2021 NRL Round 15: Friday Preview & Betting Tips

June 18th 2021, 12:21am, By: Scooby

NRL Round 15 Friday Betting Tips

It is a very special round in the NRL this week with the Beanies for Brain Cancer raising some much-needed funds for a worthy cause. Fans are spoilt with two intriguing fixtures taking place which will undoubtedly impact all 4 teams moving towards the end of the season. The first is a battle for the remaining places in the Top 8 in Townsville, as the Cowboys look to atone for the loss of the Maroons against the Sharks. The second is a preview of what is to come during Finals time with the Panthers hosting the Roosters.

North Queensland Cowboys v Cronulla Sharks

Queensland Country Bank, Friday 6.00pm (AEST)

The Cowboys were outsiders against the Sea Eagles and were given a boost prior to KO with the withdrawal of Tom Trbojevic. Two tries inside 10 minutes for the visitors and their hopes of an upset appeared likely. Unfortunately, that is where their scoring stopped until a 72nd minute try; during this time, the Sea Eagles 8-unanswered tries to power their way to a 50-18 victory. Unlike previous weeks, the Cowboys were made to pay for their errors. With just 42% possession, they completed at 61%, made fewer metres and post contact metres, had 5 line breaks, missed 52 tackles and committed 13 errors.

While they have held onto a Top 8 spot, a lot of work still must be done for this team to contend each week. The Sharks grabbed another upset victory to have a 3-2 record in their past 5 games. This time, they proved themselves capable against an understrength Panthers team. With confidence high after a strong victory over the Titans, the Sharks started well and led 18-nil at the break. All they needed in the second half was a 78th minute field goal to Shaun Johnson to win 19-18, with the Panthers fighting their way back into the match. It was the highest level of execution the Sharks have displayed this year; with 48% possession, they completed at 95%, averaged 9.5m per carry and committed just 5 errors. They can still improve in other areas too; they had fewer post contact metres, only 4 line break and missed 33 tackles. Still, this puts them back in contention for spot in the Top 8 just after the halfway point of the season.

The Stats

Head-to-Head = Cowboys 17 Sharks 30

At Queensland Country Bank Stadium = Cowboys 47% Sharks 100%

Last 10 Matches = Cowboys 2 Sharks 8 – The average winning margin is 3.5 points for the Cowboys and 14.8 points for the Sharks. The Sharks have won the past 6 matches and you need to go back to Round 1 2018 for the Cowboys last win.

Verdict

It is confusing to see the Cowboys listed as favourites ($1.70) for this game. They were poor last week, have won just 2 of their past 4 and must perform off the back of a road trip to Sydney. The shift home may work in their favour; despite having a poor start at their new stadium, the Cowboys have won the past 5 matches here to lift their overall winning record. In comparison, the Sharks have won 3 of their past 4 matches and regardless of their opponents, have demonstrated a considerable amount of fight. When comparing the two sides, you also must look at the points difference. The Cowboys have a shocking -119 difference compared to the Sharks -46.

While it is still a negative, the Sharks lose by an average margin of 16-points compared to the Cowboys 22.1 points, while when winning, the Sharks average a margin of 16.4 points compared to the Cowboys 6-points. The return of Dunn and Fedlt boosts the Cowboys. For the Sharks, they will be without captain Wade Graham but welcome back Talakai (suspension) to the lineup. The Sharks look set to cause an upset but rather than make a call, invest on this game being a close match and enjoy everything that this contest has to offer.


Penrith Panthers v Sydney Roosters

BlueBet Stadium, Friday 7.55pm (AEST)

The Panthers are desperate for this game to start as a chance is provided for them to halt their 2-game losing streak. Their second consecutive loss while missing key Origin players came at the hands of the Sharks last week, as the home side was allowed to dictate majority of the match. Eventually losing to a 78th minute field goal, the Panthers also only have themselves to blame as the importance of their halves was again realised. With superior possession (52%) and a high completion rate (87%), they were kept scoreless in the first half. They also had fewer line breaks (4 v 3) and averaged less metres per carry than their opponents (9.5m v 9.2m). They will welcome back a host of talented individuals who will undoubtedly have a large impact on the outcome of this game.

The Roosters will likely carry fatigue into this game on the back of a 6-day turnaround and a nail biting 35-34 victory. It should’ve been a comfortable victory, at one stage leading 30-4 with just 30 minutes remaining. Yet, as has been the case for some decisions this year, a sin bin turned the match around with the Titans scoring 3 tries inside 10 minutes. The home team jumped ahead with just 7 minutes remaining and almost stole victory. The Roosters class prevailed though and did so with their backs to the wall. With just 43% possession, completed at 79%, averaged fewer metres (1,907m v 1,434m) and post contact metres (567pcm v 505pcm) and 10 errors. Alarmingly, they missed 62 tackles across the match and can ill-afford a similar performance against a strong team like the Panthers that will pile points on very quickly in similar circumstances. 

