Sea Eagles to Take Flight
It might be the first week of the season, but there is pressure on the Manly Sea Eagles and Canterbury Bulldogs to perform and that’s reflected in NRL lines.
Expectations weren’t met last year, especially for the Bulldogs, who struggled to win most weeks.
The sportsbook predicts a close game between two nervous sides on Friday.
Future is Bright for Visitors
There is no real reason why the Sea Eagles should struggle in 2023. They have a quality team on paper and it was only the off-field distractions that ruined them last year.
However, with all that drama behind them, they should have a positive year, and our NRL picks will feature them many times.
The health of star fullback Tom Trbojevic is crucial. He has been injured at times throughout his career and it hurts his team. If the New South Wales representative stays healthy, he could lead his team to the playoffs.
There is a lot of size in the backline, which could make it tough for the Bulldogs to cope. Tolutau Koula and Christian Tuipulotu are wrecking machines and the Bulldogs’ defense could be scrambling.
Online gambling markets have the Sea Eagles at -4½. It’s a fair line given they are playing at home in what has become a fortress, so we thought they would be much shorter with bookmakers.
Bulldogs: No Bark?
Coming off a disappointing year is never easy to get over. The Bulldogs need to rebound and deliver their fans some wins in 2023.
However, their team is mostly the same, so we’re not sure if they’re good enough to improve.
Backing the Bulldogs has proven costly and the latest NRL news suggests they could be overrated from the outset. We thought they could be paying around +200 to win outright, so the +145 odds are too short for our liking.
Losing Luke Thompson during preseason is another nail in the coffin.
“Unfortunately Luke Thompson’s injury is quite serious. Prognosis is for minimum six months recovery”, NRL boss Phil Gould said.
“Possibly longer depending on surgery type. Very sad for Luke and the club. Thunderbolts happen.”
We are happy to concede that the Bulldogs will score more wins than last year, but we wouldn’t get our hopes too high. They continually let down bettors and it should eventually show in betting online markets.
Bulldogs vs Sea Eagles Head-to-Head
The Bulldogs have a 21-19 edge over the Sea Eagles, including a 21-20 win last September.
The Sea Eagles won the previous meeting 13-12 earlier in the year, so it’s always a close contest between the Sydney rivals.
Bulldogs vs Sea Eagles Game Information
- Game: Canterbury Bulldogs (0-0) vs Manly Sea Eagles (0-0)
- Day/Time: Friday, March 3, 1:00 a.m. ET
- Location: 4 Pines Park, Sydney, NSW
- Bulldogs vs Sea Eagles Live Stream: RugbyPass
Bulldogs vs Sea Eagles Betting Lines
Bulldogs vs Sea Eagles Picks and Prediction
Our NRL predictions have the Sea Eagles winning comfortably to open their year.
They have a much better team on paper, and we believe they have sorted out their off-field differences.
Take the -4½ and also include under 43½ points. The defense should stand up well for both sides.
Manly is listed at -190 in our Vegas NRL lines. This means that if you wager $100 on the Sea Eagles, there’s a chance to win $53. Canterbury is +145, offering a chance to win $145 on a $100 wager. The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives Manly a 65.52% chance to win, with the Bulldogs at 40.82%.