The NRL finals are just around the corner and with just five rounds to go plenty of games are becoming crucial. We are back with a full betting preview of all the Round 22 matchups below.
1300Smiles Stadium plays host to the Cowboys and the Broncos rivalry in NRL footy on Thursday. These two love playing close games and this should be no different. Since the 2015 Grand Final, the average margin when these two sides play is under 4 points! Which was also the margin in the Round 2 clash at Suncorp. While the Broncos were poor against the Bulldogs last week, they won in the last game here and have a good record in QLD this season. The Cowboys challenged the red-hot Roosters last week and close games have been the story of the season in North QLD.
On Friday night, the Warriors and Knights meet at Mt Smart Stadium. The Warriors responded from 2 losses with a gritty 18-12 win at WIN Stadium last week. The Knights will aim to avoid a 3rd straight loss. They’ve gone down to the Tigers and Cowboys in back to back weeks. There’s also major question marks on the fitness of Pearce and Ponga, 2 of their more important players. So the Warriors should win this with more to play for in term’s of their top 8 position. But the total points is set fairly high. The home side is ranked 15th in the NRL for points scored in NZ games. They’ve also scored just 36 total points over their last 3 games. The Knights will struggle in attack with their injuries and the Warriors strong home defence (allowing 17 points per game).
The game of the round will be at ANZ Stadium this Friday as the Rabbitohs and Roosters matchup. Both sides are 8-1 in their last 9 and that should see a finals type atmosphere. The Rabbitohs knocked off the Storm 30-20 last week in a huge win for their confidence coming into another tough battle. Since a Round 17 bye, the Roosters have smashed their opposition in a 4 game winning streak. So with both sides playing attacking footy and with not much movement in team news, I like the overs here. The Rabbitohs are the 2nd best scoring team in the NRL and the Roosters are just behind them. They met at this venue in Round 6 and the total reached 40 points in a 26-14 scoreline in the Rabbitohs favour. With the Roosters attack in peak form at the moment, that should push this over the total this time.
Super Saturday begins on the Gold Coast with an interesting clash. The Panthers shocked the NRL with the sacking of Anthony Griffin and the teams response will be one to watch. In back to back games, they’ve completed massive comebacks over the Raiders and Sea Eagles. So they need to show improvement before an early finals exit beckons. The Titans defence couldn’t stop the Eels last week in a 28-12 loss. But they did crush the Warriors 36-12 in their last home game. So with both sides showing inconsistency, this is a game to stay clear of.
TIP: No Bet
The Sea Eagles and Bulldogs meet at an interesting time as they both come off upset victories. Manly survived in golden point against the Sharks thanks to DCE. The Bulldogs outplayed the Broncos in a 36-22 win for their 2nd straight victory. Also, both sides are 6-14 on the season but will be looking to build for next season with another good performance. In the end, this should be a high scoring affair at Brookvale. The Over is 5-2 at this venue this season and the last 2 have averaged 66 total points. The last meeting between the sides also went over the total.
Super Saturday ends at ANZ with the Eels hosting the Dragons. The Eels beat up the Titans 28-12 at this venue last week and will look to avenge a 20-18 loss against the Dragons in Round 16. The Dragons poor run of form continued last week. They lost 18-12 against the Warriors, which was their 4th loss in their last 5 overall games. So with the Dragons struggling, this should be another close encounter between these two sides. At ANZ, the under is generally a good play and with the Dragons attack struggling, it should salute here. Under is 2-0 when the Dragons play at ANZ this season. The Eels have re-shuffled their lineup for this clash so I think their attack could struggle against the usually strong Dragons defence.
The Raiders have dominated the Tigers lately and they’ll look to continue that record on Sunday. The home side has won the last 4 meetings and smashed them 48-12 at Campbelltown in Round 15. Also, the last 2 clashes in Canberra have gone to the home side 46-6 and 60-6. The other trend in this matchup is points and plenty of them. So the overs should be a good bet here. The Over is 4-0 between the 2 sides since 2016. The Raiders game last week totalled 71 points and they have the best Over total record in the NRL this season (13-7).
Another blockbuster matchup awaits NRL fans this round as the Storm host the Sharks in Melbourne. This is the first meeting since Round 4, in a strange match dominated by the whistle. Which ended in a 14-4 win for the Sharks. They also won the last clash at AAMI Park 11-2 last season. So while the last few clashes have been low scoring, I see that changing this Sunday. When the Storm play at home, they turn into an attacking machine. They rank 1st in the NRL for points scored as the home side with 32 points per game. Last time out, they crushed the Raiders 44-10. The Sharks defence was poor last week, letting the Sea Eagles score 33 points at Shark Park. The away side should also have success in attack. They’ve scored 13+ in 9 of their last 10 and come to Melbourne with an unchanged lineup.
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