We’re getting down to the nitty gritty of the NRL season and there’s another eight games on this week, starting this Thursday with the Broncos vs. Sharks.
There’s some space between the top eight teams and the chasers, but the Tigers are making their claim and it should put pressure on most of the playoff-bound teams.
We have form and expert tips for every Round 20 NRL game this week.
7:50pm Brisbane Broncos vs. Cronulla Sharks @ Suncorp Stadium
Form has been temporary for the Brisbane Broncos this season but it was hard not to be impressed with their performance last week.
They came into Round 19 having been defeated easily by the Warriors but they quickly turned around their form by beating the Panthers 50-18 on Friday night.
The Sharks are also in form after beating the Raiders in a controversial game last Friday and they’re riding some good form into this game.
Bookmakers are keeping the market close and we don’t blame them. This should be a tight struggle to kick off the week.
Betting tip: Broncos to win @ $1.84 (BET NOW)
Broncos by 8
6:00pm North Queensland Cowboys vs. Newcastle Knights @ 1300SMILES Stadium
That was an impressive comeback from the Knights to beat the Titans last week and they could ride that momentum against an awful Cowboys side.
The Cowboys have performed woefully this season and although they boast a quality team on paper, there’s a lack of cohesion on the park. Another loss came last week against the Dragons and they will welcome much easier opposition this week, but will it count for something?
There’s certainly more energy coming from the Knights squad and they have some key players back in the team now but playing away from home can be tough.
Betting tip: Cowboys to win @ $1.50 (BET NOW)
Cowboys by 10
7:55pm Canterbury Bulldogs vs. Wests Tigers @ ANZ Stadium
The Tigers moved into ninth position with another win last week and they could put the pressure on the likes of the Warriors with a win here.
Coming up against the Bulldogs won’t be an easy task and although they have been competitive this season, they have a losing record and the Tigers could take advantage of that.
A loss for the Tigers would essentially rule them out of the playoffs but they have their heads in the right place and coach Ivan Cleary is a cool customer. We’re expecting another tidy performance from one of the form teams in the competition.
Betting tip: Tigers to win @ $1.55 (BET NOW)
Tigers by 6
3:00pm Manly Sea Eagles vs. Penrith Panthers @ Lottoland
Both teams come into this game on the back of head-scratching performances last week, but the Panthers were the more disappointing side.
It was more disappointing because more is expected of the Panthers, which could have made good headway into the Rabbitohs premiership lead last week, but the 50-18 loss to the Broncos was nothing short of shocking.
Manly were just as bad against the Roosters, losing 56-24 but that was half expected by most punters. They could rebound with a win this week but the Panthers have more upside and the $1.50 odds are fair.
Betting tip: Panthers to win @ $1.50 (BET NOW)
Panthers by 8
5:30pm South Sydney Rabbitohs vs. Parramatta Eels @ ANZ Stadium
It’s fair to say that it was a shock loss for the Rabbitohs last week, going down to the Wests Tigers 22-6 in a one-sided affair.
It wasn’t the same form the Rabbitohs had been showing throughout the season, which has seen them overachieve into the top spot on the premiership ladder. They have now slipped into third on points differential but a win this week could see them retake the top spot.
Facing the Eels will make life easier and the Rabbitohs should be able to record an impressive bounce-back win.
Betting tip: Rabbitohs – 10.5 @ $1.90 (BET NOW)
Rabbitohs by 16
7:35pm Melbourne Storm vs. Canberra Raiders @ AAMI Park
The Raiders were dealt a harsh blow last week against the Sharks but they’re consistent their own worst enemy and now they have to face a red-hot Storm side.
Raiders lost 28-24 to the Sharks last week after numerous contentious decisions from the refs and it all but put pay to their playoff hopes.
The Melbourne Storm have no such worries after beating the Warriors 12-6 on Sunday night and their winning streak continued. They also had the benefit of some fortunate calls on that occasion but they shouldn’t need good luck this week.
The current line is 9.5, which could be close but we’re sticking with the Storm.
Betting tip: Storm –9.5 @ $1.90 (BET NOW)
Storm by 14
2:00pm Gold Coast Titans vs. New Zealand Warriors @ Cbus Super Stadium
Punters shouldn’t look too much into the Warriors’ loss against the Storm last week. They were desperately missing Blake Green and they didn’t get the rub of the green, for lack of a better word.
They have struggled this season against teams they should beat, and they should beat the Titans this week, which gave up a sizable lead against the Knights last week.
Titans have underperformed throughout the season and there seems to be a lack of leadership in the young squad. That won’t help them this week and the Warriors should kick back into winning form.
Betting tip: Warriors to win @ $1.61 (BET NOW)
Warriors by 6
4:10pm Sydney Roosters vs. St George Dragons @ Allianz Stadium
After an off week in Round 18, the Dragons were back in winning form against the North Queensland Cowboys last week and they could kick on with it now.
Standing in their way will be the red-hot Roosters, which were stunning 56-24 winners against the Panthers last week. It’s those kinds of performances which could see the Roosters go all the way this season and this will be a real test of their ability.
This is shaping up to be one of the best games of the season and we’re giving the edge to the home team.
Betting tip: Roosters to win @ $1.68 (BET NOW)
Roosters by 6