1.

Suggested Bet: I sound like a broken record but Thurston (or the lack there of) is the key for me. QLD with JT would win, a QLD without JT is going to struggle. As long as the NSW forwards break even then they have the more potent outside threats. NSW TO WIN. GO BLUES!

Rugby League  5  July  2017

“One More Split to Endure!”

Big Jim takes a look at the last split round of the NRL season…read more

Its nowhere near as bad as the AFL these split rounds because at least we have the promise of Origin as a reward. This is an important round of NRL football with plenty of underdogs getting their chances with origin stars sitting on the pine. Normally I am pretty weary of these split rounds but I think there are some ripper bets here to take advantage of.

Lets have a look at the games and the lines and see what we can come up.

Sydney Roosters v South Sydney Rabbitohs (ladbrokes line +3.5)

Suggested Bet: 3 Units Bunnies the line.

Its fairly silly taking a bad team (as favourites) against a good team but that’s what we are going to do today. The Bunnies to get on a roll as they will never get a better time to face their biggest enemy.

Penrith v Manly (ladbrokes line PICK)

Suggested Bet: 1 Units Panthers the line.

I was very keen on Penrith but I thought that Cherry-Evans was a lock for QLD. With the inform half lining up for the Sea Eagles this becomes a really tough one to pick. Panthers just but this really is a coin flip.

Melbourne v Parramatta (ladbrokes line +2.5)

Suggested Bets:

2 Unit Parramatta the line

2 Units Total Points Scored UNDER

Parra managed to find a way against the Dogs but it wasn’t pretty. Storm did a number on the Broncos and were amazing against the Chooks a few weeks ago with all their stars out. I just feel that now, with even more Melbourne Storm players ruled out due to Origin and a hectic travel regime in resent times, the Storm should be vulnerable this week. You can go broke very quickly writing off the Storm but they can’t win them all.

Canterbury v Newcastle (ladbrokes line -6)

Suggested Bet: 3 Units Bulldogs the line

This just seems too good to be true. If the Tigers can thump the Knights in Newcastle then SURELY the Dogs can bounce back and beat the Knights at home. Again motivation for future contracts should be enough to see the Dogs win this pretty easy.

FUTURES OPTIONS:

If you think Parramatta, Penrith, Bunnies and Dogs will win this weekend then it might be a good week to back them at Ladbrokes for the Top 8. If you think the Storm and the Roosters will win then you should back them in the Premiership markets as they will shorten again with wins. I am banking on both the Storm and the Roosters losing and will pounce on them in Premiership markets as soon as the Origin is finished. I just want to make sure no big names go down for the season.

Rugby League  30  June  2017

the QLD Crew return to Brisbane!”

Big Jim takes a look at all the action for Round 17 of the NRL...read more

We have two amazing top of the table clashes this weekend. The (QLD) Melbourne Storm head to Suncorp to take on their brothers and there is sure to be a lot of cuddling and kissing regardless of the result. The Chooks host the Sharks and the winner here can pretty much sew up a top 4 birth. We also have the Dogs v Eels (a Western Sydney grudge match) against two teams desperately searching for consistency and a finals birth. This (and a couple of other crackers) makes this a BUMBER round of NRL action!!!

Enough of me doing the job of the NRL marketing department. This is a great round of football and I am tingling as I have a few great bets this weekend to put some gold in that smile of yours.

Eels v Bulldogs (Ladbrokes Line: -6.5)

Big Jim Suggested Bets: 2 Units the Bulldogs the line

Ladbrokes has their NRL Bet Blast special and are offering $2.00 on the Eels. If you like the Eels this is the best price you will get ANYWHERE. I, however, really like the Dogs here at the line. The Eels are very inconsistent and the Dogs are hard to smash when they have their minds on the job.

Titans v Dragons (Ladbrokes Line: PICK)

Big Jim Suggested Bets: 3 Units Titans to WIN

Love the Gold Coast here. They are the best bet of the round. If they play to up to their ability they slay the Dragons and do it fairly easily.

Broncos v Storm (Ladbrokes Line: +2.5)

Big Jim Suggested Bets:

1 Unit Broncos at the line

2 Units Total Points scored UNDER

This is going to be a great game. I think the Broncs will at the very least be competitive and think it will be a low scoring and close.

Roosters v Sharks (Ladbrokes Line: -2.5)

Big Jim Suggested Bets: 1 Unit Roosters the line.

Another cracker though another tough one to pick as I think the line is right on the money. I think the Chooks might get over the line here but the Sharks at the money line (to win the game) are also excellent value.

Manly v Warriors (Ladbrokes Line: -6.5)

Big Jim Suggested Bets: 2 Units Warriors the line

I just cant take Manly at such a big minus. I think the Kiwis have the ability to pile on some points and think if they lose it will be a small margin. Its being played in the West and the long road trip shouldn’t faze the Kiwis who travel consistently long distances through out the year.

Raiders v North Queensland (Ladbrokes Line: -4.5)

Big Jim Suggested Bets: 1 Unit Total Points OVER

I hate this game. It should be a good game but I am at a total loss as to what will happen. OVER for only 1 unit but I will be sitting out regarding betting on either team.

Knights v Wests Tigers (Ladbrokes Line: -1.5)

Big Jim Suggested Bets: 3 Units West Tigers the line

How the Knights can start any game as favourites I will never know. They have unity and home ground advantage…….but the Tigers have the cattle that should get the job done (for future contracts) if not for love or honour.

Rabbitohs v Panthers (Ladbrokes Line: +3.5)

Big Jim Suggested Bets: 1 Unit Rabbits the line.

If there was a God then he would be struggling to find the winner here. There are some great bets this weekend and some games that are too hard to pick. This game falls in the latter. If in doubt take the plus for the home team with some milestone games to help with motivation.

FUTURES ALERT:

Going to concentrate on one game here. The Eels v Bulldogs is really interesting. Ladbrokes has the Eels at $1.55 to make the top 8 and has the Dogs at $4.50. If the Dogs can win here expect those prices to really turn around. The other big mover could be the Warriors at $2.15 (Ladbrokes) to make the 8. If they can beat Manly then I think they cruise into the finals.

