Ponga To Shine as Knights Exorcise Demons
Newcastle look primed to make it two on the trot to open their 2020 campaign against a Wests Tigers missing star halfback Luke Brooks.
The Wests Tigers overcame a deficit to win over St George Illawarra 24-14 in Wollongong but it was a win that lacked class. The game went under the total. Newcastle did not concede a single point in their comfortable 20-0 win over New Zealand in a match that went well under for totals bettors.
Kalyn Ponga looked much more comfortable playing at fullback and he has the ability to slice up a Tigers team that looks fragile across the park.
Wests Tigers have won three straight and five of the last six against Newcastle. The Tigers have topped 25 points in four of those six games, topping 20 in all. The Tigers won the only meeting against the Knights at Leichhardt but that was back in 2011.
Newcastle have covered six of their last nine day games while the Tigers have covered just nine of 23 off a double digit win.
While Newcastle look the value, the top bet in this one is the under. There are some strong Tigers angles in this driving the bet. The under is 11-3 when the Tigers play at Leichhardt, including 5-0 when they are favoured at the ground. The under is 25-16 when the Tigers are off a win and 28-15 in Tigers day games.
Newcastle Knights for the win.
If we had to pick a line
Newcastle Knights +1.5