The Stats

Head-to-Head = Panthers 20 Roosters 20

At BlueBet Stadium = Panthers 58% Roosters 47%

Last 10 Matches = Panthers 5 Roosters 5 – The average winning margin is 8 points for the Panthers and 14.4 points for the Roosters. Home ground advantage means everything in the past 10 fixtures, with a 70% record in favour of the hosts.

Verdict

The Roosters couldn’t have played the Panthers at a worse time. The competition leaders are desperate to break a 2-game losing streak which saw them surrender the competition lead at the conclusion of last round. Despite losing Kikau, the Panthers are boosted by the return of To’o, Cleary, Luai, Yeo and Capewell after they were rested following Origin last week. The Roosters are expected to welcome back Tedesco but there is plenty of doubt around whether he will feature. They will likely prioritise his longevity this season over a victory. They also have concern around Walker, further impacting their chances. If both were to be passed fit, the contest would be close but ultimately, you cannot go past the Panthers.

This is the same team which was undefeated prior to the representative period and the same players which were successful for them thus far also got the job done at Origin level. This game should be no different as their combinations play with confidence and exploit the weaknesses of their opponents. Also, you cannot overlook the toll which last week would have played on the Roosters. Their defence has been questionable at times and was vulnerable against the Titans. Having a draining performance on the road ahead of a short turnaround doesn’t provide them with the best preparation. This game will be close early but ultimately, the Panthers strong defence (9.5ppg conceded) should set up a comfortable victory.


TIPS

Bangladesh vs Australia 1st T20 Preview & Betting Tips

It’s Australia’s final preparation for the T20 World Cup, as they head to Dhaka for a five game T20 series against Bangladesh. Can the Australians find a way to combat spin? Or will Bangladesh hand the Aussies a fifth straight T20 series loss? read more

2021 NRL Round 20: Monday Preview & Betting Tips

We are getting to the pointy end of the season with just 5 rounds to go following the rescheduled Monday night matches in Round 20. Tonight we’ve got the Bulldogs taking on the resurgent Titans while Cronulla take on a Manly side who are pushing for a top four spot. read more

2021 Tokyo Olympics: Track Cycling Preview & Betting Tips

It hasn't been the easiest period for Australian cycling, but with some changes in personnel can they bounce back in Tokyo? We preview the Olympics track cycling schedule and find a few Olympics bets that we like the look of. read more

2021 NRL Round 20: Sunday Preview & Betting Tips

Three game slate for Super SUNDAY in the NRL this week and as always, our main man Scooby has a full preview for all three games and his best bets for each right here! Action gets underway at 3.00pm with the Dragons hosting the Rabbitohs. read more

ARTICLES

Best Australian Sports Betting Apps

What are the best Australian sports betting apps? Punters love the convenience of betting on mobile, so we thought we'd look at the best sports betting apps available today, to help you choose the best sports betting site for your iOS or Android mobile device. We highlight our top five Australian sports betting apps based on the usability and features of their app, as well as key mobile app features from all of our partnered sports betting sites. read more


Best Australian Sports Betting Sites

The best Australian sports betting sites ensure safe and successful online betting for punters. Here's our list of the best sports betting options in Australia. read more


Performance Ratings & Pricing with Julian Vallance with Sportsbet

Julian Vallance from Sportsbet takes us through some of the key factors which he uses with pricing upcoming horse races such as performance ratings. Check out his video from Sportsbet here. read more


What is Over-Round and How do Sportsbooks Make Money?

Over-Round is an important concept for both punters and sportsbooks. It's how Australian sportsbooks make money! All punters should understand over-round, how to spot it, and how to find better value on the Betfair Exchange. read more


BLOGS

2021 AFL Brownlow Medal Votes Round 19

Is it a race in two for the 2021 Brownlow Medal? Round 19 may see Ollie Wines and Marcus Bontempelli start to draw away from the pack as we approach the finish line in the 2021 season. Check out our Round 19 Brownlow vote predictions right here. read more


2021 AFL Brownlow Medal Votes Round 18

Sam Walsh was the stand out performance of AFL Round 18, and is the big mover on the Brownlow leaderboard, but several Brownlow contenders were in the votes over the weekend's action. Check out where our votes went with our Round 18 Brownlow vote predictions here. read more


Big Bash League (BBL11) Fixture

The BBL11 fixture for the 2021-22 Big Bash League season has been tentatively released! Check out all of the BBL11 games including the dates for the all-important finals series here! read more


2021 AFL Brownlow Medal Votes Round 17

A round full of upsets has left a few of our Brownlow contenders high and dry in our Round 17 Brownlow vote predictions. Check out where our Round 17 Brownlow votes went and our latest 2021 AFL Brownlow Medal leaderboard here! read more


BetDeluxe

PlayUp