Rugby League 22 June 2017

Sore Boddies make for hard tipping”

Big Jim takes a look at Round 16 of the NRL…read more

I would play State Of Origin games on Tuesday and give players an extra days rest. Why Wednesday? Who knows, I think its stupid but the NRL is one of the better run operations in this country. I would play three games over two weeks and have a squad, of say 30 players, and have one split round in between (over two weekends). That’s a topic for another day anyway. Lets back some more winners after a successful Round 15 last weekend for Big Jim punters.

Just watch out for injuries and late withdrawals. Do your study and pray that the sore body count goes your way. I have purposely put up the Ladbrokes lines that were posted prior to State Of Origin to show you how much of an impact the game has on the weekend markets. So my selections are assuming that the bodies will be sore but the majority of players will be backing up for their clubs.

Wests Tigers v Titans (Ladbrokes line +5.5)

Suggested Bet: 2 Units Total Points scored OVER

What a strange game. Two clubs that are struggling but two clubs that both have stars involved on Wednesday night. Quite like the OVER here regardless of who plays or doesnt. Either way think it will result in plenty of scoring.

Cowboys v Panthers (Ladbrokes line -3.5)

Suggested Bet: 2 Units Cowboys the line.

Still praying the Cowboys get it together. Obviously not interested if Thurston is a late withdrawel. The line would have to turn into a plus instead of a minus if JT is on the pine.

Raiders v Brisbane (Ladbrokes line -4)

Suggested Bet: 3 Units Raiders the line.

The best of the weekend. Everything suggests that the Raiders should be cherry ripe for this at home in the frozen tundra. These two have been putting on good shows for many years now.

Roosters v Storm (Ladbrokes line 3.5)

Suggested Bet: 2 Unit Total Points scored UNDER

Another tough game as there are plenty backing up but like the Tigers v Titans game I am a big fan of the Total Points scored market regardless of team announcements. Both sides love to tackle and will be content to do so with plenty of their outside back backing up or sitting it out.

Dragons v Newcastle (Ladbrokes line -13.5)

Suggested Bet: 1 Unit Dragons the line

WOW what a blessing for the Dragons. Last two weeks have been a nightmare for the Saints losing two big games to traditional enemies. This game comes at the perfect time for the Dragons and they will win just a matter of the margin to consider. They arent exactly point scoring machines but they will be keen to make a statement against the worst team in the comp.

Cronulla v Manly (Ladbrokes line -4)

Suggested Bets:

1 Unit Sharks to win at the line

1 Unit Total Points scored UNDER

Huge blockbuster between the beach dwellers on Sunday arvo to cap off the round. Think it will be a tough and defensive driven game but that the Sharks will find a way like they have done all year. Again just a matter of margin and be careful of big outs. I sound like a broken record.

FUTURES ALERT

Nothing really calling to me this week. Be careful of injuries and DONT take teams coming off big wins as you are going to get unders!!! Things are going to be clearer when the representative season finishes. The winner of the Sharks v Sea Eagles clash will shorten in all future markets so if you have a strong opinion in that game might be a good time to throw a few dollars in that direction.

Rugby League 18 June 2017

New Look Maroons!!!”

Big Jim can’t wait until kick off for Origin Game 2 in Sydney…read more

Well the changing of the guard has happened for the Maroons. It was always going to happen but the timing has been forced instead of a nice gentle transition over a few years. Now its time to see if the next generation of Queenslanders have the same commitment and skill as their forefathers. Lets have a good close look and see if we can work out which way Game 2 is likely to go.

Why NSW can win

The Blues tackled themselves into the ground in game one and won the battle of the big men. Their back line was always going to give the Maroons some problems out wide if they got them on the back foot. Another dominant display up front from the the Blues forwards will see them win this game and the clinch the series. One thing they need to expect is plenty of fireworks.

Why NSW can lose

Thurston is back. He is worth 6-10 points on his own. The Blues won’t be complacent but Daley has a job to get them into the right frame of mind. I expect the Maroons to come out with plenty of fire early on and the Blues have to remain focussed but also passionate. Its a tough combination when you don’t have the experience of being deserved favourites.

Why QLD can win

The Maroons had to make changes and to their credit they axed some very faithful servants. I thought that Guerra and Lillyman might have been a little unlucky but Thaiday and Miles just had to go. This new look QLD forward pack gives them a chance but its a big ask for some very young kids. The obvious joker is Thurston. The best player ever will allow Cronk to go back to what he does best, pass and kick on the 5th tackle, without any expectation of orchestrating anything in attack.

Why QLD can lose

Well if the Roman Empire eventually collapsed so will QLD’s dominance in the State of Origin. Its been a long decade of shame for the Blues and that might be over. The Maroon forward pack is green and if it can’t at least break even then Thurston’s return wont be enough. Slater isn’t the answer for the Maroons (I can tell you that much for free) and he wont want to be tackling the big mobile wide-out threats NSW will be throwing at him all night. Its not just Scott they miss. No Parker, Hodges and Inglis has left a huge hole in experience, size and solidness.

Big Jim Suggested Play

I will be taking the Blues straight out to win and at the line.”

I think you have to stick with the Blues. Ladbrokes has the line currently at -3.5 and as long as it doesn’t get out to 4 I will be on the Blues. The Maroons will score more points with Thurston but will that be enough. If the Queenslanders get as much ball as they did in Game 1 close to the NSW line the Blues wont be able to hold them out as consistently with Thurston calling the plays. He is to good and he will find a way through any defence. I don’t think the Blues will run away with this one but I think they probably end up winning by the 6-10 sort of range.

I think there might be plenty of feeling in this one. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a bit of the old “biffo” in the first 20 minutes. Lot of young kids out there that will have more testosterone flowing through their bodies than a female shot putter from the former East German Republic. If NSW are mentally prepared for this and can get their minds back on the job quickly after the initial flare-ups they have the size, strength and ability to dominate the forward battle.

I am eventually a fan of Mitchell Pearce. He has lived up to all the promise and hype and is the man that should lead the Blues to victory here in Game 2.

In regards to the Total Points over/under I am usually a big fan of the UNDER in Origin games. How it went UNDER in game 1 I will never know but it did. I will probably be steering away from this market but if I was to have a bet I would be leaning towards the OVER here as long as the weather is dry.

GO BLUES!!!

Rugby League  16  June  2017

“Run Rabbits!”

