The last game of Origin is next Wednesday which means this weekend has half the NRL teams having byes whilst the other half are forced to play without their stars. Continue reading for our weekly preview and NRL Round 17 Betting Tips.
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Penrith Panthers vs South Sydney Rabbitohs (Friday 7.35pm AEST)
The Panthers and Rabbits both pulled off big wins last week and will be looking to continue that form, as both sides will be making a late push for finals. The defending champions will be without Greg Inglis and his replacement Alex Johnston has been disappointing since being selected to play for Australia earlier in the year.
The Panthers are still without half of their spine as Matt Moylan and James Segyaro sit on the sidelines with injury, however their replacements have been able to fill the void without being standouts.
Adam Reynolds showed last week that his confidence is returning and his combination between Isacc Luke and Luke Keary is vital for the Rabbitohs success. They earn themselves a narrow victory.
TIP: Rabbitohs 1-12 @ $3.15 with WilliamHill
St George Illawarra Dragons vs North Queensland Cowboys (Saturday 7.30pm AEST)
Both of these sides will lose massive players for their sides due to the Origin game. Josh Dugan and Trent Merrin are out for the Dragons whilst the Cowboys lose their halves pairing of Johnathan Thurston and Michael Morgan and also their two starting props Matt Scott and James Tamou.
Clearly the Cowboys lose more but Dugan and Merrin are just as instrumental for their sides.
The Cowboys looked to make it a dozen wins in a row last week and when they were leading by 18 points at half time it looked as if they would reach the incredible feat. However, the Sharks came back in the second half, as the Cowboys were unable to find an answer. It could be a similar result this week with the Dragons looking to bounce back from a controversial loss to the Eels.
TIP: Dragons -6.5 @ $1.91 with Sportsbet
Manly Sea Eagles vs Cronulla Sharks (Sunday 4pm AEST)
This is an interesting one as Daly Cherry-Evans was left out of the Queensland side and couldn’t find a spot on their bench. Whilst Michael Ennis is suspended but would be forced to miss the match this weekend as he is likely to play Origin with the injury to Robbie Farah likely to rule him out. The Sea Eagles are still without their captain Jamie Lyon but have a solid replacement in Peta Hiku in the centres. If they are able to match it up front against the big Cronulla pack then they should provide a solid platform for DCE and Kieran Foran to utilise their men out wide.
TIP: Sea Eagles -6.5 @ $1.92 with Ladbrokes
Wests Tigers vs Eels (Monday 7pm AEST)
The Tigers will be without Aaron Woods and Robbie Farah whilst the Eels won’t be affected by Origin selections. This match will be huge for both sides if they want to have any chance of playing finals this season. A loss would see the Tigers drop to a possible four wins outside the eight whilst a win would draw them level with the Eels on 14 competition points.
Despite the club being basically in tatters, the Eels have shone lately on the field and they will enter this weekend having won three of their last four games and the one loss was when they let the 24-point lead slip against the Cowboys.
When these two sides met earlier on in the year it was one of the poorer performances by both teams. I expect that to be different this time around as both the Tigers and Eels will be looking to throw the ball around.
TIP: Eels -3.5 @ $1.92 with Palmerbet
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Take note: Any of the tips in this article are simply the author’s opinion, so bet at your own risk and always gamble responsibly. Also be sure to check out the Before You Bet Twitter Page for all our thoughts in the lead up to bets! Happy punting!
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