It’s going to be another fantastic NRL season and it all kicks off this Thursday night.
The Dragons and Broncos will kick off the 2018 season and we’re excited about what’s to come in one of the best competitions in the world.
We have tips for every game this season and with the NRL being such an even contest, punters should look forward to great odds and great excitement.
7:50pm St George Dragons vs. Brisbane Broncos @ Jubilee Oval
Expectations for both teams are mixed this season but the Broncos always have more pressure to do well.
They face the Dragons in the first game of the season this Friday night and rare underdogs, which is a tag the Broncos don’t often play with.
The likes of Corey Oates, Darius Boyd, Anthony Milford and Sam Thaiday gives the Broncos some experience and youthful exuberance.
Also featuring some quality players is the Dragons, which are coming off a Charity Shield loss to the Rabbitohs.
They have added some players to the roster which will help them this season but there might be some teething problems to kick off the competition.
Betting tip: Broncos to win @ $2 (BET NOW)
Broncos by 4
8:00pm Newcastle Knights vs. Manly Sea Eagles @ McDonald Jones Stadium
The Knights have been at the bottom of the NRL for some time now, but they have recruited well and an improvement should be on the cards.
Adding the likes of Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Connor Watson and Mitchell Pearce from the Roosters should give them the experience they have longed for and although all three players have their faults, they’re better than the alternative options.
Getting off the bottom of the table should be achievable and they face a Manly team this week still struggling for an identity.
The Trbojevic brothers are worth their salt and Daly Cherry-Evans could be playing for an Origin spot this season, but there’s still trepidation in the club.
What better way to kick off the season for the Knights than with a win?
Betting tip: Knights @ $1.90 (BET NOW)
Knights by 6
10:00pm North Queensland Cowboys vs. Cronulla Sharks @ 1300SMILES Stadium
The big money has come for the Cowboys to win the premiership and that has been reflected in their odds against the Sharks.
The usual suspects are back for the Cowboys, which will be looking to go one better this season after losing to the Melbourne Storm as underdogs in the Grand Final of 2017.
Nothing has changed in the lineup, which still features Johnathan Thurston and Matt Scott, which will only help the Cowboys this season.
Other teams, like the Sharks, will need time to adjust to their new players and that should spell an easy victory for the home side.
Betting tip: Cowboys to win @ $1.50 (BET NOW)
Cowboys by 12
6:30pm Wests Tigers vs. Sydney Roosters @ ANZ Stadium
Punters aren’t expecting much from the Tigers this season and neither are we.
Staying off the bottom of the table will be the issue for the Tigers, who don’t play well at ANZ Stadium and this may as well be a home game for the Roosters.
We think the Roosters will win the premiership with the additions they’ve made this season. Adding multiple premiership winner Cooper Cronk and the exciting James Tedesco to the squad makes the Roosters extremely dangerous.
That spells danger for the Tigers this Saturday and this should be an easy opener for the premiership favourites.
Betting tip: Roosters -10.5 @ $1.90 (BET NOW)
Roosters by 16
9:00pm South Sydney Rabbitohs vs. New Zealand Warriors @ Perth Stadium
Home advantage applies to neither team in this Perth-based clash on Saturday night.
The Rabbitohs often play the Warriors well in Perth, but the Warriors love the underdog tag and for once the critics aren’t overhyping the New Zealand franchise.
That should allow them to play with a touch more freedom and that plays right into their strengths.
The Rabbitohs are coming off a strong Charity Shield win over the Dragons and that will give them plenty of confidence, but the Warriors pose a different threat.
Speed and natural talent is possessed by many Warriors players and we’re picking the upset.
Betting tip: Warriors to win @ $2.35 (BET NOW)
Warriors by 4
11:05pm Canterbury Bulldogs vs. Melbourne Storm @ Perth Stadium
The second game of the Perth double-header sees last year’s winners take on a team which desperately needs some improvement.
The Melbourne Storm were the goods last season when winning the competition and although losing Cooper Cronk won’t help, they still have an all-star lineup.
Stopping the Storm from scoring points and plenty of them will be a tough task for any team this season, let alone the Bulldogs which have lost some of the best defensive players.
Conditions in Perth could play a factor but if the track is dry, expect a big victory from the better team.
Betting tip: Storm –7.5 @ $1.90 (BET NOW)
Storm by 12
6:10pm Penrith Panthers vs. Parramatta Eels @ Panthers Stadium
Punters aren’t quite sure what to expect from both these teams this season, but we should get an exciting game this Sunday.
The Panthers have a capable team on paper but early season form is something this team has struggled with in the past.
It’s a similar situation for the Eels, which boast some exciting players and plenty of speed, but will that be enough to win consistently in the NRL?
Bookmakers have the Panthers as the slight favourites at home but we’re worried about their slow starts and the Eels might come out firing.
Betting tip: Eels to win @ $2 (BET NOW)
Eels by 2
8:30pm Gold Coast Titans vs. Canberra Raiders @ Cbus Super Stadium
The excitement on Sunday continues with what should be another classic NRL opener.
Titans vs. Raiders always gives punters something exciting to watch and there should be plenty of tries scored on a sunny Sunday on the coast.
The Titans are expected to be middle of the table this season and a top eight finish would likely exceed expectations, but the sights are higher for the Raiders which have promised plenty for a few seasons.
Having Jarrod Croker in the team is always a bonus and if the Raiders are to score tries, punters can rely on Croker to kick the goals.
His scoring and captaincy could prove the difference in what should be a close contest to close Round 1.
Betting tip: Raiders to win @ $1.67 (BET NOW)
Raiders by 4