The final round of the 2019 NRL season kicks off on Thursday night with the Souths taking on the Roosters from 7.50pm! We have a full preview and betting tips for all eight of the Round 25 games below.
On the eve of the NRL finals, we have a preview of what's in store this Thursday as the Rabbitohs take on the Roosters. Souths are hitting form at the right end of the season and the Roosters own the best current winning streak in the NRL (7 games). They'll also get Cordner and Cronk back into their already strong lineup, which sees Crichton on the bench. In terms of ladder position, the Roosters have sealed up 2nd spot. Meanwhile, Souths can still finish 3rd, 4th or 5th. They would definitely prefer 3rd as a trip to Melbourne or an elimination final wouldn't be ideal. The last meeting was back in Round 1 as the Rabbitohs upset them 26-16 at the SCG. So they'll take confidence into this matchup at ANZ. Ultimately, we're looking for a low scoring and finals type game, similarly to the 12-4 finals result last season between these two sides. The under is 4-2 in night games with these two sides involved and this should finish under 40.5 points.
Round 25 delivers again with another potential finals preview with the Eels and Sea Eagles pitted against each other at Bankwest on Friday. Manly can still finish 4th if Souths lose and Parramatta can finish as high as 5th with a fairly large win. Unfortunately, Manly suffered a 36-6 crushing loss to the Storm last week and Tom Trbojevic's season ended with a pec injury. He's so pivotal to the Manly attack and their run metres, so he'll be sorely missed. Meanwhile, the Eels had a tough outing against Brisbane at Suncorp, going down by a point in golden point. In the end, we do like the Under again since Manly is missing Trbojevic and they'll likely focus on their defence after conceding 36 points last week. While for the Eels, they scored just a single try in their last game at Bankwest. Their defence is playing well, keeping sides under 18 points in their last 5.
With Melbourne clear atop the ladder, they'll look to rest a few stars for this clash and that opens up a few opportunities. Especially for Brodie Croft as he'll replace the injured Cameron Munster. So he'll be keen to recapture his halfback position from Jahrome Hughes. But you can see Bellamy's strategy because it's hard to leave Papenhuyzen on the bench. While for the Cowboys, they've won their last 2 and probably will not get a better chance to upset the Storm in Melbourne. The line is set fairly high since the Storm are resting starters and North QLD have played in back to back close losses against them. Cowboys at the line.
The last Super Saturday of the season begins in Canberra with the Raiders up against the Warriors. For the Raiders, they'll rest a few starters for this one as they've locked up a top 4 position. A loss could see them finish 4th but we can't see the Warriors turning up with anything to play for. They've been thumped 31-10, 42-16 and 42-6 in the last 3 weeks. In Round 20 this season, Canberra also thrashed them 46-12 in NZ. So we believe the Raiders will win comfortably. However, the Over does look attractive since the Warriors are leaking points like no tomorrow.
The NRL action returns to ANZ on Saturday as the 7th placed Broncos take on the Bulldogs. Brisbane can only finish as high as their current ladder position or they'll be 8th with a defeat. The Bulldogs will be tough opposition as they've been a great side to watch in the latter part of 2019. They couldn't get the job done in North QLD last week but their defence always keeps them in the contest. They'll also look to avenge a 28-6 loss against the Broncos in mid-July. Ultimately, we like the Bulldogs defence to keep this one low scoring at ANZ. They haven't allowed over 18 points in their last 5 and the Under has a 17-7 record at ANZ when they're coming off a loss.
It's 15th against 16th on the Gold Coast this Saturday night as the Dragons meet the Titans. It's been an ugly season for both sides so the misery is almost over. Defence has been major issue for each side so we like the chances of a high scoring affair. They met in early August and the Dragons got over the line, 40-28. Which made it 3 straight meetings with at least 60 total points. So the current total is set fairly low in terms of previous clashes.
The equation is simple for both the Tigers and Sharks on Sunday afternoon - The winning side will extend their season with a finals berth. The Tigers have named Robbie Farah and Mbye but watch the team news because it'll likely come down to the last few hours whether they play. Wests have smashed the Dragons and Knights in back to back wins where they've scored 40+ points. So with home-field advantage at Leichhardt, this is a tough ask for the Sharks. They lost Shaun Johnson before the kick-off last week in a heartbreaking 15-14 defeat against Canberra. In positive news, the Sharks have won the last 5 meetings. But with a finals spot on the line for either side, we can't go past either team by under 10.5 points. Which has saluted in the last 3 meetings.
A pair of 10-13 teams will meet in the regular-season finale as the Panthers host the Knights. It's been a rollercoaster of a season for both sides and they'll likely be glad it's over. For the Panthers, they've fallen away at the end of the season with a 1-4 record after a mid-season surge had them in the top 8. While for the Knights, they are completely untrustworthy. Their last 2 home games have seen them beat the Titans and Cowboys by a combined score of 80-10. But in between that, they were smashed by the Tigers 46-4. So with nothing really at stake in this clash, it'll be a no bet as we have no idea which Newcastle will turn up.
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