Thu, Sep 20, 8:51am by Staff Writer
Two of the NRL’s oldest rivals do battle on Saturday night (AEST) for a chance to play in the 2018 NRL Grand Final.
The Sydney Roosters go into the match as $1.75 favourites with the Bunnies $2.10 outsiders.
The Roosters finished the home and away season on top of the ladder and defeated Cronulla 21-12 a fortnight ago to progress to this preliminary final.
It has been a far tougher road for Souths, who went down 29-28 to Melbourne before a rousing 13-12 win against the Dragons last weekend.
The Roosters have conceded the fewest points of any team in the competition this season, while the Bunnies have scored the most points.
The Roosters will be without one of the competition’s most prolific points scorers in Latrell Mitchell.
The centre has been suspended for his dangerous tackle on Josh Dugan in the qualifying final and will be sorely missed by the Chooks.
South Sydney go into this game unchanged as they look to put aside a week of off-field drama surrounding one of its best players, Sam Burgess, behind it.
These teams have met twice this season and have shared the spoils.
It was Souths who produced an upset win in round six, winning 26-14 at Allianz Stadium.
In round 22, the Roosters won 18-14, behind the boot of Latrell Mitchell, who kicked three penalty goals and a conversion.
This will be the final game played at Allianz Stadium before it is bulldozed and rebuilt, with plenty of Grand Finals, State of Origin matches and big games played at the venue.
The Roosters have the advantage of playing at home this weekend and at a ground where the Bunnies win one in every three matches.
A bumper crowd is sure to be on hand to cheer both sides on, with the market illustrating there is little separating the teams.
The Roosters are two-point favourites at the $1.90 handicap.
In margin betting, the Roosters to win 1-12 is paying $2.80, with Souths to win by that margin paying $3.
Daniel Tupou ($9), Robert Jennings ($9.50) and Blake Ferguson ($9.50) are the single-digit first tryscorers in the match.
The total match points is set at over/under 37.5 and given the Roosters’ staunch defence and the premium placed on points accumulation in finals, especially via the penalty goal, the under is the way we are going in this one.
Best bet- Sydney Roosters and South Sydney Rabbitohs under 37.5 at $1.90
NRL Preliminary Final Odds
Sydney $1.75 South Sydney $2.10
Handicap: Sydney -2 ($1.90)
Margin: Sydney 1-12 $2.80, 13+ $4.50
South Sydney 1-12 $3, 13+ $6.50
Total match points over/under 37.5 ($1.90)
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