The New Zealand Warriors and St George Dragons extended their unbeaten start to 2018 with quality wins last week.
With the favoured teams (Roosters, Storm and Cowboys) all showing signs of weakness, the Warrior and Dragons have put a gap on the field.
There are some vital early-season games to bet on this week and we have form and free tips for every NRL Round 6 game.
7:50pm Sydney Roosters vs. South Sydney Rabbitohs @ Allianz Stadium
The Roosters got back on track with a 28-10 win over the Sharks last week as they try to justify their pre-season favouritism.
With a team stacked full of talent, the Roosters need to start produce consecutive wins to gain any traction in the competition.
Facing the Rabbitohs won’t be easy as they’re coming off a loss against the Dragons, but it was a hard-fought effort.
There’s never much between these two Sydney-based sides and we’re expecting another close Thursday night thriller.
Betting tip: Roosters 1-12 @ $3 (BET NOW)
Roosters by 8
6:00pm Melbourne Storm vs. Newcastle Knights @ AAMI Park
The Storm has suffered two loses to the Wests Tigers this year and that’s not going to make coach Craig Bellamy happy.
Losing 11-10 at Mt Smart Stadium on Saturday was not a good look for the Storm, which are struggling to score points.
Confidence levels couldn’t be any different at Newcastle, which is coming off a stunning 15-10 win over the Broncos.
Despite the Broncos being out of form, it was a good win for the Knights. There are concerns over the ability of Brock Lamb and we don’t think he’s cut out for the NRL, but he’s being helped by the likes of Mitchell Pearce.
There’s not much between these sides but with home advantage the Storm should be too good.
Betting tip: Storm 1-12 @ $3.10 (BET NOW)
Storm by 10
7:50pm St George Dragons vs. Cronulla Sharks @ WIN Stadium
This shapes up to be one of the must-see games this week as the Dragons look to remain unbeaten in 2018.
After scoring a tough win over the Rabbitohs, the Dragons find themselves at the top of the NRL ladder but they’re about to come up against a desperate Sharks side.
The Sharks were woeful against the Roosters and we’re questioning their want to win. If they show any passion this week, they could be a threat to the Dragons’ unbeaten record.
That being said, we’ll stick with the better side until they start showing signs of distress.
Betting tip: Dragons –5.5 @ $1.90 (BET NOW)
Dragons by 6
3:00pm New Zealand Warriors vs. Brisbane Broncos @ Mt Smart Stadium
Can the Warriors be stopped this season? Certainly not in the early rounds as they have pushed past premiership contenders Roosters and Cowboys in consecutive weeks.
Playing with a renewed passion and fitness level, the Warriors have come out of the starting gates on fire and although they’ve never been the most consistent side, they have an enormous amount of confidence.
They always play their best league against the Broncos and that bodes well for this Saturday’s game.
The Broncos looked poor against the Knights last week and they’re a team which has struggled all season. Not having two genuine playmakers is killing their chances and we’re expecting their troubles to continue.
Betting tip: Warriors to win @ $1.52 (BET NOW)
Warriors by 6
5:30pm North Queensland Cowboys vs. Canterbury Bulldogs @ 1300Smiles Stadium
Not many punters would have predicted the Cowboys to be sitting in 14th position after Round 5, but the Cowboys have been poor to date.
After losing to the Warriors last week and Johnathan Thurston suffering a minor shoulder injury, it’s about to get tough to the Cowboys and they come up against a desperate Bulldogs team.
Playing at home is going to help the Cowboys, who are having problems finding any rhythm on offense.
If the crowd can get behind their team, they should have too much class for the Bulldogs, which are languishing in 15th spot.
Betting tip: Cowboys to win @ $1.38 (BET NOW)
Cowboys by 10
7:35pm Canberra Raiders vs. Parramatta Eels @ GIO Stadium
The Raiders looked much better against the Bulldogs last week and playing against the Eels shouldn’t make life any harder for them.
Parramatta are yet to enter to win column this season and it was a season which was tipped to be a successful one.
There’s a distinct lack of direction for both clubs but we’re sticking with the home side based on momentum and the amount of star talent on the field.
Raiders seemingly have more reason to win this game and Ricky Stuart is desperately seeking consecutive wins.
Betting tip: Raiders to win @ 1.62 (BET NOW)
Raiders by 6
2:00pm Penrith Panthers vs. Gold Gold Titans @ Panthers Stadium
Despite losing Nathan Cleary to injury, the Panthers have stepped up this season and currently sit in third position after being the Eels last week.
Premiership winner James Maloney has taken control of his team and he’s showing why he’s still one of the best playmakers in the game.
The Panthers come up against a red-hot Titans side, which is coming off consecutive wins against the Broncos and Sea Eagles.
They are a confidence side which shouldn’t be underrated, but the Panthers should hold too many guns here.
Betting tip: Panthers 1-12 @ $3.10 (BET NOW)
Panthers by 7
4:10pm Manly Sea Eagles vs. Wests Tigers @ Lottoland
This should be a close game given the form of both sides.
The Sea Eagles were only average last week against the Panthers, scoring just six points with home-ground advantage.
It was a much better result for the Tigers, which scored a one-point win over the Melbourne Storm on the back on tough defence.
That’s seemingly the key to the Tigers’ success this season and scoring a win over the Sea Eagles will put them into a good position early this season.
It’s going to be a close game to close out the week.
Betting tip: Tigers to win @ $1.60 (BET NOW)
Tigers by 4