Big Jim takes a look at Round 15 of the NRL

Another split round but some tasty betting games here. Just be mindful of the teams that have a heap of their stars missing for origin. We will have another big preview of State of Orgin game 2 early next week. CMON the BLUES!!!111111111

Rabbitohs v Titans (ladbrokes line-10.5)

Suggested Bet: 3 Units Rabbits TO WIN NRL Betstar Blast $1.70

This just looks too good to be true. Origin hurts Titans and the Bunnies should run all over the top of the them. I dont even think Souths could stuff this up.

Storm v Cowboys (ladbrokes line-3.5)

Suggested Bet: 1 Unit total points UNDER

This is a tough one. Reckon the line is about right and you know that the Storm will come out tackling.

Cronulla v West Tigers (ladbrokes line-11.5)

Suggested Bet: 1 Unit Cronulla

The Tigers have enough problems without having their best two players out for State of Origin. Should be a feeding frenzy for the Sharks

Paramatta v St George (ladbrokes line-3.5)

Suggested Bet: 2 Units Rabbits TO WIN NRL Betstar Blast $1.70

Really like the Eels today. Dragons were average last week and Parra keeps all their stars.

Rugby League  8 June  2017

Hayne Train…next stop Fullback!”

Big Jim takes a look at all the action for Round 14 of the NRL…read more

It was huge news for Titans fans and rugby league in general to see the Jarred Hayne activate the second year on his contract at the Titans for next year. It is also good news for the club to see Hayne returning to fullback for his club side. The very last thing the NRL wants to do is go down the road of Cricket Australia (the worst administrators in the country) and have representative teams dictate to club sides how they should manage their teams. The Titans need Hayne at fullback full stop. What NSW does with Hayne is Daley’s business.

We are in for a big weekend of League with some tasty match-ups. Big Jim is looking to take advantage of some of Ladbrokes special offers this weekend in an attempt to hit back after his first losing week on the NRL last weekend.

Sharks v Storm (Ladbrokes Line: -4.5)

Big Jim Suggested Bets:

3 Units Ladbrokes NRL Bet Blast Sharks to win at $2.20. (TAB have the Sharks at $1.55)

2 Units Total Points scored UNDER

Top of the table clash. The first of many games this weekend that pit very evenly matched teams against each other. Defence to be the order of the day with both sides trying to grind and score of mistakes. Also have to jump on the Sharks at the massive price of $2.20 at Ladbrokes. You would be mad to pass up that value.

Sea Eagles v Knights (Ladbrokes Line: -13.5)

Big Jim Suggested Bet: 3 Units Manly the line.

Manly keep mixing their form but the Knights won’t have the fire power tonight to test the Sea Eagles resolve. Just see this game being one way traffic and Manly running out easy winners with some late garbage time tries.

Broncos v Rabbitohs (Ladbrokes Line: -12)

Big Jim Suggested Bets:

1 Unit Broncos the line.

1 Unit Total Points scored OVER

An exhausted Broncos were valiant in defeat against the Roosters last weekend and I imagine coach Bennett will have given them a pretty easy week on the training paddock. Wayne Bennett teams aren’t usually at their best at this time of the year but the Bunnies have been pretty ordinary at best.

Titans v Warriors (Ladbrokes Line: -2.5)

Big Jim Suggested Bet: 1 Unit Total Points scored OVER

Both sides sit on 10 Premiership points so this is an amazingly important one if either side harbours top 8 aspirations. Going to go for a high scoring shoot-out here. Talent isn’t the problem for either side. Should be a very entertaining game.

Panthers v Raiders (Ladbrokes Line: -1.5)

Big Jim Suggested Bet: 2 Units Total Points scored UNDER

Another match up of two very similarly placed teams. Both sides were heavily spruiked prior to the season and both have been consistently average this year. Expecting Canberra to come out and tackle themselves into the ground. Won’t be pretty, should be dour and close.

Eels v Cowboys (Ladbrokes Line: +1.5)

Big Jim Suggested Bet: 1 Unit Total Points scored UNDER

The Eels were awesome last week so that probably means they are in for a shocker. Both sides have injury problems. Going to go with another arm wrestle here and low scoring game.

Wests Tigers v Roosters (Ladbrokes Line: +12.5)

Big Jim Suggested Bet: 3 Units Wests Tigers the line.

The Roosters are going well and the Wests Tigers year is already a write off. We know that the Tigers can lift on their day and I think the Tigers might just find the burning passion and bring their best at home. 12.5 is a healthy head start at the line so its the orange and black for me and I will make this my best of the weekend.

Bulldogs v Dragons (Ladbrokes Line: +6.5)

Big Jim Suggested Bet: 2 Units Bulldogs the line.

The Dragons looked a different team with Widdop back running the show in the halves. The Dogs were simply putrid last week and can’t go any worse. I am on the Dogs here because I think last weeks form guide flatters the Dragons and makes the Dogs look worse than they really are.

FUTURES ALERT:

No Surprise to see the Panthers as the big movers in betting this week. Their massive win over the pathetic Dogs has seen Ladbrokes wind them into $13.00 in Premiership markets. I am going to have to see a lot more of those performances from the men from the Mountains before I am convinced. $13 seems pretty short for a team that is going to really struggle to make the top 4. Storm, Broncos, Roosters and Sharks look clearly the best 4 chances but have prices to match. It just comes down to WHEN is the right time to back them. The Cowboys and the Raiders remain the two that I will be keeping my eye on if they ever get their act together. Raiders might be good value this week if you think they topple the Panthers on the road.

Rugby League  31 May  2017

We ALL Love Origin!”

Big Jim takes a look at why sports fans in general love State of Origin and who will win Game 1 and why…read more

Any sport played at the top level is worth watching. For three brutal games every year NSW and Queensland throw themselves at each other with a passion and fury that words will never do justice. This is sport at its toughest. The intensity is as high octane as it comes and there is no question about the passion of the 34 players, the coaches and the fans. This is rugby league at the highest level and there wouldn’t be any harder fought contests in world sport.

For the most part rugby league is a regional sport and most representative games from regional sports are a total waste of time. State of Origin is unique in this regard and stands up there with the Superbowl and the Champions League Final as the pinnacle of team sports that don’t pit country against country.

The intensity of this contest was built around Queensland standing up to NSW. Queenslanders had a passion from the start of the concept that NSW has struggled to match on any level. The recent dominance of Queensland has born a new passionate Blues side with supporters that care just as much as their northern counterparts.

