The unbeaten teams so far in 2018 are the Dragons, Warriors, Panthers, Tigers and Knights.
No punter would have predicted that prior to the season and although there’s a long way to go, seeing the so-called “battlers” at the top is a refreshing change.
Round 3 promises to sort the men from the boys as the Storm and Cowboys kick things off on Thursday night. Other big games include Tigers vs. Broncos and Roosters vs. Knights.
We have tips, form and odds for all Round 3 games this week.
8:05pm Melbourne Storm vs. North Queensland Cowboys @ AAMI Park
The Storm weren’t able to celebrate Billy Slater’s 300th game the way they wanted to last week, losing to the Wests Tigers.
Losing Cooper Cronk is clearly a bigger problem than many punters would have thought and it appears as though the Storm are going to need some more time to gel.
North Queensland didn’t play very well against the Broncos last week up until the 70th minute when Johnathan Thurston started to turn on the magic.
Had it not been for the goal post, the Cowboys would be 2-0 to start the season but could find themselves 1-2 following this week.
We’re giving the slight edge in this match up to the home side.
Betting tip: Storm to win @ $1.65 (BET NOW)
Storm by 6
6:00pm Canterbury Bulldogs vs. Penrith Panthers @ ANZ Stadium
Penrith have been the excitement machines so far this season, but mostly because of their second-half exploits.
They have been down 14-0 in both games to start the season but have fired up in the second half and finished over the top of their rivals.
Facing the Bulldogs should ensure they get off to a better start as the Bulldogs are struggling to find any traction in the NRL.
It could be a long season for the Bulldogs and they are currently languishing in 15th spot – we’re not sure it’s going to get any better.
Betting tip: Panthers to win @ $1.60 (BET NOW)
Panthers by 12
8:05pm Wests Tigers vs. Brisbane Broncos @ Campbelltown Stadium
The Tigers have been one of the success stories of 2018 and no one saw it coming.
With wins over the Roosters and the Storm, no win from the Tigers has been against inferior opposition and they get another firm test this Friday night.
Taking on the Broncos, which looked much better when beating the Cowboys last week, isn’t going to be easy, but this is another winnable game for the home side.
Broncos are inconsistent at best and not having a strong halves pairing will hurt them further down the line.
Campbelltown is a tough place to play and the Tigers have more upside at this stage of the competition.
Betting tip: Tigers to win @ $2.15 (BET NOW)
Tigers by 2
3:00pm Canberra Raiders vs. New Zealand Warriors @ GIO Stadium
Canberra Raiders’ fans must be pulling their hair out, after losing another game that they should have won.
The feeling isn’t mutual across the Tasman as the New Zealand Warriors have yet to suffer a loss and although they’ve only taken on the Rabbitohs and Titans, it’s a good sign going forward.
The test comes now as they face a team that knows how to score points and on their home turf. The Raiders will be looking to cement their first win of the season and it comes at a vital stage.
Tough one to call but we’re sticking with the in-form team.
Betting tip: Warriors to win @ $2.10 (BET NOW)
Warriors by 10
5:30pm South Sydney Rabbitohs vs. Manly Sea Eagles @ ANZ Stadium
The Sea Eagles were a totally dominant side against the Eels last week, winning 54-0 in a one-sided affair.
It wasn’t the same story for the Rabbitohs, which continued their poor start to the season and punters are right to feel unease about the Sydney franchise.
This is going to be another tough test for the Rabbitohs, which are facing a team that knows how to string wins together and will only get more confident as the competition continues.
We’re predicting an easy victory for the better side.
Betting tip: Sea Eagles to win @ $1.63 (BET NOW)
Sea Eagles by 12
7:35pm Parramatta Eels vs. Cronulla Sharks @ ANZ Stadium
What is there to say about the Eels last week? That was a horrible display of league and it will be interesting to see how they bounce back.
Despite losing 54-0 to the Sea Eagles, the Eels are the current favourites over the Sharks, which have also looked poor.
The Sharks led the Dragons at half time last week with a strong wind in their favour, but they let that lead slip with a poor second half.
Which team has more upside this season? Probably the Eels and if they don’t come out with more passion this week, it could be curtains and we’re only in Round 3.
Betting tip: Eels to win @ $1.86 (BET NOW)
Eels by 4
4:10pm Gold Coast Titans vs. St. George Dragons @ Clive Berghofer Stadium
The Titans looked good when coming from an impossible position to beat the Raiders in the opening round but there wasn’t a great deal of effort put in against the Warriors.
They struggled to find any offensive rhythm and the Warriors defence has never been a strong point, so that was a disappointing loss.
The Dragons are leading the competition after two rounds and it starts with their big forward pack. Go-forward ball gives the likes of Ben Hunt and Gareth Widdop to shine in the backs.
This should be a close game but we’re giving the nod to the team which has a great deal of confidence heading into this game.
Betting tip: Dragons to win @ $1.56 (BET NOW)
Dragons by 8
6:30pm Sydney Roosters vs. Newcastle Knights @ Allianz Stadium
We have to be honest, we didn’t think the Knights would amount to much this season but they have proved us wrong, so far.
The Roosters haven’t been the ultimate force this season but winning last week was a step in the right direction and they’re a team that has the ability to string wins together.
It’s still early days in the season and whilst the Knights have started in fine style, they could crash back to earth quickly.
Bookmakers have the line set at 8.5, which makes it tough on punters. We suggest throwing in the Roosters in your multi bets at the short odds.
Betting tip: Roosters to win @ $1.36 (BET NOW)
Roosters by 6