As we near closer to the business end of the season, we take a look at the best NRL tips for this weekend's matches. Continue reading for this week’s NRL Round 23 Betting Tips and Preview.
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North Queensland Cowboys vs South Sydney Rabbitohs (Thursday 7.45pm AEST)
These two sides are coming off disappointing losses. They were both struggling in attack and never seemed to click throughout their games. They will be looking to bounce back for a blockbuster match on Thursday night and the only thing separating the sides could be the side playing at home.
The Cowboys rested forward Matt Scott last week and his absence was clearly seen as their go forward was not as dominant and their forward pack was out muscled by the Sharks. On the back of this, the spine of Johnathan Thurston, Michael Morgan, Lachlan Coote and Jake Granville were unable to have their normal impact as they were given less room to move and didn’t get the fast play the balls that they could play off the back of. They are up against another strong forward pack this week but Scott would relieve a lot of the pressure on his teammates.
The Rabbitohs will suffer back-to-back defeats as their place in the top four could be under threat.
Brisbane Broncos vs St George Illawarra Dragons (Friday 7.45pm AEST)
The Broncos have slumped to two defeats in a row and one was on home soil last week to the Bulldogs. After getting out to an early lead they let it slip and it was ultimately the goal kicking that let them down. There is no need for alarm bells to be going off up north as the losses were due after the Origin period as a lot of the side could be feeling the exhaustion of a tough series and a long season. We can expect the Broncos to be back at their best.
The Dragons will need to be at their defensive best as they are without one of their key players in attack Benji Marshall. The halfback suffered a grade one tear to his hamstring and will miss the Friday night match. The Broncos will have too many points in them for the Dragons to get a win but the match could be closer than expected.
Wests Tigers vs Newcastle Knights (Saturday 3pm AEST)
If the Knights are going to miss the wooden spoon they will need to win this weekend against the Tigers. They won the match up earlier in the season but the Tigers have improved whilst the Knights have been on the decline. The Tigers attack is sparking, however they did let in a couple of soft tries against the Raiders but to travel to Canberra and come away with a tight win shows their character is also improving. The Knights defence won’t be good enough to come away with a win this weekend.
Penrith Panthers vs New Zealand Warriors (Saturday 5.30pm AEST)
The Panthers and Warriors were awful last week. The men from the bottom of the mountain were up against one of the worst defensive sides in the competition and had large periods of the game with repeat sets on the Parramatta line and they could not crack it as their attack was just completely lacking. This is due to the huge injury list for the Panthers but that list has been growing for the Warriors also. However, with the head start, the Warriors are good value, as the Panthers will struggle again in attack.
Sydney Roosters vs Parramatta Eels (Saturday 7.30pm AEST)
The Roosters run continued last week as they beat the Knights away from home in cruise control and they were resting halfback Mitchell Pearce. The Eels had a home game but it was held in Darwin, which means they have had a big trip this week and despite their finals hopes being alive after the win, their hope will be dashed on Saturday night. There is no value in this match with the line being at 22 points and a 13+ win for the Roosters only being at a $1.32 for most bookmakers.
TIP: No bet
Canberra Raiders vs Manly Sea Eagles (Sunday 2pm AEST)
It is amazing how things can change over only three weeks. Geoff Toovey was told he won’t be the head coach of the Sea Eagles next year after spending close to 30 years at the club and up to 14 players were informed they could leave the club at seasons end. Now they are on the brink of the top 8 with four matches remaining. However, a loss this weekend could be disastrous as they have two tough matches to end the season.
The Sea Eagles attack has blossomed since their key players have returned and their backline is now at full strength. The Raiders will put up a fight at home but the class and desperation of the Sea Eagles will get them over the line in this one.
Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs vs Gold Coast Titans (Sunday 4pm AEST)
The Bulldogs made a statement last week as they travelled to Suncorp Stadium and defeated the Broncos who sit on the top of the ladder. They were also trailing the competition leaders by 10 points early on and fought their way into the match and the lead and held on over the final minutes despite the best efforts of the home side.
This weekend they face another Queensland side but it should be a much easier task at home against the lowly Titans. The Bulldogs forward pack is back to full strength and their bench is packed with big men such as David Klemmer, Nathan Brown and Sam Kasiano. They will get enough go forward and should win this one by a fair margin.
Cronulla Sharks vs Melbourne Storm (Monday 7pm AEST)
The Sharks have been flying under the radar recently as they are now equal on competition points with the 4th placed Rabbitohs. By Monday, the Sharks will know whether they can move into the top four as the Rabbits play the Cowboys on Thursday night. However, a win for the Storm would see them leapfrog the Sharks as they have a superior points differential.
The Sharks forward pack has been dominating sides and it has lead to their 8 wins from the last 9 starts. Their attack has benefited from this as they get into good positions and get the necessary roll on and fast play the balls for their outside backs to shine. The Storm have always been one of the best sides at slowing down the play the ball and wrestling forwards to the ground slowly. They will need to do that this weekend to stand a chance but with the home crowd screaming for penalties, the Storm will be in some trouble.
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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