ROUND 24 is upon us and the run to the finals is in full swing.
There’s another Thursday night game this week to kick things off as the Dragons look to stay inside the top eight when they take on the Panthers.
The biggest game of the week could well decide which team wins the minor premiership when the Brisbane Broncos play the Sydney Roosters on Saturday night.
Dragons vs. Panthers
Thursday, 20th August, 7:45pm, WIN Stadium
Dragons – $1.50 (-5.5)
Panthers – $2.60 (+5.5)
The Dragons suffered a costly loss to the Broncos last week, but were fortunate enough to find themselves inside the top eight with only three weeks left.
They currently sit on 24 points with a positive points differential and with the Sea Eagles right on their tale, this is a must-win game for them.
The Panthers are coming off a strong win against the Warriors and they played well defensively throughout the game. They aren’t quite in finals calculations, but that doesn’t exclude them from giving teams a fright at this time of the year.
This is a huge game for the Dragons and we see them pulling through in a close one.
Tip: Dragons to win ($1.50 at WilliamHill.com.au)
Exotic: Dragons 1-12 at $2.75
Rabbitohs vs. Bulldogs
Friday, 21st August, 7:45pm, ANZ Stadium
Rabbitohs – $2.08 (+1.5)
Bulldogs – $1.75 (-1.5)
Despite sitting two wins above the Canterbury Bulldogs, the Rabbitohs find themselves as underdogs this Friday night.
The Rabbits are coming off a strong 31-18 win over the North Queensland Cowboys, but the bookmakers are giving the slight edge to the Bulldogs which scored an easy 36-14 win over the Titans.
We see the Rabbitohs win over the Cowboys as a much stronger form guide for this and even though the Bulldogs are marching towards the finals, the Rabbitohs are looking to go back-to-back and make another late run for the title.
Tip: Rabbitohs to win ($2.08) at Sportsbet.com.au
Exotic: Rabbitohs HTFT at $3.20
Sharks vs. Tigers
Saturday, 22nd August, 3:05pm, Remondis Stadium
Sharks – $1.38 (-8.0)
Tigers – $3.05 (+8.0)
The rolling Sharks suffered a minor speed bump on Monday night when they were easily beaten at home against the Melbourne Storm.
The Sharks had won only one from their last 11 against the Storm so we’ll chalk that loss down to that, and their chances against the Tigers appear much better.
You can’t expect the Tigers to be good enough to topple the Sharks here after losing to the Knights last week. They have been a spent force all season and we think the Sharks put plenty of them.
Tip: Sharks -8.0 ($1.90)
Exotic: Sharks -17.5 ($3.06) at Sportsbet.com.au
Warriors vs. Cowboys
Saturday, 22nd August, 5:35pm, Mt Smart Stadium
Warriors – $5 (+13.5)
Cowboys – $1.17 (-13.5)
The Cowboys did suffer a setback last week against the Rabbitohs, but they haven’t made losing two straight a habit this season and they’re taking on a Warriors side that is searching for answers.
The Warriors lost yet another game last week, succumbing to the Panthers and things don’t get easier for them this week.
The loss of Johnson has been the dagger the Warriors didn’t need and all they can do now is tarnish the hopes of teams they face in the final three weeks.
We can’t see them upsetting the try-happy Cowboys outfit.
Tip: Cowboys -13.5 ($1.90) at CrownBet.com.au
Exotic: Wright to score first at $8.50
Roosters vs. Broncos
Saturday, 22nd August, 7:35pm, Allianz Stadium
Roosters – $1.55 (-4.5)
Broncos – $2.45 (+4.5)
The biggest clash of the week involves two teams vying for the minor premiership.
The Broncos are currently two points clear of the Roosters, but a victory to the Sydney-based side will see them move to the top spot that looked home and hosed for the Broncos a few weeks back.
The Roosters completed a strong comeback win against the Eels after trailing 18-8 in the second half, but they finished hard and kept their good roll alive.
The Broncos put away the Dragons with ease and showed no signs of slowing down heading into the finals.
There won’t be much between these two sides, but we’ll take the home ground advantage into consideration.
Tip: Roosters to win ($1.55) at CrownBet.com.au
Exotic: Roosters 1-12 at $3
Titans vs. Raiders
Sunday, 23rd August, 2:05pm, Cbus Super Stadium
Titans – $2.63 (+6)
Raiders – $1.48 (-6)
This game might come down to desperation and the only team with a chance to make the playoffs is the Canberra Raiders.
An outside chance at best, but still a chance and they’re facing a team that has struggled all year with consistency.
The Raiders have played much better away from home this season which leads us to believe they will be at their best for this clash.
Tip: Raiders -6 ($1.90) at Bet365.com
Exotic: Lee to score at $2.30
Sea Eagles vs. Eels
Sunday, 23rd August, 4:10pm, Brookvale Oval
Sea Eagles – $1.07 (-20.0)
Eels – $8.50 (+20.0)
The biggest line of the week is featured here where most punters are expecting the in-form Sea Eagles to decimate the Eels.
The Sea Eagles season looked in tatters mid-way through the season, but since the firing of coach Geoff Toovey, the team has come alive.
They now find themselves in ninth position and a win here could see them squeak into the top eight. They are looking like possible contenders for the premiership and the points start line of 20 doesn’t really look enough at this stage.
The Eels can put up a fight as they showed against the Roosters, but expect them to get rolled by plenty in this.
Tip: Sea Eagles -20.0 ($1.90) at Sportsbet.com.au
Exotic: Taufua to score at $1.94
Storm vs. Knights
Monday, 24th August, 7:00pm, AAMI Park
Storm – $1.07 (-19.5)
Knights – $8.50 (+19.5)
Another game that is expected to be over by halftime as the Storm face the lowly-placed Newcastle Knights.
The Storm are coming off an impressive win against the Sharks and the Knights, to their credit, won their last game against the Tigers, but we’re not expecting a similar result here.
These two teams have different aspirations. One team is looking to win a title and the other is looking to avoid the wooden spoon.
The Storm have lost four Monday night games this season, but they should go close to covering the big line.
Tip: Storm -20 at $1.90
Exotic: Uate to score ($2.30) at CrownBet.com.au
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