State of Origin Game 3 sees a shortened week of the NRL with only four games being played in Round 17.
Despite some of the games’ best players missing in action, there’s still some quality games on show, including the Storm vs. Dragons on Thursday night.
All four games should be close contests and we have free tips and form for all Round 17 clashes.
7:50pm Melbourne Storm vs. St George Dragons @ AAMI Park
The Melbourne Storm escape the Origin season without too many problems and having Cameron Smith in the side is a big help.
Coming off a stunning 9-8 win over the Roosters last Friday, the Storm will look to continue their climb up the NRL ladder against a Dragons side which sits at the top of the rankings but will be without some star players this week.
Dragons were somewhat fortunate to slip past the Eels last Thursday, winning 20-18 over the bottom-placed side and it’s going to get much harder this week. Good kicking from Gareth Widdop kept the Dragons in the game and another strong performance from the Englishman will be needed.
The Storm should have too many guns this week and they can easily fill the hole left by Josh Addo-Carr on the wing.
Betting tip: Storm –5.5 @ $1.90 (BET NOW)
Storm by 10
6:00pm New Zealand Warriors vs. Cronulla Sharks @ Mt Smart Stadium
Currently sitting in fourth position on the NRL ladder, the New Zealand Warriors are in a good position, but their consistency has waned over the last few weeks.
Making it harder this week will be the travel back from Denver for a few of the Warriors’ players. The likes of Issac Luke and Ken Maumalo will need to recover quickly from an unsuccessful venture to the states and that could catch them out this week.
Looking to make things harder for the home team will be the Sharks, who have also shown inconsistency this season. They sit seventh on the table and bookmakers have them as slight underdogs for this game.
It should be a close contest between two sides battling it out for a top eight spot.
Betting tip: Warriors to win @ $1.85 (BET NOW)
Warriors by 4
7:55pm Penrith Panthers vs. New Zealand Warriors @ Panthers Stadium
Both teams are coming off Round 16 losses but the Penrith Panthers will be hurting the most. Losing 18-10 to the Sea Eagles is a disastrous result for the Panthers, which are looking to stay in the top four this week.
They will be without NSW halves pairing James Maloney and Nathan Cleary, which is only going to make the task harder this week. The spine of the Panthers will be missing and we’re not surprised bookmakers have the home team as the underdog.
Warriors represent value at the price and despite losing last week to the Sharks, they looked to have the game won until a late try from Edrick Lee. They might not have come away with the two points but it was an encouraging performance.
Sitting in fifth on the ladder, look for the Warriors to take advantage of a weakened Panthers side and their current head-to-head odds should drop.
Betting tip: Warriors to win @ $1.77 (BET NOW)
Warriors by 8
7:35pm Canterbury Bulldogs vs. Canberra Raiders @ Belmore Sports Ground
This is a tough game to predict as the Bulldogs are coming off a win but the Raiders looked the better side in defeat.
It was a rare win for the Bulldogs when beating the Knights 38-16 last week but the Knights might have been in shock after losing star playmaker Kayln Ponga to injury early in the game.
The Raiders were beaten 26-22 by the Broncos after holding a lead of 16-0 at one stage. It was a tough loss to take for the team which is currently trying to break into a playoff-bearing position but they played well for most of the game.
Nick Cotric was a standout performer and if their playmakers are in a good mood, the Raiders could put up a big number on the Bulldogs.
Bookmakers look to have this market spot on.
Betting tip: Raiders –6.5 @ $1.90 (BET NOW)
Raiders by 12
4:10pm Gold Coast Titans vs. Brisbane Broncos @ Cbus Super Stadium
Bookmakers have the Brisbane Broncos as the $1.59 favourites for this game but the little brother might be tough to beat here.
The Gold Coast Titans have long been in the shadow of the Broncos but a booming 30-12 win over the Tigers last week could put them right back into contention. It was a big confidence for the struggling club but they’re still a chance for the playoffs.
The Broncos overcame a 16-0 hole against the Raiders last week on the back of some great play from Anthony Milford, who scored a try in the 71st minute.
They have been tough to follow in what has been an inconsistent season and the Titans are smelling an upset.
Betting tip: Titans to win @ $2.37 (BET NOW)
Titans by 10