The cat and the fiddle
The Cowboys jumped over the moon
The Bulldogs laughed to see such fun
And the Broncos ran away with the spoon?
5 units Gold Coast Titans +4.0 @2.00
3 units NZ Warriors +3.5 @2.00
2 units Brisbane Broncos +2.0 @2.00
NRL Round 20 Match Previews
Brisbane Broncos vs North Qld Cowboys
Assessed Line: 1.90 each of two
Ladbrokes: Broncos +2.0
What a surprisingly entertaining match to open the final round of the 2020 regular season, given that it’s 16th vs 14th. In a replay of their epic 2015 Grand Final, there is plenty on the line and this promises to be an intense battle. Simply, the Broncos must win to avoid the wooden spoon and the Cowboys will be doing everything they can to ensure their bitter rivals finish last and spoil Darius Boyd’s farewell in the process. In what could easily be another 1 point thriller, Brisbane is the VALUE BET at the plus.
Gold Coast Titans vs Newcastle Knights
Assessed Line: Titans -0.5
Ladbrokes: Titans +4.0
Gold Coast keep living up to their hype for next year, easily accounting for Manly last week. Now they face a Knights side that is playing for a home semi-final. This will be another strong indicator of the Titans finals chances for 2021. At home and in winning form, I think the bookmakers have underestimated their chances and overvalued the “must-win” factor for Newcastle. The Knights were flattered at home by a dismal Saints outfit and face a 5 day back up away. Titans at the plus are the BET OF THE ROUND.
South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Sydney Roosters
Assessed Line: Rabbitohs +10.5
Ladbrokes: Rabbitohs +10.5
Traditional rivals go at it on Friday night in a match with more questions than answers. If the Roosters lose, they arguably face an easier semi-final against Penrith, getting to play in Sydney rather than travelling interstate to play the Storm. Souths will either be playing for a home semi or for nothing, solely depending on the result of the Newcastle match immediately prior. Too many unknowns. No bet.
Canterbury Bulldogs vs Penrith Panthers
Assessed Line: Bulldogs +12.5
Ladbrokes: Bulldogs +13.5
Another match with plenty of queries about the willingness of both sides. The Panthers have top spot wrapped up and with nothing to play for, their intensity level is uncertain. Canterbury must win to avoid the dreaded wooden spoon, but only if Brisbane win, otherwise they will just be playing for fun. Once again, too many unknowns to bet early.
Cronulla Sharks vs Canberra Raiders
Assessed Line: Sharks -3.5
Ladbrokes: Sharks -2.5
Things are even more confusing in the Saturday evening clash. Cronulla is locked into 8th spot with no incentive at all to win and no Shaun Johnson. Conversely, the Raiders must-win for a chance at 4th spot. It sounds simple enough, Canberra just wins, right? but they’ve rested half their team and to muddy the picture, even more, have still named a few key players in the reserves. Harder to pick than Gavin Miller’s nose. Leave me out.
Wests Tigers vs Parramatta Eels
Assessed Line: Tigers +8.0
Ladbrokes: Tigers +8.5
Depending on the result of the previous match, Parramatta will either be desperately playing for a top 4 spot or have it wrapped up and only running around for a confidence-boosting win ahead of their finals campaign. The Tigers have once again missed the top 8 but will be keen to spoil the Eels party and send club legends Benji Marshall and Chris Lawrence out on a winning note. Parra has won 6 of their last 7 against the Tigers but this won’t be an easy task, especially considering their attacking struggles of late. No meat on the bone to bet.
New Zealand Warriors vs Manly Sea Eagles
Assessed Line: Warriors -0.5
Ladbrokes: Warriors +3.5
Everyone’s second favourite team play their last “home” game before they deservedly fly back to NZ on Monday. And wouldn’t they love to finish with a win? They play a Manly side that can’t wait for their season to end. It’s been a horror year for the Sea Eagles and with Turbo Tom re-injured things just keep getting worse. Unfortunately, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is out for NZ but there is still nothing between these two sides in what is a dead rubber. At the value odds, the Warriors are a MUST BET to keep the Guru’s tipping streak alive and close out the NRL regular season with a feel-good story.
StGeorge/Ill Dragons vs Melbourne Storm
Assessed Line: Dragons -2.0
Ladbrokes: Dragons -1.5
A farcical dead rubber sees the abysmal Dragons start favourites against a reserve grade Storm outfit. LEAVE ME OUT. If you need me, I’ll be at the Dapto under-8s match watching a quality side play.
Onwards and upwards to the finals commencing next week!
Good luck and great punting,
Punt Club NRL Guru