Both sides are going in with plenty of new faces this year, so lets have a look at who is going to win and why.

Queensland

Why they can win:

They are at home and that is huge. They have the mental edge on the Blues and that has proven to be a HUGE advantage over many years. They still have Smith and Cronk leading the way at 9 and 7 and a couple of back-rowers in Gillett and McGuire that are top shelf. Napa will add the X factor up front that the Maroons desperately need to put a dent in a very strong Blues pack.

Why they can lose:

No Thurston….probably the the best player the game has ever seen and there is going to be an amazing amount of pressure on an untested half combination to create opportunity. I’m not suggesting that Milford cant play, but he ain’t Thurston. Cooper Cronk has always been the perfect foil to Thurston but apart from his deft kicking he is really just another ball player at this level. No Parker, Scott, Inglis and Hodges leaves a huge gap in the QLD’s spine that has showed its dominance in resent years. Myles and Thaiday have been stalwarts for the QLD team but they are past their best. In saying that the Maroons stick solid when it comes to their men up front and it has worked in the past.

NSW

Why they can win:

They have a big forward pack with far more depth than the Maroons. I have never been a fan of Mitchell Pearce but its hard to ignore his form this year. He appears to be one of those rare players that hit on off field “rock bottom” only to bounce back in amazing fashion. Maybe he has a bit of his old man in him after all. His pairing with his old mate Maloney in the halves represents a chance for the blues to dominate in this area (with the absence of Thurston) for the first time in a decade. Out wide the Blues have an abundance of speed and ability. Many of them might be playing out of position but they are a formidable bunch that are capable of ripping the Maroons apart if their pack can get on top.

Why they can lose:

They are on the road and that is always tough for any Blues team. They also have many mental barriers to overcome and that will intensify if it is close late in the game. I think the absence of Gallon is a big loss as I loved his hatred of the Maroons. I hope his replacement, NSW captain Boyd Cordner doesn’t go and ask to take a selfie with his heroes from QLD before the kick-off.

The Blues back five (even though loaded with talent) is a group of players mostly playing outside of their proffered positions. If (and its a big if) the forwards and halves dominate then I don’t see this being a problem but if the opposite happens then it could spell disaster from a defensive angle.

Suggested Bets

Ladbrokes has has a HUGE special and is offering an AMAZING $2.50 about the Maroons (Max bet $25). If you are a fan of the Queenslanders then this is the best price you are going to find ANYWHERE in the WORLD.

I am, however, not a fan of Queensland tonight at all. In fact I BLEED BLUE and cant stand the Maroons EVER. Outside of the victual, I seriously think the Blues will win. I think the absence of Thurston (and a host of others) is a huge problem for boys north of the border. Thurston’s absence is at least a converted try difference. As long as the Blues man up and can dominate up the middle then I think they have the X factor out wide to cut the Maroons up.

BLUES TO WIN @ $1.85 at LADBROKES….sign up an account here at bigjimwins and get a huge sign up bonus and cash in on the Blues at Ladbrokes!!!

Rugby League 26  May  2017

Split rounds suck, but Origin’s worth it!”

Big Jim takes a look at round 12 of the NRL…read more

No one likes split rounds with less games and forced team changes, but we have Origin to look forward to. I will have a big Origin Special run down early next week a couple of days prior to the event. I think there is some good bets this weekend so lets have a look at the four games on offer.

NRL Rd 11 Results: Big Jim +10 Units beats Bookies +4 Unit

Rabbitohs v Eels (Ladbrokes line 2.5)

Big Jim Suggested Bet: 3 Units Souths to win at Ladbrokes NRL Bet Blast Special

The Bunnies are close to full strength and should get the job done against the very hard to predict Parramatta.

Warriors v Broncos (Ladbrokes line 9.5)

Big Jim Suggested Bets:

2 Units Total Points scored OVER

2 Units Warriors at the line

Always the toughest time of year for the Broncos. Just too much fire power missing. Warriors should win and win well.

Sharks v Bulldogs (Ladbrokes line 4.5)

Big Jim Suggested Bet: 2 Units Total Points Score UNDER.

Think there might be a lack of scoring in this one. A few key players out for both teams so defence and tackling should be on the menu.

Raiders v Roosters (Ladbrokes line 7.5)

Big Jim Suggested Bet: 3 Units Raiders at the line

Origin hurts the Chooks worse than the Raiders with more key play makers missing for the Sydneysiders. It’s starting to get colder in the Capitol and that’s just how Rick’s boys enjoy it so the Vikings to start clapping early in this one.

FUTURES ALERT

Raiders have finally gotten out to double figure odds at Ladbrokes. They should win this weekend so worth a little flutter. Have to be careful at this time of the year regarding futures as one bad origin injury could see any good team in serious trouble.

Rugby League 18 May 2017  

 MayWests Tigers; A study in incompetency!”

Big Jim takes a look at round 11 of the NRL…read more

He’s going, he’s staying, he’s going next year, he’s staying, now Mitchell Moses has finally packed his bags and could well start for the Eels as soon as this weekend. What a circus the Wests Tigers show has turned into. Ivan Cleary must be wondering how much he really wanted to coach again at the top level. I hope they are paying him well. At the end of last year Moses was named the most valuable Tiger of the season, Jason Taylor was coach, Robbie Farrah was still with the club and they had arguably the most talented fullback and ball playing prop looking to play with the club over the next five years.

Still plenty of interest with Origin just around the corner so should be a cracker jack round of NRL action.

NRL Rd 8 Results: Big Jim +6 UnitsBookies +4 Unit

Sharks v Cowboys (line 6)

Big Jim Suggested Bet: 3 Units Sharks to win at Ladbrokes NRL Bet Blast Special (max $25)

I don’t think the Cowboys will risk Thurston so love the Sharks here at the Ladbrokes special.

Warriors v Dragons (line 6)

Big Jim Suggested Bet: 2 Units Total Points scored OVER

The Warriors have plenty of injury concerns but I still think they will find a way. Might be a high scoring game so going that way instead of the line.

Broncos v Wests Tigers (line 14.5)

Big Jim Suggested Bet: 2 Units Broncos the line

This is a big line but Broncos should win by plenty with all of the off field shenanigans at the Wests Tigers.

