The bye rounds have passed and all the teams will be looking to make a late surge for the finals or maintain their high spots on the ladder. Continue reading for our NRL Round 19 betting tips.
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Parramatta Eels vs Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs (Friday 7.35pm AEST)
Des Hasler will be happy the Origin period is behind his side as they can begin to field their stars for the run home to the finals. They are currently holding onto 8th position and a win is necessary here against a Parramatta outfit that would become equal with the Dogs if they were unsuccessful.
The Eels will be happy to see that Nathan Peats is a possible late inclusion as his defensive work in the middle of the field would be a massive boost for the side as well as his much needed spark in attack when he scoots out of dummy half.
It may be the Eels “home game” but the match will take place at ANZ Stadium where the Eels have little success at in recent history. The Dogs should get over the line in a close one.
Melbourne Storm vs Penrith Panthers (Friday 7.35pm AEST)
The Panthers can’t seem to catch a break with their constant injuries to key players and it got even worse on Tuesday night when their star youngster Dallin Watene-Zelezniak was rushed to hospital with a collapsed lung. The 19-year old New Zealander had been starring for the Panthers at fullback during the absence of the injured Matt Moylan. DWZ is expected to miss a few weeks and it will cause the Panthers to reshuffle their backline once again.
However, there is some good news with James Segeyaro expected to make a return but it won’t be enough for the crippled Panthers as they will be up against a Storm outfit with a big reason to win on Friday night. Skipper Cameron Smith has been in the spotlight for all of the wrong reasons in recent weeks but he will be able to put that behind him and celebrate his 300th game for the Melbourne storm as he joins the illustrious club and the first to do so as a Storm player.
Canberra Raiders vs Cronulla Sharks (Saturday 3pm AEST)
The Sharks have named an unchanged line-up to the one that beat the struggling Dragons convincingly last week. There was a lot to like about the Sharks in attack and defence.
Both of these sides are a part of the log jam in the middle of the ladder with the Sharks just outside the top 8 on for and against whilst the Raiders are two competition points behind. This match could have a lot to do with how these two sides make a run for the finals.
The Raiders were at their attacking best last week but still continue to lack in defence, the injury to halfback Sam Williams will hurt the "Green Machine" as it will put added pressure on players such as Blake Austin to come up with something special.
The Sharks defence should be good enough to slow down the Raiders, especially with the absence of Williams.
Newcastle Knights vs Gold Coast Titans (Saturday 5.35pm AEST)
The Knights how now lost six straight and have fallen to the bottom of the ladder, it is amazing to think that after four rounds they were sitting alone at the top of the table undefeated. Since then, they have only won 1 of their 12 matches. Meanwhile, the Titans have entered their own slump. They welcome back Greg Bird who has been on the sidelines due to suspension since round 8 whilst is is also possible Kane Elgey will make an early return from an ankle injury to take his place at halfback.
The Knights tend to play better in front of their home crowd, however they haven’t shown any signs of improvement and will be lucky to get a win against the Titans.
St George Illawarra Dragons vs South Sydney Rabbitohs (Saturday 7.35pm AEST)
This should be a big contest between two fierce rivals and with the match-taking place at the SCG it should add to the fire in the bellies of both sides. The Dragons have slumped to 5 straight loses but they see the return of Josh Dugan, Benji Marshall, Tyson Frizell and Joel Thompson.
These players should contribute to the side improving in its defence whilst Marshall and Dugan will bring spark to the attack that has been lacking in recent weeks.
Unfortunately for the Red V they are coming up against the Bunnies that will be intent on making a big push to the finals and put themselves in a nice position on the ladder to defend their premiership crown. Greg Inglis put on a star performance for Queensland a fortnight ago and that should spell danger signs for any team as he has been lacklustre for the past 10 weeks or so. If he can continue that form for the rest of the season, other sides will be put on notice.
Sydney Roosters vs New Zealand Warriors (Sunday 2pm AEST)
This could be the match of the round as two of the most in form teams in the competition face off in a battle between 3rd and 4th. The Warriors have improved tremendously over the past six weeks as the revitalisation of Shaun Johnson has led them to plenty of victories. It will be his 100th match this weekend and it is only fitting that he takes to the field where it all began in 2011.
The forward battle in this match will be an interesting one to watch as Ben Matulino and Jacob Lilyman face off with Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Dylan Napa. The forward pack that is able to get the best go forward or stay disciplined is likely to win the match as it will give the best opportunity for their star backlines to shine.
I think the Roosters should get the win in this match but with an excellent start for the Warriors, you can’t go past them.
Brisbane Broncos vs Wests Tigers (Sunday 4pm AEST)
The top of the ladder Broncos take on the equal last placed Tigers in what should be an easy victory for the home side. The Tigers are likely to be without captain Robbie Farah for another week and despite having Luke Brooks back in the side they won’t offer enough in attack to question the Broncos strong defence. This match would normally have no value as the Broncos are heavy favourites but with the Ladbrokes special we will get on the home side.
Manly Sea Eagles vs North Queensland Cowboys (Monday 7pm AEST)
This match will be very interesting and could determine a lot about the two sides. If the Eagles are able to come away with a victory then they will have won three on the trot and a finals sport would be in sight, but with a loss they will be facing an uphill battle for the rest of the season. If the Cowboys are able to win then they will be able to keep up with the Broncos and continue to hold on to a top 2 spot, but with a loss the gap between the Cowboys and the rest of the pack will become precariously close.
Who would of thought there would be so much at stake when the 2nd placed side takes on the 13th?
Both of these sides are very close to full strength but the big suspension to James Tamou could end up hurting the Cowboys.
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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