There were some harsh realities faced by some teams in Round 8 of the NRL and Round 9 could prove pivotal.
It kicks off with the Broncos taking on the Bulldogs on Thursday night and we have free tips and form for every NRL game this week.
7:50pm Brisbane Broncos vs. Canterbury Bulldogs @ Suncorp Stadium
The Broncos bounced back with a hard-fought victory over the Rabbitohs last week and that’s going to give them plenty of confidence moving forward.
Heading into the game as underdogs, the Broncos were able to turn around a half-time deficit to score by four points and they’re now firm favourites to beat the Bulldogs.
It hasn’t been a great season for the Bulldogs, but they’re fighting well and there were good early signs against the Panthers.
With an 80-minute display, the Bulldogs could get over the line but we’re siding with the Broncos here.
Betting tip: Broncos to win @ $1.51 (BET NOW)
Broncos by 8
6:00pm Newcastle Knights vs. South Sydney Rabbitohs @ McDonald Jones Stadium
We’re unsure why the Knights weren’t favoured to beat Manly last week but we were happy with the value on offer.
Despite losing Mitchell Pearce, the Knights still field a solid team with some exciting players and their season is far from over, but they face a much stiffer test this week.
Losing to the Broncos last week has set the Rabbitohs back a touch and playing away from home is never easy, but the Rabbitohs have the more complete side and we’re expecting a much better performance this week.
This game could go down to the wire.
Betting tip: Rabbitohs to win @ $1.62 (BET NOW)
Rabbitohs by 7
7:55pm Penrith Panthers vs. North Queensland Cowboys @ Carrington Park
Punters that hammered the Cowboys to win the premiership are full of regret at this stage after another poor loss last week.
The Cowboys suffered an embarrassing defeat to the Raiders at home last week and scoring only eight points is unlike the Cowboys of old.
It’s not about to get any easier as the Penrith Panthers are the form side of the competition.
That was a solid win over the Bulldogs last week and the confidence within the Panthers camp is outstanding.
Losing their fullback is going to create some problems, but punters are getting good value for the home side here.
Betting tip: Panthers to win @ $1.80 (BET NOW)
Panthers by 10
3:00pm Canberra Raiders vs. Gold Coast Titans @ GIO Stadium
It has been a tough start to the season for the Raiders and coach Ricky Stuart but they will be full of confidence after beating the Cowboys on the road last week.
That victory showed a toughness which hasn’t been seen this season and getting back to Canberra and facing a struggling side is just what the doctor ordered.
The Titans are coming off a heartbreaking loss last week to the Sharks and although they will take confidence that they were competitive, the two competition points would have been better.
Raiders have the momentum and they should come away with the result.
Betting tip: Raiders –6.5 @ $1.90 (BET NOW)
Raiders by 10
5:30pm New Zealand Warriors vs. Wests Tigers @ Mt Smart Stadium
The Warriors came back down to earth with a giant thud on ANZAC Day.
Losing 50-10 to the Melbourne Storm should be enough of a wake-up call for the New Zealand franchise, which had suffered only one loss up until that point.
Injuries throughout the game and some stellar play from the Storm was enough to see the Warriors blown off the park but they could rebound quickly here.
The Tigers are also coming off a tough loss, albeit in a much closer contest against the Eels.
The shorter turnaround for the Tigers won’t help their cause and we’re sticking with the home team here.
Betting tip: Warriors to win @ $1.63 (BET NOW)
Warriors by 8
7:35pm Cronulla Sharks vs. Parramatta Eels @ Southern Cross Group Stadium
The resurgent Eels come into enemy territory this week seeking their third win after losing the first six games of the season.
The wins might not have come over the best teams in the competition but there are improving signs from the struggling club.
Despite sitting seven spots ahead on the table and coming off a win, the Sharks seemingly have less momentum heading into this.
There just isn’t that collective atmosphere within the Sharks team and facing the in-form Eels isn’t going to make it easy.
Betting tip: Eels to win @ 2.20 (BET NOW)
2:00pm St George Dragons vs. Melbourne Storm @ Jubilee Oval
This is shaping up as the game of the round as the Dragons look to remain at the top of the table over the dangerous Storm.
The Dragons pulled off an easy win over the Roosters on ANZAC Day and they were able to keep a potent offence at bay.
Melbourne has been lethal on attack in recent weeks and that was no more evident in their 50-10 win over the Warriors.
All the key players were in sync and it looked like the Storm of old as Cameron Smith and Billy Slater were linking up.
Picking a winner between two quality sides is never easy but the Storm have the experience winning these types of games.
Betting tip: Storm to win @ $1.95 (BET NOW)
Storm by 8
4:10pm Sydney Roosters vs. Manly Sea Eagles @ Allianz Stadium
The Roosters might be the big disappointments of the season so far, but the Sea Eagles are looking more like shot ducks.
After another loss last week, the Sea Eagles are facing an uphill battle to make the playoffs and losing another key player just rubs salt into the wounds.
It hasn’t been much better for the Roosters but at least they possess a dangerous team with scoring power.
Manly do not and this should be one-way traffic.
Betting tip: Roosters –10.5 @ $1.90 (BET NOW)
Roosters by 20