Titans v Sea Eagles (line 4)

Big Jim Suggested Bet: 2 Units Titans at the line

Manly have their injury concerns and the Titans are getting on a roll. Titans to cover the 4 points.

Eels v Raiders (line 5.5)

Big Jim Suggested Bet: 1 Unit Total Points scored UNDER

Both of these sides were disgraceful last weekend. Hopefully they both have learnt how to tackle.

Knights v Panthers (line 10)

Big Jim Suggested Bet: 1 Unit Panthers at the line

Its now or never for the Panthers. They should be buoyed by last weekends heroics and I cant see the Knights going back to back all year.

Bulldogs v Roosters (line 6.5)

Big Jim Suggested Bet: 2 Units Total Points scored UNDER

I think the line is spot on here. This is a danger game for both clubs so looking for it to be a dour defensive battle up front. Will sail under if the Dogs can keep that Rooster back line quite.

Rabbitohs v Storm (line 8)

Big Jim Suggested Bet: 1 Unit Total Points scored OVER

Melbourne were rattled last weekend and can’t see lightening striking twice. Having said that the Bunnies love winning games like this. I think the Total Points scored market is going to go up pretty low so praying on some tries being scored.

FUTURES ALERT

Storm, Broncos, Roosters and Sharks are the only four teams under double figures at Ladbrokes to win the Premiership. They appear to be the stand outs at the moment. Warriors and Panthers should both win this weekend so might be worth a dabble at the big odds.

Rugby League  11 May  2917

Drugs and Tribal War dancing top the news”

Big Jim is thankful that we are back to normal in the NRL this weekend…read more

Well its been a forgettable week in the NRL. The beat up surrounding the bunch of “who cares” Test Matches were followed by a showcase of forgettable football. At least City v Country is now gonzo for good. The other thing we found out was that lots of NRL stars are snorting up a storm. What a surprise that fit young guys with plenty of cash are lining up to catch up with Charlie. The AFL policy on drugs isn’t perfect but its a damn site better than the position the NRL finds themselves in. The NRL needs to fix this problem or at the very least police it better and keep their players out of the press.

Good round of football so lets get on with what really matters.

Representative Round: Bookies +3 Units beat Big Jim +1 Unit

Bulldogs v Cowboys (line 4.5)

No Thurston for the Cowboys and probably no Thurston for the start of State of Origin. Again thank god they played that “mean nothing” test match for him to get re-injured in. If I was a Cowboy fan or a Maroon I would be none too happy! Dogs easy.

Big Jim Suggested Bet: Two Units Bulldogs to win at Ladbrokes at $2.00 (NRL Bet Blast).

Saints v Sharks (Line 7.5)

This is a tough one. The line is about right and this local derby often throw up surprises. Going to stick to this being a tough low scoring game.

Big Jim Suggested Bet: Two Units Total Points Scored UNDER.

Wests Tigers v Rabbitohs (Line 1.5)

Tigers still have their injury concerns and plenty of off field problems. Rabbitohs will be out for some revenge for their Round 1 flogging and should get the job done here.

Big Jim Suggested Bet: Three Units Bunnies at the line.

Panthers v Warriors (line 1.5)

I just don’t know what is wrong with the Panthers. Are they ever going to find form? I am going to go for the Warriors who have been good to us in recent weeks.

Big Jim Suggested Bet: One Unit Warriors at the line.

Storm v Titans (line 8.5)

Proctor might be in rehab. Storm should just be too good even for the improved Hayne led Titans.

Big Jim Suggested Bet: Two Units Storm at the line.

Sea Eagles v Broncos (line -3.5)

Hard to know which Manly side shows up here today. I just cant take Manly against a well drilled Broncos outfit that always come to play under coach Bennett.

Big Jim Suggested Bet: One Unit Broncos the line.

Knights v Raiders (line-14)

Poor old Knights. Ricky Stuart is still fuming after a string of close losses. Today his chargers get the chance to give him a comfortable day at the office.

Big Jim Suggested Bet: Two Units Raiders at the line.

Roosters v Eels (line 5.5)

Again not really sure with the Eels. They are in the same league as Manly in regards to consistency. Just think the Chooks should win this by a converted try at least and cover!

Big Jim Suggested Bets:

One Unit the Roosters at the line

One Unit Total Points scored UNDER

Big Jim FUTURES REPORT

Roosters are now back out to $9.00 to win the Premiership after their unlucky loss to the Warriors. They are good value at this quote if they can make the top 4. Ladbrokes has the Bulldgos, Sea Eagles, Warriors, Eels and Saints all at $17.00. The chance of any of these teams winning the comp is small but its not impossible and these are juicy odds if any of these sides can actually find consistency.

Rugby League  4 May 2017

Now the Stupid Season Starts!”

Big Jim takes a look at a whole lot of nothing…read more

Former rugby league players say some really stupid things. I like Brad Fittler but his rant about the importance of the City v Country game is a fine example of why we need media people in the media not former players. I understand that rep footy makes players better but there has to be a common sense approach as its the NRL competition that is the backbone of the game worldwide. That’s how the bills get paid!

For that matter Rugby League Test matches in the middle of the NRL season are an outright joke as well. Aren’t we having a World Cup at the end of the season? Lets wave the flag then! What relevance does this test match have? Just when we are starting to sink our teeth into the regular NRL season we have to have a week off for this joke of a weekend that really means nothing.

State of Origin is a TOTALLY different ball game. THAT MATTERS and it should be the only rep footy in the middle of the season. So if the NRL wants to take a week off. Take it off in the middle of Origin and schedule two Origin games a week apart. That way Origin players could miss one game, play two rep games and everyone would be happy. No point talking sense!!!

Any way lets see if we can at least back a winner this weekend, after all a winner is a winner regardless of the event.

NRL Rd 8 Results: Big Jim +6 UnitsBookies +4 Unit

Australia v New Zealand

The Kiwis are getting a huge 8 point head start in this one. The market is nearly always wrong in rugby league test matches and 90% of the time the Aussies are always bad value. The gap between the two sides in this contest continues to close and I think the Aussies are missing some of their top shelf fire power. I will also be backing the Kiwis to win but most of the money will be at the line.

Suggested Bet: 3 Units New Zealand the line.

City v Country

Congratulations to the NRL for at least burying this concept. This concept is a farce. If I coached an NRL team and one of my stars got put out for the season in this game I would be spewing. Screw Country I can’t stand them. Go City to ruin the break up party.

