We’ve had a good look at all the teams now and while some are starting to hit their straps, others have forgotten how to tie their bootlaces. Let’s see if we can separate the wheat from the chaff. Don’t forget Ladbrokes are offering $2 lines on Thursday’s and Friday’s games.
Canberra Raiders ($2.70) VS South Sydney Rabbitohs ($1.48) – GIO Stadium
Ricky’s men in the nation’s capital have been struggling all season and he has wielded the axe in what shapes as a D-Day game for them. They have been expected to fight back the last few rounds without showing anything. If the Bunnies turn up on a cold Canberra night, they’ll put a score on them.
Suggested Bet – South Sydney Rabbitohs -5.5 @ $2
Melbourne Storm ($1.12) VS Cronulla Sharks ($6) – AAMI Park
The Sharks have a few off field dramas that seem to be derailing their season and you only have to be marginally off your game against the Storm and they will put a cricket score on you. It looks likely the Sharks will be off their game, so we’ll back Melbourne to win well.
Suggested Bet – Melbourne Storm -17.5 @ $1.90
Brisbane Broncos ($3.50) VS Gold Coast Titans ($1.30) – Suncorp Stadium
I might need to be committed (my missus would vouch for this) but I think the Broncos can spring an upset here. The Titan’s middles were exposed last week and they are desperately missing Tino. The Brisbane pack can dominate and with Milf and Gamble having plenty of time off the back of that, they might actually look ok…
Suggested Bet – Brisbane Broncos +12 @ $2
Penrith Panthers ($1.19) VS Manly Sea Eagles ($4.60) – Carrington Park, Bathurst
With hooker Api Koroisau back, Penrith can play much more direct. They will be too fast for Manly and whilst Manly will try, they lack the talent outside of gun fullback Tommy Turbo, who won’t be able to dominate the Panthers as easily as he has other sides.
Suggested Bet – Penrith Panthers -14.5 @ $1.90
Canterbury Bulldogs ($7.25) VS Parramatta Eels ($1.09) – Stadium Australia
I don’t have a lot of confidence in backing Parra to cover such a big line so we’ll sidestep that option and look at likely try scorers for the Eels. Gutho is rarely far from the action and always there in support when a break is made, like any good fullback. Up you go King Gutho!
Suggested Bet – Anytime Try Scorer – Clint Gutherson @ $2.05
Newcastle Knights ($2.60) VS Sydney Roosters ($1.48) – Bankwest Stadium
James Tedesco has been named at fullback but I fancy he will miss this week and be back next round after suffering a bad concussion. Assume Ikuvalu comes into the side but don’t be surprised to see young gun Suaalii get a run. The Knights are slowly building and can win here.
Suggested bet – Newcastle Knights +6 @ $1.90
New Zealand Warriors ($1.60) VS North Queensland Cowboys ($2.30) – Central Coast Stadium
Will we finally get to see the return of big Jason Taumalolo? Has he been punching walls or something? Anyways, both teams aren’t strangers to finding themselves in high scoring games and I expect no different here. Plenty of attacking weapons and questionable defenders.
Suggested bet – Total Match Points Over 44.5 @ $1.90
St George Illawarra Dragons ($1.33) VS Wests Tigers ($3.30) – WIN Stadium
I’ll be honest, this isn’t something I thought I would be saying at the start of the season, but I really like the Dragons here. The Tigers middle looks very brittle, especially with noted weak defender Ofahengaue named at lock. Dragons could have a field day, they should win well.
Suggested bet – St George Illawarra Dragons -10.5 @ $1.90