Round 17 of the NRL is a short round due to the upcoming State of Origin game. Just 4 games to be played from Thursday to Sunday this week. We’ll run through the best bet for each NRL game below.
NRL football begins with the Storm playing the Dragons at AAMI Park in this clash. This should have been an absolute blockbuster but Origin means both sides have key players out. The home side will be without Slater, Chambers, Munster, Addo-Carr and Kaufusi. The Dragons miss Hunt, Frizell, de Belin, Vaughan and Sims. The Storm are coming off a very close victory over the Roosters by a field goal - thanks to some Cameron Smith heroics. He’ll be the key in this game as well. The Dragons on the other hand, were lucky to beat the Eels by 2 points at WIN Stadium. They staged a late comeback and will obviously need to improve against the Storm. The Dragons made a statement in the last meeting as they dominated them in a 34-14 win. But they will be looking for their first ever win at AAMI Park. The Storm are 4-0 against them in Melbourne. Both sides have shown impressive form in attack this season, but this should be a close encounter decided by defence. The Storm kept the Roosters to just 8 points last week and rank 2nd in the NRL for points allowed. The Dragons are just behind them in that ranking and have conceded 18 points per game in away games. So with the amount of talent missing, this game should come down to a 10 point margin in either direction.
On Friday night, the Panthers and Warriors meet at Panthers Stadium. It’s another top eight battle but again, Origin will hurt this matchup, especially the Panthers. They will miss Maloney and Cleary in the halves. But still have a strong forward pack to challenge the Warriors. The home side was poor last week against the Sea Eagles in an 8 point defeat. The Warriors were on the end of a tough decision as they went down to the Sharks 18-15. Surprisingly, the Warriors have actually played better in Australia compared to home games this season. They’ve won 6 of 7 on the road and have been given good odds to win this one. However, I like the unders, which is showing a trend at Panthers Stadium. It’s 6-1 this season and I doubt the Panthers will score many points without their playmakers. The Warriors also haven’t been setting the world on fire in attack.
NRL football continues with the Bulldogs playing the Raiders at Belmore Sports Ground. The Raiders will be desperate for victory as they now sit 6 points outside the top 8. They were up 16-0 in Brisbane last week but the story of the season for them is a lack of second half pressure. For the Bulldogs, they thrashed the Knights last week by 20 points. That should give them a spark in attack this week as well. So in this one, I can see both teams scoring over 13 points. The Bulldogs have achieved this in 6 of their last 8. The Raiders have not scored under 13 points at all this season.
On Sunday afternoon, the Titans and Broncos meet at CBus Super Stadium. With a 6-9 record, this is a must win clash for the Titans and they should be confident. They upset the Broncos earlier in the year with a 26-14 win at Suncorp. Recently, they have won by 13+ against the Tigers and Bulldogs, both in Sydney. The Broncos are 4-1 in their last 5 games and they recorded a stunning victory in Round 16. Down 16-0 at the half, they stormed home to win 26-22. So both sides are showing decent form in attack and Sunday afternoon football should see both sides throw the ball around. In the end, I like both sides to score 15+ points. The Titans are 4-1 against it and scored 33 in their last day game at home. The Broncos have scored 20+ in 8 of their last 10 games.
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