Big Jim Suggested Bet: 1 Unit City at the line

FUTURES ALERT

The Storm are just freaks. They can be beaten this year in the finals but we already know Melbourne are dead set morals to make the top 4. The Dragons and the Roosters showed plenty of courage on the weekend and both look interesting top 4 propositions. Manly, Parra and the Bulldogs are interesting teams and its hard to predict which ones are finals bound. I still think the Raiders and the Cowboys can turn things around and at the very least will claw their way into the top 8 by the end of the season.

Rugby League  28 April 2017

Merry Go Round-the new look NRL!”

Big Jim takes a look at Round 9 in the NRL after a HUGE “lucky 8 Round” last week…read more

Well sometimes things just fall in place and it was a bumper week last week for Big Jim regarding NRL tips. It was like XMAS and your birthday all rolled into one. Lets hope we can back it up again this week. Reynolds is off to the Wests Tigers next year from the Bulldogs and Woods is leaving the Tigers to go to the Bulldogs. I’m not saying that I am against all the trade but the NRL has to be careful about their fans who are going to find this level of mid season of trading a little hard to get used to. It is the future of the game and It works in the US but activity this year has been frenetic. Lets get down to business.

Rd 8 Results: Big Jim +10 UnitsBookies +1 Unit

Brisbane v Penrith

Ladbrokes has a maximum $50 bet on the Broncos tonight to win at a massive $1.80 against the hapless Panthers. That just seems to good to pass up to me. It might be closer than form suggests but the Broncos are getting the job done this year in true Wayne Bennett fashion.

Suggested Bet: 1 Unit (Max $50 at Ladbrokes) Brisbane Broncos to WIN at $1.80

Rabbitohs v Eels

Its a super hard Friday night featuring four teams that really know how to mix up their form. Going to go with the Bunnies that were desperately unlucky not to beat the in form Broncos last time around.

Big Jim Suggested Bet: 1 Unit Rabbitohs at the line.

Titans v Knights

Love the “Hayne Train” or hate him it’s hard not to admire just how good a rugby league footballer the guy is. His impact against the Sharks last week was undeniable and Gold Coast fans should turn up expecting another dominate display against the Knights. The Titans will have far too much strike power here today and will pile on plenty of points.

Big Jim Suggested Bet: 3 Units Titans at the line.

Bulldogs v Raiders

The Dogs are another team that likes to mix their form. Its also going to be very interesting in how the Raiders bounce back after their horrible loss to Manly last week. Expecting this to be a fairly dour affair with plenty of big hits and solid defence.

Big Jim Suggested Bet: 2 Units Total Points scored UNDER

Warriors v Roosters

This looks like a shoot-out to me. Both teams are on a short turn around after ANZAC day clashes and both have chalked up some serious frequent flyer miles in recently. I suspect that come late in the second half there will be plenty of gaps for both talented back lines to take advantage of.

Big Jim Suggested Bet: 2 Units Total Points scored OVER

Dragons v Storm

Well this game is really going to tell us a lot about the Dragons. The Saints have to tackle their hearts out here and limit the Storm to 3 tries or less. If they do that they can win. I suspect both teams will look to play mistake free accountable football after a short turn around and fall back to what both of theses sides do best and that is tackle.

Big Jim Suggested Bet: 1 Unit Total Points Scored UNDER

FUTURES ALERT

Cowboys are still sitting out there well into double figure odds and just look tasty value to me. If Thurston comes back and they flog the Eels they will shorten dramatically. Roosters are still fairly attractive at around the 8/1 quote it just depends on what is going to happen over in NZ as to when would be the optimum time to back them.

Rugby League  19 April  2017

ANZAC day blockbuster outshines AFL!

Big Jim takes a look at the fall out of Rd 7 and the best bets of Rd 8…read more

Thank goodness Sam Burgess got off his shoulder charge charge at the judiciary. If an attacking player runs a dummy route then I don’t think defenders should need to get out of the way. The other big story was the demise of pre season favourites the Panthers and the emergence of the reigning Premiers the Sharks. Its been a topsy turvy start to the season but there a few clubs that really have to start their move and do it quickly. Chooks v Dragons on ANZAC day should be a cracker!

Plenty of sexy match-ups this weekend again. So without further ado, lets get cracking!

Rd 7 results….Big Jim +5 UnitsBookies +4 Units

Raiders v Sea Eagles

We all thought Manly was horrible at the start of the season but they turned it around with three consecutive wins. Now its danger time again after two big losses at home. It doesn’t get any easier this week with the Raiders in Canberra. I think this will be a fairly tight encounter with the Raiders doing enough to get the points.

Big Jim Suggested Bets:

1 Unit Raiders at the line.

1 Unit Total Points scored UNDER.

Rabbitohs v Broncos

This is the sort of game where the Bunnies traditionally over achieve. Burgess getting off his charge, in front of burrow and with their backs to the wall the will come out fired up. I expect that this is going to be a belter of a game with both sides throwing it around and some exciting football being played. Bunnies to get the job done in a shoot-out.

Big Jim Suggested Bets:

1 Unit Rabbitohs at the line.

1 Unit Total Points scored OVER.

Cowboys v Knights

The Cowboys are one of the 2017 head cases. Injuries have been a problem but its time they get it all together and tonight looms as the perfect opportunity. Just too many guns and just too much to play for against struggling opposition. I can see a big Cowboy win here tonight.

Big Jim Suggested Bet: 3 Units Cowboys at the line

Sharks v Titans

The Titans are playing reasonably good football. They aren’t winning, and I don’t think they will win here tonight, but I certainly think are a great bet at the line. The Sharks are a danger of being a little complacent tonight after a couple of huge wins.

Big Jim Suggested Bet: 2 Units Titans at the line.

Roosters v Dragons

I will be tuned in for this one for sure! I expect it to be a tough hard fought game. Its been awhile since this game lived up to its ANZAC day billing but both of these teams have great form lines coming into this game. I predict a low scoring game where defence will prove to be the difference.

Big Jim Suggested Bet: 2 Units Total Points scored UNDER.

Storm v Warriors

I am yet to be convinced that this was a smart idea to schedule this game on ANZAC day. Time will tell. The Warriors always tend to lift against the Storm but the boys in purple just keep on keeping on like a destructive hurricane. I just think the boys from NZ will be competitive.

