Round 5 Value Plays (Saturday)

Round 5 Value Plays (Saturday)

Strap yourselves in. There is something for everybody on this Super Saturday.

The Rabbitohs should do it easy to kick things off, but the Titans have shown they can surprise on their day. Can the Knights do the same? They face the Storm a week after perhaps their most impressive victory in four years. A frustrated Tigers take on a smarting Raiders outfit to wrap things up as both look to avenge Round 4 defeats.

South Sydney Rabbitohs v Gold Coast Titans @ Bankwest Stadium

First Try-Scorers: Alex Johnston – $10, Cody Walker – $20

One win doesn’t disguise the fact that the Titans edge defence has been nothing short of hideous for 12 months now. Teams will still target that area, the Rabbitohs, in particular.

Cody Walker ($20 – PointsBet) returns to the lineup this week and is set to pair with Latrell Mitchell on shifts to the left edge. Mitchell finally showed some promising signs last week. With the Titans edge sure to have noticed his improvements and eager to shut him down, Walker will be quick to pounce if he’s given too much space as a result.

If the ball gets through Walker and Mitchell, it’s Alex Johnston ($10 – Neds) that is likely to cash in. A professional try-scorer and the only Bunny to cross the line last week, our predictive model is all over the left winger this week.

Draftstars Suggested Plays: Alex Johnston ($7,000), Erin Clark ($9,800)

With Cody Walker returning to South Sydney’s left edge and Latrell Mitchell showing glimpses of increased involvement down that side last week, Alex Johnston, and those that put him in lineups, are set to cash in. He’s an excellent finisher and will see opportunities close to the line this week. While the Titans impressed in their Round 4 win, the expectation is for the Rabbitohs to score a few points on Saturday. Our predictive model projects Johnson to score 29 points, but his ceiling is much, much higher.

We talked about Erin Clark last week:

“With a calm head on his shoulders and the sort of running game that can thrive should the Titans pack produce, Clark is an excellent low-cost option despite being a relative unknown.”

He scored 34.63 points in his first start at hooker and our predictive model has him adding another ten points to his total on Saturday. Clark eased into things. He only had four runs for 25 metres. There was enough there to be encouraged, though. Expecting him to be better for the 49 minutes last week, Clark is a worthwhile contrarian option against the popular Damien Cook.

DFS Fade: Jai Arrow ($15, 420)

Jai Arrow is so often the glue that keeps the Titans together. Unlike the rest of the squad recently, he is the epitome of consistency and resilience. That consistency has translated into scores of 51.6, 56.9, 56.4 and 54.5 this season.

While Arrow is projected to score 53 points in this one, our model has pegged his $15,420 as a bit pricey. Look for value elsewhere.

Newcastle Knights v Melbourne Storm @ Central Coast Stadium

First Try-Scorer: Brenko Lee – $21, Edrick Lee – $12, Ryley Jacks – $34

Our predictive model likes cousins Brenko ($21 – Neds) and Edrick Lee ($12 – Neds) to dot down in this one. Likely to meet head-on multiple times during the game, it’s going to be an interesting battle. Brenko is trying to save his NRL career by carving out a spot in the most disciplined side in the competition while Edrick is on the fringes of State of Origin selection.

With Cameron Munster inside Brenko and Kalyn Ponga feeding Edrick on sweeping plays down the left edge, both will receive quality service if they can get themselves into the right position.

Ryley Jacks is a heavy roughie at $34 (PointsBet). He replaces Jahrome Hughes in the halves this week. Perhaps the element of being a relative unknown works in his favour?

Draftstars Suggested Plays: Andrew McCullough ($12,500), Ryan Panpenhuyzen ($11,440)

Andrew McCullough went ballistic in his Knights debut last week. With 65 running metres and 61 tackles, the veteran hooker finished with 71.5 Draftstars points last week.

He looks at home behind the ruck already. The Knights play at a high-speed in hard sets and look to drive through the middle. Good service is all McCullough needs to provide. He’s not asked to create in attack, which last week, allowed him to pick his moments to dart from behind the ruck.

MuCullough isn’t projected to score 70+ again this week, but our predictive model sees value in his $12, 500 price.

Ryan Papenhuyzen is set to benefit from the improved form of Cameron Munster. As Munster attacts more attention to put Papenhuyzen one-on-one with defenders, the Storm fullback can use his lightening speed to skip through the line. Our predictive model projects Papenhuyzen to score a season-high 46 points this week.

DFS Fade: Bradman Best ($10,500)

The boom rookie scored a whopping 90.34 points through two tries, a try assist, six tackle breaks and 166 running metres last week, but our predictive model suggests steering clear of Bradman Best on Saturday night. He’s going to be wildly popular, but he’s coming up against a much better defence this week. The Storm have only conceded six tries all season.

Fading Best could be a crucial point of difference in this one.

Wests Tigers v Canberra Raiders @ Campbelltown Stadium

First Try-Scorers: Bailey Simonsson – $12, David Nofoaluma – $13

Bailey Simonsson ($10 – BetEasy) and David Nofoluma ($13 – TopSport) will be running up against each other this week and our predictive model has picked out both as value plays.

Simonsson appears the more likely to score of the two. He’s playing in the favoured side to start, but is on the end of an excellent and cohesive left edge. Nofoaluma, on the other hand, is without Benji Marshall on the right side. And it was the coaches choice! Dropping Benji is a real head-scratcher, but if there is one player that can do it all on his own to get across the line, it’s Nofoaluma.

Draftstars Suggested Plays: Zane Musgrove ($8,300) Adam Doueihi ($7,800)

Zane Musgrove hasn’t put up massive numbers in his return to the NRL. However, he’s being given the chance this week with Michael Maguire elevating the 24-year-old into the starting lineup. A fearless runner and surely eager to throw everything into this opportunity, Musgrove is a must-play low-cost option in a match not short of productive middle forwards.

It wasn’t a click-bait headline to drum up outrage; Benji Marshall really has been dropped from the Tigers squad this week. Josh Reynolds takes his place, but ‘Grub’ isn’t the resulting play. Adam Doueihi will be asked to offer a lot more in attack in Marshall’s absence. The young fullback has increased his number of touches every week since joining the club in the off-season. He registered 24 receipts in a 58.3-point performance last week.

Projected to back up with another 36 points against the Raiders, our predictive model has highlighted Doueihi and his $7,800 as a value play here.

DFS Fade: Harry Grant ($15,000)

Nobody here is surprised to see Harry Grant score 63.5 and 78.5 points in his first two games at hooker for the Tigers. The 22-year-old is the truth. But, our predictive model projects the young gun to slow down on the DFS front this week. He’s projected to score 44 points against a Raiders outfit that will have his name circled on the scouting report.

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