Surprise Package Favored in Round 3
NRL lines have the upstart Redcliffe Dolphins favored to beat the Newcastle Knights at -3½.
The Dolphins, who were expected to have less than five wins in 2023, have started with two wins and look to down the Knights on the road.
Newcastle is down four big starters, so it would be a brave effort from the home side.
Dream Start for Dolphins
We were among the many NRL pundits who had the Dolphins struggling in their inaugural year. However, after posting wins over the Roosters and Raiders, they’re an early threat.
They scored a massive upset as the +16½ underdog against the Roosters before coming from behind at halftime to beat the Raiders 20-14 last week.
The sportsbook has had to adjust to their surprising performances, and it’s no surprise to see them listed as the favorite for Friday’s game.
They could take advantage of a Knights team down on firepower, so the dream start for Wayne Bennett’s team is possible.
Jeremy Marshall-King is missing for the Dolphins, but Kodi Nikorima is a capable replacement, according to teammate Brenko Lee with NRL news.
“He’s been unreal. His record speaks for itself. He’s a first-grader and he’s an international player. I think he’s going to be awesome there,” Lee said.
“We’re going to miss Jeremy a lot, he’s been unreal in the first two rounds, but in saying that Kodi is a like-for-like. He’s electric and probably one of the smartest blokes I’ve seen on the footy field for a while.”
Knights Lose Firepower
Sport betting lines are giving the Knights the benefit of the doubt that their replacements could get the job done on Friday. However, we think they’re being generous.
They started their year with a dour 20-12 losing performance to the New Zealand Warriors before sneaking past the Wests Tigers 14-12, but we wouldn’t take much from that performance.
Last week’s win came at a huge cost. They lost inspirational captain Kalyn Ponga to concussion along with Jacob Saifiti, Jayden Brailey, and Tyson Frizell.
That’s the spine of the Knights, so the second unit will have to muscle up. However, we can’t see that happening.
Las Vegas odds have them as home underdogs, which is accurate. They haven’t looked good with their best players on the field, let alone sitting on the sidelines. Not having Ponga could leave them rudderless.
Knights vs Dolphins Head-to-Head
It’s the first meeting in history for the Dolphins vs Knights, as the Dolphins are in their first year of competitive play.
Knights vs Dolphins Game Information
- Game: Dolphins (2-0) vs Knights (1-1)
- Day/Time: Friday, March 17, 3:00 a.m. ET
- Location: McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle, NSW
- Dolphins vs Knights Live Stream: RugbyPass
Knights vs Dolphins Betting Lines
Knights vs Dolphins Picks and Prediction
Our NRL picks have the Dolphins staying unbeaten and continuing their dream run in the NRL.
We’re not sure if they’re good enough to push for a playoff spot later this year, but we’re loving what we’re seeing so far.
Confidence levels are high and the Knights are suffering.
Dolphins is listed at -165 in our Vegas NRL lines. This means that if you wager $100 on the Dolphins, there’s a chance to win $61. Newcastle is +125, offering a chance to win $125 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives the Dolphins a 62.26% chance to win, with the Knights at 44.44%.