There’s likely to be further disruption to round 16 due to Covid but I’ll do my best to find a winner or two. Nathan Cleary looks likely for a stint on the sidelines, how will that affect the Panthers this round and in their hunt for a premiership?
Ladbrokes have $2 lines for Thursday and Friday’s games, here’s how I plan to attack.
Sydney Roosters ($3.50) VS Melbourne Storm ($1.30) – McDonald Jones Stadium
The Storm have fled their base at the Sunshine Coast to escape Covid and are back in Melbourne, they then travel to Newcastle for this clash and will be doing a lot of travelling this week instead of training. The Roosters on the other hand have had time during the origin break to rest and recover some injured bodies. I’m expecting the Roosters to turn up here.
Suggested Bet – Sydney Roosters +12 @ $2
New Zealand Warriors ($1.72) VS St George Illawarra Dragons ($2.10) – Central Coast Stadium
Taking the Warriors minus always scares me and they have DWZ and Chad Townsend making their first appearance for the club this season after mid season trades. It is hard to know how they will fit in but I can’t warm to the Dragons, this is a game the Warriors should be winning and winning well. I’ve been burnt before though…
Suggested Bet – New Zealand Warriors -2 @ $2
Penrith Panthers ($1.53) VS Parramatta Eels ($2.50) – BlueBet Stadium
Nathan Clearasil looks likely for a stint on the sidelines when they graft some bone from his chin to put in his shoulder…His loss isn’t to be joked about though, easily the best and most influential halfback in the game. We’ll see just how good these other Panthers are in this. Parra are still without the injured Reed Mahoney but if they can limit To’o’s damage at the start of sets, they can win this.
Suggested Bet – Parramatta Eels +5.5 @ $2
Canterbury Bulldogs ($7.75) VS Manly Sea Eagles ($1.08) – Bankwest Stadium
Canterbury’s season just goes from bad to worse with players now caught breaching Covid protocols and missing this game. Manly have named Turbo to back up from his Origin heroics and whether he plays or not, they look likely to put a score on the Dogs.
Suggested Bet – Manly Sea Eagles -24.5 @ $1.90
Canberra Raiders ($1.45) VS Gold Coast Titans ($2.75) – GIO Stadium
Both these sides have been massive disappointments this season and there doesn’t look to be much between them. Confidence in this game is low, but at the prices I’d have to favour the Titans as neither side is going well and this will likely be decided by which team sucks the least. (Apologies to any supporters of these two out there)
Suggested Bet – Gold Coast Titans +6.5 @ $1.90
Newcastle Knights ($1.50) VS North Queensland Cowboys ($2.55) – McDonald Jones Stadium
Ponga finally makes his long awaited return from injury for the Knights, whilst the Cows will travel down without their coach who has to isolate for 14 days after coming into contact with a known Covid case. The Cows cancelled their training session on Wednesday and have had an interrupted prep and barring no positive tests, will fly down on game day. The Knights haven’t set the world on fire but they get their chance to win well here with Ponga back to boost their attack.
Suggested Bet – Newcastle Knights -5.5 @ $1.90
Brisbane Broncos ($2.90) VS Cronulla Sharks ($1.40) – Suncorp Stadium
Surprise surprise, Kevvie has changed his halves again! His mantra must be “footy is a game of two halves, as long as they are different each week.” Seriously though, the Broncos welcome back star centre and part time foot licker, Kotoni Staggs back from injury and he will add some fire power to their backline – if the halves pass him the ball. Neither side like tackling much and if the rain doesn’t tumble down the over looks a bet, but weary of the weather we’ll take the Sharks minus.
Suggested bet – Cronulla Sharks -8.5 @ $1.90
Wests Tigers ($6.20) VS South Sydney Rabbitohs ($1.12) – Leichhardt Oval
The Tigers defence has been very ordinary at times and you would expect Souths to enjoy plenty of success with their dominant left edge attack. This should be played under the perfect conditions for points, Souths look like scoring 6 – 8 tries and I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Tigers score 3+ themselves. That said, we’ll pile into the over and watch the points.
Suggested Bet – Total Match Points Over 52.5 @ $1.90