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Raiders vs Knights Preview & Betting Tips: NRL Round 18 2024

July 6th 2024, 1:30pm, By: Ben Bridge

NRL Betting Tips

The Knights and Raiders will bring a close to NRL Round 18, as the Knights head to the Nation’s Capital to try and continue the pain for Ricky Stuart’s men, who have lost three straight. With both teams outside the top 8, a loss here will make it very difficult to make the finals. A huge game on Sunday afternoon. Ben Bridge provides his full preview and tips here!

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2024 NRL Round 18 Preview & Betting Tips

Canberra Raiders vs Newcastle Knights 

GIO Stadium, Sunday 7th July, 4:05pm (AEST)

Last Week

The Raiders continued their tough time of it last week, going down 16-6 to the Storm in a poor-quality affair, with Ricky Stuart’s men only managing to complete 67% of sets, making 17 errors whilst missing 36 tackles. Kaeo Weekes had an up and down game as the Raiders’ newest fullback, running for 207 metres, scoring a try and creating a line-break, however he made three crucial errors. He will be better for the run and could provide the x-factor the Raiders are in need of right now. Otherwise, there wasn’t much to talk about for the Raiders, who are close to kissing goodbye their 2024 season.

The Knights bounced back last week from their own three-game losing streak, sneaking by the Eels 34-26 in an entertaining affair. It was a career game for Bradman Best, who put up video game like numbers, running for 357 metres, two line-breaks, two tries, two line-break assists, two try assists, and 8 tackles breaks. Greg Marzhew also bounced back to form outside Best, scoring two of his own tries. Debutant Will Pryce started his first game for the Knights at five eighth and looked good, breaking the line twice and scoring a try of his own. With Kalyn Ponga on the brink of return, the Knights are looking for an end-of-season run like last season to push them inside the top 8.

Match Preview

The Raiders travelled to Newcastle all the way back in round 1 this season, coming away as solid 28-12 road winners after closing 7.5-point underdogs. The Raiders looked after the ball well, completing at 90% to the Knights’ 68%, and that was enough to get the win. The total closed 42.5 and seemed about the right number for the round 1 contest.

This week, the Raiders opened 2.5-point favourites last week, before the Knights re-opened as short 0.5-point favourites on Monday. With whispers of a returning Kalyn Ponga, more money came in on the Knights, especially when Ponga was named to return on Tuesday afternoon. Since this time, multiple reports have surfaced that Ponga won’t play, whilst others are confirming he will play. With so much uncertainty surrounding the return of Ponga, I’ll handicap assuming he doesn’t play, and that if he does, he may be slightly undercooked. With no Ponga, I make the Knights small 1-point favourites, so I don’t see too much value here. 

The total opened 47.5 and has been bet up to 49.5. I’m not on board with this move, with the Knights and Raiders two of the worst three attacking teams in the competition. Yes, neither team have above average defences, but given how much is at stake in this game, a tight and low scoring affair could be on the cards. With the number heading north, wait until before kick-off to place your bet for this one.

Under 49.5 Points

$1.90 (1 Unit)


Same Game Multi

G Marzhew (1+ try) – Marzhew bounced back to form last week, and with the possibility of Ponga returning, it just increases the chances of the big winger scoring again this week.

J Rapana (1+ try) – With Rapana back on the wing, he is far more likely to score a try now. With only 3 tries this season, he is more than due to score a couple of meat pies.

Under 48.5 points – As Above.

SGM Odds: $11 at Bet365


Based in Newcastle, Ben earns a living working for the NSW Government, but his real passion lies in sports and sports betting. Ben has spent years developing sports betting models for various sports and has been using these models for the past few years, creating articles for Before You Bet across NRL, NFL, Formula 1, and fantasy sports contests on Draftstars.

A lifelong Penrith Panthers fan, Ben has finally seen some rewards for his years of loyal support, with the Panthers chasing a fourth straight NRL Premiership in 2024.

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