THERE weren’t many surprises in the NRL last week, the Cowboys extended their winning streak, the Broncos stamped their authority over the Storm and the Roosters overcame an error-ridden Dragons side.
Now, every single Round 16 game has great importance and it kicks off this Friday with a double-header involving the Broncos vs. Knights and Rabbitohs vs. the Sea Eagles, with both Newcastle and Manly desperate to improve in order to avoid the wooden spoon.
The action then heads across to New Zealand where the Warriors will take on the Raiders. Later that night the Cowboys will be trying to extend their record-breaking winning streak against the Sharks up in in Queensland, before the spotlight shines back on NSW when Parramatta go up against the Dragons.
Sunday will see two good matches with the Roosters set to go up against the Titans and the Tigers to do battle with the Panthers. The week will end on Monday night when the Bulldogs take on the Storm which will be aiming to bounce back from their recent loss to the ladder leading Broncos.
To help you find the winners of all the matches we have a full preview of each game complete with the latest news, team information and the best betting odds available.
With some terrific games ahead there is plenty of money to be made, so check out Sportsbet.com.au’s Rabbitohs vs. Sea Eagles first tryscorer special.
Broncos vs. Knights
Friday, June 26, 7:45pm, Suncorp Stadium
Broncos – $1.17 (-14.5)
Knights – $5.15 (+14.5)
The first of the Friday night double header looks to be a tad one-sided as the table-topping Broncos take on the Knights which are looking to avoid the wooden spoon.
The Broncos held off a very game Melbourne Storm team last week and facing the Knights will be massive step down in class.
The Knights blew a handy lead against the Sharks last week in a game they should have put to bed. They have the team on paper to compete with the Broncos, but this game should be one-way traffic.
The points start line of 14.5 is very high, so stick with the head-to-head option for multi-bets.
Tip: Broncos to win at $1.17
Exotic: Jack Reed to score ($1.91) at CrownBet.com.au
Rabbitohs vs. Sea Eagles
Friday, June 26, 7:45pm, ANZ Stadium
Rabbitohs – $1.40 (-7.5)
Sea Eagles – $2.95 (+7.5)
The Rabbitohs will be refreshed after coming off a bye which was needed after suffering a poor loss to the Tigers in Round 14.
They were missing their Origin stars, but the performance wasn’t pretty and now they face a very desperate Sea Eagles team which has everything to play for.
The Sea Eagles have made the headlines for the wrong reasons this season and their on-field play hasn’t been inspiring, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
They looked good against the Tigers last week and the play of Kieran Foran should have the Sea Eagles ready to fire again.
The New Zealand international played out of his skin and they are a chance if Daly Cherry-Evans can start playing up to his potential as well.
Tip: Sea Eagles +7.5 ($1.90) at Sportsbet.com.au
Exotic: Cherry-Evans to score first at $26
Warriors vs. Raiders
Saturday, June 27, 3:05pm, Mt Smart Stadium
Warriors – $1.45 (-6.5)
Raiders – $2.75 (+6.5)
Didn’t the Warriors look great against the Titans last week? But, they’re horribly inconsistent and the Raiders are a team that can strike quickly.
This is a Raiders side that pushed the Cowboys last week, losing by only one point, and the Warriors aren’t playing nearly as well as the Cowboys are.
The home advantage for the Warriors has led the bookmakers to install them as hot favourites, but we see the value in the Raiders in what should be a high-scoring affair.
Tip: Raiders to win ($2.75) at WilliamHill.com.au
Exotic: Raiders HTFT at $3.75
Cowboys vs. Sharks
Saturday, June 27, 5:35pm, 1300 Smiles Stadium
Cowboys – $1.51 (-5.5)
Sharks – $2.58 (+5.5)
The North Queensland Cowboys have strung together a franchise record number of wins, but the bookmakers aren’t giving them much respect against the Sharks.
There is plenty of value with their head-to-head price of $1.51 and it should be a multi-bet inclusion.
The Sharks are coming off a nice come-from-behind win against the Knights, but the quality of opposition wasn’t up to the standards of the Cowboys.
The -5.5 line looks a touch close for our liking, but the Cowboys should continue on their winning way at home and the price looks juicy.
Tip: Cowboys to win ($1.51) at Sportsbet.com.au
Exotic: Under 40.5 points at $1.90
Eels vs. Dragons
Saturday, June 27, 7:35pm, Pirtek Stadium
Eels – $2.25 (+3.5)
Dragons – $1.65 (-3.5)
No one really knows what to expect from the Eels, but they have been a tough team to beat at home this season and they are well rested coming off a bye.
The Dragons didn’t quite look the same last week against the Roosters. Their halves pairing of Benji Marshall and Gareth Widdop made far too many mistakes with their kicking game and that could bite them against a counterattacking Eels team.
All things being equal, the Dragons should come away with the two points, but the Eels improve significantly at Pirtek Stadium and they could give the Dragons their second straight loss.
Tip: Eels +3.5 at $1.91
Exotic: Radradra to score first ($7) at CrownBet.com.au
Roosters vs. Titans
Sunday, June 28, 2:05pm, Central Coast Stadium
Roosters – $1.13 (-16.5)
Titans – $6 (+16.5)
As the points start line suggests, the Roosters are expected to beat the Gold Coast Titans by a handy margin and we’re thinking along the same lines.
The Roosters looked like potential premiership winners when beating the Dragons 19-14 last week and the Titans looked like cellar-dwellers last week against the Warriors.
The 16.5 line is the biggest of the week and the largest for some time in the NRL, but this could cover by halftime if the Roosters are on their game.
The floodgates should well and truly open here.
Tip: Roosters -16.5 ($1.90) at Sportsbet.com.auat Sportsbet.com.au
Exotic: Roosters -21.5 at $2.41
Tigers vs. Panthers
Sunday, June 28, 4:05pm, Leichhardt Oval
Tigers – $1.73 (-1.5)
Panthers – $2.12 (+1.5)
This is likely to be the closest game of the week as both teams look to regain some momentum and make a run to the finals.
The Tigers looked good in patches in their loss to the Sea Eagles and they were heavily backed to do so, but they lacked the finishing skills needed.
The Panthers were overcome by the large Bulldogs pack and playing the smaller Tigers forward pack will give them confidence ahead of this Sunday’s clash.
The Panthers looked good earlier this season, but have gone off the radar. It’s not easy to win on Tigers home soil so stick with them for another week.
Tip: Tigers to win ($1.73) at CrownBet.com.au
Exotic: Under 42.5 points at $1.90
Bulldogs vs. Storm
Monday, June 29, 7:00pm, Belmore Sports Ground
Bulldogs – $1.50 (-5.5)
Storm – $2.60 (+5.5)
The Bulldogs have made a slow start to 2015, but their 24-12 win over the Panthers last week indicated that they’re heading in the right direction.
The bookmakers have them as $1.91 to make the top eight in what is a congested table and they face a Storm team with plenty of injury problems.
In saying that, the Storm played excellent against the Broncos in a losing effort last week, their completion rate was superb and it was only their lack of finishing expertise that held them back.
They still possess a big threat to the Bulldogs, but the market suggests the Bulldogs will be slightly too good on home soil.
Tip: Bulldogs to win ($1.50) at Sportsbet.com.au
Exotic: Bulldogs -5.5 at $1.90
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