Unsettled Raiders vulnerable in season opener
Canberra have endured a difficult offseason and with the weight of expectation, the Raiders could be vulnerable in their opener. Ricky Stuart’s men have a ton of injury and suspension concerns led by John Bateman. Also missing will be Ryan Sutton and Hudson Young while the Raiders will be introducing George Williams into the NRL as well as presenting a new right edge.
It would be no shock if the Titans caught them napping with both teams enjoying very different offseasons. Canberra played just a single trial, a 12-10 win over Canterbury. The Raiders went winless in two games at the Nines. The Titans trial season got off to an awful start with an 18-16 loss to Burleigh before an impressive 28-22 win over Brisbane. The Titans reached the semis of the Nines.
Canberra have won six of the last nine meetings with the Gold Coast including a 21-0 win in the only meeting last year. The Titans have actually won four of the last six meetings in Canberra though. Four of the last five meetings have topped 50 points. Of the 11 meetings played in Canberra, the total has hit 44 points or more in 10.
This presents as a high scoring game and The Wolf will be having a nibble on the over but the top play is the Titans. Underdogs of 6 or more have covered 20 of 30 Round 1 games since 2008 while the Raiders have covered just 15 of 35 home games.
Canberra Raiders for the win.
If we had to pick a Line
Gold Coast Titans +9.5