The best offense in the NRL will be on display Saturday when the Melbourne Storm visit McDonald Jones Stadium to take on the Newcastle Knights. These are two squads with very different goals as the Storm are 6-1, just trying to keep pace with the undefeated Penrith Panthers heading into Round 8 action.
Newcastle meanwhile is 2-5 with a -82 point differential, the second worst team on the ladder ahead of only Canterbury. Things could get ugly in this meeting, as the Storm have won 10 straight in the head to head matchups.
Knights vs Storm Stats
In any Storm game this season the focus is going to be on that dynamic offense that is borderline historic and has made it near impossible to set fair rugby betting odds. Melbourne leads the NRL with 243 points, 20 more than even the undefeated Panthers. The Storm also top the league with 43 tries and 35 goals, and have posted a +141 point differential so far on the season.
The Knights are a much different story, with just 90 points on the season ahead of only the Wests Tigers and Bulldogs. Newcastle scored a measly two points last weekend, and were only slightly better in round five in a 30-6 loss to Manly. There’s a theme here – this one could get ugly.
Newcastle is just 2-5 so far this year, one of those victories coming against fellow two win team Wests Tigers, but the other in a somewhat surprising takedown of 4-3 Sydney, 20-6 in round one. Both of those victories came in the first two rounds of the season giving the Knights hope, but that has been quickly dissipated with a five match losing streak heading into this weekend’s rugby betting picks.
The worst thing about the Newcastle slump is that there have been some very ugly beatings along the way, a bad trend heading into a match with Melbourne. The Knights were shut out 18-0 against Cronulla, lost 30-6 at home to Manly, and most recently lost 39-2 to Parramatta last weekend. The Eels have a good team, but so does Melbourne.
Teams better be prepared when they head into a contest with the Storm, and that was definitely not the case for New Zealand on Anzac Day last weekend. Melbourne absolutely throttled the Warriors 70-10, 56 of those points coming in a single half to set an NRL record. The Warriors are the first team since 2008 to give up 70+ points in a match, not a side of history you want to be on.
Melbourne is an absolutely deep buzzsaw, but the man at the top of that could be the best in player in the NRL right now. Ryan Papenhuyzen leads the league with 101 points, 27 more than the next nearest competitor Mitchell Moses of the Eels. Papenhuyzen is also tops with 10 tries, and tied with Moses with 30 goals. The Knights simply don’t have a counter to match to make them play in this weekend’s rugby picks, with their leading scorer being Jake Clifford with 30 points.
Knights vs Storm Betting Trends
- Storm have won 10 straight head to head
- Knights are 15-29 all time head to head
- Storm won 48-4 last season
Knights vs Storm Betting Picks
Oddsmakers are all but giving this one to the Storm, making them whopping -1250 favorites on the Moneyline, tied with Penrith against Gold Coast as the most lopsided game of the weekend. Melbourne is even a -19.5 favorite in the point spread and this matchup has a total of 42.5 which the Storm could legitimately hit by themselves after scoring 56 in a single half last weekend.
Papenhuyzen is +400 as the first try scorer as well, which isn’t bad rugby betting odds considering the way he has dominated this season. For perspective, Papenhuyzen has scored 101 points by himself this year – Newcastle has 90 as a team.
There’s just no way you can justify a rugby betting play on Newcastle here, even at +19.5. They lost to the Storm by 44 last season, and just dropped a 37-point defeat to Parramatta last weekend. The Eels have a good offense, but the Storm attack is not great – it’s elite.
The Storm should be the bet every game they play this year, there’s value on this historic run no matter what the spread.