Big Jim Suggested Bet: 1 Unit Warriors at the line.

Big Jim FUTURES ALERT

Ladbrokes have the Cowboys out to a massive $17.00 to win the Premiership. I will be snapping up some of that action. Yes they have been playing average football but the cattle is there they just have to get it all together. Wins for Souths and Canterbury would see them both dramatically shorten so both are worth a little bit of thought.

 

 

Rugby League  13 April  2017

Mary McGregor a Saint for the Dragons.

The Broncos shine and the only thing breathing more fire is St George Illawarra…read more

The Dragons started the year as second favourites for the wooden spoon behind the Knights. Their list revolved around a set of solid but not inspiring forwards, an aging Englishman leading the halves and one and only one superstar at fullback. Well coach McGregor (who has struggled with this list since Bennett’s departure) has finally got the Kograh and Illawarra Shire faithful believing that the finals are a distinct possibility. It was good news for the Broncos, Bulldogs and the Raiders but disaster weeks for the Cowboys, Panthers and the Roosters. Its been a stranger year where form has seemed to have little impact on results but this should start to flatten out a little as treams settle into the season.

Bulldogs v Souths

Been a fairly good comeback from both of these two clubs after slow starts to the season. This should be a great contest to ease the boredom of Good Friday and I expect both of these teams to come out eager to throw the ball around. Hopefully conditions will be a bit drier than recent weeks and that should result in plenty of points.

Suggested Bet: I Unit Total Points Scored OVER

Newcastle v Roosters

The Roosters will come out firing against the Knights and with the extra day off the short trip North up the highway from Bondi shouldn’t pose too many problems for the Tri Colours. The Chooks just have too much talent (and should have too much desire after two bad losses) for the Knights to hold out here.

Suggested Bet:2 Units Roosters the line.

Manly v Storm

I expect Manly will be working hard on their defence this week. This should be another dour battle up front between two sides that don’t particularly like each other. Melbourne will play their normal game of trying to keep Manly to 12 points or under and then fluke a couple of tries of kicks. Just cant see a ton of points being scored here so the UNDER here is my best play of the week.

Suggested Bet: 3 Units Total Points Scored UNDER

St George V Cowboys

The wheels have fallen off the Cowboys wagon in recent weeks. They need to sort out their problems and they need to do it quick smart. The Dragons have been awesome this year but I am very weary this early on in the season when there is a big discrepancy regarding the line. Let me explain. At the start of the year the Dragons would have received at least a converted try head start even at home against the Cowboy. Due to resent results and injuries today you can get a converted try head start for the Cowboys. What I am saying is that is a huge reaction and I hope in this case an over reaction.

Suggested Bet: 2 Units Cowboys the line.

Parramatta v Wests Tigers

Tigers were great last week against the Cowboys and should bring some confidence into this game. The Eels are the most unreliable team in the competition and I think the juicy 4.5 start looks inviting for a hopefully rejuvenated Wests Tigers outfit.

Suggested Bet:1 Unit Wests Tigers at the line.

FUTURES ALERT:

I think the time is right to get on the Roosters. They have recorded back to back losses and the last one against the Broncos looked worse on paper than it was in reality. Sydney City is a pretty good football team which is well coached, has big solid forwards, has smart reliable halves and speed and X Factor out wide to burn. They were way to short after winning their first four on the trot but they look much more attractive now in all future markets after two losses. Backing the winner of the Bulldogs v Souths game to make the top 8 will be a great bet this week but you just have to be smart enough to know who is going to win the Good Friday coin flip encounter.

 

Rugby League – 5 April 2017

Cooper Quits a Raging Storm    Big Jim has a look at Rd 6 of the NRL….read more

Round 4 Results: Big Jim +6 UnitsBookies +2 Units

Big week on and off the paddock in the NRL with both the Panthers and Roosters suffering bad loses and Ivan Cleary being signed as Wests Tigers coach. Maybe the biggest story of them all is the news that Cooper Cronk is leaving the Storm at the end of the season. For any other club in the NRL Cronk’s departure would pose a huge problem but for the flag favourite Storm you would expect Craig Bellamy and the boys down South to deal with it like they usually do. Cowboys, Dragons and Sea Eagles continue to impress and the Raiders also look to be hitting their straps after a slow start. It’s been two huge weeks of successful Big Jim tips let’s see if we can make it three on the trot!!!

Broncos v Roosters

Great kick off to the round with both of these sides coming off loses last week. I think the Roosters are a pretty good football side. Having said that I think there couldn’t be a worse assignment than having to travel up to Brisbane in the conquest to avoid putting back to back loses together. I think this is going to be a hell of a game but I think it will be the Broncs that find a way to win this one.

Suggested bet: 2 Units Broncos the line

Knights v Bulldogs

Funny thing football coaching! Apparently Des Hassler was under the pump and was about to be sacked as the Bulldogs coach. This week he has just signed an extension at the kennel. Sometimes the so called experts don’t have a clue as to what is going on. Amazingly brave effort by the Knights last weekend down in the Shire but I just feel the Bulldogs have too much firepower in this clash.

Suggested Best:

2 Unit Bulldogs at the line

1 Unit Total Points OVER

Sea Eagles v Dragons

Who would have predicted this game would turn out to be a blockbuster pre-season? Both of these sides are on a serious roll and the winner here will all of a sudden be legitimate. The loser will face a chorus of “I told you so”. I think this is going to be a good old fashioned forward led slog-fest with plenty of tackle and not a whole lot of scoring. UNDER for me and the Sea Eagle home field advantage to prove the difference in a tight one.

Suggested Bets:

3 Units Total Points UNDER.

1 Unit Sea Eagles at the line.

Titans v Raiders

Raiders have woken up now and will be one of the power house teams going forward this year. Titans coming back off a long and hard road trip to New Zealand last weekend and the Raiders did it easy against the Eels. Raiders just too much polish against the Titans.

Suggested Bets:

2 Units Raiders at the line

1 Unit Total Points OVER

Cowboys v Wests Tigers

The Cowboys were good against the Bunnies last week but could have been better. They will hit their straps sooner rather than later. Not a lot of upside for the Wests Tigers here even with a creditable new coach at the helm. I am telling you that the Cowboys aren’t far away from running up a cricket score against a switched off team.

