Round 8 of the 2019 NRL season promises to be a big one with the action getting underway on Thursday night! Catch our preview and tips for all eight games over the weekend below!
A highly anticipated matchup will begin Round 8 as Wayne Bennett coaches against Anthony Seibold. Under their new coach, Souths have started the season with a 6-1 record and their goal line defence has been impressive. The Broncos earned a much-needed win last week as they crushed the Sharks 29-6. Brisbane has a great record over Souths with 7 straight wins and they've won all 3 at ANZ. This shapes as a game Brisbane can win but the better play looks to be the Overs. In the last 11 meetings during night games, Souths are 9-2 against the Over when playing Brisbane. The average total in the last 3 at ANZ is 44 points and the last meeting saw 56 total points scored.
In North Queensland, the 2-5 Cowboys take on the 2-5 Titans to start Friday night. The Cowboys will be after a rebounding effort after a poor second half defensive play against the Bulldogs. Similarly, Gold Coast let in 30 points against the Tigers. Recently, the Cowboys have owned the Titans at home with 6 straight wins. But this does look like a fairly close call and it should be a low scoring affair, which is the trend at this venue. In home night games, the Cowboys are 11-3 against the Under and 8-2 when they're favoured by -0.5 to -3.5. The Titans are 5-2 against the Under as an underdog playing in Townsville.
Friday night football features the 3-4 Sharks taking on the 6-1 Storm. Cronulla were no match for the Broncos last week in a 29-6 loss and Shaun Johnson will be on the sidelines for this clash. Melbourne are getting a good start in this contest but haven't been at their very best lately, especially in attack. They barely beat the undermanned Warriors last week and struggled in their last away trip. This shapes as a fairly low scoring contest with both sides looking to defend their line. Melbourne is 6-1 against the Under in their 7 games and they hold a 4-1 Unders record at this venue. From 2015, the Under is also 6-2 when these two sides meet in night games.
Saturday NRL action begins in Wagga Wagga as the Raiders take this home game against the Panthers to the country. At 5-2 on the season, Canberra will be looking to continue the Panthers' woes. Penrith have started the season with just 2 wins from 7 and have looked pretty terrible in attack as they're scoring just 14 ppg. However, they do have a good points scoring record against the Raiders and Canberra let in 24 points last week in day football. The Raiders have a 5-0 Overs record in interstate games when they're favourites so this shapes as another high scoring contest where both teams should beat 13 points. This bet is 9-1 in the last 10 meetings between the two sides at any venue.
The rivalry between the Sea Eagles and Bulldogs continues in Round 8. Not to mention, Manly coach Des Hasler will be coaching against his former side in this one. The Sea Eagles stormed home last week against the Raiders and it was impressive after the DCE injury in the second half. Similarly, the Bulldogs beat the Cowboys with a great second half performance. Last season, the only meeting between these two sides was at this venue and Manly won 18-6. With no DCE and the Bulldogs looking good defensively, this should be a low scoring contest. After a home win, the Sea Eagles have a 65% chance of the Unders saluting. The Bulldogs hold a 4-1 Unders record at this venue since 2014.
Super Saturday ends at the SCG with the 6-1 Roosters against the 4-3 Tigers. Sydney welcome back Luke Keary into the lineup and they're well favoured to win their 7th game on the trot. Meanwhile, the Tigers are a tough team to read at the moment. They were down 14-0 against the Titans but stormed home to win 30-14. Benji Marshall looks to be back this week and that should help with their consistency. However, this looks to be a no bet since the Roosters could turn it on if the Tigers aren't ready defensively.
With the Warriors and Knights both sitting on 2 wins for the season, this will be a crucial 2 points on offer at Mt Smart on Sunday. New Zealand should take heart in a 13-12 loss against the Storm on Anzac Day because, despite injuries, they deserved to win. At this venue previously, the Cowboys upstaged them 17-10 so they'll be after an improved home performance. On the other hand, Newcastle beat the Eels at home last week and will be desperate for a 2nd straight win. This contest shapes as a fairly high scoring game in day football with the Knights coming off 28 points and the Warriors welcoming back some key attacking players. The Over is 4-1 when the Knights play here and the Warriors are 10-5 against the Over as a home favourite after a loss. In the last 4 meetings, 3 games have seen both sides score over 13 points and that looks like the best bet.
The Parramatta Eels are back at Bankwest Stadium in Round 8 as they clash with the Dragons. Both sides are 4-3 on the season and this will be a crucial matchup for their top 8 hopes. The Eels weren't great last week in Newcastle going down 28-14. But they did open this stadium with a 51-6 thrashing of the Tigers. They're a very hot and cold team, making them a hard team to bet on. Meanwhile, the Dragons lost a close contest against the Roosters on Anzac Day. But they had won 4 games on the trot and their defence should keep the Eels contained at the new Parramatta Stadium. Looking at the betting trends, this battle has a good chance of going Under the total. When the Eels are coming off a loss and their favourites the next week, the Under is 12-2 since 2017. Meanwhile, the Dragons hold a 22-9 Unders record when they're underdogs and coming off a loss.
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