Round 20 of the NRL season gets underway this Thursday and we are back with a full betting preview of all the Round 20 matchups below.
The Broncos are back at home after their 50-18 thrashing of the Panthers. Which was a major turnaround after losing 26-6 to the Warriors previously. So they will take on another top 8 team in the Sharks. They sit 5th on the ladder and will be desperate to finish top 4 at the end of the season. They come to Brisbane with 3 straight wins anåd will be motivated to overturn a 20-16 loss at Shark Park against the Broncos in mid-June. The bookies are expecting another tight affair with the Broncos just favourites at around $1.80. However, the safe bet should be both teams scoring 13+ points. The Broncos have scored 13+ in 9 of their last 10 and the Sharks haven’t been held under 13 in 10 straight. When these 2 sides meet, the 13+ bet is 3-1 and saluted in the previous meeting this season.
After 5 straight home games, the Knights will finally hit the road and should be confident of a 3rd straight win. They’ve knocked off the Titans and Eels in back to back close games. Now, they face the 4-14 Cowboys and Ponga is back to face his former side. Interestingly though, the Cowboys are fairly warm favourites in this matchup. Which is mainly based on their 3-0 record against the Knights since 2015. However, the home side has won just 1 of their last 9 and will be looking to halt a 6 game losing streak in North QLD. While I see value in the Knights at the line, the unders should be the safer bet. The total averages only 34 points at 1300Smiles Stadium this season and the Cowboys are ranked dead last for points scored at home. But they can stop sides as well as they average only 20 points allowed per game at this venue.
The Tigers showed some life in their season with a stunning 22-6 win over the Rabbitohs. Sitting 9th on the ladder, they pretty much need to win every game from here. Which should continue against the woeful Bulldogs. They managed just 8 points against the Eels last round and have scored just 14 in total over their last 2 losses. So the unders should salute here. The 2018 meeting between the two sides ended in a 14-10 win for the Tigers. Overall, in the last 2 meetings, the total hasn’t gone over 30 points. The Tigers own one of the best defences in the league and that shouldn’t change against the Bulldogs struggling attack.
The Sea Eagles return to Brookvale after one of the worst defensive efforts of this season. The Roosters basically waltzed down the middle of park last week as they belted them 56-24. But speaking of bad defence, the Panthers also let in 50 points last week at Suncorp Stadium. Both sides are now 1-4 in their last 5. The Sea Eagles struggle at home (3-6) and the Panthers seem to be a different side away from home. So this game is easily the hardest bet of the round and one you should steer clear of.
Super Saturday ends at AAMI Park with the Storm hosting the Raiders. The poor Raiders can’t take a trick this season and it won’t get any easier in Melbourne. They were unlucky losers at Shark Park last week in a very controversial 28-24 loss. Meanwhile, the Storm are back on top of the ladder after 7 straight wins. Their last 2 wins have been close but they should enjoy facing the Raiders defence. Canberra is ranked last in the NRL for points allowed in away games and the Storm are the best scoring team when they’re the home side. They’ve also scored 30+ in their last 2 wins in Melbourne, which were against top 8 sides. So while I see Melbourne getting the win, the overs should be the best bet. The average total at AAMI Park in 2018 is 47 points and the last 2 have easily beaten 41.5 points. Games involving the Raiders have also gone over this total in 6 straight games.
Sunday’s NRL action begins on the Gold Coast with the Titans up against the Warriors. Both sides are coming off close losses. The Titans went down to the Knights by 6 points in Newcastle and the Warriors couldn’t get past the Storm defence in a 12-6 defeat. However, the return of Blake Green should help their attack. They also love playing the Titans with 6 straight wins and overall, they’re 14-1 against them since 2011. Which also includes 7 straight wins on the Gold Coast. They have covered the line in 5 of 6 at this venue and with their top 8 hopes on the line, I think they’ll enjoy a comfortable win.
Arguably the best game of the round has to wait until Sunday with the Roosters and Dragons rivalry back on the agenda. For the home side, they absolutely dominated the Sea Eagles in a 56-24 crushing win. It was the first time they had really punished a side this season so they could be peaking at the right time before the finals. On the other hand, the Dragons stopped a 2 game losing streak with a 24-10 win over the Cowboys. In the head to head, the two sides have only played on Anzac Day in back to back meetings since 2017 and each side has a victory. This season, the Dragons got the job done at this venue 24-8. But the Roosters attack is looking much improved at the moment. So again, this should be another game where both sides easily score 13+. The Roosters have scored over 13 in 8 of their last 9. The Dragons have achieved the same feat in 6 straight games.
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