Suggested Bet: 2 Units Cowboys at the line.

Storm v Sharks

Sharks have been better in many ways than many predicted this year. This game, however, looms as a pending natural disaster for the Premiers. Storm just have a mountain of motivation for this one and will enjoy the two consecutive home games which will have them fresh and tuned to perfection.

Suggested Bets:

1 Unit Storm at the line

1 Unit Total Points UNDER

FUTURES ALERT:

I think this is an excellent week to get on the Panthers. They had a tough night at the office last weekend against the Storm in Melbourne but that’s always a tough gig. The other team worth thought in the Roosters, especially if you think that they will beat the Broncos this Friday up in Brisbane. I think they might lose that one so I will take the gamble on the boys from Bondi and look to back them next week. The Warriors should also beat up the Eels this weekend at home and with some of their injured stars ready to come back into the team they could shorten dramatically in the next month.

 

Rugby League – 28 March 2017

Dragons breath fire as Warriors flounder!!!

Big Jim has a look at Round 5 of the rugby league after slaying the bookies in Round 4…read more

 

ROUND 4 Results: Big Jim 8 Units Bookies 2 Units

The Storm and the Roosters continue on their merry way and the Dragons continue to surprise. The results followed the script for the most part last weekend which was a pleasant surprise. I think its going to more of the same this weekend with many of the favourites looking like good things.

Roosters v Sea Eagles

Amazing turn around by the Sea Eagles in the last two weeks recording easy wins against good opposition. The Roosters are the form side of the competition and this should be a pretty brutal game. I expect both forward packs to dominate this game so should be low scoring.

Suggested bet: 1 Unit Total Points Scored UNDER

Cowboys v Rabbitohs

The Cowboys still looked a bit rusty but got got the job done against the Titans. They get their 10 million dollar wreck1ing ball back this week from suspension and will still want to atone for their last outing at home. The Bunnies were brave against the Roosters but they are still suspect defensively and I think the Cowboys are ready to really put a team to the sword. Cowboys by plenty.

Suggested Bet: 3 Units Cowboys at the line.

Sharks v Knights

The Knights are brave but they really struggle when it comes to quality cattle. They were walloped by the Panthers last weekend and this game represents another tough road trip against a side with plenty of scoring ability. May be tight in the first half but suspect the Sharks might pile on some late tries to get them over the line.

Suggested Bet: 2 Units Sharks at the line.

Storm v Panthers

Both sides scored plenty of points last weekend but both understand that defence is what will win this game. Penrith are starting to look more polished and they will view this game as an arm wrestle they can win up front. Melbourne will be more than happy to play that game as well. All of that means this should be a close low scoring affair with Melbourne playing their regular “score of a few kicks and tackle” type game plan.

Suggested Bet: 2 Units Total Points scored UNDER

Wests Tigers v Dragons

Form suggests that the Dragons should win this one but I’m not so sure. The Tigers got a bit unlucky against the Storm last weekend and they will be desperate to get off the bottom of the table. I am always looking for match-ups with misleading form lines; that’s where the value is! So I think the Dragons aren’t as good as their form line reads and the Tigers aren’t as bad as their form line reads.

Suggested Bet: 1 Unit Wests Tigers at the line.

FUTURES ALERT:

Not much to report here. I would like to back the Raiders to make the 8 (as they are way better than a 1:3 team) but I am obviously not the only one as they are still very short. The Cowboys still look amazing value at around $10.00 to win the title and should record an easy victory this weekend. If you are a big fan of the Panthers and think they will upset the Storm this weekend then this is the week to get on.

 

Rugby League   21 March 2017

Topsy Turvy NRL

Big Jim takes a look at Rd 3 of the NRL…read more

 

Good luck in your footy tipping is all I can say!!! Heaven help you trying to pick a winner head to head this year in the NRL where form means nothing. From a punting perspective we are still managing to land in front so that is all that really matters. The Storm and the Rosters remain the only unbeaten teams and the only thing we know is that the Storm will be there when the finals start. Every other club has at least won one game which would be making the power-brokers at Rugby League House happy little vegemites. You have to laugh at the sacking of Jason Taylor this week. Didn’t the club throw club legend Robbie Farrah to the Wolves because Taylor didn’t like him? Am I missing something here?

 

Rabbitohs v Roosters

No love loss between these two inner city clubs. The Bunnies bounced back to relevance recording two impressive wins on the road after their first round thumping by the Wests Tigers. I have to go with my head here over the heart though as I think the Roosters are just too big, too strong and are playing too good a football not to win this one.

 

Suggested bet:

2 Units Roosters at the line.

 

Broncos v Raiders

The Raiders are a good no nonsense football side but the Broncos at home are always a tough proposition. I expect this to be a fairly low scoring encounter and the Broncos to have enough polish to send the Raiders packing back to Canberra.

 

Suggested bets:

1 Unit Broncos at the line

1 Unit total points scored UNDER

 

Sea Eagles v Bulldogs

Both sides recorded much needed wins last week and both sides will feel that they can come away from the ground formerly known as Brookvale with a 50% record for 2017. I think this will be an old fashioned low scoring slug-fest and the blood and the mud and the beer should be flowing.

 

Suggested Bet:

2 Units Total points scored UNDER

 

Titans v Cowboys

The Cowboys must be fuming over their worst performance in resent years last week when humbled at home by Manly. The boys from Far North Queensland will come out looking for blood tonight and the Titans wont get lucky like they did against the ill disciplined Eels like they did last week.

 

Suggested bet:

3 Unit on the Titans at the line.

 

Tigers v Storm

I like teams who are out to impress a new coach. The problem is that the Storm are just so damn reliable. I still think with a juicy head start the Tigers represent good value and will hopefully show the form they showed in round one. Playing at Leichardt is a huge advantage.

 

Suggested Bet:

1 Unit on the Tigers at the line.

 

 

FUTURES ALERT

This really is a lottery at the moment with the form lines giving us very mixed messages. Get on the Strom when they eventually drop a game but they are too short at this point in time. I still like the Cowboys and the Bronocs as the best two future bets this week. The Broncos were brave on the road against the storm and the Cowboys put in a shocker which will have woken them up. I expect both Queensland powerhouses to win this weekend which means they will shorten next week across the board in futures markets.

Follow by Email1
Share This