WE ARE down to the business end of the NRL season now and well into the race to become 2015 NRL Premiers, with Round 26 set to wrap-up the regular season in style over the next four days.
The week kicks off this Thursday when the Broncos take on the Storm in an extremely important game for both teams. The Broncos are looking to claim the top spot heading into the finals and the Storm want to consolidate their top four position.
There will be plenty more quality where that came from, with the Roosters taking on the Rabbitohs, the Sharks up against the Sea Eagles, while the Bulldogs will be looking to make a late push when they face the Warriors at ANZ Stadium on Sunday.
Broncos vs. Storm
Thursday, September 3, 7:45pm, Suncorp Stadium
Broncos – $1.83 (-1)
Storm – $2.02 (+1)
What a cracking game to kick off Round 26 where a Broncos win could see them win the minor premiership.
The Broncos currently sit in second position on points differential and a win will put them atop of the ladder. They are in great form after beating the Rabbitohs 47-12 last Thursday and they have had a full week to recover.
The Storm bounced back last week by beating the Cowboys 14-6 and they look to be gaining momentum heading into the finals.
Melbourne have been unusually inconsistent this season, but as the market shows, bookmakers expect this to be a very close game.
Tip: Broncos to win ($1.83) at Sportsbet.com.au
Exotic: Broncos HTFT at $2.60
Roosters vs. Rabbitohs
Friday, September 4, 7:45pm, Allianz Stadium
Roosters – $1.32 (-10.5)
Rabbitohs – $3.40 (+10.5)
A classic all-Sydney clash here where the premiership leading Roosters take on the scuffling Rabbitohs which will be looking to find their form again.
The Rabbitohs got an old-fashioned hammering last week and, without Greg Inglis, they simply look like a different team.
Things don’t get easier here, taking on the Roosters which are firing on all cylinders after winning 46-10 against the Sea Eagles.
Typically this game would be close, but we don’t see many weaknesses in the Roosters game and they should cover the spread.
Tip: Roosters -10.5 ($1.90) at CrownBet.com.au
Exotic: Ferguson to score at $2.40
Panthers vs. Knights
Saturday, September 5, 3:05pm, Pepper Stadium
Panthers – $2.10 (+2.0)
Knights – $1.72 (-2.0)
This is a game which has no impact on the finals, but it should still be an exciting match-up.
The Panthers are coming off a Monday night loss to the Raiders, which looks bad on paper, but losing Jamie Soward so early in the game didn’t help their cause.
The Knights have shown some late season form and they pushed the Bulldogs very close last week. The 18-20 score line was indicative of their current form and even though they’re playing away from home, they should be too good for the Panthers.
Tip: Knights to win ($1.72) at Sportsbet.com.au
Exotic: Uate to score at $1.83
Dragons vs. Tigers
Saturday, September 5, 5:35pm, ANZ Stadium
Dragons – $1.70 (-2.5)
Tigers – $2.08 (+2.5)
It’s quite simple for the Dragons – win and you’re in the finals – and even though the Tigers came away with a big win against the Warriors, they should simply be too good for them.
The Dragons have limped into the finals so far and they won’t make an impact in the playoffs, but betting on this game looks like good value.
Their defensive efforts should be enough to hold off the attacking-styled Tigers and we think they come away with a low-scoring win.
Tip: Dragons to win at $1.70
Exotic: Under 42.5 points ($1.91) at Bet365.com
Cowboys vs. Titans
Saturday, September 5, 7:35pm, 1300Smiles Stadium
Cowboys – $1.17 (-14.0)
Titans – $4.90 (+14.0)
The Cowboys are used to covering the big betting spread this year and they face another one here to end the regular season.
They scored only six points last week against the Storm, but they rarely lose two in a row and all the Titans are hoping to do is spoil the party.
With so much at stake for the Cowboys and the home advantage, we expect them to pile on the points and roll into the finals with plenty of confidence.
Tip: Cowboys -14.5 ($1.90) at Sportsbet.com.au
Exotic: Coote to score two tries at $8
Eels vs. Raiders
Sunday, September 6, 2:05pm, Pirtek Stadium
Eels – $1.60 (-4.0)
Raiders – $2.35 (+4.0)
The Eels are causing headaches for teams in the finals hunt after beating Melbourne and pushing the Sharks close last week.
They finally face an opponent which has under-performed this season in the Raiders, and this is a spot bet which Eels backers should appreciate.
The Raiders have played better away from home this season, but the Eels’ fans are hopeful of next season and nothing brings them back like a win to end the season.
This could be a points fest and the bookmakers currently have the line at 48.
Tip: Eels to win ($1.60) at WilliamHill.com.au
Exotic: Over 48 points at $1.90
Sharks vs. Sea Eagles
Sunday, September 6, 4:10pm, Remondis Stadium
Sharks – $1.57 (-4.5)
Sea Eagles – $2.40 (+4.5)
The Sharks have a great chance to win their first ever NRL premiership and winning the final game of the regular season will do their confidence some good.
The Sea Eagles’ chances of making the playoffs are slim as they need a very big win against the Sharks, but they will come out firing and they have the talent in their back line.
The Sharks were pushed hard by the Eels last week, but they would have learned from that experience and we’re expecting the men from Cronulla to grind out a tough win here.
Tip: Sharks -4.5 ($1.90) at Bet365.com
Exotic: Under 42.5 points at $1.90
Bulldogs vs. Warriors
Sunday, September 6, 6:35pm, ANZ Stadium
Bulldogs – $1.06 (-24.0)
Warriors – $9 (+24.0)
We’re just going to put it frankly… the Bulldogs will hammer the Warriors.
The Bulldogs have looked one of the better sides towards the end of the season and the Warriors look like second graders.
The bookmakers have this game on the money at the 24-point line and even though it’s a big line to cover, the Bulldogs should have a field day this Sunday.
Tip: Bulldogs -24.0 ($1.90) at Sportsbet.com.au
Exotic: Rona to score two tries at $1.72
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