Round 1 of the NRL was packed full of surprise results and it caused punters to think twice about which teams are high-quality this season.
It’s only Round 2 this week, which kicks off on Thursday, but there are some important clashes this week. Premiership favourites Roosters are in the hot seat against the Bulldogs and the all-Queensland clash between the Cowboys and Broncos is set to highlight.
We have all the form and our best tips for the eight NRL games this week.
8:05pm Cronulla Sharks vs. St George Dragons @ Southern Cross Group Stadium
It may only be Round 1 of the NRL, but it’s strange to see the Dragons sitting in the top spot, following their win over the Broncos last Thursday night.
With star signing Ben Hunt having a big impact, the Dragons were able to outmuscle the Broncos and they’ve had a full seven days to recover.
The Sharks didn’t look overly impressive when losing to the Cowboys last week, but that was a hostile environment and playing at home this week is ideal.
Bookmakers have this game close, but we’re going to have to take the Dragons are underdog odds.
Betting tip: Dragons to win @ $2.12 (BET NOW)
Dragons by 8
6:00pm Sydney Roosters vs. Canterbury Bulldogs @ Allianz Stadium
Not many punters predicted a Tigers victory over premiership favourites Roosters last week but that’s exactly what happened.
The tri-colours will be looking for redemption against the Bulldogs this week and once again they’re favoured to win with ease.
It might take the new halves combination of Luke Keary and Cooper Cronk time to gel and we’ll allow them that time, but a win is needed over the Bulldogs on Friday night for moral purposes.
The Dogs look poor against the Storm in Perth last week and the extra travel won’t do them any good.
This should be a good game but the Roosters should bounce back in style.
Betting tip: Roosters –8.5 @ $1.91 (BET NOW)
Roosters by 12
8:00pm Brisbane Broncos vs. North Queensland Cowboys @ Suncorp Stadium
It’s tough to make much of the Broncos loss to the Dragons last week.
They looked good in patches but horrible in others and they will need to lift their game against the North Queensland Cowboys this Friday night.
The Cowboys are coming off a win in Johnathan Thurston’s 300th game last week and punters would be right in expecting a drop in passion this week, but this Cowboys team is still at the top of their game.
Having attracted big bets to kick off the season, the Cowboys faithful are out in force in JT’s final year and a win over cross-state rivals Broncos will keep the momentum going.
Bookmakers rightfully have the visitors as the firm favourites.
Betting tip: Cowboys to win @ $1.55 (BET NOW)
Cowboys by 8
3:05pm New Zealand Warriors vs. Gold Coast Titans @ Mt Smart Stadium
We successfully tipped the Warriors to beat the Rabbitohs last week and this team looks refreshed and ready to go.
The fitness regime is currently working and the go-forward ball from the forwards allowed the likes of Shuan Johnson and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck to shine out the back.
That formula will see the Warriors continue to have success in this competition, but they’re hardly a trustworthy side.
The Titans are coming off a massive comeback win over the Raiders where they looked beaten throughout most of the match and trailed 18-0 at one stage.
Warriors fans will be out in force this Saturday afternoon in Auckland and they should score their second win this season.
Betting tip: Warriors 1-12 @ $3.20 (BET NOW)
Warriors by 4
5:30pm Penrith Panthers vs. South Sydney Rabbitohs @ Panthers Stadium
The Panthers were behind 14-0 to the Eels last week and ended up winning comfortably.
It was an impressive win from a team that never looked to be frustrated by the score and that should hold them in good stead for the rest of the season.
James Maloney looked good steering the team around the park and we’re expecting them to get off to a better start against the Rabbitohs this time around.
The Rabbitohs have made the trip back from Perth where they were firmly outclassed by the Warriors and we can’t see a turnaround in form that quickly.
Betting tip: Panthers -8 @ $1.91 (BET NOW)
Panthers by 12
7:35pm Melbourne Storm vs. Wests Tigers @ AAMI Park
The Melbourne Storm were professional as always when beating the Bulldogs last week with winger Josh Addo-Carr scoring a double.
Fellow winger and Dally M Leading Tryscorer favourite Suliasi Vunivalu added a try of his own to show just how tough the Storm will be to beat this season.
Tigers’ fans have every season to be confident after upsetting the Roosters last week, but the Storm isn’t a fragile side like the Roosters.
Cameron Smith and Billy Slater are two of the best thinking players in the game and they should outsmart a relatively inexperienced Tigers outfit this week.
Betting tip: Storm by 13+ @ $1.67 (BET NOW)
Storm by 16
4:10pm Sea Eagles vs. Parramatta Eels @ Lottoland Stadium
This should be one of the closest games of the week as two sides are looking to recover from tough Round 1 losses.
The Sea Eagles missed multiple field goal attempts to beat the Newcastle Knights and we were disappointed with the play from Daly Cherry-Evans.
A potential Queensland Origin player, Cherry-Evans looked lost throughout the game and he’s a player who needs to screw his head on to go to the next level.
Parramatta looked hot in the first half against the Panthers but completely gave up the ghost in the second half. Jarryd Hayne was nowhere to be seen and neither was the Eels defence.
This will be a struggling battle between two sides that need a confidence boost and we’ll side with the home team.
Betting tip: Sea Eagles to win @ $1.80 (BET NOW)
Sea Eagles by 4
6:30pm Canberra Raiders vs. Newcastle Knights @ GIO Stadium
The Raiders looked impressive throughout most of the game last week but somehow managed to lose to the Titans.
That defeat came away from home, which has always been a struggle for the franchise and we’re expecting a better effort on home soil at GIO Stadium.
A feel-good story was the Knights winning over the Sea Eagles to give the struggling franchise a major shot in the arm.
Packed with new players, mostly from the Roosters, the Knights were able to score a golden point win and kick start their 2018 campaign.
On the back of that high and playing away from home, we think they will struggle to get back up for this game.
Betting tip: Raiders to win @ $1.72 (BET NOW)
Raiders by 10