Just a few more weeks remain until the NRL finals and things are starting to heat up as teams begin to fight for the remaining available spots in the top eight. We are back with a full betting preview of all the Round 23 matchups below.
The Broncos return to Suncorp with a tough matchup against the Rabbitohs. After back to back losses to the Cowboys and Bulldogs, Brisbane’s position in the top 8 is looking shaky with the Tigers on their tail. While Souths lost a finals type game to the Roosters 18-14 last week, they should be confident against the struggling Broncos. They’ve won all 3 games interstate in 2018 and will be looking to end a 6 game losing streak against them since 2015. The difference in this one should be defence. Brisbane have leaked 30+ to bottom 8 sides in the last 2 weeks. So Damien Cook will look to dominate the middle of the park in another Rabbitohs victory.
Both the 7-14 Sea Eagles and Titans meet at Brookvale Oval. The home side finally broke a 6 game losing streak at this venue last week as they took down the Bulldogs. Gold Coast come to Brookvale with a poor 1-5 record in their last 6. They’re also 2-6 interstate this season. So with the Sea Eagles coming off 2 straight wins, they should handle the Titans at home with a lead at half-time on their way to another home victory.
The Storm will be hurting after 2 straight losses and they’ll be back at AAMI Park to take on the surging Eels. Parramatta returns to Melbourne after a tight 18-16 loss in the finals here last season. Their 2018 season hasn’t gone to plan but they’re coming into this clash with 3 wins in their last 4. Last week, the Hayne Plane was back in flight with 3 tries as they crushed the Dragons 40-4. But, they will need to find a way of stopping the Storm’s attacking dominance at home as they score 30.44 points on average. So with both sides capable of scoring 13+, I like the chances of an attacking style of footy in this one. The Eels have scored 20+ in 3 straight. The Storm are 2-0 after a loss at home and should be fired up after a few tough defeats.
The Panthers run of incredible comebacks is yet to end. On the Gold Coast and under their new coach, they stole victory in golden point 17-16. They’ve now won 3 in a row via comeback. Speaking of 3 straight, the Knights are 0-3 in their last 3 overall games. This will be another tough test up against the Panthers 8-2 record here this season where they allow just 13.5 points per game. So I like the unders here, which is set fairly high. The Knights managed just 4 points last week against a top 8 side on the road. Meanwhile, the Panthers attack isn’t setting the NRL on fire and the under is 8-2 at Panthers Stadium in 2018.
The Tigers are back at Leichhardt Oval with finals in reach. After 2 straight wins, they can still make the top 8 if the Broncos slip up in the next 3 rounds. In contrast, the Dragons have hit a wall and it’s hard to see them breaking out of this slump. They’ve lost 3 in a row and to make matters worse, Gareth Widdop is out of the lineup for this clash. The Tigers also beat them in Round 18 by 4 points at Jubilee. So with finals on the line and home field advantage, take on the Tigers!
Super Saturday ends at Shark Park with the Cowboys heading interstate. This trip to face the Sharks mighty forward pack will be made even tougher without Jason Taumalolo. He’s out with suspension after basically carrying his team to victory over the Broncos last week. On the other hand, the Sharks showed they’re Premiership credentials with a gritty defensive win in Melbourne last week. The Cowboys are 0-5 after a win this season and they’re won just 2 of 8 interstate. However, there is a trend in this matchup towards the 13+ both teams to score bet. It’s 8-2 at this venue this season and 16-4 when these two sides meet since 2010. The Cowboys scored 34 last week and the Sharks leaked 33 in their last game at this venue.
Sunday’s NRL action begins at ANZ with the Bulldogs facing the Warriors. The Warriors are sitting 7th on the ladder and have ladder position on their minds. Meanwhile, at 6-15 and 14th on the ladder, the Bulldogs are playing for pride. Which probably makes this a danger game. The home side has won the last 2 at ANZ, including a 36-22 thrashing of the Broncos. The Warriors have travelled well this season with a 7-3 record. They also hold a 8-1 record against bottom 8 sides. However, the Bulldogs good record at ANZ should see a close margin. The either team by under 10 or less is 7-3 at ANZ when the Bulldogs play here. It’s also 7-3 since 2010 when these two sides play each other.
The Roosters are on top of the ladder and they’re about to hit the finals with outstanding form. They knocked off the Rabbitohs 18-14 last week, which extended their winning streak to 5 games. They hold a 10-1 record against bottom 8 sides in 2018, so this should be tough for the Raiders. Canberra is coming off 4 straight losses and their defensive lapses will likely comeback to hurt them. Especially this week against the Roosters. But there is a chance Sydnay could be a bit flat after a top 8 battle against Souths last week. They also hold a 1-4 record in Canberra since 2010. So I don’t see much value in this game.
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